Debbie Puente was born to meet baking challenges. "If it has sugar, butter, eggs and flour ... I'm your girl," she says.
The cookbook author has written two cookbooks for Renaissance Books, "Elegantly Easy Creme Brulée" and "Elegantly Easy Liqueur Desserts" (see D1 for more on that last one). Her next book will be on layered desserts. "I have such a sweet tooth," she says. "I do gravitate toward desserts."
While visiting Hawaii recently she picked up a couple of pianomo rolls, in answer to a challenge from reader Rose Castillo.
Puente had never heard of these jelly-roll-style cakes, which are sold by a few local bakeries, but upon tasting one, she came up quickly with a formula.
The cake is reminiscent of lady fingers and the filling is simple whipped butter. A dusting of sugar on the outside pretties it up.
My daughter helped me bake one up and taste it side-by-side against a bakery cake. It was pretty darn close, and very simple to pull off.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly-roll pan with waxed or parchment paper.
Pianomo Roll5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted twice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, vanilla and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in 1/4 cup granulated sugar until sugar dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks.
Use a spatula to fold beaten egg whites into yolks, one-third at a time. Fold in flour, one-third at a time. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cake should be cooked in the center, but edges should not brown.
Sprinkle a clean dishcloth with sugar. Immediately invert hot cake onto dishcloth. Peel off parchment. Cool.
Meanwhile, whip butter at medium speed 5 minutes, until very fluffy. Spread evenly over cooled cake. Starting from a long side, roll up cake jelly-roll fashion. Slice to serve.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Next week: Puente solves the mystery of the almond-topped tea cake.
Food Stuffs: Morsels
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