Passover Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake, Gluten Free

A flourless chocolate torte or some sort of sponge thing are the usual suspects on the dessert plate at Passover. Growing up we muddled through an endless parade of Seder sponge cakes that tasted like sawdust mixed with a Pixie Stix. But these days the Seder dessert choices are just about limitless and you can kick that icky sponge cake to the curb. 

Replace it with something like this Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake filled with a marshmallow cream, raspberry center. This is not a sponge cake. No sir.This is the cake that you can say with all sincerity that you made just for the pleasure of making everyone happy at Passover dinner. It’s a delicious reward for staying perky (code for awake) through the full version of the Haggadah reading.

You cannot go wrong with this cake. Though it is an angel cake, it doesn’t matter if it falls because it isn’t going up anyway. And the filling will set because it contains 85 gazillion marshmallows (use kosher if you like). Just make sure you have plenty of extra unsweetened cocoa powder for the final spackling dusting, and a bounty of fresh raspberries.

To make the project easier,  get all your ingredients measured and in place before you begin, including the baking pan and something to rest the roll on for the big chill. And don’t fret about whether the edges are neat. You will be trimming them before serving as well as adding more cocoa to the outside.

And here’s the best news. If the worst happens and the whole thing is a disaster, make trifle.  Just shovel  pieces into a pretty glass serving container(s) mixed with some berries and refrigerate until serving time when you will top it with fresh whipped cream, dust with cocoa and add a berry or two.

Want to be the Seder rock star? Make the outrageous Coconut Rocky Road Matzo or this Rolled Angel Cake, or even both. No one will complain. Oh wait. It’s a Seder full of umpteen relatives. Count on old Fake Aunt Hattie to kvetch, but with a smile on her face as she asks for a piece of both desserts. Promise.

 

Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake, Gluten Free
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The cake is best made the day before serving which saves your last nerve when making dinner for a crowd. Preparing the cake requires no special baking skills other than patience. The cake can be baked in rather short order and the filling is a quick preparation once the marshmallows are melted. The tricky part is rolling it up, but if you've pre-rolled the warm cake according to the directions, you should be just fine. And that dusting of cocoa powder is not just for good looks - it covers all those tiny little cracks. Don't leave out the liqueurs in the raspberry jam layer - it adds a great dimension to the flavors and by the end of a long Seder, it won't hurt and might even help. Happy Passover.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 368 grams superfine white sugar (almost two cups)
  • 142 grams GF Flour (62 g tapioca flour/starch, 40 g superfine brown rice flour, 40 g superfine white rice flour) (about 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 360 grams egg whites, room temperature (about 1.5 cups) (around 9-11 large eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Filling
  • 16 oz. marshmallows (kosher is fine)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 jar seedless raspberry jam (about 370 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons fruit liqueur
  • 1 pint of fresh raspberries
  • Optional: extra whipped cream for topping
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a half-sheet jelly roll pan with parchment. Don't grease it. Set aside. Have one more half-sheet size parchment piece ready and a half-sheet size cooling rack. Set aside.
  2. Weigh the sugar. Split it in half between two bowls, one larger than the other. Set the smaller one aside. Weigh the flours into a small container. Then sift them into the large bowl with the sugar. Sift salt and cocoa powder and espresso powder and add to the flour/sugar. Whisk to combine all that. Set aside. Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites in the bowl of stand mixer. Using a whip attachment mix until cream of tartar and vanilla are incorporated. Turn to medium high and whip whites just until it gets foamy and soft peaks start to form. Add the remaining small bowl of sugar a little bit at a time and whip until the whites are glossy and have nice big peaks. Be careful not to over-whip or the whites will separate and look dry. Stop just when you can use the whisk attachment to pull up some whites and they look like little snowy mountain peaks. Remove bowl from the stand. Sift the flour/cocoa/sugar mixture over the top of the whites. Yes, again. Then using a silicone spatula, fold, fold, fold until no white streaks remain. It will take a while because you have to be extra gentle so the whites don't completely deflate. Once you are sure everything is incorporated scrape the batter onto the prepared jelly roll half-sheet pan. Using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula - spread the batter to the edges and make it as neat and flat as possible. Give it a gentle whack on the counter to even it out and make sure no huge air bubbles remain but don't slam it hard enough to sink the whole thing.
  3. Bake about 15 minutes or just until a tooth pick comes out clean-ish. It will look slightly underdone which is important for a rolled cake. Remove from oven and while still hot use a butter knife to loosen the cake from the edge of the pan. Take that extra half-sheet sized parchment paper and place on top of the cake. Next place the half-sheet cooling rack upside down on the parchment so its feet are up in the air. Using potholders (because it is all still very hot) - flip the whole thing upside down. Gently place it on the counter. Remove the baking pan and set that out of the way. Very, very carefully peel that parchment from the cake. It will come away with a layer of cake, but that is fine - don't fret. Now place the same parchment gently back on the cake and using both pieces of parchment starting from the short side, roll it up tightly - the parchment will roll along with it. You are giving it a little idea of what you expect it to do once it is filled and believe me, cake has memory. It'll behave if it knows what to expect. Leave it rolled for a couple of minutes. Now let it unroll gently and it should stay kind of curved. Let it cool completely before filling and leave that top parchment on the cake so it doesn't dry out.
Filling
  1. While the cake is cooling make the filling. In a double boiler (large capacity) melt the marshmallows with the milk. Keep stirring to incorporate. If you are using kosher marshmallows, expect that there will be a few rogue bits left that just won't melt. When almost everything is melted, strain into a bowl so that the mixture is completely smooth and bit-free. Cool in a bath of ice cubes or directly in the freezer, stirring every once in a while. Time this so that your cream is ready to go because the marshmallow mixture can go from liquid to one big fat marshmallow in no time at all. You probably have about 10 minutes to get the cream ready. Whip 2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Add in the vanilla and give it another turn or two. When the marshmallow mixture is chilled but not set add to the cream and whip together to stiff peaks. Do not over-whip or you will have marshmallow butter. Not what you want.
  2. Heat the jam in the microwave so that it is just slightly liquid. You do not want it to be hot at all. Tepid. Mix in the liqueurs and stir well. Set aside.
Assembly
  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, have all your assembly ingredients together - the filling, the raspberry jam, the cake and some extra cocoa powder (with a strainer for a sifter). Remove the parchment from the top of the cake. Working with the short side facing you, cover the entire cake with the raspberry jam - a nice layer. Don't be stingy. You should not have much if any left at all. Try to bring it to the edges of the cake but leave a little bit bare at the short side furthest away from you. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Next apply a generous layer of the whipped filling and use another spatula or spoon to even it out. Bring it to all the edges except again, the furthest one. Leave a bit of a gap.
  2. Ready to roll? Taking the edge closest to you, start to roll up the cake pretty tightly - apply some pressure but make sure to accommodate the filling and don't crack the cake if possible. (In other words pay attention and don't squish out the filling as you roll as much as possible - some will squish out). As you are rolling make sure the parchment underneath is not rolling with you - keep peeling it away. It is an easy mistake to make (I did it more than once). Keep that bottom parchment on the counter top under the cake because you will need it to move the thing. As you roll closer to the furthest edge, some filling may start to ooze out. Don't worry about it. Once you get to the end, use the parchment to help you move it to a serving platter or a smaller sheet pan. Move it so that you are kind of rolling it onto the platter or sheet pan with the seam side as much as you can on the bottom. It won't go all the way under, but it should go a little bit under to help create a nice rolled look. Take the extra cocoa powder and sift it all over the cake. Keep going. You want it to be rather thick.
  3. Cover gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or best overnight. Trim the edges before serving and dust again with cocoa powder to freshen it up. Cut generous slices for serving with some raspberries on the side and a dollop of whipped cream if you wish.

Comments

  1. This cake sounds delicious and I can’t wait to make it! Also, you might just be the funniest woman on the planet! You bring me joy and I pray you’ll recieve the same!

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous! Rolled cakes are an extra challenge to make GF because they have to stay together during the “roll”- your’s looks perfect – congrats on such an awesome recipe, Lisa!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thanks, Jenn. I think because it is an Angel Cake base it was more friendly for rolling. I’ve tried it with other cakes and it does tend to crack. Ah, GF cake making, ever the challenge. Thanks for coming by! Good to see you.

  3. That looks so yummy! I’ll be trying this. Even though I owned a bakery I don’t think I’ve ever rolled a cake before…GF or not! Wish me luck!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thanks, Suzanne. Turns out angel cake is awfully nice for rolling. It’s actually pretty easy, and forgiving. Have fun and good luck (though you probably don’t need it at all!). Let me know how it turns out. Lisa

  4. This looks completely delicious.. but, my family doesn’t eat rice on passover- would you be able to recommend a substitute? Most of our passover goods contain almond meal. I’m not ready to enter in a laws of Kashrut argument over a cake though!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Deborah – I’ve never made an angel cake with almond flour but you can always try it. It is actually the whipped whites/sugar mixture that is responsible for the ease of rolling more than the flour, so it might work. I’d grind the meal/flour in a food processor until it was as fine as possible and I’d probably also sift it to remove any large pieces. Try adding a teaspoon of sugar or powdered sugar to the almond meal before you pulse it in the food processor so it doesn’t get gooey. Another idea would be to use KFP starch instead of the flour, or even mix the almond meal with starch 50/50. Good luck! And Happy Passover.

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