Danica McKellar's mom is making a delicious chocolate sponge cake with homemade vanilla cream filling.
Ingredients for Cake
6 organic Eggs, from certified humanely pastured hens
3/4 cup organic Cane Sugar, divided
1/3 cup organic unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tsp pure organic Vanilla Extract
1/32 tsp (a small pinch) pure Sea Salt
Organic Powdered Sugar (see *a)
Ingredients for Vanilla Cream Filling
3/4 cup organic Heavy/Whipping Cream
1/4 cup organic Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp pure organic Vanilla Extract
Ingredients for Chocolate Cream Topping
1 1/4 cup organic Heavy/Whipping Cream
1/3 cup + 1 Tabl organic Powdered Sugar
3 1/2 Tabl organic unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp pure organic Vanilla Extract
Ingredients for Decoration
Marzipan - Red and Green Food coloring - Small water color paint brushes - see *b
Preheat oven to 375F. Use ghee, butter or coconut oil to lightly grease a 10” x 15” x 1” jelly roll baking pan (or sided cookie sheet). Line the bottom of the baking pan (only the bottom) with unbleached parchment paper, and then very lightly grease the parchment paper.
Separate egg whites from yolks.*(c As you separate them, put the egg whites in a mixer bowl for making the meringue. Put the yolks in another large mixer bowl for making the batter.
At high speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add only 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tabl at a time, beating well after each addition, and then continuing to beat just until stiff peaks form. *(d
In the other mixer bowl with the egg yolks, beat the yolks at high speed, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 TBS at a time, beating until mixture is very thick, appx 3 – 5 minutes.
At low speed, stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sea salt. Mix just until smooth.
With a large spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold the cocoa mixture and egg whites together until just blended and no egg whites show. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan.
Bake 12 – 15 minutes, just until the surface springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip.
Do not over bake or the cake will crack instead of roll.
Sift a tiny amount of powdered sugar on one side of a thin, clean dish towel, at least 10” x 15” in. size. Carefully turn the cake out onto the sugared towel when you take it out of the oven. Lift the pan off the cake and peel off the parchment paper from the cake and discard.
Roll the cake up, rolling the towel as well, into a “jelly roll”, starting with the short side if you want a “fatter” log, or starting with the longer side if you want a thinner, longer log. Cool the rolled cake completely on a rack, seam side down.*(e
Make the VANILLA CREAM FILLING by combining the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Beat until thick.*(f If not using immediately, cover and chill until use.
Make the CHOCOLATE CREAM TOPPING by combining the ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Beat until thick.*(f If not using immediately, cover and chill until use.
Carefully unroll the cake, removing the towel as you do so. Spread the top of the cake using all of the vanilla cream filling, spreading evenly to 1/2 inch away from all the edges. Reroll the cake and place it seam side down on your serving plate.
Use the chocolate cream topping to cover the top, sides and ends of the log.*(g Using a fork, make slightly wavy lines in the chocolate cream on the top and sides of the cake to create a bark effect. Use a spoon or spatula to make a swirl on each end, to give the look of a cut log.
Loosely wrap your cake in foil and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Bring it out about 30 minutes before serving, as the taste and texture are best at room temperature. *(h
Mold marzipan to create two holly clusters, each with 2 holly leaves joined with 3 or more holly berries. Use food coloring to paint the leaves green and the berries red. Allow to dry completely before using.
When you’re about to serve your cake, if you want a “snowy” look, lightly sift powdered sugar over the log and plate. Place your holly decorations: One cluster on the log and another at the base of the log.
a) Why organic powdered sugar? It’s made of organic cane sugar with organic tapioca powder to prevent clumping. Conventional powdered sugar is typically GMO beet sugar with GMO cornstarch.
b) Because there is so much sugar in marzipan, and because in our family we don’t consider food dyes to be good for us to consume, we don’t eat the decorations. If you’re going to eat them, try to find (or make your own) natural food dyes.
c) If you’re new at separating eggs, it’s a wise move to use a cup to put the egg white in first, then into the bowl. If any yolk accidentally gets into the cup, just put the cup aside, get a clean cup and continue with a new egg. This way you’ve spoiled only one egg white instead of your entire bowl of whites. This is important because even a tiny bit of yolk will keep the whites from becoming a meringue!
d) Careful, over-beating will make the meringue dry and not hold its shape, and the cake will be “heavy”.
e) You can make the cake a day ahead. Once it has cooled completely, loosely wrap it (still in the towel) with aluminum foil and seal the edges well to keep fresh. To keep your cake moist, do not refrigerate.
f) Cream whips up best if it is chilled, just out of the refrigerator. You can also put your beaters in the freezer to chill them for a few minutes before beating. If you have raw meats in the freezer, it’s best to put the beaters in a baggie or wrap in a towel to keep any meat “germs” from getting on them. Save the baggie or towel for chilling them again for the topping. Also, watch out: Over beating cream will turn it into butter, and it happens in an instant.
g) To help keep your serving plate clean, you can slide waxed paper around the edges of your cake, then carefully remove the waxed paper when you’re finished putting the topping on.
h) After serving, be sure to return the cake to the refrigerator sooner rather then later, so your filling and topping don’t start to spoil. This cake will still be delicious up to 3 days later, if you keep it chilled between servings, (and it hasn’t been completely eaten by then!)