I love to bake with others. Just knowing that somebody else is doing the same thing as me in their kitchen, I don’t know, it gets me excited. For that reason I am part of many baking groups. If you know anyone in Hamburg, Germany who loves to bake, please contact me and let me know.
Needless to say that when Sally, a famous food blogger from the U.S. started her monthly baking challenge, I was very happy to join. I was especially happy when she decided that the May challenge was to include strawberries (any fruit makes me happy, but berries are the best) and a sponge roll (Biskuitrolle). If you would like to learn more about her baking challenge, check it out here.
The reason I got so excited is simple. I have done my share of sponge rolls (Biskuitrolle) over the years. However, I only did them when I was a teenager. Don’t ask me why. They are much easier than you think. Done fairly quickly and so light in texture. Just look at it, isn’t it a beauty?
I took the opportunity to go through my handwritten recipes and check which sponge roll is the best. Here are my two cents what is really important for sponge rolls to work:
- Since eggs are the main ingredient of this cake, you have to get high quality eggs and you should take them out early. Let them come to room temperature.
- I often forgot to beat the egg white long enough. You usually start the recipe by preparing the egg whites before you continue with the egg yolks. Back in the days, by the time I was done with the egg yolks, the egg whites were already sad. So make sure you are basically making meringue. The best way to know is to see whether you can see marks from your mixer in the beaten egg whites. See visual below.
- Always use a mix of flour and cornstarch (Speisestärke). This will produce a much lighter version.
- Sieve (sieben) the flour and starch (Stärke) before you add it to the mix. This is really important.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Just lightly fold in egg whites and flour mix. I always use a wooden spoon and kind of make the movement of the number 8.
- Once you have the batter prepared, you need to immediately bake the sponge roll. Don’t let it sit around. Also, preheating the oven is crucial, you want the oven to be hot.
- Always, always use parchment paper. Nothing else. If you grease a baking sheet, the sponge roll will deflate, if you use an extra baking pan, you may have a hard time getting it out. Parchment paper is the simplest way to get a sponge roll with an even and clean surface. See visual.
- Take out the sponge roll after 8-10 minutes of baking and put on a slightly wet towel. Immediately roll it up, as otherwise you will have cracks. See visual.
But now lets get back to this strawberry sponge roll. Strawberries are the best because they don’t have such a dominant flavor as raspberries. If you are interested in a good raspberry recipe, check out my Eclairs filled with Raspberry Cream. No, here I feel the strawberries compliment the very light texture of the sponge roll.
I basically went for my favorite sponge roll recipe and filled it up with a strawberry cream using real strawberries. No additional food coloring, nothing weird or hard to find.
I have always been in favor of more cream filling than sponge cake, for that reason I decided to also put cream on top of the cake and decorate it with fresh strawberries and mint. Obviously you can leave that out and sprinkle it with confectionar’s sugar, which is the traditional way how it is served.
So enough talking now, let’s bake this!
Strawberry Sponge Roll
Fruity and creamy sponge roll with a lot of real strawberry flavor
- 5 eggs, size L at room temperature (Eier), important: eggs have to be at room temperature
- 100 grams of white sugar (weißer Zucker)
- 75 grams of all-purpose flour (Mehl, Type 405)
- 30 grams of cornstarch (Speisestärke)
- a pinch of baking powder (eine Messerspitze Backpulver)
- a pinch of salt (eine Prise Salz)
Strawberry Cream Filling
- 300 grams of either fresh or frozen strawberries (frische oder gefrorene Erdbeeren)
- 150+ 50 milliliters of milk (Milch)
- 1 package of instant vanilla pudding (Vanillepuddingpulver)
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar (weißer Zucker)
- 175 grams of butter (Butter), at room temperature
- 175 grams of cream cheese (Frischkäse)
- 50 grams of white sugar (weißer Zucker)
- About six fresh strawberries for garnish and some mint leaves (frische Erdbeeren und Minzblätter)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and prepare a regular baking sheet with parchment paper (Backpapier). Just make sure the parchment paper covers the whole sheet.
- Then divide the eggs into egg white and egg yolks. Use a bigger bowl for the egg yolks. If you have a glas or metal bowl, use that one for the egg whites. Be sure that bowl is free of fat/grease and that your mixer was properly cleaned.
- Start by beating the egg whites on medium speed with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Now beat the egg yolks with the sugar. No need to clean the mixer. Beat until the color becomes much paler and you have a creamy consistency. This usually takes several minutes.
- Once your egg yolk mix is much whiter in color, gently pour the egg whites on top and sift (sieben) the flour, cornstarch and baking powder on top. Don’t skip this step. It is important that the flour mix was sieved.
- Gently mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Try to incorperate the flour mix and egg whites without losing volume. Don’t overmix.
- Using a spoon, put batter on the prepared baking sheet and immediately bake. Don’t let the batter sit for too long as it will quickly lose volume.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The top should look golden brown. Watch the oven carefully, it happens rather quickly.
- Meanwhile take a tea towel and spray with water or put in water and wring it out (auswringen) and put on clean surface.
- Once you take the sponge cake out of the oven, transfer to the towel (parchment side paper up) and take off the parchment paper (see visual).
- Roll up with the towel inside (see visual above) and let cool off. Don’t wait too long until you roll it up, otherwise you will get cracks.
- While roll cools off, put strawberries and 150 milliliters of milk in a pot on the stove a bring to boil. As soon as strawberries are soft, take out and blend (e.g. food processor or even with a fork).
- Put instant vanilla pudding, two tablespoons of white sugar and 50 milliliters of milk in a mug and stir until you see no lumps.
- Bring pureed strawberries and milk to boil again and add the vanilla pudding mix. Stir constantly and bring to boil for at least two minutes until it thickenes.
- Transfer mixture to the fridge and let cool off for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile cream butter, cream cheese and 50 grams of sugar in a bowl with a mixture. Slowly add the cooled-off strawberry mix by the spoonful until you have a nicely colored cream.
- Put in the fridge for a little, covered in plastic wrap.
Assemble the Roll
- First take the towel out of the sponge cake and fill generously with strawberry cream. Leave at least one centimeter around the edges, otherwise your cream will get out.
- Roll up and put more cream on top. I piped the cream on in long lines (see visual).
- Slice the fresh strawberries in very thin slices and garnish with strawberries and mint leaves to your liking.
- Sponge cake can be frozen. Prepare the roll, roll it up and cover with plastic wrap. Keeps in the freezer beautifully.
- You can also prepare the strawberry cream a day in advance. However, make sure you place it in an airtight container as it otherwise dries up. Let sit for a little while at room temperature if you want to pipe anything. Since it contains butter, it will get harder in the fridge.
- Obviously you can fill the roll with anything you like. I have seen some with lemon curd/whipping cream, raspberries, any other fruit you like, mascarpone, etc., ect.
- For any version it is best to eat the sponge roll within a few days after full preparation. Keep with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.