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Meyer Lemon Cake Roll – Coming Full Circle

Meyer Lemon Cake Roll
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
Meyer Lemon Cake Roll:

Serves 12

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
4 eggs
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.

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Mallow September 23, 2007 um 4:45 am

That cake with that cream sounds and looks like heaven on earth.

Peabody September 23, 2007 um 4:50 am

It looks beautiful…I love a good rolled cake! Enjoy your time with your family!

Mandy September 23, 2007 um 5:02 am

I remember making a batch of the same lemon cream when I had meyer lemon too! Having it in a jellyroll cake is a fantastic idea. And I really need to reduce the amount of butter because I probably will end up eating all the cake myself!
Enjoy your time with your parents.:)

Anh September 23, 2007 um 5:11 am

Just beautiful! I wish I could have a piece!

Big Boys Oven September 23, 2007 um 5:20 am

looks so simple and yet so heavenly……marvellous!

eatme_delicious September 23, 2007 um 5:41 am

Your cake roll looks so beautiful and moist! I’m going to search out your lemon cream recipe now. 🙂

Susan @ SGCC September 23, 2007 um 6:12 am

That lemon cream looks heavenly! I’ve seen the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book and have been dying to make it. I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and make it tomorrow!

Anonymous September 23, 2007 um 6:30 am

Perfect 🙂

Rosa's Yummy Yums September 23, 2007 um 8:27 am

Splendid! Your cake roll looks marvelous and that cream is very appealing…

Karen Baking Soda September 23, 2007 um 8:52 am

I really need to learn how to make a white cake…so gorgeous!

Jenny September 23, 2007 um 12:35 pm

Very pretty!
Enjoy your visit with your parents!

Anonymous September 23, 2007 um 2:42 pm

Enjoy your time with your parents. Fun!
Gateau bien delicieux.

Audrey September 23, 2007 um 4:08 pm

Hey, your blog’s been very lemon-y as of late. Seems like someone’s hiding an addiction to citrus here ;p Not that I’m complaining, this roll is gorgeous !

Finla September 23, 2007 um 6:37 pm

It looks so good. From the picture ifself i could see how nice the cake roll os. And with leamon yum

Lis September 23, 2007 um 7:12 pm

Simply the prettiest roll cake I’ve ever seen. =)

I want some curd! Especially if I don’t have to make it. 😛

Have fun with the folks!


Cynthia September 23, 2007 um 9:16 pm

If only I was not this far away, I know I get a slice.

Have a good time with the parents hon.

Nora B. September 23, 2007 um 9:26 pm

Your roll could not look more perfect!

Alpineberry Mary September 23, 2007 um 11:46 pm

PH’s lemon cream looks so smooth and silky. A perfect filling for your perfectly rolled cake roll!

Dolores September 23, 2007 um 11:55 pm

My brother and I just stripped the meyer lemon tree in front of our family home of fruit, in preparation for transplanting it. I have four grocery bags of meyer lemons. I know how I’m using some of them. 🙂

Anita September 24, 2007 um 12:46 am

I love that lemon cream – and you have put it to such wonderful use! Your parents are lucky indeed – hope you have a wonderful time with them!

Anonymous September 24, 2007 um 12:48 am

The way you describe that lemon cream has me salivating. And that cake looks so light.I just got Pierre Herme dessert book a couple of weeks ago and have not browsed through it much yet. I think I know what my bedtime reading is going to be tonight.

Anon September 24, 2007 um 1:50 am


Monique September 24, 2007 um 4:39 am

flThis cake looks so fluffy, I feel like bouncing on it!

Anonymous September 24, 2007 um 12:25 pm


Too late to be consoled September 24, 2007 um 1:20 pm

i am in love with your posts!!great job

Fleur2Tiaré September 24, 2007 um 1:58 pm

Come to see my blog and let me a peacefull message!

Deborah September 24, 2007 um 3:19 pm

ooohh, this looks so good! I tried to make a cake roll a few days ago, but I was having a bad kitchen day! This one sounds wonderful!

Elisabeth September 24, 2007 um 4:53 pm

Oh, does this ever look good! I love your food blog. You make everything look deelicious.

I’ve linked to you from my blog, if you don’t mind.


Carnelious Papandomitaculos September 24, 2007 um 9:51 pm

This is good food you are cookink. I wish I cahave some, coase I am hungry and ready for good cake…

Maria Elena Garcia Guanaguanay September 24, 2007 um 10:23 pm

Todos estos postres se ven espectaculares, lástima que noentienda el inglés. Pero solo con las fotos me puedo dar un deleite….

MyKitchenInHalfCups September 24, 2007 um 11:51 pm

This is your usual totally fantastic Helen! That is the most delicate rolled cake I’ve ever seen and knowing it’s the Meyer Lemon is making me drool – really, my mouth is full and it’s not your cake but I wish it was.
Just reading about your mom coming in saying "I’m home." I can so feel the smile on your face because it comes across mine also. That is joy to live for and always treasure. Enjoy.

test it comm September 24, 2007 um 11:59 pm

That looks so good. Lemon deserts are always great.

Unknown September 25, 2007 um 2:47 am

this looks incredibly lovely and not to mention yummy.

Gattina Cheung September 25, 2007 um 5:02 am

oh boy, this roll is insanely delish!!! Every time I come, your artistic sense and skill just take my breath away 🙂
Helene, hope you and your parents have a great time!

JDrn September 25, 2007 um 5:13 am

This is the first post I have looked at and believe me it looks great! I am going to try out the recipe on my family next week. Thanks for all the recipes.

Federico September 25, 2007 um 1:46 pm

I’ve found only today this very good blog!!! Who is the author of photos??? They are beautiful

Mila September 25, 2007 um 2:52 pm

Looks amazing…. so simple but marvellous…

Annemarie September 25, 2007 um 3:39 pm

That looks wonderfully old-school, like something my mother would serve on A Very Special Occassion. Hope you have a great visit with the parents and you might get treated to some baked treats made by them!

Jerry September 25, 2007 um 3:47 pm

Yummy! I’ve always been afraid of a jellyroll cake and I’m a daring baker. Guess its time to get over that.

Rose September 25, 2007 um 5:27 pm

This is wonderful! I love cake rolls–the presentation is great!

Kelly September 25, 2007 um 6:09 pm

this literally made me drool on my desk. can’t wait to try it myself!!! thanks for sharing.aoy

kellypea September 26, 2007 um 12:40 am

When I’m a big girl, 42 people will leave comments on my blog. Totally gorgeous, Helene. I less than heart making rolled cakes (death by chocolate was the last one…) but you may have put a spark in my determination. Wow.

Danielle September 26, 2007 um 2:53 am


Amy September 26, 2007 um 6:30 am

I’ve never made a roll cake before but now I really want to! You have me hooked with the lemon cream, next time I will add the full amount of butter!

Lesley September 26, 2007 um 9:23 pm

I’ve always been intimidated by roll cakes, but this might just be the one that gets me going. It’s gorgeous.
Thanks for the recipe!

Deeba PAB September 27, 2007 um 7:08 am

Oh Boy…just reading about this is driving me insane, am sure the taste will kill me!! Your blog is fantastic…which a million others might have told you already. I really enjoy stopping by.

Cat January 17, 2008 um 12:41 am

Hi Tartelette! First of all, I love your site! Everything seems so beautiful and yummy!

I made this recently and although the cream was delicious, I put the cake in the refrigerator overnight and the next day it was rubbery and they cream wasn’t as good. What did I do wrong?? Please let me know because I want to make this again.. Thanks!

Helene January 17, 2008 um 12:47 am

Caffie: thanks for trying the cake. For the cake becoming rubbery, I can’t really tell because it has not happen to me yet, but it could become that way if your egg whites were not fluffy enough to start with before incorporating them to the whites or if your cake batter deflated tooo much while you mixed the whipped egg whites with the yolk batter.
As far as the cream, you need to clarify what you mean by "not as good". 🙂

Cat January 17, 2008 um 1:08 am

Thanks for the prompt response 🙂

When I first made the cream, it was absolutely heavenly… after making the cake and refrigerating it overnight, the tangy lemon of the cream was not as strong, and the consistency was kind of like jello.. why is that? Should I not have put it in the refrigerator? Is it best to serve warm or right away?

Helene January 17, 2008 um 1:26 am

Caffie: the strength of the lemon will mellow out after all the ingredients meld together. As far as the texture, it is normal because of the gelatin in it, which will make it set. You can do without but your cake will smoosh on itself when you cut through it.

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