There's something fun and unique in any cake that doesn't fit the traditional layered cake format, but especially in a slice that comes out with a appealing spiral cross-section. As both a fruity twist on the customary Spanish pastry called a brazo de gitano, and a creamy spin on the classic jelly roll, this roll cake takes on an identity all its own.
The lightness of the cake is delightfully balanced out with the richness of whipped mascarpone cream spiraled throughout; makes this dessert perfect for parties or as a special treat at home.
While there are many steps in the process this cake is easy enough to not be intimidating, but enough to satisfy those that want a project.
Step 1: The Ingredients
To make the cake you will need the following:
1 1/2 cup raspberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
parchment paper and a pan, a clean tea towel thickly dusted with powdered sugar
To make the filling you will need:
1/2 lemon both juice and zest
1 1/2 cup marscapone cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
mixer (preferably electric)
To make mascarpone from scratch you will need:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
sauce pan, heatable bowl, muslin, wire mesh strainer
Step 2: Mascarpone From Scratch
Mascarpone is a very rich, mild, soft cheese that has the consistency somewhat akin to softened cream cheese. Occasionally it can be found at local supermarkets and grocers, though where I live it is rarely available and costs a small fortune when it is. Don't fret though, with a little planning prior to making this cake or any recipe that calls for it, it is simple and reasonably cheap to make at home.
All you will need to make 12 oz of mascarpone at home is as follows:
3 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
a sauce pan, pyrex glass or metal bowl that can partially fit inside the sauce pan, a kitchen thermometer, muslin, and a wire mesh strainer
Fill the the bottom of the sauce pan with water so that the bowl sits about 1/2 an inch above the water. Start heating the water on high while you pour the heavy cream into the bowl. Stir frequently while heating cream to 190 degrees. Once the cream hits the 190 degree temperature, add the lemon juice and stir constantly for the next 5-10 minutes or until the cream thickly sticks to the back of the spoon. At this point, take the double boiler off the heat and let the cream sit for 20 minutes. While it sits, line the mesh strainer with a square of fresh muslin and set the strainer over another bowl. You can try to use several layers of cheese cloth, but I've found the weave is too coarse and allows too much of the mixture through while draining.
After the 20 minutes, transfer the thickened cream to the strainer, cover the strainer with plastic wrap and let the mascarpone sit slowly drain in the refrigerator overnight.
The following day, remove the muslin from the strainer and and scrape off the mascarpone. It can be used immediately from here or you can store it in a container with a lid for up to a week. this recipe makes about 12 oz. of cheese.
Step 3: Raspberry Sponge Cake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a sauce pan, heat raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Stir frequently until the mixture is completely liquefied. Run liquefied mix through a mesh strainer over another bowl. Push around the mixture with a spatula until all the liquid has drained through and only raspberry seeds are left. Discard the seeds, and scrape the underside of the mesh strainer to get all the raspberry coulis.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until thick and frothy. Beat in raspberry coulis. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift over the top of the egg mixture and fold into mixture gently. Grease dust with flour a piece of parchment paper big enough to fit a 12x8x1 inch baking pan. Pour batter into pan and spread out evenly.
Bake or 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with powdered sugar. Make sure the towel is heavily dusted. If there is not enough powdered sugar on the tea towel, the cake will stick to it. Peel off the parchment paper and roll cake up in the towel and let cool.
Step 4: Whipped Lemon Mascarpone
In a mixing bowl, combine mascarpone, cream cheese, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Once combined, add the lemon zest and beat mixture on high until fluffy and aerated and makes stiff peaks (2-3 minutes).
Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Step 5: Assembly
Once the cake has fully cooled unroll the tea towel, but leave the cake on the towel. Distribute the mascarpone mixture over the surface. I lay it out in smaller blobs and spread it out uniformly from there to avoid ripping or crumbling the cake too much.
Use the towel to fold an edge over onto itself and roll the rest of the cake up from there, gently peeling away the towel as you go. Take a serrated knife and slowly saw off both ends of the cake to better display the spiral of the cake. The cake should be firm enough to pick up with your hands and place on the serving platter you are using.
The cake is ready to eat from here, but if you are looking for a fancier presentation you can decorate it by piping a bit of the remaining whipped mascarpone on the top or the sides and garnishing with lemon zest and fresh raspberries.
Be sure to refrigerate the cake until you are ready to enjoy it.