Allison Beyer-Clausen of Southampton uses her grandmother's recipe for chocolate...

Allison Beyer-Clausen of Southampton uses her grandmother's recipe for chocolate roll. Credit: Veronique Louis

Allison Beyer-Clausen bakes cakes to order from her home in Southampton, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Where does this recipe come from? This comes from my grandmother. My mom’s family were farmers in Iowa — Scandinavians. My mom was the oldest of four, tasked with helping my grandma in the kitchen. I grew up with my grandmother and my mom baking. Their techniques and tricks rubbed off on me whether I was trying to pay attention or not.

This cake is something grandma always had in the freezer around the holidays. She could take it out and slice pieces off as she needed them. My mom does the same thing. My kids always know there is dessert in her freezer. We use mint chip ice cream. It looks festive and it tastes delicious.

Did you start a business with your baking?For the last 10 years or so I’ve been making custom cupcakes and cakes for friends and family, character cakes, Pokemon cakes. My son asked me to make a Robin Lego head for his last birthday. It’s been my creative outlet. So I’ve started to do that for other people now. My daughter came up with my website’s name: It’s really what I enjoy doing most.

I like for cakes to taste like the cakes I had when I was growing up, with a fluffy texture and really good buttercream or chocolate fudge frosting. I also do a lot of specialty sugar cookies with royal icing. It’s incredibly labor intensive but fun.

Were you an artist?No. I always joke with my daughter that I couldn’t sit down and draw to save my life, but somehow when I have a tube of frosting in my hand I’m patient enough to make it work. I like to come up with ideas and figure out how to make them work on a cake or cookie. It’s the challenge of bringing an idea to life. Seeing either my kids’ or someone else’s kid’s face light up when they see their cakes is the payoff.

Do you have suggestions for people who have never made a rolled cake like this?Number one is to grease the pan and put parchment paper down, so the cake doesn’t stick. And you have to turn it out of the pan immediately and roll it up, right in the kitchen towel, like you are rolling up a rug. This will keep it flexible and prevent it from cracking when you unroll it and fill it. I would also say, even if it does crack, a little powdered sugar or chocolate sauce on top of it can always cover any mistakes or cracks.

Any slicing tips?Use a serrated knife to slice as many pieces as you need. If the cake is too rock solid, depending on how cold your freezer is, let it sit out for 10 minutes. Then re-wrap the rest, put it back in the freezer, and wait until the next time you need it.


6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon flour

6 large eggs, separated

1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract

1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Confectioners’ sugar

3 cups softened ice cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan and line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the cocoa powder and flour and set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes). Gradually add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract, and then the cocoa powder and flour. Set aside.

4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until there are no streaks visible. Spread mixture evenly onto the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Remove the cake from oven and immediately turn out of the pan and onto a clean kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Starting from the short end, carefully roll up the cake into the towel and let it cool.

6. Carefully unroll the cake and spread with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Reroll the cake wrap, wrap in plastic and freeze until firm before slicing and serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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