In a ploy to make me feel extremely old, my youngest sister graduated from college last weekend. My family all headed down to Indiana for the festivities and had a good time. To make the weekend even more great, her boyfriend’s parents & sister came all the way up from Virginia to see her walk across the stage. We’ve heard all about them for a couple of years now, so it was nice to get to meet them. We all had dinner together on Saturday, and a family event wouldn’t be complete without CAKE!! I was really happy to be the one who got to make this one since I don’t get to do cake art nearly often enough. I went through a few ideas, but in a moment of inspiration, I decided to make her a diploma cake. Even that went through a few revisions in my head, but here’s what I finally created:
The diploma was made of a jelly roll recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I filled it with a chocolate cream also from that cookbook. I figured with this being my first attempt at a jelly roll, I wanted a recipe that should be guaranteed to work for rolling & unrolling. Amazingly, and much to my surprise, it really did roll, unroll, & re roll, all without cracking. I didn’t think it could ever happen. It was covered & accented with buttercream icing. The bow is gum paste and there are a few plastic trinkets from the cake store there too. The M&M cake board is “educational” wrapping paper that we love, covered in saran wrap.
The “flowers” are gluten free, chocolate cupcakes (thanks to celiac.com) that I made so I could eat too. I was so happy to have quickly found a GF chocolate cake recipe that I really like. I used buttercream on them as well and did the accent leaves out of gum paste since I had some left. Thanks to Julie, who posted a flower cup cake video the morning before I made this cake, I was quickly able to learn how to make carnation and begonia theme cupcakes.
As soon as I can track them all down, I’ll include recipes for the cakes, filling, and frosting. I have been anxiously awaiting the cake photos (my hands were full so I forgot to take my camera) so I wanted to get those posted asap.
In the meantime: CONGRATS ANNA!!
Killer Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free) I replaced the sugar in the recipe with brown rice syrup & sucnat. I also added some non dairy, all natural chocolate chips and some cacao nibs which gave a little crunch similar to adding pecans.
Joy of Cooking Jelly Roll
Preheat oven to 375*. Grease (not cooking spray) a 10.5 by 15.5 jelly roll pan. Line with parchment or foil which extends over the edges and grease again. Warm all ingredients to room temperature. Separate 4 eggs (you’ll use both parts in separate steps).
Beat the 4 egg yolks until light. Gradually add 3/4 cup sifted sugar, beating until creamy. Add 1 tsp vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift 3/4 cup cake flour. Add 3/4 tsp baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt & sift again (or mix with a fork).
Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture & beat until smooth.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not yet dry & glossy (small bubbles will still be apparent…it shouldn’t look like meringue yet). Fold the whites into the cake batter. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts if desired.
Pour into pan, spread evenly, and bake for about 12 minutes.
Prepare a clean towel by dusting it with powdered sugar.
Immediately after removing from the oven, loosen the corners and edges from the pan & turn over onto the sugared towel. Pull off the foil or parchment and trim any crusty edges (quickly!!). While still hot, use the towel to lift the 10.5 inch side of the cake. Begin rolling the cake and the towel (together) as tightly as you can without creating cracks or rips. Place the towel-wrapped cake on a rack to cool. (If you are using a non-perishable filling like jam or jelly, (rather than cream or custard) you can skip this step and just spread the jelly while the cake is warm and wrap it up without the towel.)
Later, unroll the cake, remove towel, spread filling carefully, and re-roll cake into a log shape. Place the cake on the serving platter, seam down.
Joy of Cooking Chocolate Sauce Cockaigne
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 well beaten egg
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
Using a double boiler (or a metal bowl over a sauce pan), melt the chocolate. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to the chocolate. Stir and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and beat with a hand mixer for 1 minute or until well blended. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Cool thoroughly before use. Cover tightly to store leftovers in the fridge.