Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 17-by-12-inch rimmed
baking sheet with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan
with parchment paper; spray parchment. Sift flour,
1/4 cup sugar, and the salt together in medium bowl.
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in flour mixture; it will form very coarse grains.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove
from heat, and gradually whisk in milk until smooth.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl; let cool completely.
Whisk egg whites in a clean mixer bowl on low
speed until frothy. Gradually whisk in remaining
1/4 cup sugar. Increase mixer speed to high, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.
Using a large rubber spatula, stir 1/4 of the whisked
egg whites into the flour mixture to loosen. Fold in
remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Gently spread the
batter evenly over parchment in baking sheet. Bake
until cake bounces back when gently pressed, 13 to
14 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; let
cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, generously dust a clean kitchen towel
with confectioners' sugar. After cake has cooled for
10 minutes, turn it out of pan onto prepared towel.
Peel away parchment. Starting from one short end,
roll towel and cake into a log, incorporating the towel
as you go. Transfer cake, still in the towel, seam side down, to a wire rack to cool completely.
Assemble cake: Gently unroll cake on a clean work
surface. Spread caramel cream over the inside using
an offset spatula and leaving a 1/2-inch border around all the edges.
Tightly roll cake into a log, starting with a short end
(use towel to lift cake, but do not wrap it inside).
Once log is finished, wrap tightly in towel. Set it on
a baking sheet, seam side down; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Unwrap cake log, and place it on an overturned
rimmed baking sheet. Lightly dust a clean work surface
with confectioners' sugar. Roll out half the fondant to
1/4-inch thickness. Place a wood-grain stencil on fondant,
and use a rolling pin to press it into the fondant
to indent the pattern. Before lifting away stencil, generously
rub exposed fondant with cocoa. Gently
brush off excess cocoa; remove stencil. Drape fondant
over cake log, and shape it to fit using your
hands (take care not to disturb the wood-grain pattern).
Trim ends, and transfer cake to a serving platter.
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