One of my goals this year is to document all of our cooking and baking adventures so that by the end of the year, we can publish all of our creations into a book that we can share with family and friends. Most importantly, it documents how our cooking and baking skills have evolved over time and it will encourage us to be more creative and refine our recipes that is worth sharing.
I kicked off 2015 with one of my proudest creations to date – a chocolate bunny roll cake! Inspired by cute roll cakes I’ve seen on the internet where characters and designs can be customized for each cake, I decided to take a stab at making my own roll cake design as I have yet to see anyone create a cute bunny roll cake.
To start, I took an existing A4 sheet of paper and aligned it with the size of my cookie sheet which I will bake my sheet cake on. After trimming the sides of the paper so that it will fit snugly in the pan, I went ahead and stenciled in my design in permanent marker so that it’s more visible for me to trace afterwards when I actually do the icing.
Once I was done, I taped the piece of paper onto my cookie sheet and placed a piece of parchment paper on top where I will then trace the design with piping bags. As this is a small cake with some design elements that had fine detail (such as the eyes, whiskers, and hearts), I didn’t want to use a giant piping bag for those items as it would required extra clean up on my end (and who wants that!). Instead, I just took a small ziplock bag and cut the corners as it held more than enough decorating batter for the color I needed. I piped the eyes, whiskers and hearts first. Once those were done, I put the tray in the freezer for 5 minute to allow the batter to harden. After they’ve hardened, I took the tray out and filled in the rest of my bunny design with the white icing. I put it in the freezer for one last time to allow the icing to set and when done, I filled the rest of my baking sheet with the cake batter.
I smoothed out the cake batter to ensure it was evenly distributed on the sheet. I tapped the cookie sheet a few times to remove any extra air bubbles and popped it into the oven at 375 F for approx 6 mins or until my toothpick came out clean. Since this is such a thin cake, it bakes rather quickly.
I flipped the cookie sheet onto another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper so that I can peel the parchment paper on the design side to reveal my design.
Extremely proud of the results, I flipped the cake over again onto a clean parchment paper and trimmed the excess paper from the cake. I then proceeded to pre-roll the cake (rolling up towards the design) so that as it cools, it can easily retain the rolled shape after I add the whipped cream filling. I made sure to leave enough space near the end of the cake without the design to prevent over spillage of filling. I rolled the cake on top of a clean towel to prevent the cake sticking and pressed it as firmly as possible so that it’s a tight roll. Finally, I wrapped it in saran wrap and placed it in the fridge to set overnight and voila! It’s ready to be eaten and served the next day. It’s good eaten cold or warm. I prefer room temperature 🙂
DECORATING BATTER INGREDIENTS:
* 7 Tablespoons Room Temperature Butter
* 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
* 1 Cup Flour
* 3 Egg Whites
* 1 Red Food Colouring (preferably gel)
* 1 Black Food Colouring (preferably gel)
ROLL CAKE INGREDIENTS:
* 1/2 Cup Flour
* 1/2 Cup Sugar
* 4 Eggs – Separated
* 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
* 4 Tablespoons Melted Butter
WHIPPED CREAM FILLING:
* 1/2 cup whipping cream/heavy cream
* 4 tsp sugar
To Make the Decorating Batter:
1. Cream the softened butter with the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Then add the egg whites. While it’s mixing, slowly add the flour. Beat until well mixed – It will be smooth and creamy.
2. Separate the decorating batter into 3 bowls, leaving one bowl with the most undyed batter for the white bunny face. Dye the remaining bowls with their respective colors.
3. Fill each ziplock or piping bag with the appropriate colored batter and start piping the bunny’s facial features first. Once done, pipe the hearts. Throw it in the freezer for 5 minutes to set. After the batter has set, pipe the remainder of the white decorating batter to finish the bunny design. Put in the freezer again for 5 minutes for the final set. Make sure to remove the paper template underneath once you’re done piping the designs or the paper may burn in the oven.
To make the sheet cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk the egg whites until frothy, then slowly add 1/4 cup sugar in a series of batches until it’s all incorporated. Whisk until stiff peaks.
2. Whisk the remainder of the 1/4 cup sugar with the egg yolks until creamy and light yellow in color. Add the melted butter, cocoa powder, and flour to the mixture and mix well.
3. Whisk 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cake batter. Then fold in the remaining egg whites in thirds until all egg whites are incorporated and the batter appears glossy.
4. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and smooth it out evenly with a spatula. Tap it a few times on the counter to remove all air bubbles and place it in the oven for 7 minutes.
5. Take it out and cut around the edges of the pan so that it’s easier to remove. When complete, flip the sheet cake onto another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Slowly peel off the parchment that was on the flipped sign being careful not to ruin the design.
6. Flip the sheet cake over one more time onto another clean sheet of parchment paper. Trim the excess parchment paper around the sheet cake and pre-roll the sheet cake so that it cools to help retain the shape. Roll the sheet cake towards the design.
7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the whipped cream filling.
8. Add the sugar to the whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks.
9. Once the cake has cooled, spread the whipped cream filling on the sheet cake making sure to leave some space near the end of the sheet cake where there is no design as to prevent the whipped cream from overfilling when rolled. Proceed to roll the sheet cake tightly up towards the design.
10. Tightly wrap and saran wrap the roll cake and place it in the fridge to set for a few hours.
11. After the cake has set in the fridge, take it out and serve!