It’s nearly Easter once again, and while the ceramic ring stand bunnies are currently snuggling on the night stand in my dorm room, I have fortunately come home once again to my cozy bed and delightfully expansive kitchen.
The story of this week’s dessert actually dates back to the vanilla espresso cake from February. The recipe I made actually had a little more batter than was needed for the four layer pans that I needed for the layer cake itself, so I ended up with one little mini cake layer that didn’t quite belong in the cake. My solution? Top with a generous dollop of pineapple mango from the jar that I forgot that I bought last fall (oops!), sprinkle on some shredded coconut, and serve with copious amounts of tea.
So when I wasn’t quite sure what to make this week for Easter, I immediately thought back to that little snack and figured that it would also be pretty excellent as a whole cake roll of its own. All you’ll need is my virtually foolproof chiffon cake recipe, the better half of a jar of pineapple mango jam (I purchased mine in a cute little small town country store, but Bonne Maman works just as well!), coconut whipped cream, and plenty of shredded (and lightly toasted!) coconut.
The trickiest bit, as is the case in all Swiss roll recipes, is the actual rolling part. To ensure that your cake rolls properly, remove the cake from the oven just when it is fully cooked. While some people are strong proponents of the toothpick pricking method of testing cake doneness, I’ve found that the most reliable method is to gently depress the center of your chiffon cake with your finger. If you leave an indentation, the cake is not done yet, but if it springs back, remove immediately from the oven. Then, when the cake is cool enough to handle with your bare hands but still warm, dust the top with powdered sugar, cover with a clean towel or large paper towel, and invert the cake onto a large, flat placemat or cutting board. By transferring the cake this way, you can make sure that the bottom of the cake does not stick to your towel as you roll it up.
As for last serving tips, keep in mind that the coconut cream in the coconut whipped cream recipe will destabilize the cream. Since you’re not piping it into any particular shape, it won’t be a huge deal, but to stay on the safe side, try to keep your cake refrigerated until you are ready to serve!
All particularities aside, this delightfully tropical cake is a wonderful treat to bring to your next spring garden party or Easter gathering. One bite of the fluffy tropical goodness, and your guests are sure to be impressed. Hope you enjoy!
Happy almost Easter,
Tropical Swiss Roll
Makes 1 Swiss roll
Vanilla Chiffon Cake:
120 g (1 cup) all purpose flour
7 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk, any type
3 tbs + 7 tbs vanilla sugar, separated
Pineapple Mango Jam
Coconut Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
3-4 tbs powdered sugar, to taste
2 tbs coconut cream, scooped from the top of the can
Toasted shredded coconut (spread in thick layer, bake at 450 °F for 5 minutes, then mix)
Vanilla Chiffon Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease and line a 9″x13″ cake pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the 3 tbs of sugar into the egg yolks until well mixed, then beat in the vegetable oil and milk.
- Sift in the flour in 3 additions (add in 1/3 of the flour at a time), gently whisking in just until no visible dry clumps remain. Set the mixture aside.
Tip: Especially after the first two additions, you will still see lumps in the batter after the dry, white clumps are mixed in. That’s okay! It’ll more or less smooth out after the third addition, and any lumps should be small enough not to make a difference once the cake is baked.
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand or electric mixer and start whipping at a slow/medium speed. While the egg whites are still foamy, add the remaining 7 tbs of sugar in 3 additions about 20-30 seconds apart. After the third addition, whip the egg whites on high until the stiff peaks stage.
Tip: When the egg whites are fully whipped, the mixture should be glossy and you should be able to lift the beaters out to leave a sharp standing peak behind that does not bend over.
- Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, gently folding in the whites until just until no large lumps remain.
- Pour the mixture into the remaining 2/3 of the whipped egg whites and gently fold together just until no streaks remain.
- Pour the batter into your cake pan and smooth the top surface with a metal spatula. (Not silicone!) Bake for 35-45 minutes or the center of the cake springs back when lightly depressed.
Tip: This cake will puff up as it bakes, but shrink right back down to the original size once it cools, so go ahead and fill the pan to the brim if you can — don’t worry about leaving room at the top of the pan for the cake to expand!
- Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes, or until it is just cool enough to handle. Dust a clean towel with powdered sugar and place sugar side down on top of the cake. Place a large, stiff cutting board on top and then quickly invert the pan onto the cutting board to release the chiffon cake onto the towel. Remove the metal pan and the parchment paper lining.
- Add a thick layer of pineapple mango jam to the top of your chiffon cake, then use the towel to gently roll up, then wrap the cake into its rolled position.
- Set aside to cool completely!
Coconut Whipped Cream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, whip together the heavy cream, coconut cream, and sugar until stiff peaks form. At this point, when you lift out the whisk, you should see sharp peaks that do not curl over at the tip.
- Set aside for frosting!
- Plate the cooled chiffon cake roll, then use a small metal spatula to frost generously with the coconut whipped cream.
Tip: Wipe off the excess coconut whipped cream from the sides of the plate with a wet paper towel. This will make the next step much easier!
- Cover the tops and sides of the cake roll with toasted coconut.
Tip: Sprinkling will cover the top of your cake, but definitely not the sides. For an evenly coated cake roll, put on a pair of gloves, then gently press handfuls of toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake, then use a small (clean!) paintbrush to remove the excess from the sides of the cake. Good luck!
- Refrigerate or serve immediately. Enjoy!