For me the perfect holiday roll is light chiffon gingerbread cake rolled with a cloud like brandied whipped cream, crowned with silky sweet icing and caramel drizzle. This lovely Gingerbread Roll not only signifies the holidays with its spices, but is also the perfect ending to a heavy turkey meal. With its featherlight cake and dreamy centre your guests will thank you!
While the original recipe is not my own and pretty darn good as it is, I have made it several times and made a few adaptions along the way to suit my tastes. For my Gingerbread Roll I long ago omitted making the glacéed fruit from the original recipe, because frankly, there’s barely enough time during the holidays to get the cake done let alone fancying up the fruit. I find it quite a bit easier to dredge a cluster of fresh cranberries with sugar and place on the platter along side the roll. Simple, easy and you’ve probably already bought fresh cranberries for cranberry sauce. I’ve also omitted making the caramel from scratch and use store bought caramel sauce. For some this is sacrilege but for those who are pressed for time it’s a means to get it done with some sanity. Last week I worked 62 hours at my regular job and next week will be similar…..so in the end, something has to give. For me it’s fancy glazed fruit and homemade caramel.
It’s important in this recipe to brush all the brandy on the cake. It seems like a lot, but it will help to keep the cake moist. Don’t worry about it being overpowering or too strong. When combined with the cake and whipped cream it is quite subtle. Secondly, it is important to dust the kitchen towel with plenty of icing sugar to roll up the cake. Without a good layer of icing sugar the cake tends to stick to the towel, so use a heavy hand here. The icing can also be made up to a week ahead and frozen. When ready to ice the cake, simply thaw completely and re-whip to fluff it up. The whole roll can be made up to one day ahead as well. Cover well and keep chilled.
What I want people to see is a first rate dessert that doesn’t wear them down, because it is a lovely roll that is absolutely worth making. This Gingerbread Roll is one of my favourites because it’s light, festive and perfumed with ginger and allspice, making it the perfect addition to my holiday table.
Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from Epicurious Gingerbread Roulade with Caramel and Glacéed Fruits
- 6 large eggs separated
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar separated
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cream of tarter
- icing sugar as needed
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp brown sugar packed
- 2 tbsp sour cream full fat
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground allspice
- caramel sauce as required
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" baking sheet with non stick spray and line pan with parchment paper. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and ginger until light and tripled in volume, approximately 5 minutes. Add butter, molasses, and vanilla, whisking to combine. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Fold sifted ingredients into egg yolk mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Using a separate clean bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until egg whites are just stiff. Add approximately 1/3 of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently. Fold in another 1/3 of egg whites until just combined. Repeat folding with the remaining 1/3 of egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading gently but evenly. Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for approximate 13 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean. Do not over bake.
- Spread out a clean kitchen towel and dust generously with icing sugar. Loosen edges of cake and carefully invert cake onto towel. Remove parchment paper and brush cake generously with brandy. Roll warm cake in the towel starting at the long end. Tuck in ends of towel and allow cake to cool in towel.
- Whisk together heavy cream, sour cream, brown sugar and brandy until stiff. When cake has completely cooled, unroll and spread filling evenly over surface. Reroll cake without the towel and place on serving platter with seam side down. Cover and refrigerate while icing is prepared.
- In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Heat over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and allow to chill completely in the refrigerator or freezer, stirring once or twice.
- While mixture is chilling, beat together butter, icing sugar, allspice and ginger until light and fluffy. Gradually add chilled cream mixture and continue to beat until combined and fluffy.
- Evenly spread icing onto cake and drizzle with caramel sauce. Chill cake for at least 2 hours. To serve, cut into thick slices on a slight angle and serve with extra caramel sauce.