This is How I Roll

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Hi everyone! I apologize with how long it’s been since my last post. Life has been really chaotic lately and I’m having a hard time finding the time for baking. This is a strange concept for me since baking is what I do when I’m stressed. But lately, I’ve been too stressed out to even bake. This week, however, I’m house sitting for my parents. This means that I’ve had three whole days in a house that is about 5 times the size of my apartment and a huge kitchen all to myself. I made sure to bring all of my kitchen gadgets with me so that I can bake up a storm while I’m here. I’m thinking of this as a little “stay-cation” before I have to return to my normal life.

This weekend I decided to tackle this month’s challenge from the Great British Bake Off International group I’m in. The challenge, as always, came from the “Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking”. Normally, you need to have the physical cookbook in order to make these recipes, but this one is also online. The Challenge: a Hazelnut and Summer Berry Roulade. First off, I had to google what a “roulade” is. A roulade is a dish that can be sweet or savory, and typically consists of a meat or cake that has a filling spread over it and then is wrapped up. The term roulade is derived from the French term “rouler”, which means “to roll”. So those steak wraps I talked about a few weeks ago? That’s also a version of a roulade!

The second thing I did, and always the most important thing you should do prior to starting a new bake, is reading the entire recipe from start to finish. I wanted to get a sense of how long this would take and how much energy I would need. Does anyone else factor in their own energy levels when deciding on a bake? I noticed that this “cake” didn’t include any flour. Only egg whites, sugar, and cornstarch. After reading through the recipe again, I realized that this is a meringue roulade! Woof, I really need to be in a mood to mess with this. I’ve made other roll up cakes before and I am past my fear of rolling a sponge cake, but seriously, how do I roll up meringue?! I was about to find out.

So mentioned that I was using my mother’s kitchen. Normally I’m a little apprehensive about using someone else’s kitchen because they may not have all of the baking tools I’ll need. However, my mom is the one who taught me how to bake, so of course she has all of the necessary tools. Some of them even in duplicate! Alright, so I got the egg whites mixed up and added the caster sugar/cornstarch mixture to it to make this beautiful glossy meringue. I couldn’t stop staring at it’s shininess! The next step is to add the ground hazelnuts to the meringue and then spread the mixture in the swiss roll tin. I didn’t have one the correct size tin at my house and was considering buying one at the store this week. However, wouldn’t you believe it. My mom had two! Mama saves the day.

Ok, so I’ve got the meringue in the tin, ready to go. It’s baking time. I let this bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pan after about 30 minutes like the instructions say. The instructions say it should be golden, and the firm to the touch, although the center may be slightly soft. Mine was not golden, nor was it soft in the center. But it was definitely firm to the touch. I was a little worried that I had over baked it, but of course, as is my way, I kept pushing ahead.

Look how thick that is! How am I going to roll that without it breaking in half?! Part of me wondered if the swiss roll tin I used was too small. Oh well. I got my heavy cream whipped up and spread on top of the cooled meringue, and then I added the mixed berries.

I will say one thing. Whoever came up with this dessert really has an eye for visually pleasing food. This is such a pretty dessert, and I was really hoping that I wasn’t about to ruin it. Ok. The moment of truth. Time to wrap this baby up.

Annnnd, mic drop! I know that it looks crazy, but I promise this is what it is supposed to look like: a crackled masterpiece. I ended up covering up this whole dessert and letting it chill overnight. The next morning I got out the remaining strawberries to begin decorating them. Since the strawberries were already red, I opted out of dipping them in the raspberry coulis. Instead, I dipped them in dark chocolate and then drizzled them with white chocolate. That way there’d be a little contrast with all of the colors.

I fully plan on eating all of these myself. IF someone happens to come over this week, I’ll share. If not, sorry, not sorry, diet

This ended up turning out really well! I’m glad I didn’t stay scared of making this. I highly recommend anyone with a few hours to spare to make this for a special occasion. You will not regret it and you’ll earn bragging rights with your family and friends.

What’s your favorite type of roulade? Sweet or savory?! I’d love to hear about your successes with this type of food. Have a great week everyone! -Jen

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