Jelly cake roll

A pink jelly cake roll filled with strawberry jelly is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

CASA GRANDE -- Whether it’s called a Swiss roll, jelly roll or the more proper “roulade,” rolled cakes are easy to make and a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, especially when the cake is pink and filled with bright red strawberry jelly.

While the origins of the rolled cake are unclear — there’s a version of rolled cake in cultures around the globe — a roulade is an ancient technique in which meat, fish, cake or pastries are flattened, covered with a filling, rolled into a spiral, then served in slices for a beautiful presentation.

Rolled cakes are typically made with a basic and easy sponge cake recipe. They can be filled with just about anything including jelly, whipped cream, marzipan or a favorite frosting.

For Valentine’s Day, Simple or Not Kitchen whipped up an easy sponge cake, dyed it pink and filled it with a delicious homemade jelly for a pink cake with a pretty red interior. But these cakes are customizable.

Around Christmas, rolled cakes are often referred to as a “bûche de Noël” and are made in chocolate or vanilla, filled with cream and garnished to make them festive.

In the spring, they’re often made in vanilla or lemon and filled with whipped cream and fruit.

While jelly is fun and easy, a delicious frosting can also be made from mascarpone cream and powdered sugar or whipped cream and sugar. A cream cheese frosting would also make a delicious center.

However they’re made, or whatever holiday they’re made for, the concept is the same and starts with a simple sponge cake to make it light, fluffy and rollable. The best part is that although they look difficult, they are simple to make.

Easy jelly roll

5 eggs, including two whole eggs and three in which the whites and yolks have been separated.

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/3 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Filling

about 1 cup of favorite jelly

Frosting

1 cup melted white chocolate

1 crushed candy cane or other candy

Whip the three egg whites until they are light and fluffy.

In a large bowl, combine two whole eggs and three egg yolks. Whisk. One by one, add other cake ingredients, including sugars, water, flour, extract and salt. Mix well. Fold in whipped egg whites.

Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan (or cookie sheet) with parchment paper.

Pour cake into pan and spread evenly.

Bake about 15-20 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

When the cooked cake is cool enough to touch, roll the cake and the parchment paper into a roll.

Allow it to sit for about an hour, until cool.

Unroll and spread jelly over the cake. Re-roll, carefully removing parchment paper while rolling.

With seam-side down, cover cake with melted white chocolate and sprinkle top with crushed candy.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.