What’s not to like about The Great British Bake-Off (known as The Great British Baking Show on this side of the Atlantic)? It seemingly exists in a world where the biggest worry a person can have is “Will these people like the thing I made?” They’re surrounded by generally well-meaning fellow home bakers in a pretty tent in the middle of an impeccably maintained countryside estate and doing something they love. Jesus, if fucking only.
I don’t generally do spectacle desserts. Who am I trying to impress, really? The Internet? Who cares?! I’d rather bake a fruit crisp or apples, something humble, that’s simpler, healthier, and just as tasty as an elaborate but finicky pastry or artfully decorated cake. But I do love the IDEA of fancypants desserts! So I thought about something that’s been on GBBO that’s close enough to my wheelhouse to make, and ended up with the ice cream roll.
Now, if I wanted to be really Bake-Offish about it, I would’ve made the ice cream and the jam from scratch, and I certainly could’ve, but it would require a much bigger investment in time and ingredients than I wanted to make for a dessert I don’t really have a reason to be making outside of this blog. It was worthwhile, however, to read up on baking a veganized fatless sponge.
Man, that is a DIFFERENT cake batter, but it worked! Whipping aquafaba full of air for leavening and carefully folding in the flour to avoid deflating it is quite the feat. Not hard, exactly, but not cooking 101 either. It turned out rather beautifully. I doubled the recipe (linked above) and baked it in a smallish shallow baking sheet (about 9” x 13” x 1”), let it cool completely, then smeared an entire jar of raspberry jam on the inside. Next I scooped about half or two-thirds of a pint of Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss, dark chocolate flavor, and used some plastic wrap to help me roll it up into a tight roll, wrap it up, and stick it in the freezer to firm up.
A key part of any “showstopper,” of course, is the decoration. Being me, I didn’t want to do anything too complicated, but I figured a chocolate drizzle, some toasted almonds, and fresh raspberries would liven it right up.