Flashback Friday – Win Some, Lose Some

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 5/28/08 at Exit 51

Win Some, Lose Some

Try as I might, not everything that goes on in my kitchen can be considered successful. And I can’t figure out where I go wrong. Am I missing some critical gene in my DNA to produce flawless results every time I put my apron on? Or do I just get ahead of myself and miss steps along the way?

Take this past weekend for example. On Friday we had a lovely dinner of Tenderloin with Chocolate Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Mushroom Risotto. Not one bad dish in the group. And very few leftovers…only a few slices of beef which quickly got polished off as lunch the next day. It truly is one impressive dinner.

But then when I go to make something that seems like it should be easier by leaps and bounds, well, that falls flat. Very flat. I had a jelly roll cake recipe that I was supposed to test weeks and weeks ago for Cooks Illustrated. I just never got around to it. So with an extended weekend, I figured I’d give it a try.

I’ve done jelly roll before, using Paula Deen’s recipe. So I’m somewhat familiar with the notion of thin sponge cake, rolling, filling, etc. And let me tell you, it was still a flop. The cake itself was tough and bland. Despite buttering the parchment as CI instructed, huge scabs of cake stuck to it. And then to add insult to injury, the wretched thing split clear down the middle after being filled and re-rolled. I’ll be quite interested to read the final recipe that they publish for that one.

So I think I’ll stick to Miss Paula’s recipe for Jelly Roll Cake the next time I get a taste for such things. Yes, the idea of fussing and fiddling with a thin layer of cake is pretty daunting but give it a try. I’ll even give you the recipe.

Paula Deen’s Old South Jelly Roll Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, sifted
  • 1 cup jam or jelly, stirred well
  • Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until light. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla, and mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture.

Fold in the egg whites into the egg mixture and pour the batter into a 15 by 10 by 1-inch jelly roll pan lined with waxed paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cake is golden.

Loosen edges of cake, invert cake onto a towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel wax paper off cake. Trim 1/4-inch of hard crust off each long side of the jelly roll cake. Begin with the narrow side and roll the cake and towel up together. Cool cake on rack, seam side down, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Once cake has cooled, gently unroll and spread cake with jam or jelly and re-roll. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or cover with whipped cream.

{printable recipe}

3 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Win Some, Lose Some

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