I’ve barely scratched the surface of lovely cakes and buttercreams that “The Art
of Fine Baking” has to offer. I’ve resigned myself to slowly working my way through
these lavish chapters since this is where some of Paula Peck’s best work lies. I
would like to go in order, but the intricacy of some of these recipes is
more than my schedule can allow for on a regular basis. This is partly why I
happened to select this Lemon Cake Logs recipe. It’s fairly straight forward and can be
completed in a few short hours, possibly less. Also, lemon seemed like an ideal
choice as we make our way through spring and the days grow warmer.
Unlike a traditional 9 inch round cake, you can get pretty sloppy when creating these little logs and they’ll still turn out cute and tasty. You don’t have to worry
much about ensuring the buttercream looks smooth or that cake crumbs don’t
stick to it. That’s the beauty of using sponge cake. Few crumbs and you can just slap on
the buttercream and roll it up. You can choose to frost both ends of the logs or
just one. Again, the buttercream doesn’t have to be perfect since it acts as a
glue for the sliced almonds. Crush the sliced almonds slightly for a refined look and dip slices of lemon in sugar for a sweet and sour garnish. No one has to know how simple this perfect party dessert was to make.
Cut sponge roll in half to make 2 long rectangles. Spread each thinly with lemon buttercream. Roll up jelly-roll style, making 2 long, thin rolls. Trim ends. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Spread the ends of each roll with the remaining buttercream. Dip ends into almonds. Dust with vanilla confectioners sugar, if using.
Note: Vanilla Sugar can be made by burying 3 or 4 vanilla beans in a canister containing 1 lb of granulated sugar or confectioners sugar.