cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jazzy Blue (Coco) Nuts

coconut pinwheels in a rainy ballparkdisclaimer: This is Salty's 100th post. This means we talk, write, move, dream, and bake too much. Oh well.

Swiss cake rolls are not Swiss, ironically they are quite unpopular in Switzerland where they are called biscuitrolles or roulades. No the Yanks and Brits dubbed such a cake as Swiss for what appears to me as... well for no apparent reason whatsoever. English speakers around the world also refer to the sponge as jam roll or jelly roll, yet it does not belong to them. It does not belong to Little Debbie either. Then who does it belong to? No one. Though we the food historians may hypothesize. Yes we can. And here is the thesis: we all own it.

(painting above by Hall Groat II available at the artists Blog)

The Chinese egg roll (卷蛋糕) first appeared in daily pastry shop window in the early nineteenth century, undoubtedly snaking its way north out of the ovens of British Hong Kong. In Spain the gypsey's arm (brazo de gitano) is often rolled with a lemon curd, and its brother of the same name in Mexico is swirled with chocolate and rum filling. The Fins call it sweet roll, the Brazilians rocambole, and the Swedish Drömrulltårta (dream roll cake) made completely of potato flour. In Malaysia they are filled with coconut and pandan, in India with pineapple and regional fruits. The Japanese are known for dyeing the sponge green with powdered teas such a matcha, and in Indonesia the Bolu Gulung is most popular with locals in its many cheese sauce varieties. Here it has been stated and argued, the rolled spongecake with a layer of jam, cream, curd, or cheese is owned by the world. The world has named it, but the Salty Cod will rename it. For this silly simple little pinwheel, but what language could be used? What language represents and translates to everyone? Perhaps then the only thing to call it is a Salty Cod.

This cake is for my buddy E on his birthday today, big 22. Happy birthday to you as we sit in a rainy minor league baseball park, our mutual disinterest in the game will get us through.

Spokane, Spokane, Spokane. A day with a high of 41.7 degrees (107) followed by a night of window shattering wind illuminated by celestial scaring places the region in a meteorological state of drizzle and a high of 22 degrees(67). Welcome to Spokane. The Spokane Indians baseball team is playing Boise Idaho. Joy. For those readers outside of the country (and outside Japan) who understand little of the pull of interest for the slow stick-ball game, I hear your groans, this parrot has outlived her attraction to the game through phaseal obsession. What can be said other than perhaps the fact that it is, like most other sports, a sport. And In the history of sports and their need by humanity, is the need to escape, rally, and be part of something greater, something collective. Perhaps a Visa Go World commercial here. Salty Cod advertising. We do everything here. What do you need. We can do it.

Salty Cod Coconut and White Chocolate Pinwheel Cake
ingredients: ~.5cups flour ~4 eggs separated ~1tsp baking powder ~ 1 packet vanilla sugar ~ pinch of ginger ~.5 + .3 cups sugar ~ powdered sugar ~ 2 sticks butter ~ coconut ~ coconut water ~ white chocolate

method: (sponge sheet cake) mix flour and baking powder. beat egg yolks with .3 cups sugar until custardy. beat egg whites until stiff and add .5 cups sugar. beat until stiff again. fold in the yellow, and fold in the flour. Line a cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper. spread batter out on the pan. cook at 375 for about 12 minutes. immediately when you remove from oven transfer cake to something like a towel. (well thats what i did, but i think it can be done better) peel off parchment paper, and roll cake WITHOUT the goop, roll it like rolling sushimaki, use the towel for the bamboo mat. when it cools, unroll it and slather a layer of the cream (jelly, custard, whathaveyou) on and then re-roll, using this time a piece of parchment as your sushi rolling mat. Eh voila!

A mizzling day, a lazy game, a worldy jelly roll cake... jelly roll.. jelly roll jazz; perhaps the recent depressing listenings here in the office of old school jazz and blues has somehow mystically pulled this entire day together in themed accompaniment. A jazzy blue cake, to make a rainy blue day, a little brighter, a little brighter for those birthday blues. The wind will dry the grass, and the wind will turn the pinwheels, so baby blow out those candles, cuz i wish you bluebirds in the spring, but spring where? Jupiter or Mars? So in other words you better save the last dance dance for me, and if you take my heart please don't break it, cuz cake was made for you and me!

100 down. A hundred more to go.


Elaine said...

Hi Mallory! Your blog makes me drool.
I love "romcambole", in Brazil it's common to stuff it with Caramel, "doce de leite", it's amazing. I haven't had one in such a long time...

iatan said...

Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

So you taught the fish to fly. And then you made a rocambole... with ginger.
Suggestion from the Editor: Fill the rocambole with brigadeiro-like chocolate. ha! If it doesn't work, I promise I'll fly!


Mallory Elise said...

gotcha. next time i use chocolate. sadly chocolate doesn't help you fly. it makes you sleep.

-the writer

Aran said...

oh mallory, this looks delicious... and lovely photos!

Tartelette said...

Happy 100th post! Gateaux Roules are my dad's favorite cakes...especially with jams inside...I still have to work a gf version for him though since he is celiac. The last 2 attempts were less than stellar!! This looks incredible!

Christy said...

Hey, I've at least called that cake 3 different names before: Bolu Gulung(Indonesia), jelly roll cake(my yankee boyfriend), swiss roll(here in Australia) and "dan juan" in Chinese. Truly a testament of an international cake!!

I really want to have a slice of that cake now...pretty please?

Christy said...

Oh, btw I love the new banner too!! I know they are tiles, but in fashion we call fabrics with such prints toile de jouy...whatever that means ;)

PS. Come to Melbourne and I'll show you weird weather. We have 4 seasons in one day!!