It should be common knowledge by now that I have a dangerously soft spot in my heart for all things pertaining to Parks and Rec.
It’s also been noted that I’m anything but prompt in my posting.
Here I am combining my love for a show that’s been off the air for years with my inability to maintain momentum on here. Huzzah! I’m also combining booze and bacon into one singular dessert. Double huzzah!
Or, as Ron Swanson would say, bully for me!
This cake was inspired by the great Mr. Swanson himself – full of Lagavulin, candied bacon, and half a banana. Because you might need potassium. (If you understand that reference, God bless you. And if you don’t, I’m sorry and watch the show already.)
I made it about a month ago (what was that about being prompt?) for a dinner party and it turned out to be a big hit! It was only the fourth roll cake I’d every successfully rolled (though I’ve messed up dozens and dozens). Which is a relief as the people hosting and in attendance were new friends and acquaintances and the last thing I wanted to do was serve a sub-par cake. Be warned – the Lagavulin gives this cake roll a very peaty, smoky flavor that I think works beautifully with the bacon and brown sugar, but if you’d like something a little less intense feel free to sub in your favorite bourbon or whisky for a subtler flavor.
Ron Swans-Roll Cake
6 slices thick-cut bacon
3 TBSP brown sugar
¾ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup + 1 TBSP. granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ of one ripe banana
2 TBSP + 2 TBSP Lagavulin 16 Year Irish Scotch, divided
2 oz. softened cream cheese
4 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat bacon in brown sugar and place on rack over a baking tray lined with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes, until bacon in crispy. Cool and chop finely. Reserve for later.
Spray a 12x18 jelly roll pan with baking spray and line with parchment, spraying again before setting aside.
Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, and salt. Set aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip on medium speed. Slowly add in the tablespoon of sugar and increase speed to high, whipping until medium peaks form.
While the egg whites whip, whisk together the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, banana, and 2 TBSP of the Lagavulin. Whisk in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Gently fold in egg whites and spread batter onto prepared jellyroll pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until cake is just gold and edges pull away from pan.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack for a few minutes. Cover cake with a piece of parchment paper and then a clean kitchen towel. Using the towel to keep from burning your finger tips, turn the cake out of the pan onto the clean parchment. Remove the parchment used in baking the cake (which will now be on top, as you’ve just flipped the cake over – is this making sense?) and gently roll the cake up into the clean parchment – using the kitchen town as a guide.
Allow cake to cool to room temperature rolled up. This will help with filling and rerolling the cake and prevent it from cracking.
While the cake cools, prepare the filling. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, remaining 2 TBSP of Lagavuling and a pinch of salt. Add more powdered sugar to create a spreadable frosting – if necessary.
When cake is cool, spread with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the candied bacon. Reroll cake and top with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and Lagavulin.
Keep cake in fridge until ready to serve.