Feb 25, 2014

Patterned Swiss Roll with Pineapple and Cream filling

Am I too late in posting a valentine’s day treat? :-) Well let me state it out bluntly, I have been laaaazy this month. I have been vacationing and then working and then falling sick (a lot, thanks to our sub zero temperatures) and then when weekends roll by, we have so many lovely friends whom we get-together with and well I’ve been busy and lazy all at once.  So this lovely pretty cake that I made on Valentine’s Day and which I was planning to share with you all that very weekend had to wait this long.

Oh! And before I start rambling on about the cake let me share another happy happy moment. My interview for Mommy Page just got published. Yippeeee!! This is my first interview and the first of its kind after I started this blog, so I’m mighty proud about it. Go here and read all about it and then come back…Pretty Cake awaits you! ;-)

I have forever wanted to try a patterned roll cake.  I have seen several such cakes all over the internet and was always intrigued by the simplicity yet awesomeness of it. They are sooooo easy to make and I can’t help but blame myself for waiting this long to try it out. 

My first try at making this cake did not turn out as pretty as I had hoped for. Most of my decorative writing got stuck to the parchment paper  and the next issue was after I rolled up my cake, I allowed it to cool for a longer period, due to which my cake got stuck to the kitchen towel and more pattern came off, but my friends still loved it and the cake was a super hit!

Since I still had some more of the decorative paste left, I made it again the next day ;-) and was very careful not to repeat the mistakes I did. And voila! A pretty pretty cake it turned out to be.  It’s so fancy and yet a perfect way to decorate your cake specially if you do not want to use too much frosting on your cakes. 

The cake is a fatless sponge (yes, no butter or oil) and I did a Pineapple and Cream filling….yumm! This is not an eggless cake, but I will definitely try an eggless version soon for all those who asked me for one. 

I have tried to provide stepwise pics and it’s quite self-explanatory and yes I took too many pics of this lil'beauty queen and well, I hope you enjoy the pics as well. 

Patterned Swiss Roll with Pineapple & Cream filling
Recipe adapted from LRF

You’ll Need
For the decorative pattern:
1 Egg white
Granulated Sugar - 30 gm
All purpose flour - 40 gms
Butter (softened) - 20 grams
Color, as desired ( I used red and pink gel colors)

For the fatless sponge cake:
4 eggs, room temperature
Sugar - ¾ cup
All purpose flour  - 1 cup
Baking powder  - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract  - 1 tsp
Water  - 1 Tbslp

For Pineappale and Cream filling
1 cup whipping cream
1-2 Tblsp powdered sugar
Crushed Pineapple / Pineapple slices in juice (Del Monte brand) – One 20 oz can


Decorative paste for the pattern:
1. Grease a half sheet pan (I used 11”x 17” size). Place decorative template on one side of your pan and line it with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper.
2. In a bowl beat the egg white with a fork. Add in sugar and then the flour. Mix well.  Beat in the butter to make a smooth paste. Divide batter if necessary and color as desired.
3. Put in piping bags and using the template as a guideline, neatly pipe the pattern (If doing alphabets or number patterns, write it in mirror image). Remove the template.
Put in the tray in the freezer/fridge to harden up for at least 15-20 minutes while you make the cake batter.

For the fatless sponge cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a stand mixer, fit it with a beater blade or whisk attachment and beat the 4 eggs on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add in the granulated sugar and beat for another 5 minutes until the mixture is pale, thick and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
2. Sift the flour with the baking powder in a separate bowl. Fold in the flour till well combined. But do not overbeat. Add the water and fold again gently.
3. Take the sheet pan with the piped pattern out of the freezer/fridge. Remove template from under the parchment paper. Pour the batter over the pattern.
4. Spread across evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine was done at 8 mins). The cake is done when you lightly touch the surface with the tip of your finger and the cake springs back and make sure it doesn't brown too much.
 5. While the cake is baking, sprinkle powdered sugar on a kitchen towel or sheet of parchment paper bigger than the size of your sheet pan. Once the cake is baked, flip it onto the sugar dusted kitchen towel/parchment paper
6. Once flipped over, pull the parchment paper out from the cake. Be gentle when taking out the parchment paper over the decorated area. Flip the cake over again carefully.
7. Now roll the cake with the kitchen towel, starting from the end opposite to your pattern.  Let sit on counter, rolled till it’s completely cooled.

For pineapple & cream filling:
1. While the roll is cooling, make the filling. Start by straining the pineapple from its juices and if using pineapple slices then chop it into smaller chunks. Else use strained crushed pineapple.
2. Whip the cream with the sugar till just about stiff peaks are formed. 


Unroll the patterned cake roll, and spread the whipped cream on top. Add the chopped/crushed pineapple on top. 

Now roll the cake tightly to form a log again, again starting from the end opposite your pattern such that the pattern rolls up on top in the end. You may cut out both the ends for a neater presentation and enjoy!

Note: Moisten/Brush the top of the cake roll with the strained pineapple juice if you feel its getting dried out. This will also remove any powdered sugar that got stuck to your roll after unrolling from the kitchen towel

And please use a washed and clean kitchen towel ;-)

Isn't each slice a work of art?....oh! I love this cake! And I shall definitely be trying out more patterns and varieties of these cakes and the filling options are endless...imagine making a simple jam roll so creative....c'mon go ahead, bake it right now and impress your family and yourself :-)

Here's me signing off with ...

-Manju :-)

Feb 12, 2014

Valentine's day Ideas :-)

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, infact it's this Friday (Feb, 14th). I bet some of you already know how you plan to spend this day of Love. Do we really need a special day to spend with our loved ones, you may ask....I have no real answer to that but I'm absolutely smitten about the idea and love to celebrate it. 
This year we are planning to spend it with friends...a grand dinner and then mayb a movie or some games. Anyways Valentine's Day is all about spending time with loved ones and I absolutely love that idea ;-)

This year I haven't come up with any new dishes but I want to share what I have done over the years and hopefully these will inspire you too to make a grand dinner or special dessert for that special someone in your life incase you haven't planned yet.

My most popular post and favorite Valentines Day dinner of all has been this special candle light dinner that I cooked all by myself at our home for my sweetheart 2 yrs ago. 
My baby was still too little to go out for a late night dinner so the best option was to keep it at home...Enjoy a romantic dinner while the baby sleeps ;-). Read all about it here.
These are the dishes I cooked up (yes all home-made):
                     Thai Fish Balls with Lime-Cilantro Mayo dip
Main course : Jerk Chicken served with Coconut Rice and Mango-Peach Salsa

Last year we did not make dinner plans, but instead my lil'boy and me got up really early and made a scrumptious breakfast before going off to work and daycare respectively :-) And yes, everyone got little V-day gifts as well!!

Here are few more ideas on how you can make something special to show your love in the form of food :)

Planning Banana bread for a V-day brekky? Well then you must try this fun and totally V-day worthy Banana bread with a hidden heart and wow your loved ones!! 

If your family prefer spicy dishes, make them a heart shaped Tuna Cutlets using a heart shaped cookie cutter ;-) Its super yummy and a winner recipe. If you do not eat non-veg, make a veggie version with your own recipe. 

Another cool idea I thought of was to fancy up even your glass of simple water with pretty Heart shaped Ice-cubes infused with fruits, citrus-peels or mint leaves. It definitely adds a sparkle and flavor to that glass of water!! 

One pot meals are always an easy option and there's no compromise on taste. Try out these simple rice dishes and pair it with wine and/or any decadent dessert of your choice. Keep it simple yet classy! 

Rich & Creamy Chocolate Pudding can never go wrong for a V-day dessert...it's so easy to make. And better yet, its Eggless :-)

Well, If it was upto me, I still have several more dishes that I can scoop out of my blog and share here as V-day special, but I'll leave that to you :-) Do feel free to check  out My Recipes list and pick out your favorite recipes and cook it up and enjoy your day.....

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers! May you have a beautiful day and year ahead filled with Love and Happiness :-)