Brazo de Gitano Cake with Persimmon Jam

This is the thought process that created our Brazo de Gitano. I saw a lot of rolled cakes during our trip to Barcelona. This cake, sometimes referred top as the Swiss Roll, is as the name implies, from Switzerland, but has made its way into French, Spanish, and Pan-European cuisines. Each culture alters the fillings based on tastes and local produce. In Barcelona, the flavor of the day is Persimmon. I love persimmon and figured it would be a beautiful flavor to finish our dinner.

Smetannik Cake

Smetannik means “the one that is made of sour cream” and it is my all time favorite Russian cake. When we first came to North Carolina and found an International Grocery (read Russian store), we started buying their frozen Smetannik by the pound. It was THE celebration cake. It would get cut down to whatever size we wanted and thawed to a delicious creamy cake.

Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been making this cake in one format or another for years now. I keep several jars raspberry jam in stock at all times! In fact, you can find the recipe for my Raspberry Jam here. The raspberry jam soaks into the air bubbles in my dense vanilla sour cream cake and saturates it with even more flavor. Because of this, I prefer to make my cream cheese frosting a bit under-sweetened, so you are not overloaded with sugar. I am an advocate of thin layers of cake, so I slice my cake layers into 1/2 inch slices, so each round is always a 4 layer cake….it brings me raspberry flavored joy! Each slice is the best slice if you don’t have to look for one with enough filling and frosting! Don’t freak out, remember, I said under-sweetened. Better yet, the longer the cake sits in the fridge, the more time the layers have to meld…and the more delicious it i