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apricot swiss roll

Ingredients

For the sponge cake:
5 large eggs (260 grams)
120 grams granulated sugar
120 grams all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
A clean kitchen towel (washed with unscented detergent)

For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces), softened
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
Pinch salt
1/3 cup apricot preserves (you’ll need a whole 13-ounce jar for the entire recipe)**

For the white chocolate glaze/to assemble:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
Pinch salt
3.5-ounce bar of white chocolate, broken into small pieces
3/4 cup room temperature apricot preserves (the remainder of the 13-ounce jar)
room temperature cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup ground pistachios, for sprinkling (plus more for serving, optionally)

Instructions

  1. Bake the sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F convection, and line the bottom of a 12×16-inch nonstick rectangular pan with parchment paper.*
  2. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a stainless steel bowl and hand-held mixer). Beat on high with the whisk attachment until it looks like the above photo (about 8 minutes with my hand mixer). It should increase significantly in size and become much lighter in color. When you lift the beaters, the trail will slowly disappear back into itself after 1 full second (“one Mississippi”).
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture evenly over the surface of the whipped eggs/sugar and carefully fold it in with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom. Repeat with the next 1/3, and then the final 1/3.
  4. Spread the batter evenly all the way to the edges of the parchment-lined pan (careful that the parchment doesn’t shift). Drop the pan from about an inch above the counter once or twice to knock out any big air bubbles (don’t worry, it won’t collapse).
  5. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes (in my oven it takes 13 minutes, but it can vary). To test for doneness, gently press on the surface toward the middle—it should slowly spring back after a second (do not insert a toothpick or knife to test it).
  6. Carefully run a knife around the edges to free the cake (go around once sawing up and down, then once dragging the knife), and then invert onto the kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully flip the cake back over so the browned top is showing. Before it cools, roll up the cake and towel together (short side to short side). Do not compress it as you roll, but roll it somewhat snugly. Let it cool this way for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Make the cream cheese frosting: Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, rosewater, orange blossom water, and salt, until it’s a little lighter and fluffier (about 2 minutes).
  8. Beat in the 1/3 cup of apricot preserves (reserve the rest for the jelly layer).
  9. Make the glaze and assemble the cake: Warm the cream, orange blossom water, and salt over medium-low heat. Once it becomes quite hot, but before it stats to simmer, add the white chocolate, cover, and remove from heat. Let it sit for about 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk it all together. Let it cool to warm-room-temperature.
  10. Once the cake has cooled with the towel, carefully unroll it and place it on a cooling rack over a tray or cutting board. Spread the reserved apricot preserves evenly over of the cake, being careful not to tear it. Drop blobs of the frosting over the apricot preserves, and then smooth them out without disturbing the jam layer. Roll the cake up, but don’t roll it too tightly or the contents will start to ooze out the sides too much (a little oozing is ok).*** Adjust the cake a little to make sure it’s sitting on the seam (as pictured).
  11. Pour the cooled white chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, and work it down the sides. Immediately sprinkle pistachios over the surface and pat them onto the sides.
  12. Move directly to the fridge for at least 1 hour (the frosting needs to set slightly, otherwise everything will squish when you slice it). Once it’s chilled a bit, slice off the ends (and save them for a midnight snack) and serve (feel free to sprinkle the slices with a little more pistachio at the table).

Notes

* You can get away with using a standard 18×13-inch sheet pan. Just absolutely do not skip the parchment step. If you use a larger pan, the sponge cake will be flatter, so it may finish cooking earlier.

** Bonne Maman is exactly the right size jar of apricot preserves for both the jam layer and cream cheese frosting, and it’s what I used during recipe testing, but any will work.

*** If the frosting is too warm and seems like it’s going to ooze out the sides, chill it in the fridge for 5 or 10 minutes before rolling to cool it down just a little.