1. Originates from the French word “rouler” meaning “to roll”.
2. The term roulade also refers to a souffle-type mixture that’s spread on a jelly roll pan, baked until firm but still moist, then spread with a savory or sweet filling and rolled up in jelly-roll fashion.
Roulade, Yule log or Brazo Gitano as we call it in Puerto Rico, consists of a spongecake baked in a sheet pan for 8-12 minutes (depending on how well calibrated your oven is!) which is cooled and filled with fruit puree/ganache/jelly/buttercream virtually anything you want then rolled up and covered with again ANYTHING YOU WANT. This was my class’s test for the week, we where separated into groups and each group got a different recipe.
My group’s recipe consisted of a Pistachio Spongecake, filled with Italian Lemon Buttercream and as for the coating a simple Dark Chocolate Ganache.
Easy you say?! NO. Here’s some facts
Number one… rolling up a pistachio spongecake is frustrating because it WILL break, no matter how well you roll this baby up it WILL BREAK!
Number two… Italian butter cream consists of a meringue (whipped egg whites cooked with hot sugar syrup) when my team took it out of the fridge and we tried softening it with a whisk the butter started separating and we ended up with what looked like a really f!@$%# up version of scrambled eggs. We panicked but then we fixed it by adding tons of powdered sugar and it was as if nothing ever happened (Phew!)
Number three… The ganache was perfection but of course when covering a broken up pistachio spongecake with it..it just looks wrong! try picture a very rustic tree trunk… How did we fix this problem? By adding tons of broken up pistachio pieces of course!
Number four… The candied lemons…oh why did we even consider this it only takes about 5 to 6 hours to make (no rush!) When we where being evaluated our Chef told us: “Well they look beautiful but they’re undercooked they needed about 4 more hours!!!” So… lesson learned? Unless I’m planning on sleeping in my classroom for a day and a half..not going to make those.
We had a rough time to say the least fixing the cake, the buttercream, the ganache, covering up the huge cracks, making the candied lemons, everything that could possibly go wrong DID. Did i panic? YES Did I feel like crying? YES Did I ever feel like this cake was mocking us and was never going to work out? YES and YES!
The result you ask? I never got to taste it but everyone gave us compliments and the Chef took three generous bites of our roulade which means it wasn’t bad at all!
Will I make this again? Probably only that next time to avoid the “moss covered tree trunk look” I will cover it up with butter cream and THEN add the ganache..just sayin’.
Here are some nice angled pictures of our tree lookin’ roulade in all its glory: