You will not believe how good this roll 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 is 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.
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 roll is very easy to make and if you do it like described it will definitely not break. The quark can be substituted with cream cheese, preferably low-fat for a fresher taste or yogurt
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- a pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 sheet gelatine
- 2 organic limes, juice and some zest
- 75 g/ ⅔ cups icing sugar + some extra
- 6 sprigs basil
- 250 g/ 9 oz low fat quark
- 150 g/ 5.2 oz strawberries + 5-6 extra for decorating
- 200 ml/ about 1 cup heavy cream
- another cup heavy cream for decorating, optional
- almond slices or coconut flakes for decorating, optional
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay a baking tray with baking paper.
- 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.
- In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar until foamy.
- Mix together the flour and the starch and sieve everything over the egg yolk-sugar mixture. Add ⅓ of the egg whites and incorporate. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently.
- Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. In the meantime place a clean kitchen towel on the table and sprinkle it with the extra icing sugar. Take the cake out of 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 (it won't take soooo long, about 1 hour).
- Soak the gelatine leaves according to the packet's instructions. Mix the lime juice and a few pinches of the grated zest (you can place the rest of the grated zest on a small piece of paper, let it get dry and then use in other recipes) 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.
- In the meantime chop the strawberries into very small pieces and beat the heavy cream until stiff.
- When the quark-lime mixture starts to set, gently fold in the whipped heavy cream.
- 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. It might happen that you will have some extra filling left like I did. Don't try to force all of it in the roll, it will just come out around the edges. Place the leftovers in a small bowl and enjoy instead of dessert.
- For decorating the roll, whip another cup of heavy cream with a little icing sugar and spread it all over the roll. Slice some strawberries and arrange on top of the roll. You can also sprinkle the roll with some almond slices or coconut flakes.
- 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.