Friday, September 16, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Almond Roll with Strawberry Sauce and Whipped Cream Filling

It's Autumn.
I know the calendar says September 23 is the first day of Autumn.
But... get real.
We've had a couple of 0º Celcius nights.
That's Frost Warning.
Summer's over.
What do you need?  Snow?

I know it's too soon.
Last weekend it was over 30º Celcius.
But we live in Manitoba.
Like the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."
Don't pack away the summer gear until November.

When it starts getting cooler, it's time to start baking.
The bucket of ice cream just won't cut it as a regular dessert.
Nobody needs to cool off that much.

I found the perfect recipe in the Graduation Parties chapter of Carmela's 
Entertaining with the Sopranos
Light, but a real dessert. 
Almond Roll with Strawberry Sauce.
Complete with picture.  Lovely.

Yes, I know it calls for fresh strawberries.
I should've done this during the summer.
But, well, there were those buckets of ice cream... 

                              Almond Roll with Strawberry Sauce 

Preheat oven to 375º
Place the rack in the middle of the oven
Grease a 17 x 12 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan

Sift together in a small bowl
2/3 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a large mixer bowl beat until foamy 
4 large egg whites
pinch of salt
Gradually beat in 
1/4 Cup sugar
Beat until soft peaks form.

In a second large mixer bowl beat until light
4 large egg yolks
Gradually beat in 
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Gently fold in 
the flour/baking powder mixture
the beaten egg whites
1/2 Cup VERY finely chopped toasted almonds

Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes
The cake should spring back when touched in the center.

While the cake is baking, spread a large towel (not terry cloth) on the table.
Dust it with
Confectioners' sugar
Also wash the beaters and place them and a large bowl in the fridge.
The cold bowl and beaters will help the cream to whip better.

As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, run a knife around the edges.
Quickly flip the cake out onto the prepared towel.
From a long side, roll up the cake and towel.
Place the rolled-up cake on a rack to cool.


When the cake is cooled, remove the beaters and bowl from the fridge.
In the cooled bowl place
1 1/2 Cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip on high speed until soft peaks form. 

Unroll the cake, but leave it on the towel.
Beginning at a long side spread the whipped cream, but stop 2 inches from the other long side because the cream will spread when the cake is rolled up.
Reroll the cake, but keep it on the towel so you can lift it.
Trim uneven bits by sawing them off with a serrated knife.
Place the cake seam side down on a large serving platter.
Remove the towel.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Overnight is better.


Combine in a blender
2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
6 Tablespoons sugar, more or less
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, more or less
Process and check for sweetness.
The sauce can be covered and chilled up to 24 hours.

Before serving
Sprinkle the cake generously with
Confectioners' sugar
Cut into 1-inch slices
Serve with the sauce and fresh strawberries.

In a pinch, frozen strawberries could be used for the sauce.
This could work with blueberries, too.
Or raspberries.
Yeah, really.

Would I make Almond Roll with Strawberry Sauce again?
What's not to like?
A nutty spongecake, with whipped cream and berries.

Yes, it's a little late for strawberries.

Another recipe down.  Four more to go.

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