Meyer Lemon Cake Roll - Coming Full Circle
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I have to warn you guys that you may have to wait longer than a couple of days in between my post for the next month. My parents are visiting from France and staying until the middle of October. I already employed mom tonight to help me out in the kitchen while I could work on a couple of pastry projects and dad is in charge of hopping in the car in case we need something last minute from the grocery store. They have been here so many times before (14) that within a couple of days they had found their marks. Mom even exclaimed as soon as she got in the house "it's good to be home", which made me beam with joy, of course. I hope you will understand if I don't post too often, we have a few things planned (dad is a General after all), but a lot will be left to the weather and the temperatures (pretty hot and muggy right now).
Where am I going with this paragraph, those pictures and that title? Well, when I received Mary's box of Meyer lemons, I was on the phone with mom and I had to spend the next 10 minutes explaining her about that group of wonderful people I knew and how we sometimes exchange much more than comments on our blogs, as well as trying to describe to her a Meyer lemon as I was cutting one open. She made me promise to save her some cake "or something"...Well between B., the neighbors and me, there was no cake left within a couple of days but there was plenty of lemons for another batch of curd. Since my parents were visiting, I decided to make my dad one of his favorites, a jelly roll cake, but with Pierre Herme's signature lemon cream inside instead of jam or preserves. My paternal grandmother passed away when I was 4 so I never got the chance to share baking time in the kitchen with her (unlike my "mamie Paulette"), but I have always heard about her "strawberry jelly roll cake" and the way my dad closes his eyes when he reminisces about it is a pretty good indication it had to be something!
Mary's lemons went a long away in satisfying both my family both native and French.
Now let's really talk business: that Herme's lemon cream...boy oh boy! Since I last made it, it must be on regular supply at the house, and we think as highly of it as we do Nutella. We put it on everything, mix it with everything. Some people, and I was too at first, are concerned, afraid, surprised at the amount of butter that goes into it, but let me tell you that it is absolutely worth and the magic of pastry is that you forget about how much there actually is once you put that spoon to your mouth....you're hooked...you want more... This time around though I reduced the amount of butter as I was adding gelatin for a firmer hold inside the cake roll.
For the cake itself, I used another one of Herme's recipe, from a book my mom brought me this trip and that I am already devouring (no pun intended). Nothing fancy about it, it is a plain sponge cake but I added grapefruit zest and a dash of almond extract, as I love the two together.
Meyer Lemon Cake Roll:
For the Cake:
50 gr. butter
3 eggs, separated
100 gr. flour (I used White Lilly all purpose, which is naturally soft, but you could use all purpose or cake)
2 Tb grapefruit zest
1 tsp pure almond extract
100 gr. powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
In a microwave safe container, melt the butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, almond extract and the sugar until pale and thick. Add the grapefruit zest.
With an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the whites and the flour, alternating, in the yolk/sugar mixture. Add the butter fold until incorporated.
Spread the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, invert onto another sheet of parchment paper. Let cool. Fill the cake with the lemon cream and roll. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
For the Meyer Lemon Cream:
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tb gelatin, softened in 3 Tbs water
1 stick butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened
Make a water bath by putting a saucepan of water over heat to simmer and placing a metal bowl over, without the bottom touching the water. Rub the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers and add to the metal bowl. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
Cook the mixture over the water bath, whisking constantly until the cream reaches 180 degrees. It can take up to 10 minutes. Once the cream reaches 180 (your whisk will leave ribbon tracks in the cream),remove the cream off the heat and put it into a blender, with the gelatin. Pulse a couple of times, until the gelatin dissolves. Let the cream cool to 140. Add in the butter and process until perfectly smooth. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.