Swiss Cake Roll

I have loved Swiss cake rolls since elementary school, but I never thought of baking my own. After all, Little Debbie did a hell of a job with the tasty treat. And then I saw them bake a Swiss cake roll on the Great British Bakeoff. Consequently, I knew I had to give it a try. Yesterday I baked one for the first time and it was delicious, so I thought I’d share the recipe tonight.

Swiss Cake Roll

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Rest time: 3:5- 4:00 hours
Total Time: 4-4.75 hours

Tools needed:

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder plus ¼ cup for rolling
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a standard 11”x17” jelly-roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper; spray paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Do not skip the nonstick baking spray. Set pan aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla together on high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture turns foamy and lemon yellow in color.
  • Add sugar to the bowl in (3) separate ¼-cup additions, mixing for 1 full minute after each addition.
  • Add oil and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. (Tip: Spread batter evenly to edges using an offset spatula.) Tap pan on counter several times to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched in center. While cake is baking, lay a large, thin kitchen cloth on counter. Sprinkle cocoa powder generously on top of cloth.
  • Once baked, immediately flip hot cake out onto the cocoa-dusted cloth. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting with a short end of the cake, roll up cake (and cloth). Let rolled cake cool completely (2 hours) before continuing.

For the filling:

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll cake and spread frosting evenly on top of cake. (Tip: Make sure to frost all the way to the edges.) Roll cake back up (this time without the towel). Wrap cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the glaze:

  • Remove the plastic wrap from the cake and place on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  • Using a medium microwaveable bowl, add chocolate chips and whipping cream. Microwave in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each round, until mixture is smooth.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly but is still pourable.
  • Pour chocolate glaze evenly on top, spreading evenly over entire cake.
  • Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set before slicing.

Notes:

  • If you like mint, you could substitute mint extract for the vanilla extract in the filling
  • You can add sliced strawberries or raspberries on top of the filling for added flavor
  • Cooling time may very based on your climate. The times in this recipe are based on the South Florida climate.

Sunrise

The hubby and I started our day with a trip to the beach to see the sunrise. While the weather didn’t cooperate fully, it was beautiful to watch the sky and water change as the sun came up. We got there just before 6:30 and were taken aback by the number of people already there. Consequently, the surf was unusually high for South Florida, so the surfers were there to take advantage of the nice waves.

It’s always nice to taken in the salty air of the beach. My sinuses always feel better after spending time near the water. Hopefully, next time the weather will cooperate, so we can see the sunrise fully. Nonetheless, it was the perfect way to start our day. Afterwards, we just chilled on the couch with the puppies.

Originally, I had a lunch date with my friend Terri, but had to cancel since Goalielocks had been sick. Fortunately, he does not have Covid. Unfortunately, he does have the flu. Thankfully, we caught it super early and he hasn’t been around the rest of us since Wednesday. Last time he had the flu, we caught it late and had all been exposed. Thank God this time he’s on Tamiflu and is self sufficient. Like last time, he had the flu vaccine, which should lessen the severity of his illness.

This afternoon I channeled my inner baker, thank you Great British Bake-off, and made a Swiss cake roll. It was relatively easy to make, but there are a couple of adjustments I’ll make for the next time. First, the pan has to be 11X17. Secondly, when I roll it with the tea towel, I’ll not wrap it up in the tea towel. This should allow for a tighter wrap.

While I was waiting for the cake roll to cool, I made some pickled vegetables. I’ve developed a taste for pickled vegetables. Naturally, this works well since it’s minimal calories, yet satiating. This time I used cauliflower, orange pepper, carrots, onions, garlic and dill. I made a quick pickle recipe, so I didn’t have to boil the jars or anything. Once I’ve tried them, I’lll share the recipe here (only if it turns out good.)

Prosecco Parfaits

As the name Prosecco parfaits suggest, this truly is the perfect dessert. It’s simple to prepare, but big on elegance and flavor. Truly, you can make it your own by playing around with the wine selection and the accompaniments. For the parfaits I made on Christmas eve, I used Martini & Rossi Asti. I dressed the parfaits with fresh mint and raspberries, which was a great combination. Here’s the recipe:

Prosecco Parfaits
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Inactive: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 23 minutes

Ingredients:


1 750 ML of Prosecco or other sparkling wine
3/4 cup of granulated sugar (divided 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup of water
2 1/4 oz packets of unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz mascarpone cheese

Instructions:

  1. Combine the wine, 1/2 cup of sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for five minutes to cook some of the alcohol off. You can adjust the simmer time here depending on how strong you want your jello to be. Five minutes, however, produces a well balanced jello shot with plenty of alcohol. Next remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the the gelatin until its completely dissolved. Once the gelatin has been stirred in and dissolved completely, pour it into a 9×11 or 9×13 baking dish and cool to room temperature before placing the jello in the refridgerator to setup for at least four hours.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks. This took me about 4 minutes, but can vary based on the equipment used. Medium stiff peaks are just stiff enough to stand up, but the top will curl over (see pic below.). Place the bowl with the whipped cream in the fridge to keep cool. If you live up North, you can skip this step. I live in Florida, so I need to put it in the fridge to keep it from getting too warm. Next, in a separate large bowl, mix the marscapone cheese and remaining sugar (1/4 cup) untli smooth. Fold in 1/3 of the cool whipped to the marscapone cheese mixture. Lastly, once combined add the marscapone cheese mixture to the rest of the whipped cream.
  3. After the jello is set, you can start assembling the parfaits. I used parfait glasses I purchased from Amazon. Cut the jello into 1×1 squares using a cookie or bisquit cutter and place in the bottom of the parfait cups. Next cover the jello squares with 1/2 of the cream mixuture. Repeat with two or three more layers (depending on the width of your parfait cups) leaving enough cream for a dollop on top.

Notes:

  • For a non-alcoholic version, you can use the sparkiling grape or pear juice found at most grocery store and can skip the five minute simmer.
  • If it’s warm where you’re at, keep the bowl and the beaters in the fridge to keep them cool.
  • If your whipped cream starts to look grainy, you’ve beaten it too long. You can try to fix it by adding a couple more tablespoons and whisking it in by hand. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to start over.

Tools used:

  • 2 3 quart mixing bowls
  • 1 Hand mixer
  • Parfait cups (disposable)
  • 13×9 baking pan
  • Reynolds wrap
  • Large Saucepan
  • Whisk

Christmas Eve Eve

It’s Christmas Eve Eve and I’m not any closer to being ready for Christmas than I was this time last week. I’ve still got a ton of baking and shopping to do. Not to mention the horrific job of wrapping the presents. I literally hate wrapping copious amounts of gifts.

Tomorrow I’ll be baking the Finnish cookies, more mint cookies, parfaits, caramels and I’ll start the caramel rolls. It will be a busy day in the kitchen. I’m excited for the Finnish cookies. This year I’ll be making them with cloud berry jelly, lingonberry jelly, huckle berry jelly and gooseberry jelly. These jellies will also go great with the krumkakes I’m making Christmas morning.

I’m excited to make the caramels. I haven’t made them in over twenty years. They’re a bit time consuming, but they are mighty tasty. I’m also going to experiment with trollkrem, which is a Norwegian dessert. I’ll be using the lingonberry jelly to make it since I couldn’t find lingonberries anywhere stateside. We’ll see how the day goes because if I run out of the time, the trollkrem will have to wait for NYE.

It was a bit funny at work because the first email said we’d be getting of three hours early on Christmas. Christmas Eve is the 24th of course, but since Christmas is Saturday my company is observing Christmas on Christmas Eve. Consequently, that makes today Christmas Eve in the eyes of my company. Thank goodness this wasn’t confusing at all.

Organizing

I spent the last two days organizing. I spent my days going through all of our kitchen cupboards and pantries to maximize our storage. The kitchen has been looking a bit cluttered and we have mugs, plastic cups and water bottles coming out our ass. Honestly, we have way too much stuff in here. This weekend I l culled through our kitchenware and will be donating at least half of it. Some of it isn’t in a good enough condition to be donated, so we’ll be throwing it out.

It feels good to get rid of the extra crap we don’t need. Moreover, I find mind kitchen more peaceful now that it’s better organized. We have two big boxes of stuff to donate, which is awesome. I also had three bags of garbage from the endeavor. Thankfully, I’m almost done. The last piece of the puzzle will be to match all the tops to the travel mugs and water bottles.

Yesterday I baked some Pulla and mixed up cookie dough for more the mint cookies and my favorite Finnish cookie. Today I baked fresh bread to go along with the beef stew I made for dinner. The family loved the stew and the bread. In fact, they ate the bread and there’s only a little bit of stew left. Obviously, my boys eat a lot, so I made a double batch so the Hubby, Goalielocks’ girlfriend and I could actually have some.

While the bread rose, I got my run in. I ran two miles and walked a mile. Today’s run went really well. It’s so much easier for me to run later in the morning or afternoon. Honestly, I feel like I’m dying when I run before work. Obviously, I feel great afterwards, but it’s tough. Before I started dinner, I did a nice yin practice on the Practyce app. I’m loving the Practyce app and the variety of yoga practices it provides.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish organizing the kitchen before switching focus to our room. Again we just have way more stuff than we need. We really need to go through everything and get rid of some stuff. Hopefully, this will generate a few more boxes of goodies to donate to Goodwill. Moreover, I hope we actually get around to dropping the donations off this weekend.

Day Off

It’s my first day off in over two weeks. I’ve been so busy with work that I gave myself that last two nights off from the blog. Also, I haven’t had much to say. Work is going super well, but it’s all consuming. Fortunately, I’ve taken the lessons learned from last year and implemented them this year. Consequently, I work out before any shift and my production is more than double last year’s.

Nonetheless, it’s a bit isolating. I don’t leave the house ever, even my coffee is delivered. My social life has become my puppies. Obviously, they’re the best sales support staff I’ve ever worked with. Unfortunately, the hockey schedule hasn’t been great this year either. I’m missing a lot more games this year than I did last year.

I enjoyed my day off by finishing Maid on Netflix, cleaning around the house, binged the Great British Bake Off and baking. I started some brioche, which I’ll finish tomorrow after it rises for 24 hours. This evening, I baked some lasagna for dinner. Truly, this lasagna has been my favorite food since I was a little kid. My great grandma, my grandma and my mom all made it. Now, it’s my turn.

Anyway, it’s just after 7:00 pm and I’m ready for bed. Clearly, I’m adjusting well to the end daylights savings time. Or perhaps, it’s just that I’m utterly exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically. Needless to say, I’ll be in bed early again tonight. Hopefully, I’ll adjust to the time change some time soon.

Frustrating

Technology, specifically my internet, has been frustrating since Friday. I don’t know if the copious amounts of rain and flooding near the cable box screwed something up, but it hasn’t worked well since. In fact, my system hung up on five people today because my internet dropped service. Naturally, I switched over to my AT&T, but that service didn’t perform any better.

I spend a fortune every month for high speed internet, so when it doesn’t work it’s beyond frustrating. What am I paying for?! Frustration, mad clients and shitty customer service?! Unfortunately, it’s Monday, so I didn’t have the emotional or mental energy to call support for either internet provider. Instinctively, I knew calling them would only make me angrier.

Despite the tech glitches all afternoon, I still had a great sales day. Obviously, it would have been a better day if I hadn’t lost so much time on the phones this afternoon. For a Monday, it was relatively boring which was nice. What I mean by boring is that I didn’t have any dumpster fire or mean customers. This is always a win. I love days like this because their filled with great conversation and lots of sales.

The biggest challenge on the week days is the meals. I’m way too tired to cook by the time I finish work. The Hubby is at hockey practice three out of five days, so him cooking is a no go. Sadly, and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but frozen pizzas have been our go to dinner since AEP started. I’m sure the kids and hubby will by thrilled when AEP is over and I can go back to cooking.

Launch

Well Spacex had launch this evening that was spectacular and beautiful. Naturally, I completely forgot about it until I saw all the great pictures on Facebook. Oh fiddlesticks! They didn’t deliver our Hellofresh box until almost 8:00 pm tonight, so i got a late start to dinner, which distracted me from the launch.

For dinner this evening, I made the meatloaf brushed with barbecue sauce and served with shingled potatoes and green beans. Thankfully, this recipe was super easy to make. It was also delicious. I’d definitely make it again.

We’re now at nine days until I have all my boys in one place and I can’t wait. It will also be the first time I’ve seen my folks since the pandemic started. Moreover, I’m looking forward to the beautiful fall weather. Oh yes, the day time temperatures will be in the mid 70s and the night time temperatures will be in the 50s. Needless to say, it will be a lot easier to hike the mountains this weather versus our last trip. I do plan to fearlessly rappel down to the waterfall I wasn’t able to see last year.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

*One week and three days until I’ll have all my boys in one place!

*I still can’t run because my toe. Honestly, I’m going to try running on it on tomorrow.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, it looks like none of these waves will be impacting Florida.

*I made meatloaf, shingled potatoes and green beans via HelloFresh. It’s definitely a do again.

*The word of the day is digitally. One of the benefits of being in a digitally connected age is the ability to work from home I love working from home.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a. I put on his harness every morning. Fortunately, we had no run-ins with the toads, lizards or grasshoppers today.

Stir Crazy

Admittedly, I’m going stir crazy since I can’t workout or run. I had hoped to continue the BBG workouts, but I can’t fit my toe in my shoe. Moreover, the workouts contain a lot of plyometric exercises, which would might hard on my toe. In fact, I can’t even practice yoga at this point without putting too much pressure on my toe. Sadly, my workout equipment is currently only serving as my room’s decor.

The worst part of not being able to workout is having no outlet after a stressful day. Fortunately, today wasn’t overly stressful. It, however, wasn’t overly productive either. Needless to say, I’m anxiously awaiting the return of the busy season. Even if it means some seven day work weeks! Since I can’t run or workout, I’ve set aside time to meditate in legs up the wall pose. This definitely helps reset my mood and focus before I set out on my day.



In other news, Piggie has lost ten pounds since starting her diet in June (which is more than I can say for myself.). Obviously, the diet dog food is doing its job. One of the side effects of this new food is that her poop is as dry as saw dust. Moreover, she has to poop a lot more frequently and it takes her forever! Honestly, I find it quite bizarre. Hopefully, she will not need to be on this super expensive food for very long. 

Fortunately, this saw dust dry poop saved me from a Roomba poop apocalypse today. While, I took her out several times during the day. She went to the bathroom in the house while I was working. Unfortunately, this also coincided with the Roomba’s cleaning routine. This wouldn’t be our first Roomba vs. dog poop battle and it likely won’t be the last. In fact, I’ve switched the timing on the Roomba to mitigate the risk of these run-ins. Anyway, since her poop is sawdust dry that instead of smearing it everywhere it pushed it aside. Thank God!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

*I still can’t run because my toe. I’ll be unable to run for at least four weeks.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. The tropics are heating up again. Fortunately, it looks like none of these waves will be impacting Florida.

*Uber Eats delivered my coffee for me today and will do so until we get another vehicle. 

*For dinner, we had leftovers. We cooked enough Sunday and Monday to have leftovers for tonight. Tuesdays are tough as both boys have hockey practice on opposites end of South Florida.

*The word of the day is cookie dough. Let’s be honest, there’s is nothing better than cookie dough when you’re going stir crazy.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a. I put on his harness every morning. Otherwise, I have difficulty controlling him on the leash. He’s incredible strong and can pull me off balance, which is why I’m now wearing a boot to protect my poor broken toe.


Loss

Loss seems to be the overwhelming theme of 2020 and 2021. Life naturally brings us life as we age and the people we love age with us. It sucks but it’s reality. The past eighteen months, however, has presented us with loss on a scale we’re not accustomed to. Just this week, we have lost two hockey dads to COVID. Men that were far too young to leave this earth.

It’s, of course, a lot easier for us as adults to process these losses. Which is to say it’s not easy, but we’re better equipped than our kids to handle and process the grief. For our kids, it’s not just the loss of their friend’s parent they’re trying to process, but the possibility that they could lose their parents to Covid. To a kid of any age, this is terrifying.

The sense of loss, the fear of loss remains omni present even as we’re eighteen months into this thing. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Nonetheless, you have to live your life and move forward. The boys being back in school is an important step in moving forward. Moreover, hockey has been an integral part of keeping them socially engaged and active. During this difficult time, exercise be it hockey, running or lifting weights is an easy way to help cope during this period.

In other news, it’s only Tuesday. Truly, it feels like it should be Saturday already. This week is dragging. Fortunately, I had a much better day at work today. Thank God. They say laughter is the best medicine and I wholeheartedly agree, so I’ll leave you with this.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Far From the Madding Crowdby Thomas Hardy. At first I wasn’t sure about the book, but now I like it. Albeit some of the plot twists have left me aghast.

*I ran a mile and a half. It in many ways sucked. Especially since it’s my first run post leg day in over two months. Leg day yesterday killed me!

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. The tropics are heating up again with three areas of concern. Fortunately, all the tropical weather is moving away from us! Unfortunately, the heat has really cranked up due to the Saharan dust cloud overhead.

*Since Goalielocks is home sick, I drove to pick up my coffee this morning. Fortunately, Goalielocks’ Covid test came back negative! Thank God!

* Every day I watch the live Safaris on YouTube, I’m inspired. I never thought I’d be one for a safari, but the views and the animals are incredible. It’s now on my bucket list. Today was a banner day. I always love watching the young elephants or lions playing. They’re so cute!

*For dinner, I made home made meatballs and spaghetti. Tonight we tried Michael’s from Brooklyn’s tomato basil sauce. It was super yummy. As a family, we’re trying all the top jarred spaghetti sauce. The Mayor and I love spaghetti, so I thought it would be a fun activity for us.

*The word of the day and it is kakorrhaphiophobia, which means and abnormal fear of failure. I think a lot of have a fear of failure, but for most it’s not a paralyzing fear.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a. I put on his harness every morning. Otherwise, I have difficulty controlling him on the leash. He’s incredible strong and can pull me off balance.