Gluten-free walnut roll cake
I made this walnut cake for #rainydaybitescookbookclub. Deborah from @rainydaybites selected another excellent book this time featuring Paula Wolfert’s recipes in a book called Unforgettable. This book was not available to download to purchase, and I wasn’t going to receive it in time for the recipe challenge if I ordered it through Amazon. I definitely was disappointed but I did find this particular recipe online on kitchenriffs.com. The blogger on this website said that it’s ‘adapted’ from Paula Wolfert’s book World of Food. I checked with someone who has the book for the challenge and they said it’s exactly the same so there’s no adaptation here friends — this is the original recipe.
I will be ordering her Unforgettable book to my parents house and picking it up when I’m next home because this cake is just a sampling of how wonderful her recipes are. I’m super happy I found this recipe online though. This is another reason I love to join in on @rainydaybites cookbook club. I get to try recipes that I would normally not make. I shy away from very complex recipes not only because of lack of confidence and time, but also a lack of certain ingredients that aren’t easily available here. These challenges have helped me build confidence and try new things and push me to find alternative ingredients and to be more adaptable when recipes call for ingredients I either cant get here or are way over my cooking budget.
it’s very light and creamy and because it’s chilled I think it tastes like an ice cream cake
Ok let me get into a few details about this cake recipe. The actual ingredients and prep are pretty easy. What I was nervous about was the rolling part. You really need to make sure the cake has completely cooled before even attempting to turn it over and roll it. I think it’s also crucial to do the damp towel over it while it cools because it will keep it from drying out and cracking too much while you roll it. Just take a nice deep breath and then gently roll. I had my husband cheering me on, so some encouragement goes a long way! Also make sure to have your eggs at room temp which will help get your egg whites to beat better. Feel free to add a pinch of cream of tartar to them to get those peaks even stiffer. Those are pretty much the only tips I would give to go along with this recipe. It’s pretty straight forward but I’m just a chicken when it comes to rolling, flipping and you name it! Haha! I am totally getting better though and becoming a bit more adventurous!
Why is this cake so darn good? Well it’s very light and creamy and because it’s chilled I think it tastes like an ice cream cake. It was fabulous and my husband who is not a fan of walnuts, couldn’t get enough of it. It’s also gluten free. This is the kind of gluten free cake I like and am willing to make because I don’t have to go out and find tapioca flour or chickpea flour or whatever alternative interesting (and expensive) flours there are out there. I have several friends and family who are gluten intolerant and one of them in particular isn’t a fan of chocolate either, so I’m always trying to figure out what to make for dessert for her other then ice cream and fruit. So this is definitely a great recipe and a keeper for me and I’m sure you will love it too!
I love walnuts and this cake was just perfect. It’s great for summer BBQs and family gatherings. The perfect cold treat! Someone mentioned that they can’t have walnuts when I originally posted a pic of it on IG but I think you could definitely make this with almonds too if that’s a concern. It would alter the flavour slightly but I think it will be just as wonderful with almonds. I will be making this again in the near future and glad I have the recipe to reference! Hope you guys give it a try!
For the cake:
- 5 eggs, separated, preferably at room temperature
- 5½ ounces (1½ cups) ground walnuts
- ½ cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Approx 1 tablespoon butter for greasing baking pan
For the filling:
- 6½ ounces (1¾ cups) ground walnuts
- ½ cup warm milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
For the garnish:
- confectioner’s (powdered) sugar (½ cup or so)
- sprigs of mint and/or berries (optional; strawberries and blackberries both work well)
For the cake:
- Set the eggs out to warm to room temperate (not strictly necessary, and a step we often skip, but the whites beat better if they’re not cold).
- When ready to proceed, preheat oven to 375 degree F.
- Butter a half-sheet pan or jelly roll pan (11 x 17 inches), then line the pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Be sure to leave about 2 inches of paper hanging over at each end. Butter the paper.
- Grind the walnuts finely (it’s easiest to do this using a food processor).
- Separate the eggs.
- Place egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl if beating by hand). Beat the egg yolks, and after a minute gradually begin to add the sugar and a pinch of salt. In a few minutes (perhaps 5) the eggs will become light and creamy. Add baking powder and then ground walnuts, beating to mix.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Using a rubber spatula, fold into the egg whites into the walnut mixture.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cover the cake with a damp cloth or dishtowel and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until it has completely cooled.
For the filling:
- Grind 6½ ounces of walnuts.
- Heat the milk until it’s warm , then add it to the ground walnuts. Set aside to cool.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl if doing this by hand), cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar. Continue beating until the butter/sugar mixture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the Cognac and then the walnut/milk mixture.
- In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream.
- Fold the whipped cream into the walnut mixture.
For final assembly:
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator (make sure it’s been chilling for at least 30 minutes), and sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
- Put a piece of waxed or parchment paper (at least 20 inches long) over the cake.
- Keeping the waxed/parchment paper on top of the cake, grip the baking pan at both ends and quickly turn it 180 degrees (upside down).
- Remove the pan, and peel the paper off the cake.
- Using a spatula, spread the filling evenly over the top of the cake.
- Roll the cake, using the remaining waxed paper to help roll it up into a jelly roll shape.
- Cover the cake roll with foil, and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour or two I like to do it overnight).
- Dust the top of the cake roll with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Add additional garnish (such as mint or berries) if desired.