Ciao Italia Blog Exclusive: Mom's Celebration Cake

May 21, 2009

Mom’s delicate celebration jelly roll cake was made for all those special occasions in our lives from birthdays to graduations and anniversaries.

As the name implies, the cake was filled with jelly or jam, and Mom always made her own. But this simple cake lends itself to many filling variations like whipped cream, strawberries, and almonds.

I never tire of it and neither will you.

Mom’s Celebration Cake
La Torta Celebrazione

Cake Batter

Serves 8

2/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 eggs separated and at room temperature
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon orange flower water
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Confectioners sugar

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups thinly sliced strawberries

Preheat the oven to 400F

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together on a sheet of wax paper and set aside.

In a stand mixer beat the egg yolks until thickened and lemon colored; gradually add 1/3 cup of the sugar, orange flower water, and zest. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Wash the bowl and with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form, then gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Beat until whites do not fall off when the whisk attachment is lifted but don’t make them so dry that it will be difficult to fold them into the egg yolk batter. Fold whites a third at a time into the batter. Sprinkle the top of the batter with 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold in gently; do this two more times with the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into a parchment or wax paper or parchment paper lined 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan. Spray the paper with flour /butter spray.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the cake is evenly browned and springs back when poked with your finger.

Turn the pan upside down onto a clean cotton towel which has been generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Trim the cake edges, if necessary. Roll the cake up, from the shortest side with the towel while still warm. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile prepare the filling:

Beat the cream with the sugar until stiff. Gently fold in the strawberries and nuts.

Unroll the cake and spread about 1 cup of the cream mixture evenly over the surface of the cake.

Roll the cake up on itself starting at the short end. The seam should be on the bottom. Transfer the cake to a decorative rectangular dish.

Use the remaining cream mixture to frost the cake. Add a few whole strawberries for garnish on the top and a few mint leaves. Refrigerate the cake at least an hour Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into thick round slices.

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