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