April 28, 2015

Rhubarb+strawberry & chocolate+nutella vertical roll cakes




The idea of a vertical cake might not be world-changing, I know, but I've been thinking about using  roll cakes as "regular" layer cakes for quite some time now. I think I jotted it down on one of my 1000 post-its (which by the way, almost never make sense), but I never got around to trying it until now.
So I started with making one with a recipe I used last year, with some of my favorite flavors - rhubarb, strawberries and cardamom. Man, that compote is to die for! I made two batches to test the recipe, so I had lots of leftovers for my oatmeal. Perfect. Then I thought, I just HAVE to make a chocolate one as well, because there should always be chocolate, too. The chocolate one didn't turn out as visually striking on the inside as I would have wanted, but it tastes amazing, and that's what really counts, isn't it? A nice looking cake can be fantastic, but if the flavors aren't there, looks don't matter so much.
As usual, I can't pick a favorite out of these two. I love them both equally. And all I see when I look at the top photo are two fancy pac-mans (pac-men??). Look at the pink one eating that strawberry!






https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7671/17091971129_95dfbb48ba_b.jpg

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8744/17280209345_d865d82abc_b.jpg



*Notes on these recipes:
-When making the rhubarb strawberry roll cake, make the compote first as it needs to cool before use.
-Be sure to read the instructions before you begin so you are prepared with baking paper and sugar before removing the cake from the oven.
-And yes, the oven temperature is correct in the instructions for the rhubarb strawberry cake, 250°C (480°F).
-I usually let the cake cool underneath a clean and damp kitchen towel. I don't know if this really does anything but I imagine it keeps the cake from drying out which also makes it easier to roll.


CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE
Serves 6-8
Cake is approximately 5 inches

INGREDIENTS
Cake
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (60 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar + extra for rolling

Nutella cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup nutella

Chocolate buttercream
100 g (1 scant stick) softened butter
100 g semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tbsp espresso or strong coffee, cooled
1 tbsp nutella, at room temperature

Garnish
Maltesers (cut in half)
Blackberries
Edible flowers
Pink salt

DIRECTIONS
Cake
1. Preheat oven to 225°C (437°F). Cover a large baking sheet or a roasting pan (one that fits your oven) with baking paper.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift in the flour mixture and stir carefully until mixture is smooth. Spread mixture on the baking paper almost all the way to the edges of the paper. It should be thin but not so thin that you can see the paper through the mixture. Bake for 6-7 minutes.
4. While the cake is baking, put a piece of baking paper (larger than the cake) on your work surface. Sprinkle sugar on the baking paper.
5. Remove the cake from the oven, then carefully turn the cake over with the "top" facing down on the sugar. Carefully peel off the bottom piece of paper. Let cool completely.

Nutella cream
1. Whip cream until soft peaks form.
2. Add the nutella and whip until stiff peaks form.

Filling the cake
1. Spread the nutella cream over the cake. Cut four long strips, lengthwise (i.e. start cutting from the short side). If needed, use a measuring tape to get evenly sized strips. I find it easier to use a pizza slicer than a knife to make even layers.
2. Start with one strip and roll, then take the next strip and put it right next to the edge of the first strip and roll. Repeat the same steps with all layers.
3. Once your roll cake is ready, simply tip it over and place it on a plate or a cake stand. If it feels unstable, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge while you prepare the buttercream.

Chocolate buttercream
1. Beat the butter until light and creamy.
2. Add the melted chocolate, espresso and nutella and beat until smooth.
If buttercream feels too loose, put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.
3. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cake using an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4. Spread the remaining buttercream all over the cake. If you have some leftover, you can pipe "blobs" on top of the cake!
5. Garnish with edible flowers, blackberries, maltesers and a pinch of pink salt.


RHUBARB STRAWBERRY ROLL CAKE
Serves 6-8
Cake is approximately 6 inches


INGREDIENTS
Cake
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (120 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom (optional)
pinch of salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar + extra for rolling
1/2 tbsp water

Rhubarb strawberry compote (makes 1 cup)
200 g fresh rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
75 g strawberries, fresh or frozen, cut in small pieces
1/3 cup (85 g) granulated sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom
2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp cold water

Strawberry buttercream
100 g (1 scant stick) softened butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
150 g cream cheese, at room temperature
75 g strawberries, pureed

Garnish
Fresh strawberries

DIRECTIONS
Rhubarb strawberry compote
1. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, vanilla and cardamom in a saucepan.
2. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. Pour cornstarch mixture into saucepan, stirring until combined. Let mixture simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer compote to a bowl, cover and chill until completely cold. Can be made one day ahead.

Cake
1. Preheat oven to 250°C (480°F). Cover a large baking sheet or a roasting pan (one that fits your oven) with baking paper.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift in the flour mixture, add the water and stir carefully until mixture is smooth. Spread mixture on the baking paper almost all the way to the edges of the paper. It should be thin but not so thin that you can see the paper through the mixture. Bake for 5 minutes.
4. While the cake is baking, put a piece of baking paper (larger than the cake) on your work surface. Sprinkle sugar on the baking paper.
5. Remove the cake from the oven, then carefully turn the cake over with the "top" facing down on the sugar. Carefully peel off the bottom piece of paper. Let cool completely.
6. Spread the compote over the cake. Cut four long strips, lengthwise (i.e. start cutting from the short side). If needed, use a measuring tape to get evenly sized strips. I find it easier to use a pizza slicer than a knife to make even layers.
7. Start with one strip and roll, then take the next strip and put it right next to the edge of the first strip and roll. Repeat the same steps with all layers.
8. Once your roll cake is ready, simply tip it over and place it on a plate or a cake stand. If it feels unstable, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge while you prepare the buttercream.

Strawberry buttercream
1. Beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the cream cheese and the strawberry puree. If buttercream is too loose, put the bowl in the fridge for a while.
2. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cake using an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Spread the remaining frosting all over the cake.
4. Garnish with fresh strawberries.



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36 comments:

  1. Wow these look stunning so beautiful xxx

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  2. Holy cow, those look incredible! You've really outdone yourself here--they are beautiful and sound delicious too :) I will definitely have to try a vertical roll cake, such an interesting concept.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, June! They were actually so much fun to make, and not as difficult as they seem!

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  3. I wondered how vertical layer cakes were made! Thanks for sharing, they are beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Debs! Well, this is at least one way to make them! :-)

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  4. So bright and cheery and YUMMY looking! :) Always a treat just to SEE your posts! :) xo

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    1. Thank you so much, Katy! I thought it was time for a bright post! xo

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  5. Looks delicious!I could use a little help though, with photos demonstrating how to assemply the cake.I am an amateur you see..

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    1. I completely agree that i should have taken photos during the assembly, but unfortunately I have none.. :-( Let me know if you want me to describe it more carefully though!

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    2. http://www.brit.co/vertical-layer-cake/

      Here's a handy tutorial to help show the process! Can't wait to make the rhubarb version for Mother's Day. Thank's Linda!

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  6. Such beautiful photographs!

    http://atablefordeux.blogspot.ca/

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  7. These photos are so beautiful. I really want to try out a roll cake but it makes me anxious...I feel like regular layer cakes are as complicated as I go. I love cardamom with raspberry. It's such a wonderful combination.

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    1. Thank you, Sophie!
      I have to agree with you, roll cakes make me anxious too, but I can tell you that this was my 3rd and 4th time doing them and they have turned out great every time. And it does sound a lot harder than it actually is.. I just had trouble describing how to make them! :-)

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  8. These cakes are so pretty I want to kiss them!!! Omg. Gorgeous!

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  9. Wow, both these cakes are so beautiful! I haven't tried a vertical / roll cake but these look so pretty I must try (and follow your recipe directions) someday.

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  10. oh man, the swirl on that chocolate cake is killing me! Both cakes are so lovely, and I'm eager to try strawberries and rhubarb with the addition of cardamom!

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  11. Oh my, that wallpaper is just the perfect backdrop for these gorgeous cakes!

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  12. oooh, love the VERTICAL layers. So unexpected and chic, Linda!

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  13. Oh my goodness, they look sooo beautiful!! Your cakes = work of art!! Not to mention your amazing photography skills! Loveee!

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  14. Again you stage these pretty cakes in such pretty pictures. It doesn't have to be world changing in order to be beautiful and delicious! I also lile how you refer to the last post regards the colors of the nutella cake and say hi to spring with the bright strawberry one! Love!

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  15. Oh, my god! How beautiful ist this!!!!
    AMAZING!!!!

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  16. I love the style of your chocolate cake decorations. They are the perfect finish to such lovely cakes as these.

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  17. Wow these cakes look amazing! I'll keep a note of this so I can try it out.
    Emma Xx

    www.emmaslookingglass.com

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  18. I have never seen vertical cakes before, but these look so SO good I want to give it a try. As usual, spectacular photography Linda..
    Cheers!

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  19. I really love these pictures! They are wonderful!
    Life, Laugh, Love and Lulu

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  20. I just wanna look at your photos all day long...

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  21. can I ask where your adorable cake stands are from?!

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    Replies
    1. The tiny one is from Lagerhaus and the other one I don't know actually :-)

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  22. Dear Linda,

    I love I live in the Middle East and can not get hold of rhubarb. Can you please recommend a substitute, or advise if the flavour will also be interesting with only strawberries.
    I made the nutella one and loved how it looked and actualy how easy it was to make. I cannot wait to try the strawberry one too.
    lv

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    Replies
    1. Hello there! It will taste great with strawberries alone, definitely :-) If you'd like to try something else, apple would be my best bet! I made a pie with apples and strawberries and it was a great combo. Best of luck!

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  23. Gorgeous!! These are beautiful!

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