Flavorful strawberry basil cake in the form of a roll filled with cream cheese and heavy cream.
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You will not believe how good this strawberry basil cake is!!! I was a bit skeptical myself at first; probably that is why it actually took me 2 years to finally make this.
And everybody who ate this cake looked at me very, very doubtfully when, after asking why the inside of the cake was so green, I told them that that would be the basil. They were like, “Aha... Basil? I thought those were pistachios...”
And then they looked at the cake for a few more very unsure moments before taking the first careful bite. And then... their faces lit up, and they were like: “Whoa! Is that good? I didn't really think basil would be good in a cake... Can I have some more, please?” And the roll was gone in about half an hour.
Ingredients for the strawberry basil roll
- This is a must if you like fresh-tasting, lemony, aromatic cakes. And who doesn't like that? The basil aroma is subtle but definitely there, the limes make the cake tangy and refreshing, and the sweet roll gives the cake the right amount of sweetness.
- And I almost forgot to mention the strawberries... they just make everything perfect.
- The quark can be substituted with cream cheese, fromage frais, or blended cottage cheese.
How to make a sponge cake?
The strawberry basil cake is very easy to make, and if you do it like described, it will definitely not break.
- Preheat the oven and prepare the baking tray before you start making the sponge. Mixing the ingredients will be quick, and you don't want to have the batter waiting while your oven reaches the right temperature; the sponge should be placed in the hot oven as soon as you mix it.
- Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with some of the sugar very well; this will ensure that the sponge is light and airy.
- In another bowl, beat the yolks and the remaining sugar until creamy.
- Make sure that you sift the flour and cornstarch mixture over the egg yolks; if you don't sift them, the cake will be too dense.
- Carefully fold in the flour mixture and then the egg whites; the batter should be airy and fluffy.
- Bake until golden, only about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Immediately turn on the sugared kitchen towel and peel off the baking paper.
- Roll with the towel and let cool completely before filling.
Here are a few rules that will make working with gelatine easier:
- The milk products used to make the cheese mixture, like yogurt, cream cheese, quark, heavy cream, etc, have to be at room temperature
- The gelatine has to soak according to the instructions written on the packet (normally 5 to 10 minutes)
- When you heat the gelatine, stay there and never ever let it boil; it will take just seconds (20-30) to dissolve it, just stay there and mix it gently with a spoon
- Put the bowl in the fridge while whipping the double cream; wait until the gelatine starts to set, then fold in the heavy cream carefully. Follow the recipe's instructions, but also check the mixture very often; it should only START to set and not be set before you add the whipped cream.
- If you need gelatine to set warm liquids (like in this recipe), it is easier; just mix the soaked and dissolved gelatine into the warm liquid while stirring all the time.
More strawberry cakes
Strawberry Basil Cake
- 4 eggs medium Germany, large US
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
- a pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 sheet gelatine
- 2 organic limes juice and some zest
- ⅔ cup icing sugar + some extra
- 6 sprigs basil
- 1 ¼ cup low-fat quark See note 1
- 5 oz strawberries + 5-6 extra for decorating
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar See note 2
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond flakes optional
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Egg whites: Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until quite stiff. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and beat until glossy and stiff. Set aside.
- Egg yolks: In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar until foamy.
- Mix the flour and the starch and sieve everything over the egg yolk-sugar mixture. Add ⅓ of the egg whites and incorporate them. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently.
- Bake: Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Roll: In the meantime, place a clean kitchen towel on the table and sprinkle it with the extra icing sugar. Take the cake out of the oven and place it directly onto the kitchen towel with the baking paper facing up. Remove the baking paper carefully, then immediately roll the cake, helping yourself with the towel. Leave it to get completely cold, about 1 hour.
- Gelatine: Soak the gelatine leaves according to the packet's instructions. Mix the lime juice and a few pinches of the grated zest with the icing sugar in a small pan. Heat the mixture gently, without letting it boil. Squeeze the gelatine leaves gently, place them in the pan with the juice and stir until it dissolves. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
- Puree the basil leaves together with the quark and the lime-gelatine mixture. Place everything in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Chop: In the meantime dice the strawberries and beat the heavy cream until stiff.
- Combine: When the quark-lime mixture starts to set, gently fold in the whipped heavy cream.
- Fill: Roll out the roll, spread the quark mixture evenly, leaving a bit of space around the edges, sprinkle the chopped strawberries all over and roll the cake carefully again. Place on a serving tray with the seam facing down and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours until the cream sets completely.
- Whip the heavy cream with a bit of icing sugar and spread it all over the roll. Slice some strawberries and arrange on top of the roll. You can also sprinkle the cake with some almond slices or coconut flakes.
- Alternative: Instead of using another cup of heavy cream to decorate the roll, you can save the calories and just sprinkle the roll with icing sugar and arrange some strawberries on top or around the roll.
- You can replace the quark with other dairy products like creme fraiche, fromage frais, farmer's cheese or blended cottage cheese.
- You can use 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar instead of sugar and vanilla extract.