I have mentioned in the past that my primary education took place at a convent. My parents were very particular about our education and wanted a school that not only was academically strong, but also put a strong emphasis on etiquette, morals and faith. I went to school with some wonderful girls from all over the world. Just because it was a convent, it didn’t mean that all who went were Catholics, we were a diverse bunch of children; Muslims, Catholics, Jews and Hindus who all studied, learned, laughed and played together in harmony. My exposure at a young age to so many people of different faiths and cultures really helped broaden my mind and my attitude towards peoples of all backgrounds. The years spent at the convent were some of the happiest and fulfilling ones of my life. The friendship bonds I made back then are very much alive and well today and I am honoured to be friends with some amazing women.
Of course, since it was a convent, we had celebrations for all major Christian holidays. As a Muslim, I didn’t celebrate these at home but my parents had no problem with me going to spend the day at friends’ houses if I was invited. My best friend, who was almost an only child ( she had a much older brother) always invited me to her house on these holidays. I used to have a blast eating great food, candy, treats and best of all, her parents loved me, so it was just a great experience all around!
I particularly enjoyed Easter, not only did they have great epic movies on TV, like Ben Hur and King of Kings, but the stores were filled with Easter chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. The choice of Easter eggs in the UK was immense back then. I just enjoyed going to the supermarket to walk up and down the chocolate aisle! There were Button eggs, Smarties eggs, Dairy Milk eggs, Black Magic eggs, Galaxy eggs and so on.
Around Easter time, our school would have a jumble sale to raise money (for something I can’t remember). All I know is that the best stall at the sale was the Easter egg stall. This stall was manned by the girls in the top year and we all wanted to hurry up and get through school to be in Junior 4, just so we could be in charge of the Easter egg stall.
Even now, I have a soft spot for Easter and even though the eggs here are nothing like what we have in the UK, I still like walking up and down the Easter aisle at the supermarket looking at the bunny and chick candies.
One of my favourite cakes that my dad would get from the bakery was around Christmas time and it was the chocolate roulade or Bûche de Noël. I loved that cake with the chocolate and hazelnut icing and meringue mushrooms. I really wanted to make a Bûche de Noël last Christmas but I ended up going out of town and didn’t get a chance. I decided to make it for my Easter post instead but with more spring time flavours. When I made the mascarpone for the Daring Cooks Challenge, I decided to use that in the filling. I added some lemon curd for some lively, tangy flavour against the rich mascarpone and the result was a wonderful roulade perfect for Easter or any summer gathering. The addition of little candy Easter eggs made it special for the holiday but those can be substituted with fruit for a summer BBQ, Mother’s Day or even a graduation dinner. Don’t let the procedure of making a hot sponge scare you, it is so easy and comes together in less than 20 minutes. It is one of the quickest sponges I have made and even the cooling is quick and the filling a breeze. In less than hour you can have an impressive cake from scratch that will amaze your guests.
Serves: 6 servings
- ½ cup/72g all purpose/plain flour
- ⅓ cup/75g sugar
- 2 tablespoons/9g ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup/125g mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup/160g lemon curd ( I used good quality store bought)
- powdered sugar for sprinkling
- whipped cream for decoration and serving
- chocolate eggs to decorate
- Preheat oven to 400℉/200.
- Grease and line a jelly roll pan approximately 9"x13" (mine was a little smaller) with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.
- Using a double boiler and a hand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and foamy in heatproof bowl over the simmering water.
- Gently, fold in the flour and ground almonds.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and level the top.
- Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cake is golden and springy to the touch.
- While the cake is baking, take a clean tea towel and lay on the table or counter, and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar
- As soon as the cake is done, tip the cake carefully onto the tea towel and gently lift off the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
- Slowly, roll up the cake from the short size and let cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, mix the lemon curd and mascarpone together into a spreadable filling.
- Once the cake is cool to the touch, unroll the cake gently.
- Spread the cake with the lemon mascarpone filling, leaving a border all around the edges, and roll up the cake carefully.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the crisp edges off each end of the cake.
- Place the cake, seam down onto a serving plate and dust with more powdered sugar.
- Pipe whipped cream rosettes on top if desired and decorate with chocolate eggs.
Hope you enjoyed my Easter post and I hope you try making this lemon mascarpone roulade once you’ve made some homemade mascarpone cheese! Next week, I have a series of wonderful guest bloggers who swooped in to help me out as I will be busy with a wedding and family. Please welcome them with the same enthusiasm you always show me. I will be back soon and in the meantime have a great couple of weeks!