Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chevron Cake Roll

Chevrons...they are taking over the world, literally everything I see lately is a chevron! Can I admit that I didn't know they were called "chevrons" till this trend came about, I always just called them "squiggle line things", very professional.
When I say that chevron is taking over our planet I mean it, it is even infiltrating our foods!
Jamie sent us this Pinstrosity and wrote about it, check it out:
The Original
The Pinstrosity
"I guess I could start with the fact that I amazed myself by thinking that I could actually pull this one off. I have been very confident with my cooking lately. Although I have been counting calories and reducing sweets dramatically, I really needed to try something new.

I'm glad I had a measurement converter on my iPad because this recipe uses grams. I translated the amount as best as possible but that didn't matter because I had to blow up the proportions to get even remotely close to what things were supposed to look like.

I'll start with the egg whites and fine sugar. First, I am totally assuming that "fine sugar" is powdered sugar because I didn't see "fine sugar" at the store. Now, I translated 70 grams into a little less than 1/3 of a cup. While whipping the egg whites and sugar, I was supposed to have "firm peaks". So I guess I was supposed to have the Rocky Mountains and I ended up with a Louisiana bayou.
I proceeded to the egg yolk mixture and quite frankly, got confused with having to "fold" the yolk mixture UNDER the egg white mixture. ?????? I just dumped it in.

Next I had to add the flour and gently fold it in. Once again, there was absolutely nothing to fold. The recipe called for 70 grams of flour (1/3 c.). I was supposed to have DOUGH. I did not have dough. I dumped in another 1/3 c. and still didn't have dough. Another 1/3 c. later and I kind of have dough! HOLLA!

I followed the next few steps and colored some of the dough, buttered the wax paper down, and started the chevron pattern. In the beginning, it said to print out a pattern to put under the wax paper. As a design major, I got conceded and didn't think I needed a picture underneath to do a chevron pattern. Hellooooooooooo, it's SQUIGGLES for goodness sake! My chevron was horrible. The further down I got, the further away from looking like the first line it got. I learned a lesson here.

But I continued on as I always do! After cooking the chevron for 2 minutes and letting it cool, I poured the remainder of the dough on top and cooked it. It didn't turn out too bad!"
"The next part involved very confusing directions with more wax paper, cutting boards, sugar, I had to read it over and over to get it. My next step was to roll it while it was still warm but I think I took too long messing with the cutting board flipping, sugar and wax paper because my rolling didn't go so great. I'm pretty sure the directions should have said to roll IMMEDIATELY for fear of imminent roll destruction. You will see what I mean here in a little bit.

On to the mixture I was going to be putting inside...

In the original picture, it looks like whip cream!! Even though the recipe said "heavy whipping cream", I still had whip cream in my head. At the grocery store, I knew I had to get heavy whipping cream, so what did I do? Go to the whip cream section and try to find a container that says HEAVY. I didn't find one so I just got regular whip cream and hoped it would work. It was only when I got home that I realized I was an idiot.

I had to find out how to make homemade whipping cream. What I found called for 3/4 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of butter and so that's what I did. It was ugly yellow though and the original picture showed such pretty white!! I heated my nasty whipping cream, added the white chocolate and was supposed to whip it until it had the consistency of cream cheese. In order to semi get there, I had to add twice the chocolate that was called for. Oh the calories that were coming.

When I poured it on the roll, I was so disappointed that it looked nothing like the picture and in fact resembled something rather unpleasant. Snot. I'll go with snot on this one."
So I think a few things happened here. First off Jamie, I like your writing style, I don't know you, but I can almost hear someone explaining all of this to me, and it's humorous and light hearted :)
So what happened here?  I think Jamie is was brave to try this one out, I'm not sure I would have been up for all this work! You go girl!
She first talks about not having fine sugar and uses powdered sugar instead, there is a difference, but only slightly. Fine sugar is just a smaller grain of regular sugar, whereas powdered is so fine it is literally powder. Taste wise I'm sure it is the same, but texture and cooking may be a different story. I am no master baker, so I will have to ask our more culinarily inclined readers...will this make a difference? It may have affected her "fine peaks" in her egg whips...I'm thinking texture is especially important in this recipe so I think the sugar did cause a problem here.
Next,  here is a tutorial on "folding". This would probably have helped the consistency and texture of the batter, or dough as well.
Next, if the recipe calls to roll out your concoction while still warm, I would try to do that pretty soon after its out of the oven, I think in this case it got too cool and didn't want to cooperate after that.
And last, the mix up with the heavy whipping cream. It happens to all of us. I'm sure it still tasted delicious, and I think it looks like a crepe on steroids so there is always that!! Who wouldn't love a crepe all beefed out like this!!??
I think you should give it another go and let us know how it turns out! Also, I thought your chevrons looked nice :)
And now that we know how to add chevrons to a cake it will make for fast and easy birthday cake decorating!! :)
Happy Tuesday all!


  1. Confectioners sugar, aka powdered, has a tiny bit of cornstarch added, so is slightly different from pure sugar. You can usually find superfine sugar on the baking aisle, but it's in a small box. It's handy for making mixed drinks in the blender! You can "superfine" regular granulated sugar in your food processor or blender.

    Using powdered sugar probably has less of an impact on the results than adding extra flour and perhaps over-mixing. If you want to get your masters degree in exceptional baking, I recommend Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbooks and blog. She is a chemist turned baker and will teach you all the whys and wherefores of exquisite baking.

    If you ever have a jellyroll type cake that won't roll, just cut it into squares and dollop your filling between two of them. It'd still look way cool with chevrons. Heck, polkadots would be groovy too!

  2. hi, this is actually a kind of cake roll i do often in the straberry season. So some thoughts but as I'm from Germany my recipe wont help you - we use grams here as well..
    As you suggested, i think folding is important, you don't want to destroy your egg whites.
    I don't think powdered suger would make a big difference - as long as you get your egg whites to whipped egg whites that sounds perfect to me.
    you kind of did a sponge cakey-batter so 70grams of flour sound about the right amount..
    As for rolling it, when its still hot: absolutely essential! When you wait until it is could it will break; just as yours did. If it gets cold before: use a moist clean dishtowel (cloth not paper) lay it over your cold cake till this is damp as well (for about 5-10 minutes ...so the crust soaks up the water, your cake gets softer and voila) you can roll it with the towel on.
    ...so that were all of my thoughts... i usually fill it with whipped cream (Whats the difference between whipped and heavy whipped?), curd and strawberry jam (all mixed) and freshly chopped strawberries.
    oh boy, jum!!!

  3. So yeah a few things:

    Fine sugar and powdered sugar - not the same thing. :)

    But most importantly, it sounds like she didn't whip the egg whites long enough. It takes a good bit of whipping for eggwhites to "peak". When they do, they will more than double in size and become foam like. When they get that foam-like texture, they provide the structure for the cake. Think of meringue - if you don't get the whites firm and foamy, then you just have a puddle.

    So without the eggwhites being whipped enough, there's nothign to "fold" into. Folding makes a lot more sense when you have a structure to fold into or under. And then, that's why it took so much flour to make a dough - because she was having to compensate for not having the lift and volume of the beaten eggwhites.

    So because there's so much flour, the dough is dense and heavy and won't roll properly, even if still warm.

    I do have to say I'm confused about her differentiation between "whip" cream and "whipped" or "whipping cream". When she says "whip cream" does she mean something in a container like Cool Whip?

    Making whipped cream doesn't need butter. All you need is a container of heavy cream (sometimes called whipping cream and found in the dairy section next to the milk) and some sugar. Whip the cream and the sugar together until it's ... well ... creamy. It's a billion zillion times better tasting than Cool Whip and is cheaper and easy to make.

    It just sounds mostly like an overall lack of baking knowledge came together in this one project. Probably any one of those things would have been recoverable from individually, but throw them all into one cake and it was just too much to overcome. :)

  4. i actually made something like this and it turned out WONDERFUL!
    this blogger explains it all on youtube, too: http://www.delightdulce.com/2013/03/heart-patterned-cake-roll.html

  5. I'm not very good with recipes that call for whipping egg whites. To me, it's the most frustrating thing ever and if a recipe calls for it, I'll look for something else. That said, I do know that if you didn't get a stiff, fluffy texture and had liquid egg whites instead, you probably shouldn't just forge ahead.

    I'm curious, how did it taste?

  6. In my country they sell icing sugar, which contains starch, and powdered sugar, which is just sugar. I prefer powdered sugar when beating egg whites, but like the person above, I don't think that made too much of a difference. The poster should have kept the proportions and folded the "dough" gently. "Dough" may not be a proper term for this mix, it's only stiff because of the air in the beaten whites. The more it's mixed, the runnier it becomes, so she kept adding flour and mixing which resulted in a stiff roll. By the way, flour doesn't convert to volume measurements like water - 70g flour is something between 1/2 and 3/4 cup.
    The towel with the powdered sugar should have been laid beforehand; you should never fumble with the instructions while your food is rising/cooking/burning!
    I'm not sure about the filling, but I think it had to cool for a while before being whipped.
    In case anyone wants to attempt a similar roll, I recommend this video: http://www.delightdulce.com/2013/03/heart-patterned-cake-roll.html
    The lady made it annoyingly long, but it explains every step. Better luck next time!

  7. Ooooo...if you're making ganache (chocolate+whipping cream), it really is important of have actual whipping cream. Also, as one commenter above observed, powdered sugar has corn starch added. Also, you can get a kitchen scale for a fairly reasonable price which can solve with the grams to cups conversion problem.

  8. Definitely need the extra-fine (not powdered!) sugar - it's usually called "Baker's Sugar" here, I've also seen it called "caster sugar".

    Another thing that can contribute to egg whites not whipping up properly is the bowl you do it in. NEVER use a plastic bowl - it can absorb grease from anything that's been in it before, and even the littlest bit of grease will ruin your whites. Along the same lines, no plastic utensils! Use only metal or glass, and make sure they are squeaky clean beforehand - I usually wash mine directly before using them and dry it out with a lint-free towel - then whip the whites and sugar together on high speed (or, if you're doing it by hand, as hard as you possibly can) until they can stand up on their own. It's tough unless you've done it before, it really is.

    And yes, you must fold, or you knock the air out of the whites and ruin all your hard work!

    1. I usually wipe my bowl and whisk with a paper towel dampened with vinegar and then let dry. Doesn't leave any taste behind, but if there's grease, the acid in the vinegar will get rid of it.

  9. And to make homemade whipped cream, get a carton of heavy whipping cream, beat with mixer or immersion blender until fluffy. Add a little vanilla and powdered sugar. (Totally ok this time.)

  10. Oh, also, I forgot. There may be some folks who can get their egg whites to peak when it is pouring rain, but I sure can't. I just make something different when the humidity is ridiculous.

  11. Pretty sure quatrefoil is the new chevron. *lol*

  12. I actually tried this too (my first big baking experiment :)) But I used a different sponge recipe and it turned out better (or a bit easier anyway). I have a post up on my blog about if you want to see what I did :)


  13. Unsifted, 70 grams of flour is a little over half a cup. Also, I don't think it's supposed to be a dough, it's supposed to be a sort of spongy, super light cake batter that is pretty easily spreadable. Like like a very thick airy pancake batter.
    I second that the Dulce Delight video is really great, she's really just super charming and very helpful.

    Heavy whipping cream and whipping cream are pretty much interchangeable, sometimes one will have extra stabilizers or extra fat, but it's not always consistent between brands/states/countries.
    Ganache is very thin when warm and becomes stiffer as it cools and air is beaten into it. From what I remember, the filling for this should basically be a white chocolate flavored whipped cream. You could use pudding instead if you're feeling cheap.

  14. I just got my baking rear end handed to me :) I'll stick to teaching. I think if I ever make this again, I will just use white cake mix and solve all the problems I had! I'll try to answer a few of the questions/comments I saw...

    1. In Texas, we have half and half and whipping cream. To us, they are the exact same thing (are they not? I really don't know/don't care). I knew what heavy whipping cream was but in my head, I was thinking whip cream (as in cool whip) so I just stood in front of the cool whip selection and was searching like I had a serious decision to make. Do I just deal with regular whip cream or NOT?!

    2. How did it taste? My husband literally ate half of it in about 5 minutes. He kept making weird noises...

    3. As far as the egg whites, I used a glass bowl and a fork but after about 2 minutes of intense whipping, my pits were sweating, I was licking my lips, my arms were on fire, and I needed to wash my mouth out with soap.

    So Emilee, I am tempted to make this again but with cake mix JUST to see what will happen and I will 100% have a pattern down. Thanks for featuring this because there really is some helpful and useful feedback that I had never heard before!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Beating the egg whites by hand explains everything. You wouldn't ever have wanted to arm wrestle a cook who did it all by hand. I've managed to whip cream by hand, but I had to skew the odds in my favor by chilling bowl, whisk, and cream thoroughly and only doing a small amount. Egg whites take awhile even in my stand mixer, but to give yourself a better chance, with egg whites you want them at room temperature, use a whisk, make sure NO fat got into them at all, and add a small pinch of cream of tartar. Also, have another person willing to spell you when your arm starts to feel like it's going to fall off. A cheap electric hand mixer would save you a few curse words and a lot of arm ache. Hope your next adventure in baking is more successful, and thanks for sharing this one, it made me smile :-).

    3. Cake mix is a really bad idea for this cake. It won't have the structure to stand up to rolling. You need a sponge dough.
      If you don't have a stand mixer, do you have a hand mixer or even an old-fashioned egg beater to whip your whites with? I've done firm peaks with a hand crank eggbeater and it took about 10 minutes. I can't even imagine doing it with a fork.

    4. Half and half, whipping cream, and Cool Whip are NOT interchangeable. For this filling you want whipping cream or heavy whipping cream. (I've seen either in the US.) Both are in the dairy aisle, not with the cool whip.

  15. Hi Em!

    The original person who created these awesome cake rolls is a fantastic food blogger at http://www.delightdulce.com. Here is the link to the rolls. Not only is there a video with FANTASTIC music, she explains things like cold cream and not to over cook the cake.


    Hope this helps!

  16. Fine sugar is also known as "castor sugar", and yes, you can make it in a food processor at home. Conversion tables are easily found online.

  17. Just one last thing, as I think the rest has been covered...

    If a recipe calls for grams, it's best to just use grams. Baking is a pretty exact art for the most part, and if your ratios are off, bad things happen.

    Scales aren't that expensive to pick up...you don't need a fancy digital one, and they're useful for all sorts of things.

    1. I was going to say this. Converting a weight measurement into a volume measurement doesn't really work; not only because of the amount of air you get in your measuring cup will vary (and affect the actual amount of the ingredient you have), but also because, 5 grams of, say, flour is going to be a different cup measurement than say, 5 grams of brown sugar.

  18. if the recipe lists in grams it really is just better to weight it than try to convert to cups and such


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