With my favorite recipe books lined up and food writing class as we speak, I am off to a good start for the new year! Speaking of which, as I hone in on my Filipino roots, although I don’t practice most, I still like to partake in learning about our traditions, customs and superstitions. In matters of food, part of our customary tradition, or superstition, if you may, in preparation for New Year’s Eve is to have twelve (12) round fruits, each to signify a month of the year. Ideally, twelve different round fruits such as clementines, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, watermelon–but as it can be challenging to gather all things round and fruity, some of the fruits end up being non-circular such as mangoes, apples or the like. As for me, well, I grabbed one bag of clementines which had at least 12 in a bag, so I was good to go…
As I delve on the topping of ’rounds’, I decided to experiment on one of my favorite round pastry dessert…a Roulade. In the Philippines, we have Brazo de Mercedes in similarity. Brazo de Mercedes is a rolled cake or jelly roll, made from a sheet of meringue rolled around a custard filling.
What I have for today is my own take on this wondrous layered presentation.
- Butter or oil, for greasing ( I used butter)
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg white
- Generous 1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling ( I used baker’s sugar, found in most supermarkets)
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract ( I used Kahlúa Rum & Coffee Liqueur)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- *1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, to decorate (I used almonds, as it was what I had available)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra, sifted, for dusting
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur ( I substituted this with vanilla extract for my version of this original recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Grease a 13 x 81/2-inch/33 x 22 cm-jelly roll pan (I just used a regular baking pan) and line with nonstick parchment paper.
- Place the eggs, egg white, and sugar in a bowl over a pan of very hot water. Whisk with an electric mixer until pale and thick enough to leave a trail.
- Whisk in the coffee extract, then fold in the flour and finely chopped walnuts lightly with a metal spoon.
- Spoon into the pan, spreading evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and firm. (We have an altitude of 2500 feet, so I had it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes…give or take)
- Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with superfine sugar. Turn out the roulade onto the paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim the edges.
- Quickly roll up the sponge from one short side, with the paper inside. Cool completely. (I let it cool for approximately an hour, but 30 minutes will suffice)
- For the filling, place the cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl and whisk until the mixture begins to hold its shape.
- Carefully unroll the roulade, remove the paper and spread the cream over. Roll up carefully.
Serve the roulade dusted with confectioners’ sugar and topped with roughly chopped walnuts (*or feel free to substitute with other types of nuts such as pecan, pistachios, almonds, etc.)