David's Recipe for Jelly Roll

This torte-based jam roll is lot easier to make than it looks, either in print or served.

Dessert, American

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 soup spoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 soup spoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (almost 100 gm) chopped walnuts
  • A little oil for oiling the pan
  • 2 284 gram jars of good strawberry jam for the filling
  • 2 soup spoons strawberry jam for the topping
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to low-medium.
  2. Oil the side walls only of a 42x37cm baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet with one of the long sides towards you.
  4. Take a 41x37 baking paper and fold the short sides in a few centimeters so that it will fit the slightly smaller lower part of the baking sheet. Lay the paper in the baking sheet so that it extends up the walls on the long sides, and fits the bottom of the baking sheet at the two ends. You don't have to follow these instructions as exactly as I've written them, but if you do, it will probably make the rolling easier later.
  5. Beat the egg yolks.
  6. Cream the sugar into the yolks, a little at a time.
  7. Mix the vanilla into the yolk mixture.
  8. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  9. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly into the yolk mixture.
  10. Grind the walnuts in a blade grinder until they form a coarse paste.
  11. Beat the egg whites until - OK, you win - stiff, but not dry.
  12. Mix the twice-ground nuts thoroughly into the batter.
  13. Mix the egg whites thoroughly into the batter.
  14. Using a large serving spoon, spread the batter evenly on the baking paper. It will make a very thin layer. It doesn't matter if it passes the edges of the paper on the short sides.
  15. Bake until the edges start to brown, about 10 minutes. The rest of the cake will still be an odd beige color, like the nut cake which it is.
  16. As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, turn one of the long sides toward you, and roll the cake gently but pretty tightly in the direction away from you, still attached to the paper. Since it will be hot, at the beginning you will have to handle it through a towel. Allow the cake to cool rolled up.
  17. When the cake is cool, gently unroll it and peel off the paper. Don't try to unroll it completely, because it will simply break. On the other hand, if it does crack a little, don't worry about it. Strawberry jam works very well both as glue and as cover-up makeup. Let the cake roll itself back up as you work. From now on, it will always remember that it is supposed to be rolled up.
  18. Working from the edge toward you, spread the 2 jars'-worth of jam with a soup spoon evenly over the inside surface of the roll, doing your best to reach all 4 edges evenly.
  19. Help the cake roll itself back up, with the seam on the bottom.
  20. Using a soup spoon, spread the remaining 2 spoons of jam on the upper half of the roll.
  21. Sprinkle the coconut over the jam.
  22. Cut the two uneven ends off of the roll to make it prettier.
  23. If you are serving the roll at home, it is prettier to bring it whole to the table and slice it there, using a very sharp knife. If you are sending it to someone, it is probably better to slice it into slices about 3/4 inch thick, leaving them lined up in the roll, and then ship it in a box closed tightly enough around it to hold it motionless.

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