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.)

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.

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.

Holiday Baking

Holiday baking is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.   It’s steeped in tradition, heritage and reminds me of my childhood.  Growing up we made mint cookies and molasses cookies every year.  Christmas morning my mom would serve her Christmas tea ring.   The memories of making Christmas cookies with my family are some of my fondest.    I’ve carried on many of these traditions making the mint cookies every year.   Over the years, we’ve stopped making the molasses cookies in Florida as they take too much flour to make them manageable.  In lieu of the tea ring, I’ve made my caramel rolls to serve at brunch for over a decade.

I had an amazing time exploring Scandinavia this fall with my son, brother and sister-in-law.  It definitely strengthened the connection I feel to our family’s heritage. As a result, I wanted to infuse some traditional Norwegian and Finnish cookies into our holiday baking.  My aunt, a lefse baking pro, provided us with the recipe for lefse.  I found the recipes for the Norwegian cookies in Norwegian heritage groups on Facebook.  Finally, I was able to find Finnish recipes via google.

The baking started off by baking the mint cookie dough.  I planned to bake several dozen since these cookies were a sure bet.  Unfortunately, dough vultures (a.k.a my kids) thwarted my first attempt.  My next attempt had to be more covert.  Indeed, my mom and I ended up baking three more batches.  We had to hide the dough in one of our three refrigerators to ensure we’d have enough to bake cookies.

My holiday baking this year was more special since my mom was here.  It made our culinary adventure through Scandinavian traditions more meaningful.  Our first task was to make the dough for the kringlas (Norwegian) and juolutorttu (Finnish.) Each of these doughs was quite easy to make.  The kringla is a sour cream dough, while the juolutorttu dough is more of a pastry dough.  Normally, the doughs would need to rest for an hour or two. However, we left them rest overnight due to the climate in Florida.

Cloudberry juolutorrtu

Lingonberry juolutorrtu

Blueberry juolutorrtu

The next morning we started by making the dough for the pulla, a Finnish sweet bread.  Since the bread had to rise for 90 minutes, it was the perfect place to start.  While it raised, we were able to make the juolutorttu and the kringlas.  Traditionally, the juolutorttu is made with prunes, but I didn’t have any and I don’t really like prune.  Consequently, we made ours with lingonberry, blueberry and cloudberry jam that I had purchased on my recent travels.  Both of the cookies were a bit fussy to make, but they were much easier to make than I had to anticipated.   The pulla was relatively easy to make and smelled divine.

Kringlas

Pulla

As the pulla baked, I headed to the gym for a quick workout before we undertook making lefse.  Once it was completed, we fired up the lefse griddle.  (Naturally, I had bought an entire lefse baking kit.- get it here.)  The lefse would be, by far, the most difficult thing we made that day.  While I was at work the Friday before, my mom mixed up the dough since it had to sit overnight.  Nonetheless, the lefse was still difficult to handle.  Our first attempt was an utter failure, but we improved with each lefse.  By the end of it, we were professionals.

Lefse

Our first attempt

In the end, we worse ourselves out will all of our holiday baking.  On Christmas, we had a plenty of sweet Scandinavian treats to last til next Christmas.   We had great beginner’s luck on all of our Scandinavian treats and I can’t wait to make them again next year.   Below you’ll find the links to the Scandinavian recipes we used this Christmas.

Krumkake with cloudberry and blueberry jams

 

Recipes:

Juolutorrtu (also called juolutorts or north stars)

Kringla

Pulla

Back to Reality

It was back to reality today.  I gotta say this whole Christmas on a Monday and back to work Tuesday stuff is for the birds!  Nonetheless I headed into work Dunkin’ hand.  Truly, I was somewhat relieved that my clothes still fit after this weekend and that traffic was relatively light.  When I got to work, the parking lot was absolutely empty.  At its peak, it wasn’t even close to half full.

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After a weekend of eating everything in sight, today was a good time to get back on track.  Unfortunately, I have a proclivity for sweet treats.  As much as I planned to be good, how could I turn down a perfectly good Christmas cookie?  After all, I won’t be making them again until next December.  I don’t think you can argue with that air tight logic.

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Since I indulged in a couple of sweet treats today, I definitely had some extra motivation for my run.  The Piggie and I logged 2.5 miles before I headed to yoga.  Indeed it was a nice run with comfortable temperatures and a pretty consistent pace.  As I ran, I was a bit mad at myself for not maintaining my running last spring.  In some ways, I feel like I’m back to the beginning of training.  Whereas, last spring I finally got my mile below 8 minutes, I’m back to running a mile in 9:5 minutes.

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In 2018, I’ll be re-committing to running and regular training. I’d love to finish 2018 with either a half marathon or two 10ks under my belt, but more on 2018 in a later post.  In order to train successfully, I have to make sure my legs stay healthy.  Consequently, I spent a good 15 minutes stretching my legs post-run tonight.  I did this even though I knew I’d be headed to yoga afterwards.

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In addition to my post-run stretch, I’ve been going to Massage Envy a couple of times per week for assisted stretch.  Not only is this helping loosen up my legs for running, but it’s helping my yoga practice as well.  While I enjoy a good massage, the assisted stretch sessions have yielded much better results.   Unfortunately, neither my yoga teacher or massage therapist can help with the huge bruise I got on right thigh at paint ball.   I’m pretty sure that bruise is going to be around for a long time.    I’d post a picture, but it’s borderline indecent.

Tonight’s song performed by Michael Buble is “Feeling Good.”

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is here and almost gone.  Today was hectic and we rushed to finish our last minute shopping and preparations for Christmas day.  I think the boys will be happy with what they’re getting, but we’ll see.  Truthfully, I had hope to spend more money on experiences or even a trip than gifts.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  Its probably a shift that’s easier to make gradually than in one fell swoop.

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In addition to last minute errands, I had (and still have) a lot of baking today.  I made another round of mint cookies today in addition to krumkakes and toffee candies.  Fortunately, all three of the items turned out really good.  As I write this, I’m starting to make the main star of tomorrow’s brunch — the caramel rolls.  Ah yes, no less than 1,000,000 grams of carbs and sugar in these beauties, but they’re completely worth it.   Honestly, all calories on Christmas should be free, I think Santa would totally agree.

Krumkakes are a traditional Norwegian cookie that I was excited to try making this year.  After all, I have both cloud berry and blueberry jam from Norway to pair with the cookie, so now is the perfect time.  In order to bake said cookies, however, I had to order a krumkake iron.  I opted for a new school plug and play model versus the old school iron you heat up over a burner.  I think we can all agree that nothing good would come from me using an old school iron.

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The dough is quite simple to make.  You can use either vanilla or almond extract to flavor the cookie  Today I used vanilla as that is what I had on hand.  Once the dough has been mixed up, you bake one cookie at a time on the iron.  These cookies cook quite quickly albeit individually.  Moreover, once they come of the iron, you need to shape them around the cone to get their famed conical shape.

My first attempt at shaping a krumkake was lackluster, but I had also overcooked the cookie.  After the first couple of cookies, I got the process down pat.  You can definitely bake these cookies by yourself.  However, it would be easier to an assistant help shape the cookies once they come off the iron.

After all the baking, we headed to my brother’s house for some games, movies and appetizers.  Before though I had to make a pit stop at Walgreen’s for some whipped cream and dollar bills.  I had no cash on me and we needed singles, so we could play Left Right Center at Jon’s.  You can only imagine the look the clerk gave me when I asked for my change ($20) is singles, but I digress.

We quickly ate our appetizers once we got to Jon’s, so we could start playing Left Right Center.  Goalielocks didn’t want to spend any money (even though I was funding), so he manned the music tonight.  Per usual, the game was not mild.  Both the Mayor and Jake ended up winning two games, while both Brandi and I won a game.  Throughout the games, the Mayor was full of witty one-liners.

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Once the money dried up, it was time for krumkakes.  I served them with whipped cream and either blueberry or cloud berry jam.  They were absolutely heavenly.  Moreover, I forgotten how much I loved the Norwegian jam.  I have yet to find either cloud berry jam or a good blueberry jam stateside.  When my family goes in January, I hope they bring some more back for us. Hint, hint…..

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Now it’s off to finish wrapping presents and baking caramel rolls.  Tonight’s song performed by Mariah Carey  is “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”