Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Archive for December, 2008

Sugar High Fridays #50: The Roundup

Posted by bakinghistory on December 26, 2008


Thank you to all participants who contributed wonderful recipes on the theme of rolled cakes and to Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess for founding this wonderful event and the opportunity to host this edition of Sugar High Fridays.

I received each submission with great anticipation and enjoyed reading every one of them. Some were from bloggers I know and some from others that I am glad to have discovered and that I will keep reading. Some recipes are simple and some more elaborate, yet all of them are scrumptious and worth trying. Thank you!!

ivy-lemon-or-orange-chocolade-roulade Ivy of  Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality made not one but two wonderful rolled cakes, with flavors inspired by the classic nursery rhyme The Bells of St. -Clements, orange and lemon.

Location:  Athens, Greece

—————————————-Language:   English

shfpoppyseedloriLori Ann of Lipsmacking Goodness made a wonderful Slovak Kolacky, a traditional Polish Christmas treat  using her own family heirloom recipe. The roll is made with yeasted dough and filled with poppy seed.

Location: Rochester NY, USA

Language:   English

jennysmallJenny of JKitchen.Log made a very elegant rolled sponge cake with a pistachio-cream cheese filling and red currants.

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Language:   English

renato-bolo-de-rolo-shfRenato of Sugar Nut made Bolo de Rolo, a traditional Brazilian rolled cake, from the region of Pernambuco State. This cake is different from usual rolled cakes since its layers are very thin and the final texture is particularly pleasant thanks to the ratio of cake and filling, usually guava jam.

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Language: English

aquadaze1-dscn1561Aquadaze of Served with Love made a beautiful classic Yule Log, filled with strawberry jam and frosted with chocolate ganache.

Location: Singapore

Language: English

artusi-roll1 I made a chocolate sponge cake with a seedless raspberry jelly filling and a nice sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top.

Location: Massachusetts, USA

Language: English

The copyright of each photo belongs to the respective author


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Chocolate-Raspberry Rolled Cake (SHF #50)

Posted by bakinghistory on December 26, 2008


A tender chocolate sponge cake filled with raspberry jelly

shfrolledcakeslogo1As the guest host of the 50th edition of Sugar High Fridays, the blog event dedicated to sweets founded by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess I proposed Rolled Cakes as a theme. My own take on this is from the old classic Italian cook book La Scienza in Cucina e l’ Arte di Mangiar Bene—published in 1891—written by Pellegrino Artusi. It is a sponge cake flavored with  bittersweet chocolate, to which I added a simple filling of seedless raspberry jam and a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top. The final result is a pleasant dessert in which flavors and textures combine perfectly, and that is also quick and easy to assemble.

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

In: “La Scienza in Cucina e l’ Arte di Mangiar Bene”, 1891—Italy


6 eggs, divided

200 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted

150 g flour

50 g bittersweet chocolate

1 large jar of seedless raspberry jelly

extra confectioners’ sugar to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350F; line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and generously grease the bottom and sides.

Beat the yolks at high speed and add the confectioners’ sugar little by little, beating at high speed until all is incorporated and the mixture is light.  Mix in the grated chocolate, then stir in the flour, adding it little by little. Finally incorporate to the mixture the egg whites beaten to stiff peaks, folding them in gently to avoid deflating the mixture. Immediately spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and let the cake cool for 1 minute. Then gently roll the cake using the aluminum foil lining as a guide. Let the rolled cake cool a bit longer on a rack, then while still lukewarm unroll it and gently spread with jelly. Roll it up again and let it cool completely before sprinkling confectioners’ sugar on top.

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Gingerbread (Novel Food #6)

Posted by bakinghistory on December 20, 2008


Mildly spiced gingerbread cookies

ROUNDUP part 1 Roundup part 2

novel-foodSimona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste are hosting a new edition of their wonderful seasonal blog event, Novel Food. It is one of my absolute favorites since it pairs literature and food. This time, it was really difficult to choose which literary work to feature between two that I particularly like.

Since this is the winter edition, I finally opted for a short story by O. Henry, one of my absolute favorite American writers.  The short story is “The Gift of the Magi” and illustrates the theme of gift-giving: at the end, the author shows what is, in his view, the wisest gift to give, independently of what money can—and cannot—buy.

I won’t reveal anything else, since the story is short and well worth reading.  I read it for the first time when I was nine years old, and its implications deeply struck me then—now, almost three decades later, I am still moved by it, even if in somewhat different ways.

The characters of the story are a young married couple, Della and James Dillingham Young, and you can see them portrayed above in gingerbread dough and white icing.

The time  is around Christmas, the setting a big American city, but the theme transcends any specific time and place and is ultimately about the essence of human love.

here is a short excerpt:

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. To-morrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling — something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim.

Even if there is one specific food mentioned in the story, chops, I took the liberty of choosing gingerbread instead. The following recipe produces a wonderful dough, very easy to work with, mildly spiced and sweet.

From the original recipe by Hannah Widdifield

In: Widdifield’s New Cook Book: Practical Receipts for the Housewife”, 1856—USA


1-1/4 lbs AP flour

1/2  lb. dark brown sugar

1/4  lb butter

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 yolk

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tbsp baking soda


1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar

lemon juice as needed

1 egg white as needed

Sift flour, spices, and sugar. In a mixer, on low speed, mix butter with flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add yolk and mix briefly. Dissolve baking soda in milk and add to mixer bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead the mixture on low speed for 5-7 minutes, until the dough forms and is smooth and supple. Let the dough rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300F.  Take about 1/4 of the dough and knead it briefly by hand, then roll it rather thin and cut the cookies. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (preferably insulated) and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a rack—they will be soft and crumbly while hot but will turn crunchy as soon as the cool.

Make the icing by mixing powdered sugar with a few drops of lemon juice and a bit of egg white, just enough to have a stiff paste that can be piped, and decorate the cookies.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Holidays, Spices | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Announcing Sugar High Fridays #50: Rolled Cakes

Posted by bakinghistory on December 10, 2008


I am delighted and proud to be the host of the 50th edition of Sugar High Fridays , the wonderful blog event created by Jennifer of  The Domestic Goddess, which celebrates sweets in all their glorious variety. As a theme, I propose Rolled Cakes, those old-fashioned desserts that are also known as  jelly rolls, Swiss rolls or roulades. They are usually made with sponge or Genoise cake baked in a rectangular pan (the jelly roll pan, of course) and filled with jam or cream.

For this edition of SHF I hope to gather as many variations on this basic type of cakes as possible, from the simplest to the most elaborate. You can use any type of batter such  as genoise, meringue, chocolate sponge, etc. etc., and fillings, icings, and decorations as you like, and any size from regular to miniature. Use classic recipes or make up new creations—possibilities are virtually endless.

To participate, please:

*Post a recipe of rolled cake by December 22, 2008 and include in your post a link to this page and to Jennifer’s blog. You can also include the logoshfrolledcakeslogo

*Send me an email at bkhst AT yahoo DOT com including:

>your name

>your blog name and URL

>name of your recipe and permanent link

>a very brief description of your cake

>your  location

>the language in which your post is written

> a picture of your cake (200 width)

If you do not have a blog and still wish to participate send me an email including all the above info (minus blog name and URL  🙂 )and I will include it in the roundup.

The roundup will be posted on December 26th, 2008

I look forward to many many gorgeous rolled cakes and I thank Jennifer for the opportunity to host!

Posted in Blog Events | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Think Spice… …Think Anise—Roundup

Posted by bakinghistory on December 8, 2008


I am finally able to post the roundup of Think Spice… …Think Anise Think Spice… is a monthly blog event dedicated to spices founded by Sunita of Sunita’s World and hosted here for the month of November. Participants submitted wonderful recipes that truly highlight the versatility of this tasty spice, in both sweet and savory dishes, from vegetables to bread to cookies and even candy.  Thank you all for participating  with wonderful contributions!


Sra of  When My Soup Came Alive made a yummy vegetarian dish: Mixed Vegetable Curry , in which anise is included in the spice mixture

Location: India

Language: English


Simona of  Briciole baked a wonderful  Rocciata, a traditional filled sweet bread from Umbria, Italy.

Location: California

Language: English


Sweatha of TastyCurryLeaf baked a batch of tasty Bizcochitos, traditional Christmas cookies from New Mexico

-Location: New Jersey

Language: English


Ivy of Kopiaste…to Greek Hospitality used anise in bread: delicious  No-Knead Anise and Sultana Whole-Wheat Rolls

Location: Athens, Greece

Language: English


Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen baked some very pretty Eggless Anise Pretzels

Location: Goa, India

Language: English


Judy of  Judy’s Gross Eats baked buttery refrigerator cookies: Rich Anise Cookies

Location: California

Language: English


Carolyn of 18thC Cuisine made some amazing medieval candy: Anise Comfits

Location: the shores of Lake Huron

Language: English


My own entry were some  traditional Italian Anise Biscotti

Location: Massachusetts

Language: English

The copyright of each photo belongs to the respective author

Posted in Blog Events | 11 Comments »