Roll cakes are so fun and cute! Today I’m sharing a recipe with you that is Japanese flavored: sweet red bean paste (Shirakiku is the brand I often see at the Asian store) and chestnut, which is a really great combination. Sweet red bean paste is a very common Japanese sweets ingredient, and you’ll often see it in mochi and daifuku. Chestnuts are also a common treat in Japan, especially once the weather gets cold. They are big and sweet and ah-mazing!
You definitely can’t get freshly roasted large chestnuts around here where I live, in Kansas. Maybe you’d have better luck in a big city? But the other day I was perusing the aisles of Costco and found: organic roasted chestnuts ! And unlike this outrageous Amazon price, a four pack was $5.99. Not bad not bad! I picked a box up, thinking I’d make something with it, but my kids and I (my husband got a couple pieces…) finished off all four bags in about four days… But no worries, I went back and picked up another box!
Now these are not the same as the Japanese chestnuts that are used in most of their sweets making. They usually use chestnuts that are boiled and sweetened but, I gotta just work with what I have, right? These roasted chestnuts are a good alternative, since… you can actually get them, you don’t have to do a ton of prep work, and it still tastes really yummy!
The cake is a simple sponge cake that I baked in a cookie sheet. I think the flavor and texture of a sponge cake is just incomparable, and it really pairs well with whipped cream. It takes a little bit of extra effort, because you need to whip the egg whites, but I promise you that it’s worth it! Inside, I used a whipped sweet red bean cream, which is just whipped cream mixed with the red bean paste. Easy peasy. Then I put blobs of the red bean paste and scattered the chestnuts over it. I did the blobs because I didn’t want to spread it out and figured it’d be fine. And it was, but my husband said if I make this again (I will), that he’d rather have it spread out evenly. Whatevvvs, maybe I will.
To make the roll cake, you roll it up from short end to short end. So if we are looking at the pic above ^^^, you’d roll it from left to right (or right to left I spooose). I just lifted the left end up a bit and started peeling the parchment paper away, and then kept peeling it away as I rolled it up. The paper is sticky and coated with bits of the cake, so you need to fold the paper onto itself while rolling if you don’t want to get it all over your hands! When it’s all rolled up, you can use the parchment paper and your hands to shape it nicely. Then into the fridge it goes, to firm up. I finished it off with a layer of the cream on the outside, and topped with some whole chestnuts!
The cake is so fluffy and soft, and it goes perfectly with the whipped cream filling! And, like I said, red bean and chestnut are a match made in foodie heaven. Try it out!
Red bean chestnut roll cake
A Japanese style rolled sponge cake filled with sweet red bean paste, red bean whipped cream, and chestnut pieces.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 T butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sweet red bean paste
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped
- whole chestnuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a half sheet size (about 13x18x1) cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wash medium sized mixing bowl to completely remove any grease or oil. Wash hand mixer whisks to remove all oil.
Divide the eggs, putting the whites in the very clean oil free medium bowl, and the yolks in another medium bowl. Add half of the granulated sugar to the yolks. Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer, adding the other half of the sugar a bit at a time, until stiff peaks form. Use the hand mixer to mix the egg yolk and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy, a couple of minutes. Add the butter and mix well. Sift in the cake flour and quickly mix in with the hand mixer, or fold in with a spatula. Add about 1/4-1/3 of the egg whites to the yolk mixture and stir in until completely combined. Add the yolk mixture back into the remaining whites and fold in gently, being careful not to deflate too much. Pour into cookie sheet and even out the top with the spatula. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until baked through.
When cake is done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Move the cake with parchment paper to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, whip the 1 cup of cream to medium peaks. Add 1/2 cup of sweet red bean paste and whip to combine. When the cake is completely cooled, spread whipped cream all over the top, leaving about 1/3-1/2 cup to cover the outside, if desired. Add the remaining half cup of red bean paste by either dropping globs of it all over, or spreading it out. Sprinkle the chopped chestnuts all over.
Roll the cake from narrow end to narrow end. Start by peeling back the parchment paper a little, and start rolling while peeling away the parchment. Fold parchment paper onto itself to keep the sticky cake remains from getting on your hands. Once the cake is rolled up, place in refrigerator to set up (about a half hour). Remove from fridge and cover with the remaining cream, and top with whole chestnuts.