How to make it

  • Set the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1" jelly roll pan with foil: place the pan upside down on your workspace. Take an 18" length of regular weight aluminum foil and center it, shiny side down, over the pan. With your hands press the foil to the shape of the pan all around. Remove the foil, turn the pan right-side up, an pour a bit of water into the pan and then pour it out (Maida Heatter explains this dampness keeps the foil in place!) and gently place the foil into the pan and softly press it to fit. With a crumbled piece of plastic wrap (it's nice a soft and won't tear the foil) grease the foil with the softened butter on the bottom and up the sides. Sift some flour over the pan to keep the cake from sticking. Then, over the sink, carefully tip out the excess flour.
  • In an electric mixer beat the egg yolks well. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat a few minutes for this to become light and thick. Beat in the vanilla extract. Set this mixture aside. If your mixer doesn't have two workbowls transfer this to another bowl. ***Be sure to wash the beaters and mixing bowl before working with the egg whites next.***
  • In another bowl beat the egg whites and the salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed until this holds a soft peak when you raise the beater. Then on a moderate speed add the other 1/4 cup of sugar and shift to high speed and beat until a stiff peak is held but do not over-beat, that dries out your batter.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg yolk mixture, turn out the egg whites on top of the flour, and with a rubber spatula gently fold all of this together until the flour just seems incorporated. Don't over-handle this.
  • Turn the cake mixture into the prepared pan mound by mound and then, with the bottom of a large spoon, gently spread it smooth.
  • Bake for 12 - 13 minutes at which time the top will spring back to the touch. Do test this to avoid underbaking.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and with a sieve sift a layer of Confectioners sugar over the cake. That will keep the cake from adhering to waxed paper. cover the pan with a length of waxed paper and then with a cookie sheet. Turn the pan and cookie sheet upside down. Remove the pan and foil liner. Cover the exposed side of the cake (what was the bottom) with another piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed papers to roll the cake up, roll it lengthwise. Place it to rest on the seam of the cake and keep it wrapped in the waxed paper to hold in the moisture.
  • Whisk the jelly with a whisk until it is smooth and soft.
  • Unroll the jelly roll cake. Remove the top piece of waxed paper. Spread the jelly all over the cake, making it a little heavier on the long side nearest you. Consider that to be the middle of the cake once it is re-rolled. Stop spreading the jelly about a 1/2 inch from the other long side to keep it from ozzing once rolled.
  • With your hands, reroll the cake. Place it on a long, narrow platter. Slide lengths of waxed paper under the lengthwise sides so that when you drizzle the glaze the platter will stay clean. Remove them before serving.
  • Glaze:
  • Chop or break the chocolate into chunks and place them in the top of a double boiler over a moderate heat.
  • Add the cream and butter. Cover and stir occasionally until this is smooth. Remove this from the double boiler
  • Let the glaze stand and stir it occasionally until it is cooled and sets up some body but is not yet thickened and can't be drizzled.
  • Slowly pour this glaze over the length of the cake to cover it. With a narrow spatula smooth it over the top and sides to "ice" it. With the spatula create a decorative wave across the topp.
  • Let this stand some hours to set up before serving.
  • Variation:
  • Serve rolled up with chocolate whipped cream inside!

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