Add a little sangria and some sparklers, and you’ve got yourself a party! # 76: Patriotic Mascarpone Cream Roll
There’s something truly magical about holidays. A communal decision to pause everyday life, decorate, dress up and cook favorite recipes with friends and family. I feel like these moments are even more special to me now than when I was little. Having that chance to reconnect with people and take a breath away from the normal hustle is so important.
My perfect 4th of July includes the following:
My neighborhood used to throw this huge block party when I was little and my dad would BBQ all morning and afternoon on a trailer-sized grill for 300 people. I 100% took it for granted and had no idea how much effort it took to make it happen. So here’s a belated THANK YOU to my parents and neighbors who gave me the best memories from this holiday!
As you can see, I get nostalgic each year when June melts away into July. I’ve added ‘sangria’ to the list in recent years but besides that, my favorite elements of the day have always been the same. This cake fits perfectly in with the wonderful, dorky decorations that filled my childhood neighborhood. Each year, it always amazed me how many different ways people managed to incorporate the American flag into their front yards, outfits and food. Good thing we’ve got easy primary colors to work with here!
This type of sponge cake is called a Swiss roll and I’ve attempted one about a year ago. My last Swiss roll was coated in coffee whipped cream, so you couldn’t see the cracks along the top (frosting always coming to the rescue!) This design was less forgiving and despite my best efforts, it cracked. The flag is still discernible though, so who cares? Not this chick. (It took a while for me to find the optimism, but now I’m there.)
See? The stars are super distracting anyway. Side note: I had just been discussing earthquakes with my coworkers earlier that day – coincidence??
The recipe I found recommended stenciling out the design before trying to pipe it out. I love making templates – they’re so soothing.
Next comes the layer of parchment paper that the design will bake on. I almost forgot to take the stencil (sharpie on a paper napkin) out from underneath it before it went into the oven – eek! As Mad-eye Moody would say: constant vigilance!
The flag design was a more concentrated version of the cake batter itself. With less fat (no egg yolks) and less air (the two egg whites in it were not whipped before adding) it was more of a paste than anything else. I then separated it into three bowls and dyed two with red and blue food coloring. Ready for action.
The stars are obviously bigger proportionally than they should be, but hey, it’s art. No judgement allowed.
Like little boats floating on a frosting sea.
After completing the masterpiece, I froze it so it would hold it’s shape when the cake batter was spread on top.
I used a flat piping tip for the stripes and it was way easier!
Cake cake cake cake.
The two main elements of a sponge:
- a thick, pale yellow yolk mixture
- stiffly whipped and sweetened egg whites
How stiff do you ask? Like dis. It has to be able to hold it’s shape when turned sideways and upside-down.
Gently folded together and gracefully spread on top of the frozen flag pattern.
Ta-daa! Flag and cake are one. I then rolled it up in a kitchen towel for it to build some muscle memory as it cooled.
For the filling, I substituted mascarpone for cream cheese and strawberries for plums. It is officially plum season and it felt silly to go buy more fruit when I had a bowl full of plums in my kitchen. Plus, they’re yummy with mascarpone!
Sigh. No crying over cracked sponge cake, right? I might try Mary Berry’s technique of using parchment paper to guide the rolling process for a cleaner, less cracked roll next time. We’ll see if it works!
Happy munching! Now go find some sunshine.
Recipe mostly from: http://sugarywinzy.com/how-to-make-a-flag-roll-cake/