When I was a child the most indulgent dessert I remember was also one of my father’s favorites, the chocolate refrigerator roll. It’s a really simple dessert to put together as it consists of store bought chocolate wafer cookies (think thin Oreos without the cream) and sweetened whipped cream. You construct a log or roll out of the cookies and cream and then cover the entire creation in more whipped cream. But the secret is you leave it in the fridge to sit and get a bit soft so that the cookies turn into a cake like consistency. It’s delicious. I may someday have to try to recreate it with homemade gluten free cocoa wafers. However this year for the upcoming Christmas holiday, I decided to tackle another old fashioned dessert a gluten free Chocolate Swiss Roll. These desserts are very similar in flavor and yet the former is an easy construction project while the latter is a creation of freshly baked airy genoise cake, whipped cream, and a whole lot of praying by the home cook.
I think I got a bit put out that there’s some lovely gluten free Bûche de Noël available in the world but none in my town. If only I lived in Oregon I’d drive to Kyra’s Bake Shop for one of her beautiful creations. So instead I dug my feet in and decided to try out making my own swiss roll before Christmas just in case it went so poorly I needed to figure out another holiday dessert. Meyer has gotten me in the habit that if we’re going to host a holiday we really should practice the meal on a night a few days/weeks before when there’s less pressure. It really is a brilliant plan as that way you at least have some knowledge of the ins and outs of recipes and your dear old auntie or grandma isn’t the Guinea pig for some recipe that goes terribly wrong at 2pm on Christmas Day. I do also get concerned whenever I am turning a regular baking recipe into a gluten free one. There’s just some properties to wheat flour that becomes much harder in gluten free baking. However, that’s the very reason why I use Cup4Cup. As I’ve said many times before if I’m baking something special for family and friends and want a recipe to come out as close to ‘normal’ I’ll always use Cup4Cup gluten free flour. This chocolate swiss roll was the perfect reason to pull out my trusty favorite gluten free flour. For my recipe I used two Martha Stewart recipes this one and this one. Get inspired to turn your swiss roll into a Bûche de Noël check out Bon Appétit.
- 5 tbsp clarified butter (or Ghee) melted, plus more for parchment and pan
- 2/3 C sifted Cup4Cup gluten free flour
- 1/3 C sifted cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 1/8 tsp of baking soda
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 C sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 C water
- 1/4 C plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1 1/4 C heavy cream
- Set oven to 350 degrees with baking rack in middle of oven.
- Butter jelly-roll pan; line it with parchment cut to fit; then butter and flour the parchment, and then tap out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together twice.
- In a medium-size heat-proof bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until mixture sugar has dissolved and is warm to the touch not just tepid.
- Remove from heat, and beat on high speed until mixture is has tripled in bulk, pale in color, and forms ribbons.
- Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla, and beat a few minutes more until combined.
- In three additions, sift flour mixture over egg mixture, folding in gently with a spatula.
- After folding in two thirds of the flour mixture, slowly drizzle in the melted butter gently folding it through the batter.
- Make rum syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and 1/4 C sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add rum, stir, and let cool completely.
- Spread batter evenly in pan, leaving behind any unincorporated butter in the bottom of the bowl. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake until cake springs back when touched in center, approximately 15 minutes. Over baking will make a dry cake and lead to cracking.
- Let the cake sit in the pan on a wire rack for just a few minutes until it's cool enough to handle. You want it still warm and pliable.
- Lightly surface with cocoa powder. To make rolling easier, trim edges of cake, and cover with a sheet of waxed paper and a damp dish towel.
- Invert the cake onto a work surface, and peel off parchment; lightly dust with cocoa. Starting from one long end, carefully roll up cake in towel. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Make whipped cream by beating heavy cream and tablespoon of sugar.
- Remove from refrigerator, unroll cake, and remove towel.
- Brush entire cake surface generously with cooled rum syrup. Spread whipped cream over cake leaving a border around the entire cake.
- Re-roll the cake around the filling.
- Wrap the towel around rolled cake, secure with tight saran wrap. Leave to set in the fridge for up to three hours.
- To serve, cut each end on an angle and place on a platter.