Granny’s Jelly Roll
I can’t tell you the number of times my Mother (aka ‘Granny’) has made a ‘Swiss Roll’. She can make this with her eyes closed and with one hand tied behind her back and a bold child on her hip. I know this, because this was the one dessert she baked – throughout my entire childhood – that never burned. I am not sure why, or what miracle occurred as she never made claims to love baking. She had the Swiss Roll gods on her side; every time.
My eldest brother, who now lives in Switzerland but probably has no idea that the Swiss have no ‘right’ to stake claim in this cake, was the only person in our family to out do her when it came to making a better roll. He mastered the art of whipping larger air pockets into his cake batter (bigger hands I guess – more ‘air’ power) and his cakes rose higher and rolled better everytime.
I, accepting defeat without trying, stuck to my happy task of washing the dishes. I have still never attempted to make this easy treat.
The kids are completely OBSESSED with ‘Grannys Jelly Roll’ so a few days ago she came over to ‘show the Chef’- who bakes for a living – how it is done. Lessons like these, from a Mother, or Mother-in-law, are not to be sneezed at. While, in this instance, there is nothing unique or especially difficult about the ingredients, recipe and method, it is more a sharing of technique and tips that needs to be documented. Because lord knows, if you screw it up, the first ones to complain will be the kids; Especially our brats anyway.
One of the reasons Mum would have leaned towards making this cake, as opposed to others, is because there was always a surplus of eggs in the house from the hens and ducks. We have the same daily delight here at Chez Wise. I am particularly proud of the misshaped ones.
always eager to be better than everyone else at everything he does eager to learn Granny’s technique for making such a lovely light sponge, was rearing to go on this one. They would make two Jelly Rolls. Her making the first one and him observing, then he making the second one. The children were beside themselves with excitement. So much so I had to send them outside to work up an appetite, and take advantage of the half hour of dry weather we were blessed with that day.
- 4 large eggs
- 4 oz (110 g) caster sugar
- 4 oz (110g) plain (sieved) flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- Beat the eggs and caster sugar for ten minutes until fairly thick. It will look like whipped butter.
- Fold in the flour, salt and baking soda with a large metal spoon trying to incorporate as much air as you can.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it well.
- Bake for ten or eleven minutes. No more.
- Allow to cool for one minute then flip out onto a large wire rack top side up.
- Allow to cool for ten minutes.
- Tear off a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle generously with caster sugar.
- Flip the cake top side down onto the parchment paper. When you roll it up it will have a nice sugar coating on the outside.
- Glaze the cake with any assortment of jam or jelly you have at home. Marmalade works nicely too.
- Then layer on a generous amount of whipped cream.
- Once finished layering on the cream, roll the cake as tightly as you can and leave it wrapped in the parchment paper for an hour. This helps it stay ‘rolled’ for slicing later.
- *we moved on to make a second cake and added fresh fruit *
This cake takes very little time to make and bake. Even the extreme novice should attempt it and have a successful and tasty result.
This is the hardest part. Trying to get the air into the flour cake batter mix. Things were starting to heat up in the kitchen here and I felt ‘in the way’.
Once the batter was poured … and the cake popped in the oven it was time for a spot of ‘clean up’ before they moved on to make the second cake…..
Before you set the sanitation police on us, yes yes yes I thoroughly sterilized the equipment before we moved on to cake number two.
But first, Granny, after standing outside the door to demonstrate ‘rapid sponge cooling’ technique, got her sponge all jammed up with apricot and raspberry jams and a nice helping of freshly whipped sweetened cream.
There might have been a healthy debate over whether or not one should actually ‘sweeten’ the cream. I had to bow out of this one, as I am not a fan of confrontation. The Chef believes the cream should have vanilla and sugar. Granny does not and her wooden spoon is bigger.
A small crises arose as we turned the corner ready to get started on the second cáca milis.
We had run out of eggs because the Chef had blown them all earlier on the first cake and the pancakes he had made for breakfast.
A quick jaunt out to the coop and he came back in with a beautiful big handful of eggs.
A quick run under the tap and we were all set for the rest of the lesson.
Granny encouraged the Chef to layer this one with fruit and ‘unsweetened’ cream. He did exactly as he was told, except he used a rubber spatula, instead of the metal spoon, when whipping the air into the cake batter mix. He is a bold one.
The rolling of the cake is the most ‘stressful’ part of the whole operation. You need to make the parchment paper work for you, in order to keep the Jelly Roll tight so it does not unravel once you get ready to slice it.
Cakes all done, Granny took one to her friends house to share with a spot of afternoon tea and ours was devoured by the children after they had eaten their supper.
The overall result is an incredibly light sponge cake flavoured any way you like.
The next one is going to have a Peanut butter and jelly filling.
AND I might get him to make me a Pumpkin one for my birthday.
Right. Down to business. There is still a few days for y’all to enter the drawing for the very cute Le Creuset pot.
and this week, if you find yourself with a bit of free time on your hands, you should come along to the first annual ‘Foodie Forum’ at GMIT.
The line up of speakers is right here …. and I am sure there are plenty you would like to learn from.
Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,
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I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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About the Chef
You can't find the Chef here.
You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.
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SHE WRITES, HE COOKS, THE KIDS MAKE A HUGE MESS