Picture this – It’s Sunday afternoon. You’re lounging on the patio, enjoying a highly anticipated newly-released book by your favourite author. The smell of the lilies and roses in full bloom waft through the neighborhood. The kids are out in the yard, quietly playing a non-competitive game of croquet together. In your hand you have a icy cold Sangria, and the heat of the sun reminds you of that vacation you’d taken to Mexico years ago.
Ah – perfection.
In reality – You haven’t had a chance to sit down since you got up in the morning. You’re spending the day catching up on the ever-growing pile of laundry, working on the never-ending yard work, and wondering what that smell in the fridge is coming from. The only thing wafting through the neighborhood is the smell of gas fumes from everyone trying to catch up on their yard work. The kids have begun clobbering each other with the croquet mallets, and you’re sure a trip to the ER will be added to the list before the day is done. To top it off, global warming has become a reality, since it feels like you are now living on the sun.
Welcome to Summer!
Even with all the craziness that summer brings our way, it also brings a chance to break out of the normal routine. The kids are out of school, so the time they go to bed can be relaxed a little. The rush to get supper on the table in time so that everyone can get on with their evening fades. The sun hangs just a little longer in the sky. Summer also gives us a chance to enjoy lighter foods. Meat and veggies that is simply cooked on the grill. Salads that are tossed with a light vinaigrette. Desserts become lighter as well, very often featuring fresh, in season flavours. That is where this gluten free Strawberry Cream Roll Cake comes in. The light lemon sponge cake is rolled around a decadent creamy strawberry filling. Although this fare isn’t ‘light’ in the sense of low calories, it is light in taste and flavour, and it is not something that will make you feel like you have over done it after you’ve enjoyed it.
Chocolate. Whipped Cream. Buttercream. Nuts. Lemon Curd. Berries. The list goes on. The possibilities of what you can roll a sponge cake around are nearly endless. Whether you call it a Swiss Roll, Jelly Roll, or a sweet Roulade, the simple dessert is sure to impress a crowd. One of the best things about this extraordinary dessert is that it can be made in advance. Even on those crazy busy summer days, it only takes a short while to prepare this enticing gluten free Strawberry Cream Roll Cake. The cake itself only takes 12 minutes to bake, and while it is cooling you can prepare the filling. Once you have rolled your cake, simply wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
For the Cake
- 4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of one small lemon
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup sweet rice (glutinous) flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- additional confectioner's (icing) sugar for sprinkling
For the Filling:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of a 10"x15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
- Use an electric mixer, whip together the egg yolks and confectioners' sugar until pale yellow, and nearly double in volume. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the salt, until foamy. Increase the speed, and gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until the egg whites hold medium peaks (do not over beat).
- In another bowl, whisk together the rice flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, and xanthan gum.
- Fold half of the flour mixture into the egg yolks, followed by half of the whipped egg whites. Follow up by folding in the remaining flour, and then the remaining egg whites. Do not over mix, just gently fold until fully incorporated.
- Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed.
- Let cake cool for 2-3 minutes before using a spatula to loosen the sides. Generously sift confectioners' sugars on the top of the cake. Lay a clean tea towel over the cake, and place a larger baking sheet over top. Carefully flip the pans, remove the pan you baked the cake in, and peel the parchment paper off the bottom of your sponge cake. Sift with more confectioners' sugar
- While the cake is still warm, using the towel and starting at the short end, carefully roll the cake up into a roll. Allow the cake to cool completely. Rolling the cake into a roll while it is still warm will help prevent it from cracking when you roll it up with the filling.
- Unroll the cake, spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving 1 1/2-inches on the 10" side clear.
- Re-roll the cake, without the towel, and sift more confectioners' sugar over the top. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. You may need to sift with more confectioners' sugar before serving.
For the Filling:
- In a deep, chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add half of the whipped cream mixture, and beat until evenly mixed. Add the remaining whipping cream, and whip to blend.
- Fold in the strawberries.Spread on cooled sponge cake.
You can reserve some of the whipped cream/cream cheese mixture before folding in the strawberries, and pipe it onto the top of the roll using a pastry tip.
Cake adapted from Anna Olson.