Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hot-Milk Sponge Cake with Chocolate Filling

We usually make a dessert to take to family holiday gatherings and this past Easter Sunday was no exception. It seems like every Easter comes on a super busy weekend with limited time for baking and other errands and chores, so we wanted something simple. A jelly roll cake seemed simple.

We decided on a white cake with chocolate filling. I consulted The Joy of Cooking which has lots of cake and frosting/filling options so you can create your own cake. We decided on the Chocolate Pastry Cream, which we have made before, and a Hot Milk Sponge Cake. We really wanted to try the angel food cake for a jelly roll, but the recipe uses 12 egg whites and we didn't have that many eggs nor did we want to save/toss 12 yolks.
We made the pastry cream Saturday evening. It doesn't take too long. We made the cake Sunday morning. The cake is cake flour, baking powder, milk, unsalted butter, sugar, and eggs. It made a very thin batter. We used the suggested jelly roll pan size (17" x 11") but the batter didn't want to fill the entire pan. We finally got it evenly spread over the entire pan, we thought, but it turned out we really didn't because one corner came out very crispy and browned. Whoops. So we cut off a large portion of the cake.
It looked sponge-like with the holes. It felt sticky. It looked OK. But when I tasted a piece of the cut off portion, it tasted like a pancake. I was not impressed. We went ahead and filled it anyway, but when SP rolled up the cake, the pastry cream squirted out. It was a mess. As we later discovered, he didn't get it rolled tight enough, either, because pieces on the ends had gaps in the center. Here is a photo of the beautiful side of the cake, where pastry cream squirted out and about:
Definitely not pretty looking! It just was not what we had envisioned. Usually The Joy of Cooking has produced tasty, wonderful food for us. But not this time. We make the vanilla pastry cream a lot for fruit tarts and it is much tastier than the chocolate pastry cream. As for this sponge cake, well, we won't be making it again. In the end, it tasted OK. But it just was not tasty enough to make the 'bake again' list. I would like the cake to be more like the buche de noel and pumpkin roll cakes we have made - thicker and more cake-like than pancake-like. As for the filling, I think more of a frosting than pastry cream would be good, maybe a mascarpone/cream cheese filling like we have made before in jelly roll cakes.
There was leftover chocolate pastry cream, so we took it along to dollop on the side of the cake for extra chocolate taste. Another strike against this cake is that every time we go to eat a piece, we end up with chocolate all over the place - on our hands, the counter, the sides of plates.

Sigh. We will finish the cake, and it's an OK dessert, but the final verdict is huge disappointment. Not worth the time, effort, and cost.

1 comment:

  1. I think part of the problem with this recipe was that our previous rolled cakes had us roll the hot cake in a towel to cool, while this recipe said to let it cool flat. So when it came time to fill and roll it, the cake wasn't cooperating.

    Plus it just wasn't as tasty as we'd hoped. The chocolate pastry cream was good, but the cake itself is really bland...