Bren from Green Bay, WI (2017 Week 7: Desserts)




Green Bay, WI

Baking Challenge

Family-sized Roulade

Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.

Frankenstein Roulades. I used two cake recipes from the White House Cook Book published in 1887. I used a recipe entitled Old Fashioned Sponge Cake and one called Rolled Jelly Cake. I have made similar recipes in my modern kitchen with success, but was unsure of a recipe to use for baking a roulade in the 1905 Belgian Farmhouse at Heritage Hill. I also used a recipe for a custard filling from the same cook book.

What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!

At first I was worried about making the lemon custard. My recipe advised using two pans similar to a double boiler which we do not really have in the farm kitchen, so I set an enameled sauce pan inside another with boiling water in it. When the boiling water overflowed slightly it immediately vaporized when it hit the hot wood stove. Although it is somewhat of a neat effect, it really does nothing to comfort an anxious baker. And even with the heat of the stove, I had difficulty getting the milk to boil. I eventually gave up on the two pan method and put the milk directly on the stove and stirred like crazy. Happily, the custard thickened and turned out well. My surprise came when I baked the two cakes. They both baked beautifully and I felt like success may be within my reach. After they cooled, I spread the lemon custard to one cake and added dates, walnuts and coconut to the filling. To the second I added my homemade strawberry jam and cream cheese as a filling. So far so good, until I rolled them and that is when the horrifying Frankenstein moment happened, neither cake rolled well even though I had tried different things as I had mixed and baked each. As you can see by the picture, my lovely roulades, were not so lovely. On a positive note, my friendly taste testers said they were delicious in spite of their monstrous appearance. It may have been helpful that none of them really knew what a roulade was before I told them on the day they taste tested.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

My amazing Belgian Farm chickens had to work hard for this week’s challenge. Among the three recipes, I used no less than a dozen fresh eggs which they obligingly provided for me at the farm. I also used Wisconsin made cream cheese and made my strawberry jam from locally grown, hand picked, Wisconsin strawberries.

How did you do?

It’s not pretty, but it’s edible.