1870-1899: American Jelly Roll
A few years ago, I tried to make a chocolate roll cake. Although it was tasty, the end result was a hot mess; the cake cracked when I rolled it. When I saw that the next cake in American Cake was a jelly roll, I felt the need to redeem myself for my failed attempt.
This time around, I had a cake that seemed solid and was easy to cut.
Making a jelly roll is a learning experience. When I looked at the cake the night I made it, I exuded happiness. As I look at the picture I snapped of my slice before eating it, I notice the amount of jelly. The cake has the pinwheel effect, which is the signature of a jelly roll; however, it looks like there is far too much jelly. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of red currant or raspberry jelly. I used all 10 ounces across my jelly roll. It seems to me that, in this particular instance, there could be less jelly. The jelly and cake tasted divine, but I'll have to try 7 ounces instead of 10 next time.
The other thing I learned when making this jelly roll was technique behind the rolling. Before you start barking, grab a clean kitchen towel and dust it with powdered sugar. When your cake comes out of the oven, flip the pan onto the dusted towel and trim any rough edges. Spread your jelly and get ready to roll. As you're rolling the cake, keep the towel over the roll to hold it in place. After you've rolled the cake, make sure your seem side is down and leave it in the towel to cool.
Using the towel helped me achieve an almost unbroken jelly roll. This is one of those cakes that I can seem improving every time I make it. Perhaps I'll turn the jelly roll into my signature cake.