I made my first fresh berry roulade when I was an exchange student in Japan, it was a recipe that came with the microwave and convection oven that I bought. “Roll cake” as they call it in Japan is a very popular treat, you can buy them at any supermarket or even at convenience stores. I served that roulade to my Japanese schoolmates and they couldn’t believe that I made that at home. As a result, I became that foreign exchange student who was known for her roll cakes. The so called “at-home” was no more than a dormitry room. I still can’t believe that I managed to bake and cook in that tiny space, I didn’t even own a scale nor an electric mixer. Fast-forward 7 years, I made a roulade and brought it work to share with my co-workers. Seeing the same excitement as my Japanese schoolmates, I also became the person known for her jelly rolls at the bakery. The roulade is by no means a difficult or fancy, I like to make it with seasonal fruits or with what I have in the house. The very original one that I did was simply whipped cream and diced fresh strawberries. This blackberry and rose roulade was made with the fruit from a local farm stand. The blackberries were so ripe and delicious they tasted like candy. I am quite certain they were picked the same day that I bought them – simply the best kind of berries. Since the berries were so full of floral notes, rose water was made excellent addition. I wanted to concentrate the berry and floral flavours so I made a soaking syrup for the cake by cooking down the berries with a little rose water. With fresh berries rolled in the center, it gives that nice refreshing berry tartness and flavour.
- 165 g fresh blackerries, mashed
- 55 g sugar
- 10 g lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. rose water
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 100 g / 1/2 cup sugar
- 56 g / 1/4 cup canola oil
- 60 g / 1/4 cup whole milk
- 62 g / 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 31 g / 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 g / 1 tbsp liquid honey
- 310 g / 1-1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 10-15 fresh whole blackberries
- unsprayed rose petals, optional
- In a small saucepan, combine everything except the rose water. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to reduce its juices. Strain out all seeds, make sure to get squeeze out all the juices by pushing a spatula in the strainer.
- Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line the bottom of a or jelly roll pan with parchment, set aside.
- In a mixer bowl or mixing bowl, whip egg whites until it reaches soft peaks, add egg yolks, whip until it is well incorporated. Add in sugar and whip on medium speed until it is light and pale.
- Fold in sifted flour lightly with a spatula just until flour is distributed. Lastly fold in canola oil, milk, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Pour onto prepared pan, bake for about 10-12 minutes. Bake until it is just cooked, the cake needs to be soft and pliable in order to be rolled up. Cool until ready to use.
- Carefully remove cake from the pan, we will be spreading the cream on the top so the bottom becomes the outside when rolled up. Place a parchment sheet underneath the cake to help with the rolling.
- Whip cream with sugar and vanilla extract until firm peaks form. Set aside or in fridge until ready to use.
- Using a brush, lightly dab the surface of the cake with the blackberry syrup. Spread all but about 1 cup of whipped cream on the cake, leaving about 1 inch from one of the shorter side, this will be the end of the roll. Place blackberries on the shorter side where you will begin rolling.
- Start rolling gently by picking up the parchment underneath the cake as you would roll up a piece of paper, be sure to roll it tightly otherwise it will become loose when you cut into it. To let it set, roll it with the piece of parchment and place in the fridge for about an hour before serving.
- To serve, cut of the ends, pipe a row of the reserved whipped cream on top, garnish with rose petals if you wish.
*A note about rose water: depending the type of rose water that you have, its pungency and smell might differ from mine, so add a little to begin with and tweak it until you are happy with the balance of the flavours. If you don't like rose water or don't have it, just omit it and you'd have a nice blackberry roulade.
This might be one of the easiest yet impressive desserts you can make. No layering and icing, just rolling. The soft cake marries the whipped cream perfectly, it is no surprise that jelly rolls remains one of Japan’s favourite desserts. As mentioned earlier, you can make this with any kind of seasonal fruits, I like it with strawberries, (you know, strawberries and cream), mangoes, raspberries etc.
Hope you are enjoying the summer heat as much as I do! Happy August!