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Things were a little busy here at the Homeschool Coffee Break last week, so I saved our latest Taste of Europe for today. Just over a week ago, we tried a dessert from the country of Andorra.
Andorra is one of Europe's smallest countries, landlocked high in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Its culture is very much a mix of Spanish and French. Both French and Spanish money were legal tender until the Euro was adopted. The official language in Andorra is Catalan, which is a Romance language that originated in northeastern Spain and nearby regions of France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted Andorra independence in exchange for their help in fighting the Moors. The Principality has existed since 1278 AD. The economy is driven mostly by tourism, thanks to its winter and summer resorts, ski resorts, and duty-free status.
As with some of the other smaller countries in Europe, I wondered whether we'd even find dishes that were clearly associated with the region, but once again, Global Table Adventure came through. I found a delicious dessert called Brac de Gitano to try. It's a thin cake rolled up with an apricot and whipped cream filling. I feel like I left my cake in the oven perhaps a couple of minutes too long, as it tended to crack when I rolled it, so it isn't as pretty as it could have been. But what does that matter, when it's so delicious!
Brac de Gitano (Cream Roll)
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 5 tbsp apricot jam
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow. Add flour, salt, butter, and almond extract. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add about 1/3 of the egg whites to the yolk mixture and stir just until combined. Then fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into a prepared jelly roll pan (greased and lined with parchment paper), and bake at 350*F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. Turn it onto a sugared tea towel or sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a tube. Let it cool to room temperature before filling.
For the filling, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Stir about a 1/3 of the whipped cream into the 5 tbsp of jam (bring jam to room temperature first). Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, just until combined.
Unroll the cake. Spread it with the 1/2 cup jam and then the whipped cream filling. Reroll and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup each of powdered sugar and cocoa mixed together, and garnish with slivered almonds, if desired. Slice into rounds and serve cold. With coffee. Mmmmm.... light and refreshing!
This post is linked at Try a New Recipe Tuesday, hosted by Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos
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