From the moment I decided to start this food blog I always had one recipe in mind to write about and that is the strawberry jelly roll. I remember that it was one of my favorite desserts as a kid and I always ate it with a Premio, which is a Colombian strawberry flavored soda. And of course, as a good Colombian family, eating out was not something we did every day but something that was done on special occasions, so knowing that I was going to eat a strawberry jelly roll was the definition of complete happiness.
In Colombia this jelly roll is available everywhere and when I was kid it was only made with strawberry filling or infused with strawberry flavor. Nowadays it’s available in all kinds of flavors and colors, with arequipe (dulce de leche), with all kinds of tropical fruits, with jam or jelly, and even with homemade whipped cream, which in Colombian would be called a Swiss roll. Which brings me to the name Colombians give to this dessert, “brazo de reina”, which translates to “queen’s arm”. A queen’s arm? Who ever thought of giving it such a name? Which if you think about it is quite grotesque because eating the arm of a queen is not that appetizing, at least not for me. But anyway, that’s the name given to this wonderful dessert in several Latin American countries such as Chile and Colombia. In Spain they call it “brazo gitano” (gypsy’s arm), so again, we keep the theme of naming it after a human part. In England they call it swiss roll which is not really Swiss since it wasn’t invented there. In the US we call it jelly roll which almost makes sense except when it’s not filled with jelly. But in Japan they call it cake roll, which is the perfect name. If you think about it it’s just that, a cake filled with something sweet, then rolled and cut up in pieces. Genius.
I’m going to be honest and tell you that it took a while for me to get this recipe right because making a sponge cake was not the easiest thing for me to make. Pay close attention to the directions, the key is to beat the eggs well and then roll the cake while it’s still warm.
And as always… ¡Buen provecho! Oh, and don’t worry, no member of any royal family was harmed during the making of this dessert. =)
- 1 cup (140 g) all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (112.5 g) white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (56.25 g) white granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup (31.25 g) powdered sugar (For dusting)
- 1½ cup (12 oz.) whipped cream
- 1 cup (200 g) fresh strawberries, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
- Grease a jelly roll pan or large baking sheet measuring 12½ x 17½ x 1 inches (32 x 44 x 2.5 cm) with baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and then spray the top of the parchment paper with the baking spray. You can also use butter and flour.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks and the eggs with ½ cup of sugar at high speed for about 10 minutes or until thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the milk and mix until well blended.
- Sift half of the flour mixture into the batter and fold it in to incorporate it. Add the remaining flour and fold it again.
- In a separate bowl beat egg whites at high speed with the remaining sugar and salt until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Fold in the egg whites with the flour batter.
- Pour batter into the lined pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and then flip the cake over it. Remove the parchment paper and then roll the cake with the towel. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Unroll the cooled cake and cover with the whipped cream. Place the chopped strawberries on top. Roll the cake again and cover the top with more whipped cream if desired. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.