Oh My Baking: Valentine’s Style


Let me start off by saying that I really tried with this one. I did.

I decided to make a Valentine themed jelly roll cake today. What I got was a roll, but it didn’t taste very cake-y. It wasn’t light and fluffy. To be honest, I found it slightly inedible. That’s really hard to admit out loud. I thought I was doing so well with this one. I think where I went wrong was my attempt to turn it into a Valentine’s treat.

You see, I decided to make a jelly roll – with a heart in the centre. This involved baking two cakes, and inserting a heart-shaped roll into the jelly roll. I first baked a box cake, which turned out edible, thankfully. I then had to take this cake, cut out hearts, and icing-glue them together to create a long heart shaped log. Well, I was impatient. And I cut out the hearts before it had completely cooled, and so the hearts started to fall apart. My heart shaped log didn’t look completely perfect, but I knew once I put it in the freezer to have the icing harden, it would be easier to work with. Looking back at it now, I wish I had waited for that box cake to completely cool before cutting my shapes. I also wish I had a heart shaped cookie cutter (I thought I had one, turns out I don’t – I think I needed to order this one) – I basically cut a heart out of cardboard, and used that as my cutter outline. Wasn’t the best idea, but it didn’t turn out 100% terrible.

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So the heart shaped log was my first mistake.

My second mistake was the cake roll batter. To be honest, I am not entirely sure where this recipe went wrong. Perhaps it was that I decided to use regular milk and not buttermilk. Perhaps it was the apple cider vinegar. Perhaps it was the fact that I used all purpose flour (with a cornstarch substitution) to make up for my lack of cake flour. Perhaps it was my extra virgin olive oil because I ran out of canola. Perhaps my baking sheet was a little too big, which ran the batter a little too thin for baking. I didn’t come entirely prepared to this baking expedition.

Probably because I decided last minute that yes, I was actually going to make the recipe.

I’ll include the recipe below for the cake roll, incase you wish to make some changes to it, or even just attempt it and see if it was just a bad day for me from the get go. I’ll definitely make an attempt at this dessert for another holiday – one day I’ll get it right. For now, let’s just chalk this up to another Pinterest fail.

Heart Shaped Log Recipe:
Box of cake mix – now this can be any flavour, depending on what colour you want your insert to be. I went with a white cake, and used some red food colouring. Bake into two square pans. Once baked, let cool completely before you cut your shapes. Cut your shapes out, and using a bit of icing, “glue” the pieces together to create one long log, so that when you stare at it from one end, you see the shape, and not the length. Once you’ve got the pieces “glued”, place the heart log in the freezer while you work on the roll.

Cake Roll Recipe:
4 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 TBSP Milk
1 TSP Vanilla
1 TSP Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP Canola Oil (I used Extra Virgin as I ran out of Canola)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour MINUS 2 TBSP
2 TBSP Cornstarch
1/2 TSP Salt
1 TSP Baking Powder

I have to stop right there before I give directions for baking, because I figured it out. I used baking soda, not baking powder. Which explains why my cake was flat and tough, and not how it was supposed to be. I am 99.9% sure this is why my cake failed today, and will definitely have to test the recipe again with the appropriate ingredients. I’m shaking my head right now. Quite disappointed in myself. Not going to lie.

Back to baking.

Cake Roll Recipe:
Prep a baking sheet – grease it, lay down parchment paper, and grease again.
Prep the batter. Once done, pour onto prepped baking sheet.
You’re going to bake this at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Once out of the oven, cool for 5 minutes. Do not cool any longer than this – we need to get it rolled!
Lay a kitchen towel on the counter, and sprinkle with icing sugar. Flip the cake out of the baking sheet and onto the kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment paper. Carefully roll the cake up in the kitchen towel from the short end. Once done, let this cool completely rolled up.

You’re almost at the end! While the roll cools, you will want to whip up whichever icing you wish to use for the cake. I made a cream cheese frosting, and it was definitely delicious.

Putting It All Together:

Carefully, unroll your roll cake. Don’t be alarmed by the fact that your cake now resembles a bath mat. It’s supposed to look this way.

Ice the entire inside of the roll cake. Once you’re happy with the amount of icing (not too much or it might crack when rolling), retrieve your heart roll from the freezer.

Place the heart log on the roll cake, and carefully roll it up. If you’d like, ice the outside (I did), or you can sprinkle with icing sugar for a more naked look. Refrigerate.

Lastly, I think I went wrong with my icing. Not in the recipe, but that it was too heavy for the roll cake. Or I didn’t roll it round enough. I’m not sure what happened, but when I cut the cake open – I definitely couldn’t see a heart. I don’t know if this is because I cut the hearts out of a warm cake, and they didn’t get to form properly. Or if the boxed cake was just too fluffy for it. There’s a lot of “What if I did this instead” when it comes to the prepping of this cake.

I wasn’t sure about sharing this with you, but I did promise on instagram that I’d share the recipe. However, I’m hoping maybe you can learn from my mistakes, or even give me tips on how to fix my minor issues with the cake.

I wish you luck, or, maybe wish me luck for my next attempt at this roll cake. And remember, I never said I was a great baker! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

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