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Happy Independence Day!

April 26, 2012

haven’t posted in two years, because I was too busy with my research and various other things, like two dogs, a cat and finding love.

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But today it’s Independence Day in Israel, which means we got a very long weekend, in which I got to play around the kitchen a bit, blog about it, and even get on with writing my thesis!

Independence Day in Israel is basically ‘national barbeque day’, but since my father broke his leg, he’s not too keen on the traditional ‘going out to a national park and grilling’, so we just had a nice family lunch at home.

I brought desert. A roll cake decorated withIsrael’s flag and filled with whipped cream and kiwi.

Does it look easy?

It actually was, once we managed to find a translation of the recipe from Japanese (1 hour), compare 4 sites that gave us 4 differed versions of it (1 hour), make one batch that completely failed (2 hours), figure out what went wrong (1/2 hour), get more eggs and a more suitable pan from Mom (1/2 hour) and start all over again (2 hours).

Now I can give you a very long post on how to make this cake, and others, without screwing up.

It’s really ease, I promise! You just need to read the instructions carefully before you start.

The original inventor of this concept is Junko

Someone scanned some of the recipes in here book. These come with drawings of the processes, to help you understand.

And here are three other sites, each with a recipe out of Junko’s book, each one a little different, which made it confusing to adapt to my design: http://bittenbefore.com/tokyolife/2011/08/03/microwave-cooking-deco-roll-cake/

http://oh-ayana.livejournal.com/46003.html

http://maibyers.livejournal.com/34463.html

The final result of my quest is a sort of algorithm, that is less complicated than the original, which you can adapt to any design you like.

Prepare the pan:

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On the parchment paper, draw the design you want to see on your cake. Remember that the center of the pan is the center of the top side of the finished roll. Also, remember that the design will be mirrored in the end result, so you have to draw the mirror image of what you want. That’s important for letters for example, but doesn’t matter for symmetrical symbols such as a Shield of David.

Place the parchment paper in your pan, so that the drawing is facing down, so the batter won’t touch the pencil markings.

Oil the sheet very lightly. I sprayed with olive oil spray, and since that wat the first time I used such a device, I sprayed too much.

If the paper is too oily, when you pipe your color, the oil will move and form pools of oil in the coloring batter. Absorb excesses oil with absorbent paper, until you have a very, very small amount of oil left. If you do this, the batter will be easy to spread.

 Ingredients for the batter:

4 large eggs at room temperature – Divided into 4 whites, and 3 yolks (1 yolk will not be used)
35g sugar
60 ml water
40ml vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extra
80g flour
more flour as needed (about 1/2 tsp for each color you use, but see instructions)
1 tsp corn starch
food coloring as needed

Also:

A brownie pan (a square pan, about 12X12 inches or 30X30cm)
Parchment paper
Pencil (not pen!)
Piping bags (or anything you can adapt to a piping bag)
Bowels, many bowels. 2 bowels+ as many colors as you use
Electric mixer
Wire rack

Instructions for batter:

Divide your eggs into 4 whites, and 3 yolks (1 yolk will not be used). Make sure the bowl that contains the whites does not have any oily residue or yolk in it, as that will prevent the white from foaming properly.

To the yolks, add35 gramsof sugar and beat on high speed, until the mixture has increased in volume, is very pale, and can hold it’s shape for a fraction of a second while you mix (about 5min of mixing).

To this you add 60ml of water, 40ml of oil, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and 80gr of flour. Continue mixing until the batter drops from the beaters in ribbons (about 1min).

Now clean your beaters very well with soapy water, and dry thoroughly. You will now use them to beat the egg white, so again they have to be clean of any oily residue.

Now beat the whites to soft peaks, add 1tsp corn starch and continue beating until the foam forms stiff peaks.

 For coloring:

Depending on how much of a certain color you require, take 1-4 teaspoons of yolk batter in to a separate bowl. For each teaspoon, add 1/2 teaspoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of egg-white foam. Mix the better in a folding motion. If the batter is too thin, now is the time to add more flour. The end result should be thick enough to drizzle from a teaspoon, so that it would be relatively easy to use for piping.

In my case, I needed a lot of blue, and added about 1tsp in addition to what the recipe said in order to get the right consistency, so I used 4 tsp of yolk batter, 3tsp of flour and 8 tbsp of foam.

Add a small amount of your desired food coloring, and mix. Adjust the coloring as needed. For example, I started with a little bit ofDalton’s Royal blue, then added more, and eventually added a little tiny bit ofDalton’s Violet to get the right color.

If you want to use nature food colorings, such as cacao or matcha tea powder, exchange part of the flour in the batter with these powders. For light brown use 1/4tsp flour + 1/4tsp cacao. For dark brown (almost black) use just cacao powder and no flour at all. Same goes for matcha.

The main batter:

Use the rest of the egg-white foam to fold in to the yolk batter. Fold and break the foam as you mix, until you get a very runny, fluffy, light colored batter. As fluffy and as light a little kitten. Look at her little face, she’s so sweet the tiny little baby, I love my little mini me, I will do all you command, oh tiny kitty… I wear the cheese, it does not wear me.

By the way, you can also color the main batter if you’d like.

Drawing:

Preheat the oven to 170deg Celsius.

Transfer all your different colored batters to piping bags. I used a sandwich bag and snipped off the tip.

You want to start your design by drawing the smallest parts and thinnest lines of the drawing, and then bake them for 1-2min, to help it set. The better should lose some of its shine.

If you have other colors to add, add them one at a time, baking for 1min between each color to help it set. If you don’t do this, the colors will just flow into each other and you’ll get a messy design.

In my case, I had only one color to worry about, so my boyfriend (who has a much steadier hand) traced the lines and I filled them in, first with the piping bag and then with a teaspoon. Then we baked for 2min, until the design lost some of its shine.

When you’re done with all the colors, put some of the main batter in a piping bag and go gently around your design. This batter is very runny, so it might not drop exactly around your design. That’s not a problem, because you’re going to cover everything with that batter later. The point of this is to fix your design in place before you pour all the main batter on top, and possibly ruining everything.

Bake again for 1 min, and only then (gently) pour the rest of the main batter on top of everything. Try to pour it in neutral territory, where there is no color, so that if the colors are not completely set, you will not cause them to flow. Spread it well in the pan. Now shake the pan a bit, and tap it on the bottom, or even drop it on the counter, in order to let out large bubbles. This should help the batter rise evenly in the oven.

Bake at 170deg Celsius for about 14min, or until the top is very slightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The fact that you added water to the yolk batter will help keep it from browning, so that the end result will be a colorful design on a white background. Don’t wait for it to brown, that is not an indicator of done-ness.

Cooling:

While the cake is in the oven, prepare a wire rack covered with another piece of baking paper. Immediately after the cake is done baking, flip it onto the rack and gently peel the baking paper from the design. Don’t let it cool before removing the paper or it will tear the design.

Keep the cake on the rack to cool, and cover it with a towel or the original baking paper, so it won’t dry out.

Once it’s completely cool, turn it over once again, and peel of the baking paper that was on the bottom. It will tear the cake a bit, but that is the inner side, so no one will see it any way.

If needed, cut of the edges of the cake, to make it more attractive.

While the cake is cooling, you can prepare the filling.

Ingredients for filling:

Syrup
10g sugar
20ml hot water
1/2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or any other flavoring, optional)

whipped cream
150ml whipping cream, cold from the fridge
14g sugar
A few drops vanilla essence (optional)
Soft fruit of choice cut into small pieces (strawberries, kiwi, banana, peach… we used 2 kiwi fruits)

Instructions for Filling:

Mix the sugar, hot water and liquor in a cup, until all the sugar dissolves.

Whip the whipping cream with the sugar. You can also add some vanilla essence, if you don’t like the taste of cream.

Slice the fruit.

Now you’re supposed to add things in the following order: syrup, whipped cream, fruit.

(By this stage I was getting tired and I completely forgot to put the syrup. Luckily, I remembered before it was too late, and in the top left picture you see me scraping the whipped cream off the cake, so that I can put the syrup on.)

After the cake has cooled, Cut VERY SHALLOW cuts into the cake about2 cmapart all the way down the cake. (This might help with the rolling later. I didn’t read the instructions properly, and I cut a criss-cross pattern on the cake. I don’t know if it matters.)

Now use a pastry brush or teaspoon to brush/pour the syrup on the cake. Make sure everything is covered with syrup.

After that, spread the whipped cream evenly on the entire surface.

Arrange the sliced fruit in three rows on the whipped cream, parallel to the direction in which you are about to roll.

Try holding the cake with the paper it’s on, lift and make one loose roll. This should not form a spiral pattern, because the dough will break if you try (guess what I did?)

Wrap the cake with the paper, and twist the ends like a candy.

Let it cool in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

This is my dad, proudly holding the cake.

This was a badly rolled cake. You can see that a part of the dough broke, and a piece of kiwi is completely out of the cake.

But it was sooooo gooood! Light and fluffy, not too sweet, perfect ending for a heavy meal.

If you care about Kashrus, the batter is completely Parve, and you can make a non-dairy filling if you’d like. You can always fill it with jam, a nut filling of some sort, coconut cream-based vanilla cream, or anything really.

Do not use Parve whipping cream. Ever. It’s nasty stuff, tastes like shaving cream.

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