Nothing captures the taste of sunshine like citrus fruits, especially, lemons. In the midst of winter, while some of us are experiencing some cold and grey days, treating yourself to a bite of bright and sunny lemon roll, could chase away your mid-winter doldrums.
I returned home from a recent trip to Arizona with a bag of lovely Meyer’s lemons so I used those to make this cake, however, I recommend using regular lemons as they will pack a substantially more tart punch and impart loads of that radiant lemon flavor.
This is a great dessert to make if you are entertaining as you could make it a day ahead of time and then “dress” it just before serving – it also freezes well.
|Lemon Roll with Mascarpone Cream - sponge cake|
- ⅓ cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2½ tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Approximately 1 cup of powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Grease an 11x15 sheet pan and line with parchment paper that overhangs the edges of the pan by an inch.
- Butter and flour the parchment.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch and salt.
- With and electric mixer, beat the whole eggs and 2 yolks together with ½ cup of sugar for a total of 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume.
- Add the vanilla and lemon zest to the egg mixture and beat a few more minutes.
- Very gently fold the flour mixture into the eggs until just combined.
- In a medium size bowl, beat the egg whites on low until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until you have stiff shiny peaks.
- Mix a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into the flour and egg mixture and then gently fold in the rest of the egg white until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread evenly (photo 1).
- Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes and then remove from oven.
- Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar and carefully invert the warm baked sponge onto it (photo 2).
- Carefully remove the baking parchment, and then sift some more powdered sugar over the top of the cake (photo 3).
- Beginning at one of the short ends, loosely roll the sponge up with the towel and let it cool (photo 4).
|Lemon Simple Syrup|
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- In a small pan over medium/high heat, bring all of the ingredients to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
|Lemon Roll with Mascarpone Cream - Cream and assembly|
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 3 cups mixed berries
- Using and electric mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar until completely incorporated and smooth.
- Add the mascarpone to the whipped cream and beat just a minute or so until combined.
- Gently unroll the sponge cake and brush the lemon simple syrup over the top.
- Spread the cream mixture over the cake (photo 5).
- Scatter the berries evenly across the cream (photo 6).
- Carefully roll up the cake (photo 7).
- Wrap the lemon roll in foil that has been lined with a piece of parchment, burrito style (photo 8).
- Before serving, using a bread knife, cut off the ends of the roll to give it a finished look.
- Dust the top of the roll with powdered sugar.
- I also like to take about a ½ cup of whipping cream, whisked until it holds a stiff peak, placed into a pastry bag and then I run a ribbon of cream down the top of the roll (you can also spoon the cream on the top). Decorate with berries.