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Lemon roulade is a rolled dessert log that can be made with cake or meringue and lemon curd filling. Curd has a strong fruit flavor and a consistency similar to that of pudding. The cake or meringue layer is spread with the curd and then rolled up into a log shape.
Preparing the curd is the first step in making a lemon roulade, although there are commercial lemon curd products available if one is short on preparation time. Lemon curd is made of lemon juice, egg yolks, butter and sugar. Zest, the grated outer peel of the lemon or other citrus fruit, also is often added to curd. The ingredients are cooked in a saucepan over a low flame until they begin to thicken.
If one is preparing a cake roulade, flour, eggs and sugar are needed to make the batter. The ingredients are often put in a blender, though a little extra effort in separating the eggs and folding in the ingredients by hand may result in a fluffier, lighter cake. The batter is poured into a flat, long pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
After the cake is baked, it is allowed to cool and then lifted from the pan by the ends of the parchment paper. It is placed upside down on a tray, and the paper is carefully removed. The curd is spread over the surface of the cake, which is then rolled into a log. Powdered or granulated sugar is often used as a coating. The cake is then chilled for several hours with the seam hidden underneath.
Some recipes call for an outer roll of meringue, a light, sweet confection made of egg whites. The egg whites are placed in a clean, dry bowl and whisked until they turn white and form stiff peaks. Sugar and corn starch is gradually folded into the stiffened whites, along with vanilla. The mixture is then turned into a shallow pan lined with parchment paper and baked. A meringue and lemon roulade is made in the same way as the cake version, though ingredients such as whipped cream or berries may be added before the roulade is rolled up.
A lemon roulade is ready to be served after it has been chilled. It should be carefully cut to avoid flattening the roll and causing it to lose its rounded shape. Some people serve this dish with whipped cream or creme fraiche. Others prefer a raspberry sauce and a sprinkling of fresh raspberries.