A little over two weeks ago, tornadoes wreaked havoc in Alabama and the surrounding states. I feel very fortunate that the damage we suffered here in East Tennessee was mild comparatively. We'll be getting a new roof and vinyl siding, but many people in Alabama lost everything they owned, and worse. Maybe you've heard of the devastation? A photographer friend captured it perfectly here.
That evening, after the storm was over, we emerged from our designated safe-place to find our yard completely covered with soft-ball sized hail. Wow. I've never seen anything so strange and scary!
Since then, I find myself gravitating toward creature comforts, or better said - things to soothe jangled nerves. I've spent more time with my recipe journal-slash-sketchbook and Bic Cristals in black (do other writing instruments exist?). I keep inspiration close by in the form of a sparkly vintage brooch. I indulge in too many cups of coffee as well as the nerdiest art books...
...and I bake, of course. It's strange how I can completely abandon my worries while whisking eggs and measuring sugar. I know many of you feel the same way.
I'll bet you didn't know that cake rolls are my favorite thing to make, ever. They are so simple and beautiful. It's been much too long since I last posted a roulade, so I've decided to put forth a little extra effort and post a video of my roulade making process.
I almost hesitate to call this roulade "pink velvet" even though it has everything that a velvet cake is supposed to have, specifically, buttermilk and vinegar. Unlike most true velvet cakes, it has a very mild flavor and isn't overly tangy. Without the pink coloring, it would be a good all purpose, basic cake roll. I used vanilla Swiss buttercream for a filling, and the overall balance and texture is as pretty as the cake looks.
Pink Velvet Roulade
Heavily adapted from Domino Sugar's Red Velvet Cake Roll
serves 8-10 [click to print]
3/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop or small dab of Wilton rose gel food coloring (Americolor pink would also work)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 jelly-roll pan with white vegetable shortening and line with parchment; grease parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer for 5 full minutes - set a timer if you need to! Properly whipped eggs will lighten in color considerably and have the appearance of yellow cake batter.
With the mixer still running, slowly add sugar and oil to the whipped eggs. Next, add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and food coloring (add food coloring a little at a time until desired color is achieved).
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and tilt pan to distribute batter evenly.
Sprinkle a cotton tea towel with powdered sugar and rub sugar into the towel with your hands. Terry-cloth towels and towels with texture (such as waffle pattern) are NOT ideal for making cake rolls.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Check at 12 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when pressed with fingers.
When cake is baked turn it out onto the tea towel - do this without delay! Peel off parchment and immediately roll cake into the tea towel, beginning at the narrow end. Roll tightly and as evenly as possible. Place rolled cake on a wire rack seam-side down and let cool completely.
Swiss buttercream filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white (use two whites if your eggs are small)
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 US sticks)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk egg white(s) and sugar together in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts into the egg white. Check consistency by rubbing a bit between two fingers. If sugar granules remain, keep heating/whisking.
When sugar and egg white are blended, transfer to a stand mixer. Whip until the mixtures doubles in size. Add vanilla extract, and then whip in softened butter a little at a time until mixture has thickened to buttercream icing consistency.
Carefully unwrap/unroll velvet cake, allowing the most tightly rolled end to curl slightly (see video). Frost inside with Swiss buttercream and roll cake tightly. Cut into pieces with a serrated knife and serve.
Pretty when garnished with sweetened whipped cream and glace' or maraschino cherries.