This is one of those recipes from my childhood, a dessert my mother does all the time, and has always been a family favourite. From the moment I learned how to do it, it also became a regular guest at my parties and dinners, very entertaining with its disappearing act. I guess we can call it a best-eater.
It’s a good thing my mum knows the recipe by heart, because every time I do it, I forget where I’ve written it down (which i probably did about 5 times already) and I can’t seem to memorise it myself.
– Hi mum, it’s me, guess why I’m calling you again…
– The lemon roll recipe??
– Yes, please…
– Will you write it down already?!
So this is it. I’m writing it down. I’m not losing it this time, mum, I promise!
Teresinha’s Lemon Roll
- 8 eggs
- 400g caster sugar
- 50g butter, melted
- Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
In a bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar very well. Add the butter, the lemon zest, the lemon juice and the cornmeal, and mix until even.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a rectangular baking tray with parchment paper and pour in the mixture. Bake until the top and sides start to turn golden, but it still jiggles a little bit if you shake it.
On a plane surface, lay a clean damp cloth and sprinkle some white sugar over it. Turn the cake out onto the cloth and strip the parchment paper away. Start rolling the cake, by slowly pulling towards you the edge of the cloth that is furthest away, and folding it over until it takes the shape of a cylinder. Don’t worry too much if it starts to crack.
When it’s all rolled up, use the cloth to help you transfer it onto a long rectangular plate and once it cools down, put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving. Cut it in 1cm slices and then watch it while it mysteriously disappears. Look for finger-licking action for clues on who did it.