Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dairy-Free Peaches and Cream Vanilla Log Cake

"Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow"

This hymn written by Elvina Hall came to mind as I worked on this white-as-snow log cake. It's another homely bake just for my family and Susanne's so there's no pressure here to be perfect :). As we are not chocolate people and prefer something lighter, I made the vanilla sponge dairy free and used non-dairy cream (fresh cream would taste better but my family is feeling a little under the weather so something lighter would be nice). And there's the same set of Christmas gingerbread cookies adorning the cake :).

Here's a view of it from the side...

You can probably tell I wasn't very patient when I creamed the cake :p. You should wait for the cream to set for a couple of hours before slicing the ends of the swiss roll, and then wait for the creamed surface to set before drawing the bark patterns with a fork. I didn't wait for too long so the patterns are not as distinct as the buttercream covered log cake. I suppose you could freeze the cake to speed things up but I wasn't sure that the texture of the fruit inside would still be the same.

Log cake without decorations

Ingredients (9x12" pan):
Vanilla sponge
3 egg yolks
15g caster sugar
42g canola oil
42g water (you may replace with milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
55g cake flour
Pinch of salt

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
43g caster sugar

1/2 cup whip topping (a non-dairy cream, or you may replace with whipping cream/ heavy cream. Add 1 tbs of icing sugar if using dairy cream.)
1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/2 tbs water

Canned peaches, sliced
Syrup from canned peaches

1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line the pan with baking sheet.

2. Make the egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until pale and thick. Take a few minutes to do this. Add oil and whisk until thick like mayonnaise. Add water and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Gradually add in sifted flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Make the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy with an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three batches. Slowly pour the batter into the tray. Drop the tray on the table a few times to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake for 15 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

5. Immediately remove cake from pan and roll it up. Leave to cool.

6. Make the cream. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Microwave on medium-high for 10 seconds until the gelatin is dissolved. Heat 1 tbs of whip topping (or dairy cream) until warm (10 seconds on medium in microwave oven will do). Add warm cream to gelatin and stir until well combined. Let it cool to room temperature.

7. Beat chilled whip topping (or dairy cream) in a bowl until marks of the beaters can be seen. Gradually add gelatin mixture and beat on high speed until firm peaks form. Add 1 tbs of icing sugar to the cream if you are using dairy cream and be careful not to over whip dairy cream as it will separate.

8. Unroll the cake and brush some syrup on the surface (I forgot this step! So I brushed the outer surface of cake after rolling with fruits and cream). Spread cream on the surface, leaving the top edge cream-free. Arrange sliced peach in 3 rows.

9. Roll the swiss roll carefully, using the baking sheet under the cake to help. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. I was impatient and chilled for 40 minutes only. Store the rest of the cream in the fridge.

10. Slice the ends off the swiss roll and place the cake on the cakeboard. Re-whip the cream and cover the cake with cream using a spatula. Don't have to be neat about it.

11. Place the cut ends on the creamed cake to form branches.

12. Add cream to the sides of the branches. You may choose to cover the whole cake with cream but I thought it would be nice to show what filling there is inside :).

13. Chill the cake for 20 minutes in the fridge before using a fork to draw bark patterns on the cream. I didn't wait :p. Refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours before serving.

My family enjoyed our half of the cake with hubby and kids giving it a thumbs up. Susanne's family found the cake good and she loved the texture of the chiffon sponge.

This is a mild tasting and light cake. You may wish to add fruit liquor into the syrup for brushing the sponge for a more intense flavour.  Using fresh cream would make it yummier too.


With love,
Phay Shing

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