“…and praise the Power that hath made, and preserv’d us a nation….and this be our motto, in God is our trust….”
-The Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key
This lovely cake turned out so well that I cannot but share with you the beautiful and scrumptious delight!!
(Don’t be afraid to try a rolled cake; all you have to do is line the pan with parchment, and grease and flour that paper, and then turn it out onto a clean towel, gently roll it up and let it cool in its tight little towel bundle, and see!! a gloriously pretty treat, light and healthy and gorgeous.)
For the cake layer:
4 eggs, beaten together in a stand mixer on low-to-slightly high speed FOR TWENTY MINUTES (or a very long time, or until the eggs become very, very thick and foamy and pale yellow)
add 1 t. vanilla
add a pinch of salt
whisk together and gradually add to mixer bowl while still beating eggs:
1 c. gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. powdered sugar
Continue to beat until thick and foamy. Line sheet roll pan, 9×13″, with parchment paper that extends up the sides, and grease this paper well with a stick of butter. Sprinkle a small amount of flour thinly over this, and shake the pan back and forth to distribute evenly. Pour batter into pan (don’t worry if the layer is not very deep; it will rise.) Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 18 minutes, or until just lightly brown on the edges. DO NOT OVERBAKE. The cake will be spongy when touched, and even cling to your finger. This is normal; it is due to the bubbles escaping from the beaten eggs. (It may be necessary to cut a small strip off of one side if it becomes too brittle and hard to roll.)
Lay a clean white dish towel down flat on the counter. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar. WHILE WARM, turn the cake gently upside down on top of towel and sugar, and carefully peel back paper from the back of cake (set aside the paper for assembling the cake later.) Sprinkle with more sugar. Beginning at one end,fold the towel an inch or so over the end of the cake into the middle, and carefully roll the end of the cake toward the middle. Keep rolling gently until you have enclosed the cake completely in the towel. Set the roll on the counter in a safe place and allow to cool completely that way.
For the filling:
8oz. container of ricotta or whipped cream cheese, softened almost to room temperature.
1 pint fresh and good strawberries, washed and set out to dry
1 pint fresh and good blueberries, washed and set out to dry
Gently unroll the towel and cake, carefully loosening sponge cake from fabric (it will try to stick to the fabric a bit; don’t worry, this will give the cake a rustic Buche de Noel look.) Spread the paper saved from earlier on the counter, and work on top of it. Set the gently-unrolled-but-still-forming-a-spiral cake on it, and with a spoon in one hand, carefully spoon small dollops of cheese under the inner, tightest roll of the cake. (NOT TOO MUCH–remember that you are going to have to roll this back up!!) Don’t worry if the cheese seems to be sparse and doesn’t want to spread out. It will, trust me. Take your spoon and with the back of it, carefully smooth the cheese sideways, taking care not to break the cake. Continue spooning small dollops of cheese across the breadth of the cake under each turn of the cake roll, and gently spreading them sideways, until you have fairly evenly covered most of the inner surface of the cake roll with a (THIN) layer of cheese.
Now for the fun!!!!
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cheese lightly, and begin at the center with a line of blueberries pressed lightly into the cheese along the inner edge of the roll that will soon be turned into the cake. Leaving about two inches between rows of berries, add a row of thinly sliced strawberries, and alternate rows of blueberries and strawberries for the rest of the length, taking care to leave an inch of space between each row. (If you don’t, you will never get it to roll up and stay that way!!)
Finally, gently roll the cake closed again, slowly ensuring that you don’t tear the fragile sponge cake. Place completed log on a pretty platter and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Gently set some blueberries on top and around cake. Garnish with a pretty strawberry, thinly feathered out into a fan, and set more strawberries about the platter. Refrigerate until serving.
Serves 12. Can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated.
A lovely and gentle light treat for the celebration of our divine freedom and valiant forefathers and servicemen and women!!