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lynsval

Jelly Roll

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I have a question that has been on my mind for the past couple of years that I figured I would come out of lurkdome to ask the "pros."

Every year for the months of November and December I bake pumpkin rolls for friends and family. Depending on my work schedule I have made anywhere from 60-120 of these bad boys. It's the jelly-roll style cake with the cream cheese filling. Anyway, my problem is the towels that I use to roll the cakes up in to cool. I find that no matter how long I soak them or what kind of bleach or detergent that I use to try and cut the oil, they still get rancid quickly. I always end up buying new ones every year because they smell so bad and I don't want to ruin my cakes. Does anyone here have any suggestions or any alternatives to the towels? Any special type of detergent that you use? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Val

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If I am rolling jelly-roll-type cakes, I cover the flat towel with parchment before placing the cake on it so there is no direct contact between towel and cake. There may be a good reason why this won't work for you but it works for me. Hope this is some help.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Hmmnnn... I've never had a problem with my towels and I've used the same ones for years. I use heavy, plain white cotton kitchen towels (I don't remember where I bought them, maybe Williams-Sonoma?) -- not terrycloth -- that are reserved strictly for cake-baking. I wash them immediately afterwards with All-Free liquid detergent (my standard detergent) and Clorox, and machine dry them without using fabric softener. Then I fold each individually and put it in a Ziplock bag, where it rests until the next use. Don't know if any of this is useful to you!


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I use flour sack towels for jelly rolls or pumpkin rolls. I wash them seperately in hot water & they seem to be fine. I've been using the same ones for quite. The trick with lining them with parchment sounds like a good idea though.

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I have a question that has been on my mind for the past couple of years that I figured I would come out of lurkdome to ask the "pros." 

Every year for the months of November and December I bake pumpkin rolls for friends and family. Depending on my work schedule I have made anywhere from 60-120 of these bad boys. It's the jelly-roll style cake with the cream cheese filling.  Anyway, my problem is the towels that I use to roll the cakes up in to cool.  I find that no matter how long I soak them or what kind of bleach or detergent that I use to try and cut the oil, they still get rancid quickly. I always end up buying new ones every year because they smell so bad and I don't want to ruin my cakes.  Does anyone here have any suggestions or any alternatives to the towels?  Any special type of detergent that you use?  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance. 

Val

Val,

I'd love to try making a pumpkin roll. Do you have a recipe you can share?

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I don't use towels at all since in most professional kitchens they are like gold. I just use a sheet of parchment sometimes I sprinkle it with sugar sometimes I don't. I usually peels the top layer off the cake, but I usually do that to all my cakes anyways. When I finish filling the rolls, I roll them up in a clean sheet of parchment, twist the ends tight and freeze like that. Works great.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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Thanks for the great suggestions! I knew I would get some great ideas. I love the idea of the parchment paper, Anna. I'll try it.

I use flour-sack type towels also, specifically for cake baking. A thought just occurred to me -- I wonder if storing them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag would be the way to go?

PastryMama -- the recipe I have calls for baking the cake on waxed paper. I usually peel it off prior to rolling up the cake. Any idea as to how the waxed paper would hold up if I roll it up with the waxed paper and just bypass the towel altogether? Would it disentegrate and just cause me more of a problem. Hmmmm -- since waxed paper is so much cheaper than parchment.

I'll dig up the recipe for you, meredithla. It's getting to be that time of year! I'll be starting this weekend for a friend that wants me to show her how I make them. I believe it is a Libby's recipe. Very basic and readily available to all, but people fight over the silly things!! I make them both with nuts and without.

As usual this forum is such a great resource! Thanks.

Val

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I have never used a towel to roll swiss/jelly roll style cakes, always used waxed paper, at school in England that was what was used + my gran a great baker used it! Sprinkle with powdered sugar before turning the cake out.

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I did a search and found this. It is the same recipe that I use.

Libby's Pumpkin Rolls

There are other variations out there, but none as easy or tasty as this one.

I'm definitely going to try the waxed paper only this year.

Val

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I also use waxed paper, and after I peel it off I use it to roll the puppies up, and they hold up fine.

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I just want to mention that pre-rolling a warm cake to "set" it's shape is out dated advice. It's truely not necessary and it only makes things harder when you go to fill your cake.

I hope I can explain this well.........

First, either your cake is flexible or it's not.

If it's too thick, the cake will crack as you roll it into a log regardless of "training" it by rolling it in a towel when warm. If you take a cold cake and roll it into a jelly roll shape it too will crack in places if the cake is too thick.

The cake doesn't need to be "trained" to keep the shape of a log. It will roll and remain in the shape you dirrect it into. Both the filling and gravity will hold it in a log shape. Always placing your seamed side down underneath the weight of the cake.

Also when you pre-train your cakes by rolling them in towels, it sticks too much to the towel and makes it hard to peel off. The cake wants to break as you spread your frosting on the rounded areas and you can break your cake doing more handling damage to it, then needed.

To make a good jelly roll cake the key is having a thin (yet not too thin) moist cake.

If you bake a good thin moist cake, you can put it away for days as is, flat. All you do is spread your filling/frosting on the flat cake then roll it up. Wrap it in plastic wrap. The cake will roll and not crack unless it's a flawed cake (over baked, dry or too thick).

The only tricky thing is wrapping your cake when you first roll it. I either use a sheet of parchement paper (as was previously suggested) or a long length of plastic wrap. When I lift it, I put a piece of cardboard (or plexi glass) underneath the cake to support it's weight as I position it on the plastic wrap.

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I just want to mention that pre-rolling a warm cake to "set" it's shape is out dated advice. It's truely not necessary and it only makes things harder when you go to fill your cake.

...

Most interesting. It definitely sounds much easier. Next time I attempt a jelly roll cake, I will take the leap of faith and try it your way. Thanks.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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If it's too thick, the cake will crack as you roll it into a log regardless of "training" it by rolling it in a towel when warm. If you take a cold cake and roll it into a jelly roll shape it too will crack in places if the cake is too thick.

Timely advice, Wendy! I tried a pumpkin cake last night. It rolled up fine to cool but cracked hours later when I unrolled it to spread the frosting. Mine was definitely too thick. I'll try again this weekend with less batter and rolling it only after frosting. :wacko:

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I just want to mention that pre-rolling a warm cake to "set" it's shape is out dated advice. It's truely not necessary and it only makes things harder when you go to fill your cake.

I hope I can explain this well.........

First, either your cake is flexible or it's not.

If it's too thick, the cake will crack as you roll it into a log regardless of "training" it by rolling it in a towel when warm. If you take a cold cake and roll it into a jelly roll shape it too will crack in places if the cake is too thick.

The cake doesn't need to be "trained" to keep the shape of a log. It will roll and remain in the shape you dirrect it into. Both the filling and gravity will hold it in a log shape. Always placing your seamed side down underneath the weight of the cake.

Also when you pre-train your cakes by rolling them in towels,  it sticks too much to the towel and makes it hard to peel off. The cake wants to break as you spread your frosting on the rounded areas and you can break your cake doing more handling damage to it, then needed.

To make a good jelly roll cake the key is having a thin (yet not too thin) moist cake.

If you bake a good thin moist cake, you can put it away for days as is, flat. All you do is spread your filling/frosting on the flat cake then roll it up. Wrap it in plastic wrap. The cake will roll and not crack unless it's a flawed cake (over baked, dry or too thick).

The only tricky thing is wrapping your cake when you first roll it. I either use a sheet of parchement paper (as was previously suggested) or a long length of plastic wrap. When I lift it, I put a piece of cardboard (or plexi glass) underneath the cake to support it's weight as I position it on the plastic wrap.

All of this is really good information that I'm very glad to have. I'm going to try to make a pumpkin roll for the first time this year, and this information will be extremely valuable. Thank you!

A question. . . does it make any difference at all whether you roll the cake right-side-up or upside down? In other words, could I invert the cake onto the plastic wrap to begin with?

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I do really hope you'll all try this, I promise it's much easier and more successful.

The typical pumpkin cake roll has chopped nuts baked on top, so you'd want that side exposed on your finished product. So if you invert your baked cake onto parchment or plastic wrap, the plain side (underside) of the cake will be face up (nuts side is face down). That is the side you want to apply your frosting to. Then you work from the long length of the jelly roll and roll up the cake into a log. The first roll over frequently cracks, don't worry no one will really notice once it's tucked inside.

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Wendy, I had no idea that you could just leave the cake flat to cool! Any suggestions about what to look for so that the cake isn't overcooked? Since it is such a flat cake, I sometimes have a tendency to overcook them. It hasn't seemed to matter because the filling somewhat rehydrates the cake. I look forward to this being a real learning year as far as getting this down. This is such a good, homey gift for people.

Thank you for all your advice, I will begin this weekend and try your suggestions.

Val :biggrin:

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Any suggestions about what to look for so that the cake isn't overcooked?

I like to use a toothpick to test cakes. When I insert the toothpick into the cake it's equal to having a window into the center of the cake. If it comes out completely dry with no crumbs sticking to it, it's DONE. I like to get to my cakes just when it tests clean. I guess to some extent this becomes clearer with the more cakes you bake. You get a 'feel' for how long a given cake takes to bake and you want to be there to pull it out just as it finishes baking. The thing is, a cake can bake for an extra 10/15 minutes if your not paying attention and it's in that time the cake over bakes, yet it doesn't burn. People don't always know that their cake is over baked. Sometimes they think a particular cake recipe is dry............but if it had 10 less minutes in the oven it might have been a really moist lovely cake.

I know alot of bakers bake by touch. They know when a cake is done by it's spring (or lack of) when touched. That's true but it's not really acurate, I believe. Yes, if the cake is done it will feel firm but it could have been done minutes ago before it felt firm. Plus every type of cake bakes differently. The touch test works best with cake mix cakes. I've tried to use/perfect this method but it's just not as reliable in all types of cakes like a tooth pick is, where you can literally see the crumb of the cake.

If your making cakes to roll into jelly rolls and you've accidently over baked it a bit. You should trim off all four edges of the cake because they're likely to crack as you roll your cake. Besides if they're not moist you don't want those edges anyway.

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Do any of you fill your pumpkin rolls with anything besides cream cheese frosting? It's too sweet and too sour for me. Whipped cream sounds like a natural, but perhaps this cake is not sweet enough to contrast with the cream. How about filled with whipped cream and served with a caramel sauce?


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Do any of you fill your pumpkin rolls with anything besides cream cheese frosting?  It's too sweet and too sour for me.  Whipped cream sounds like a natural, but perhaps this cake is not sweet enough to contrast with the cream.  How about filled with whipped cream and served with a caramel sauce?

Whipped cream and caramel sauce sounds nice...

Do you like mascarpone cheese? This could be lightly sweetend and perhaps lightened with whipped cream. A good flavor add-in could be minced, crystallized ginger.

In the pumpkin pie thread, many of us were extollng the virtues of bourbon or rum in combination with pumpkin. Perhaps it would be nice to flavor pureed ricotta with some vanilla and bourbon and then sweeten it with confectionary sugar.

I like tangy components, so this might not work for you, but I could also picture a lightly sweeteend, soft fresh goat cheese as a filling. Perhaps with some lemon added.

Great topic! Now I feel like making some pumpkin rolls...


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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How would whipped cream hold up to being held and/or frozen for long periods of time?

The beauty of these rolls is that they freeze well and can be sliced as needed. I like to serve them with whipped cream. Perhaps unsweetened cream would help cut the sweetness. I love the candied ginger idea! Or perhaps an orange filling (i.e., orange marmalade mixed with the cream cheese) Just thinking outloud.

It's kind of dreary today here in Sunny San Diego, so it finally feels like punkin' roll bakin' weather!!

Val

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Good point re: the freezing aspect. For cases where that was important I don't know how the other fillings I suggested would work.

Orange... hmmm.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Mascarpone would be good. Ricotta, maybe. Savory too strange for my daughter's family who judge desserts by how sweet they are. I like the idea of whipped cream filling with a buttery orange/caramel, rum/brandy sauce, though. Perhaps mascarpone lightened with whipped cream.

One of my kids'--and now my grandkids'--favorite desserts is a chocolate souffle roll filled with whipped cream. It will hold up for a couple of days, and would hold up even better with a little gelatine. I believe it would freeze OK, also, and probably thaw in the time it takes to carry to the dining table. Does anyone still make this? It was made popular in the US by Dione Lucas, called Roulage Leontine or some such. I believe it was the molten chocolate cake of the late 60s or early 70s.

I am just so much a whipped cream person. Usually have a quart or more on hand. I love whipping a cup of cream with a cup of lemon or lime curd, or a cup of pureed cooked dried apricots for a cake roll. No need to whip the cream separately and fold it in, just have both ingredients very cold.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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i'm really glad to see this thread, too bad i didn't read it yesterday when i attempted my first ever pumpkin roll. :hmmm: anyways, since i've never made one before or even tasted one, i'm not really sure mine came out alright. i used wax paper to roll it up to begin with and when i unrolled it, the top layer of the cake came with it! :blink: also, the cake was very spongy, is it soppose to have that texture? it tasted good but my mom said that her's usually comes out "denser". so, did i do something wrong? thanks!

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i'm really glad to see this thread, too bad i didn't read it yesterday when i attempted my first ever pumpkin roll. :hmmm:    anyways, since i've never made one before or even tasted one, i'm not really sure mine came out alright.  i used wax paper to roll it up to begin with and when i unrolled it, the top layer of the cake came with it!  :blink: 

Did you coat the cake with powdered sugar before you rolled it up? When I make rolled cakes, I cover the top with powdered sugar, then invert the cake onto a towel, then coat the other side of the cake with powdered sugar, then roll it up. When I do that, I havent had any release problems.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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You really have to make sure that you grease both the pan as well as the waxed paper before filling the pan. Otherwise, the cake will stick to it. I usually use Pam w/flour. Occasionally, I don't have that and use just plain Pam and it works great.

Val

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