Spiced Peach Jam Roly-Poly

There are few things I love more than the Olympics. I love all of it: the athletes' stories, the countries, the opening ceremonies, the anthems, the sports. And I love the Winter Olympics best of all. 

(My dad has a theory about that: All the Winter Olympics sports are so fast and looks so fun … and completely unlike all the Summer Olympic track and field sports that we sucked at in school.)

Anyway, we celebrated the Sochi opening ceremonies this weekend with an Olympic Potluck. Guests brought a dish from the country of their choice, and we all got to sample an international feast while we watched the Russians put on a crazy show to start the games.

We decided to represent the UK, which we did with a dessert tray:

We made one dessert from each of the four parts of the United Kingdom: shortbread from Scotland, Welsh cakes from Wales, jam roly-poly from England, and Guinness and Bailey's cupcakes from Northern Ireland. (That last one's a bit of a cheat, but I don't think we need to split hairs about Catholic vs. Protestant desserts, do you?)

The jam roly-poly was especially good, because we got to feature more of our delicious peaches from this summer's bumper crop. I had made the spiced peach jam months ago, and we used almost a good pint of it in this recipe.

Spiced Peach Jam Roly-Poly

To make this recipe, you need to first make a Genoise cake. This is a classic sponge cake that is dry enough to soak up gooey jam. Our recipe is from Kirk's old copy of Pretty Cakes: The Art of Cake Decorating, which is excellent. Martha Stewart also has a good recipe for Genoise here.

When it's done baking, you need to give the warm cake some special treatment to get it ready to roll. Here's what you do:

1. Place a clean tea towel flat on the counter and dust with powdered sugar.  

2. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully turn it out onto the sugary towel.

3. Dust the top of the cake with additional powdered sugar. 

4. Roll up the warm cake in the tea towel so you have a spiral of cake and towel. Allow it to cool in its new log shape. Rolling it while warm will keep it from cracking later.

5. When the cake log is cool, unroll it onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Spread the peach jam in a nice thick layer over the whole cake. We used about 3/4 of a pint of our spiced peach jam. (If you can only find regular peach jam, you can sprinkle the jam layer with a bit of cinnamon and clove to approximate that flavor.)

6. Roll it all up one last time. Use the wax paper to wrap the jelly roll and hold it firmly in its final shape.

7. Refrigerate over night, then slice to serve.


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