Day 19 ‘Gingerbread Cake Roll’

You know what was missing in my collection of festive bakes? Roll cake! I wouldn’t have figured it out without a little help…

In the meantime my little Elf and I changed the location and headed to grandma’s, leaving Nico and four-legged meowing fluff in charge of the house until they are ready to join us. We’d packed all the necessities, as well as some less important bits and bobs without which life would be the same, and headed to the airport.

You probably know what it’s like to travel with the little one. If I was to describe it in only two words I would say ‘extremely adventurous’. Not only because those little hands want to touch and scrutinise everything, including bolding head of the gentleman sitting in front of ours on the plane. Mainly because even though they cannot say a word in language understandable by anyone but themselves, they do provoke conversations!

It starts from ‘oh how cute you are’ or ‘you need to listen to your mommy’ and ends… Well, it doesn’t end. It doesn’t end because babies are restless and never run out of ideas how to entertain themselves, hence there is always something to comment on. However, around Christmas time people don’t need excuses and tend to be more keen to talk to one another. I like that very much. Usual gasping and furtive glances get replaced by genuine smile and friendly talks.

While on the plane, we started chatting away with a lady who sat next to us. Initially we were jumping from subject to subject, as you normally do when talking to a person you don’t really know. At some point though, we touched on what we cannot imagine Christmas table without and that was it! We were lost in discourse about sweet and savoury treats for over an hour.

It’s very interesting how different traditions get rooted in our lives. How many different ways of celebrating despite the same customs. Since, one of the things our travel companion couldn’t imagine Christmas without was gingerbread cake roll, I couldn’t help but add it to my list of 24 festive bakes! Especially that I knew it would be the first time I had ever attempted to roll any kind of cake. Just perfect challenge for another day of baking-off.

Original Recipe Gingerbread Cake Roll

For the cake:

eggs- 4 units
caster sugar- 3/4 cup
vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Greek- style yogurt- 1/4 cup
molasses- 1/4 cup (I used honey)
all purpose flour- 1 1/4 cup
baking powder- 1 tsp
ground ginger- 1 tsp
ground cinnamon- 1/2 tsp
ground nutmeg- 1/4 tsp
salt- a pinch

For the filling:
whipping cream- 1 cup
icing sugar- 1/2 cup
vanilla extract- 1 tsp
ground ginger- 1/2 tsp
ground cinnamon- 1/2 tsp

For the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Using mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and smooth. Beat in vanilla, molasses and yogurt. Add flour, baking powder, spices (ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon), salt and mix until combined. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
3. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until tester comes out clean.
4. Immediately invert the cake onto a tea towel dusted generously with icing sugar. Gently peel-off parchment paper, then roll up the cake with the tea towel, starting at the short end. Allow to cool completely on the wire rack.

For the cream:
1. Whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken, add icing sugar and spices (cinnamon and ginger) and vanilla. Keep whipping until still peaks appear on the surface.
2. Unroll the cake and spread whipped cream evenly over the cake. Re-roll without the tea towel. Cover and refrigerate at least for 1 hour. Duct with icing sugar (you can always add some chocolate 😉 ) and serve!

Was it my lucky day today? Or shall I say, lucky cake? As far as taste is concerned, I could pat my shoulder; execution – wise, I will definitely keep on working on it. Rolling can be tricky but my parents were very pleased with the outcome. Who knows, maybe overtime it will become our Christmas special! 

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