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.)

Christmas

We had a great Christmas even if it was a little more low key than previous years. My Christmas started when I rolled over in bed and the Mayor was there to wake me up. As soon as I rolled over, he asked if it was time to open up gifts. Spoiler alert, he also did the same thing the next morning only that time he was asking to go to Dunkin’. Eventually, the Mayor was able to coax me out of bed, so he could open gifts.

The bigger hurdle in the early morning wasn’t me, but Goalielocks. Unsurprisingly, he took awhile to wake up. Once up both boys were excited to open their gifts. Honestly, it was a weird holiday since they opened some accessories, but their main present was still in transit. This year we bought to big family gifts, a squat rack and a new tv for the loft. Naturally, the boys were excited for both.

Our annual Christmas brunch was an absolute success. Fortunately, we had very little leftovers, which is great. I certainly don’t need to eat caramel rolls for a week. We put Anakin in his crate since he gets aggressive when people come into the house. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do well with very little kids, so he stayed in his crate until Ava left. Meanwhile, Athena was showered with lots of sweet love and attention by Ava. Athena was so patient and loving with her.

Some how we started watching the Best of the Crocodile Hunter, so that was the background music to our brunch. I forgot how much I loved Steve Irwin and his show. He had the best energy and was just a riot to watch. Shortly, after I told my brother Jake probably wouldn’t be able to c due to work, Jake called. Honestly, Jake’s call home was the best gift ever. After company left, we napped and relaxed before heading to the Kennedy’s for dinner.

Dinner at the Kennedy’s was wonderful. As always, Hanh cooked an absolute feast for everyone. She’s an amazing cook! After dinner, we had some drinks before deciding to play some games. Note to self, the games may have gone better sober. We had an absolute blast playing Heads Up and Scattergories. I’ll tell you one lesson the Hubby and I took away from the evening, the Mayor isn’t allowed to play Scattegories with the grandparents. All in all, Christmas was a wonderful reminder of how blessed we are.

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

Today was my first day off since October 10th. It was definitely needed. I started my day by sleeping in a bit, which felt great. My goal for the day was to get a run in, finish the banenschnitten (Austrian banana dessert,) and work on organizing my kitchen. Fortunately, I got my run in, finished the dessert and made great strides in the kitchen.

I got a new food processor last week since the one we got for our wedding was on its last leg. Despite upgrading to the next model up, the new Cuisinart food processor cost me less than the old one. It also comes with a much better setup. All the accessories including all the very sharp tools are stored thoughtfully in a storage case. I’m excited to use it. Apparently, I’ve been watching the Great British Bake-off too much!

Both boys had games to officiate today, which was nice. They both are very expensive, so I’m excited to have their own spending money. I’m going broke subsidizing their social lives and Chipotle habits. I think the Mayor was just happy to be back on the ice after taking the week off. Fortunately, all of their games this weekend went well. It also gave me some quiet, alone time off at home on my day off. I don’t get much time to myself outside of my workday.

I am excited for the week ahead. Last week was great at work, so I’m excited to carry the momentum forward. Hopefully, the remaining six weeks of AEP are lucrative enough to fund my travel wishes for 2022. Honestly, I cannot wait to get back to Scandinavia and Europe. Obviously, I’ll be making another trip to Utah in the new year, which will be awesome. As for the rest of the night, I’m ready for bed. I don’t know why, but it feels three hours later than it actually is.

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Join me in wishing my hubby a very happy birthday! Today we chilled at home, which was nice. I’ve been a bit under the weather, in addition to the broken toe. Also, the Mayor was exposed to Covid last week, so today wasn’t a day to paint the town the red. (“Paint the town red,” what a brilliant bromide.) It really was a nice, low key day at home.

The hubby smoked a nice pork butt and grilled some yummy ribs. We used the ribs from Butcher Box for the first time today. While the ribs were tasty, they were pretty fatty. Moreover, some pieces had a lot of cartilage on them. Nevertheless, they tasted amazing. We also had some of the Hubby’s amazing grilled potatoes. Additionally, I air fried up some home made french fires. The food was awesome!! As was the company, since my brother was able to join us for lunch.

The Mayor tested negative on the rapid home test, but I still took him to Urgent Care tonight for a PCR test. Obviously, it’s never a fun time waiting at the Urgent Care, but the waiting room was mildly entertaining. First of all, the guy that came in immediately after us was looking to be seen because he got Palmolive (yes, the dish soap) in his eye. Given his conversation with the front desk, he’s definitely a frequent flyer. He was quite the character.

Secondly, a mom and her teen daughter came j for a Covid test. The daughter had two positive home tests and was coming in for the PCR. Wh they were in the waiting room, the mom called her daughter’s boss to tell him she wouldn’t been into work tomorrow. Moms, dads, guardians of the universe don’t do your kids dirty work. If they’re old enough to hold a job, they’re old enough to tell their boss they have Covid and can’t come in. #helicoptermom

I was also finally able to get my toe checked out by a doctor. Unfortunately, the urgent care (like many others) is short staffed and did not have an X-ray tech on staff today. Nevertheless, I was able to have a doctor evaluate it and re-wrap it. It’s broken, but I’ll go back tomorrow to have X-rays taken of my toe and foot. For the interim, the boot is back to ensure I don’t flex or bend the toe injuring it further.

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. It feels like deja vu.

*This morning I made homemade cookies and cream and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. For the Hubby’s birthday, we had ice cream sandwiches.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. The tropics are heating up again. Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana today at a Cat 4 storm. That is a scary!

*The Hubby picked up coffee for me today since I was not feeling great this morning.

* I watched the live Safaris on YouTube today. The safaris absolutely inspire me. The vistas are extraordinary and the animals wondrous. I simply have to see it in person!

*For dinner, we had bbq ribs, potatoes, baked beans and brags. It was awesome!

*The word of the day and it is excellence. I had an interesting conversation on the topic over the weekend. The thing about excellence is that it should come intrinsically. One shouldn’t be reliant on outside influences to find excellence.

*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.

Homemade Ice Cream Take Two

So tonight it was homemade ice cream take two. I started the first attempt last night, but the bowl wasn’t cold enough. Consequently, the ice cream never formed up. To be fair, the directions said to chill the bowl for 6-24 hours before making homemade ice cream. Clearly, in a hot and humid climate like Florida, I should have chilled the bowl longer.

Initially, I had planned to use the same mix that I made last night. However, I forgot to make sure the fridge door closed after putting it in one of our garage fridges. Naturally, I didn’t figure it out until I left to get my coffee this morning. The door to the fridge had been opened all night, so not only was my ice cream mix spoiled, my waters were all luke warm.

The trip to Dunkin’ took significantly longer than usual due to an accident on BB Blvd. I knew it was bad when the I saw that the police had taped off the area with crime scene tape and were directing traffic. All lanes of westbound BB Blvd were closed, which snarled traffic as the turnpike was also closed down due to a fatality. Consequently, I had to take a very round about way home.

As the hubby started dinner, I mixed up the ice cream mix and put it in the fridge to chill. Fortunately, I had enough heavy cream at my disposal for another batch. I also crushed the Oreos, thus ensuring I’d have enough cookies for my cookies and cream ice cream. After an absolutely abysmal pasta dinner, I turned my focus back the ice cream. Huzzah!! This time my homemade ice cream was a success. Right now it’s firming up in the freezer, so I have to wait a little longer until we can eat it.

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

*I read the Norse Queen by Johanna Wittenberg.  I love it. In fact, I have started researching Queen Asa. 

*Goalielocks made it home safely from Orlando around 1:30 this morning.

*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile. It went really well, which was fantastic.

*The family and I are watching The Simpsons now that we’ve finished our movie and dinner.

*The Hubby cooked a Blue Apron meal kit for dinner. Tonight we had some type of pasta.

*After dinner, I successfully made ice cream!

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*Today’s word of the day is whirlwind. It’s been a whirlwind of success and joy since I started my new job.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness, so I’d have more control over him outside. Also, the flies are still here. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? I was finally able to hang the fly traps. Nobody loves flies.