AND THE BEN­E­FITS OF A GOOD CAKE

With 15 min­utes of bak­ing time, the kitchen stays cool

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - GRETCHEN MCKAY Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

Sum­mer­time, and the liv­ing is easy.

Grills and pic­nic ta­bles be­come the pre­ferred method for cook­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, and it’s a time to re­lax when it comes to eat­ing. Who can feel up­tight when din­ing al fresco, with birds ser­e­nad­ing and the aroma of fresh-cut grass and char­broiled burg­ers per­fum­ing the air?

That said, just be­cause you want to be as far away as pos­si­ble from a hot oven, it doesn’t mean you should to­tally slack off when it comes to dessert. Es­pe­cially if you hope to im­press guests or want to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful dish that sings of the sea­son.

Our sug­ges­tion is an an­gel food cake roll, slathered with creamy vanilla ic­ing and topped with juicy sum­mer berries.

The ul­ti­mate sponge cake, an­gel food cake is the per­fect sum­mer dessert be­cause it’s so airy and re­fresh­ing. (There’s no fat at all.) If you use a box mix as your base for the roll, it’s also in­cred­i­bly sim­ple to put to­gether — no fret­ting about over­beat­ing the egg whites or hav­ing too heavy a hand with the flour, or try­ing to fig­ure out what to do with all those left­over yolks. Plus, it calls for just 15 min­utes of bak­ing time, so you won’t even heat up the kitchen.

If you’ve never done a jelly roll­style cake, this might seem like a sure­fire recipe for dis­as­ter. I know I was a bit ner­vous about try­ing my hand at it. But the cake ac­tu­ally ended up be­ing re­ally easy, if some­what messy (I sent pow­dered sugar fly­ing ev­ery­where when I flipped the cake out of the pan.) The only real chal­lenge was find­ing a clean dish towel.

Some notes of cau­tion: re­sist the urge to grease the pan be­fore adding the bat­ter (the cake won’t rise prop­erly if you do) and don’t panic if the cake feels sticky when you start to pull off the parch­ment — it will eas­ily peel away. Also, be sure to flip the hot cake (with oven mitts) onto the dish towel in one fell swoop. It won’t break in half, I prom­ise.

Be gen­er­ous when dust­ing the dish towel with pow­dered sugar. It will pre­vent the cake from stick­ing to the cloth. You’ll be amazed at how eas­ily the cake rolls up in­side the towel, but you have to work fast, while the cake is still warm and pli­able (it stiff­ens as it cools). Don’t be afraid to roll it as tight as you can, as that will re­sult in more spi­rals of fill­ing. The cake un­rolls just as ef­fort­lessly af­ter it’s cooled. It will have a slight curve, so it neatly rolls back up once it’s been filled.

I used a red, white and blue combo of straw­ber­ries, blue­ber­ries and rasp­ber­ries, but any com­bi­na­tion would work. For a more deca­dent dessert, you could add 3 ta­ble­spoons of co­coa to the bat­ter and some grated semisweet or milk choco­late to the ic­ing for a choco­late roll.

Or go even lighter, and sim­ply dust the cake roll with pow­dered sugar in­stead of ic­ing it, and serve the re­main­ing fruit on the side.

How­ever you make it, one thing is guar­an­teed: you will have guests oohing and aahing, and the cake will quickly dis­ap­pear.

An­gel Food Cake Roll with Sum­mer Berries

This ver­sion of an an­gel food cake, adapted from www.tas­te­ofhome.com, is light, fruity and creamy. Boxed an­gel food cake mix, plus in­gre­di­ents to pre­pare ¼ cup plus ¾ cup pow­dered sugar, di­vided 8 ounces light cream cheese, room tem­per­a­ture 1 tea­spoon vanilla 1½ cups heavy cream 1½ cups diced fresh straw­ber­ries, di­vided 1½ cups fresh blue­ber­ries, di­vided 1½ cups fresh rasp­ber­ries, di­vided

Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees. Line the bot­tom of a 10 ½-by-15 ½-inch jelly roll pan with parch­ment pa­per (make sure that it lays flat on the bot­tom). Do not grease the pan.

Pre­pare an­gel food cake mix ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions.

Pour cake bat­ter into pre­pared pan. Place in oven and bake for about 15 to 20 min­utes, un­til the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched.

Loosen cake from the edges of the pan.

Spread out a clean kitchen towel and sprin­kle evenly with ¼ cup pow­dered sugar. Flip warm cake out onto the towel and care­fully re­move parch­ment pa­per while cake is still warm.

Im­me­di­ately roll up cake, in the towel, start­ing at the short end. Place seam-side down on cool­ing rack and let cool com­pletely at room tem­per­a­ture, one to two hours.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an elec­tric mixer un­til smooth. Add ¾ cup pow­dered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on low un­til com­bined, then on high for three to four min­utes un­til fluffy and stiff peaks form. Un­roll cooled cake and spread with half of the fill­ing.

Top iced cake with half of straw­ber­ries, blue­ber­ries and rasp­ber­ries.

Care­fully roll cake back up and place on a serv­ing plate.

Spread top and sides with re­main­ing ic­ing and top with re­main­ing berries. Serve im­me­di­ately (left­overs are best eaten within 24 hours).

PHO­TOS BY GRETCHEN MCKAY, TNS

Use a ser­rated knife to cut the an­gel food cake roll, and eat it im­me­di­ately as the cake will dry out.

Roll up cake, in the towel, start­ing at the short end.

Un­roll cooled cake and spread cream cheese ic­ing evenly over top.

Care­fully roll back cake, start­ing at the short end.

Spread cake bat­ter evenly in pan. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 min­utes.

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