Friday, September 23, 2011


Plum Roly-Poly 2 bis bis bis bis 2 bis
"Summer fades; the first cold, Northern air
Sweeps, like hatred, through still days -
The August heat now gone elsewhere,
To Southern, bird-filled coasts and bays;
Amid constricting vales of cloud,
A pale and liquid Autumn sun
That once beat down on an empty plain
And may again. And may again."
- Trever Howard, Autum
Recently, I have been in a very nostalgic and morose state of mind. No matter how much I love autumn and look forward to cooler weather, seasonal mood swings always tend to affect me strongly every year when the summer ends. I guess it is something natural/biologic which each of us experience to a certain degree. This time though, blahs hit me a little harder than usual and I guess this is partly beacause last week, on the 13th of September, my English grandmother would have celebrated her 85th birthday, that is if she had not passed away last March...

Usually, on that occasion I reached for the telephone, lifted up the receiver, composed her number, wished her a wonderful day and had a pleasant chat with her. Instead, there was no one to call and my day was rather eerie. A strange sensation of emptiness filled me. It is terrible how the deceased leave a void in our lives and hearts. An entire chapter of our existence gets closed forever and it is impossible to press the rewind button. By disappearing our loved ones take many information, memories and secrets to the grave.

" Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight."
- Marc Aurelius
As we grow older, we learn to face the harsh reality of life. We are forced to see our heart get shattered in thousand pieces, make extremely difficult decisions, stand for ourselves, accept the fact that our dreams might never come true, start being more cynical and stop fantacizing too much, otherwise the sad and distressing events that we have to face as adults would just annihilate us if we were not a little prepared to suffer or get deceived. This is why we'd better be resilient and accept things as they are.

Well, eventhough I have embraced the fact that not everything in our existence if fair, acceptable or wanted, my first biggest regret as a grownup
is to not have been able to
go to visit granny for the last 13 years, to really have had the opportunity to get to know her better and get to pierce her carapace, to share some quality time together as equals and to show her the woman I have become (the last time we met, I was still living at home and had just stepped out of my adolescence).

Lack of bonding, money issues, weak kinship and limited communication made it very difficult for me to travel all the way to Derbyshire. My grandmother always asked me when I was going to come over to England, yet when I explained her that I was jobless and didn't have one dime in order to buy a plane ticket, I never got a response or reaction from her. Not one single answer, just silence. Eloquent silence that was worth a thousand words...

Anyway, even if I doubt she loved me as much as I loved her or cared for me as much as I cared for her, I nonetheless was extremely fond of my granny and revered her extraordinary culinary talents. Yet, never would I be capable of nourishing any form of resentment towards her as
I am quite aware that people who were born at the beginning of the last century were brought up in an austere fashion and are not accustomed to exteriorizing their sentiments as well as emotions. It was quite taboo then, hence they are just sentimentally handicapped. This is what leads me to believe that somewhere deep inside of her, she had a well-hidden soft spot for me. So, to make peace with the past and to come to terms with my afflictions, I forgive her for having been imperfect relationship-wise and for not having given me the love I craved/needed.

Red fruits 1 2 bis
Having been missing my second country, Great Britain, and Nana a lot lately, I decided to bake a "Jam Roly-Poly" to soothe my aching soul. During our stay in this land of rich history, ancient cities, captivating legends, green landscapes, ethereal atmospheres and homey food, my grandma rarely failed to regale us with this humble and comforting speciality. It is the reason why I invariably associate this treat with this beautiful country and this branch of my family.

"Jam Roly-Poly" (also less glamorously called "Dead Man's Arm", "Dead Man's Leg" or "Shirt Sleeve Pudding") is a traditional British pudding which was invented in the 1800's and which is composed of suet pastry and jam (generally raspberry or strawberry jam). It is a kind of rustic, flattish and ugly version of "Swiss Roll". Originally, it was steamed, but nowadays it is mostly baked.

Suet pastry is one of the most English of all pastries. As a matter of fact, it is used in a large variety of dishes such as puddings, dumplings and pies. As it is made with the rendered fat of either lamb, beef or pork, suet-based doughs are definitely not suitable for vegetarians. Since this sort of fat imparts an incomparably amazing and "meaty" flavor to baked goods, it is unfortunately quite difficult to find many animal-free substitutes for it. Coconut butter is the only one I can think of...

So, instead of making a straight-forward "Jam Roly-Poly" I opted for preparing a spicy version of that good old-fashioned pud. To the pastry, I incorporated cardamom powder and I replaced the usual cloying raspberry/strawberry jam (I love those berries, but dislike them when they are transformed into jam), by damson plum (or Italian plum) compote (less sweet and boring) that I flavored with orange peel. Those additions give some dimension and modernity to this dessert, thus bringing it forth into the 21st century.

My "Spicy Damson Plum Roly-Poly" might not be the prettiest or most photogenic (I had problems shooting it and nearly lost my temper trying to make it look presentable - I am definitely not a prop artist) of puddings, but it doesn't really matter as what counts is its taste which is simply certainly not devoid of oomph. The pastry is crisp and flaky on the outside and smooth, fluffy as well as slightly moist on the inside. The compote adds an extra welcome wetness to the goodie and the spices confer a divinely heady fragrance to the whole.

Plum Roly-Poly Collage
~ Spicy Damson Plum Roly-Poly ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, September 2011.

Serves 4.

250g Flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
60g Castor sugar
A pinch sea salt
1/2 Tsp Ground cardamom
115g Suet (Pork)
, very cold
120ml Full fat milk

6 Tbs (90g) Damson compote (or jam)
6g Orange zest
Custard sauce, to serve (recipe here)

1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
2. Cover a baking pan with baking paper.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour together with the baking powder, sugar, salt and cardamom.
4. Add the suet and cut it into the flour mixture.
5. Then, bind with the milk in order to obtain a soft, but not sticky pastry.
Gather together into a ball, but don't overwork otherwise it will get tough.

Mairie Veyrier 1 8 bis
6. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 23cm x 32cm.
7. Spread with the damson compote, making sure you leave a 2cm border all around the edge and sprinkle with the orange zest.
8. Moisten the borders with either cold water or milk.
9. Roll into a tightish cylinder or sausage shape, starting with one short end (23cm).
10. Pinch the ends to seal in the jam.
11. Lay the roll in the centre of the baking paper, making sure the seal is underneath.

12. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the roly-poly is golden brown.
13. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

If you don't want to use pork suet, then you can either replace it by coconut butter (vegetarian), cold beef or duck fat (kosher/halal).
By letting the roly-poly rest for 5 minutes, you ensure the jam to not come oozing out of the roll when you cut it.

Serving suggestions:
Eat warm with a dollop of warm custard sauce.


Plum Roly-Poly 4 1 bis
~ Roly-Poly Epicé A La Compote De Quetsches ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Septembre 2011.

Pour 4 personnes.

250g de Farine. plus un peu pour saupoudrer le plan de travail
1 1/2 CC de Poudre à lever
60g de Sucre cristallisé
1 Pincée de Sel de mer fin
1/2 de CC de Cardamome en poudre
115g de Saindoux
, très froid
120ml de Lait entier

6 CS (90g) de Compote de quetsches (ou de confiture)
6g de Zeste d'orange
Crème anglaise/custard, pour servir (recette ici)

1. Préchauffer le four à 180° C.
2. Recouvrir une plaque de cuisson avec du papier sulfurisé.
3. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger la farine avec la poudre à lever, le sucre, le sel et la c
4. Ajouter le saindoux. F
rotter la farine et le beurre entre les doigts afin d'obtenir un mélange qui ait la texture sabloneuse.
5. Incorporer le lait afin d'obtenir une pâte souple, mais pas collante. Ne pas trop pétrir autrement votre pâte sera dure. Former une boule.

Plum Roly-Poly 1 1 bis tagged
6. Sur une surface enfarinée, rouler la pâte en un rectangle de 23cm x 32cm.
7. Etaler la compote de quetsches en laissant 2cm de pâte non couverte sur tout le pourtour et saupouder avec le zeste d'orange.
8. Humidifier les bords non-recouverts avec de l'eau ou du lait.
9. Rouler la pâte (en commençant par l'un des côtés étroits - 23cm) afin d'obtenir un
rouleau assez serré (pas trop tout de même).
10. Pincer les bouts afin de les refermer.
11. Poser le roulé au centre de votre plaque en faisant attention à ce que le joint soit en-dessous.
12. Cuire pendant 45-50 minutes, jusqu'à ce que le roly-poly soit légèrement doré.
3. Laisser refroidir pendant 5 minutes avant de servir.

Le saindoux peut-être remplacé par du beurre de noix de coco (version végétarienne), de la graisse de boeuf ou canard (froide/dure - version kosher ou halal)
Si vous laissez le roly-poly reposer pendant 5 minutes, la compote ne coulera pas hors du roulé lorsque vous le couperez.

Idées de présentation:
Servir chaud avec de la crème anglaise.

Garden Tree 1 1 bis


  1. wow....looks scrumptiously tasty...
    beauuuuuutiful cliks again..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  2. Ah that rocks! Looks irrisistibly yummy on the last photo with the custard!!!

  3. It looks scrumptious! I can relate to your frustrations photographing non photogenic food...but you make it look easy. It looks beautiful!

  4. Love the wonderful fruity baked goodie! Lovely clicks, Rosa.

  5. Tu as raison, vieillir veut dire un tas de choses, dont certaines plus difficiles à accepter que d'autres... la perte de gens, entre autres... J'adore cette gourmandise que je trouve personnellement mignonne!

  6. Having lost my father only a few months ago I know how it feels, that void you're talking about.
    I'm sure your granny loved you Rosa. Don't ever think otherwise.

    Your roly-poly looks great! I love discovering new types of pastry.

  7. Looks good, hope this made you feel much better

  8. What a beautiful post sum up the challenges of "adulthood" (hey, why should kids get all the fun?) very well. I too have been pondering recently some similar questions...Now for your sounds and looks amazing! Your version is perfectly "spicy"...all I would need is a good cuppa to wash it all down!

  9. What a lovely post Rosa! And that gorgeous roly poly! Looks scrumptious!

  10. Chin-up and the roly-poly does looks good....especially that oozing sauce.

  11. Very very welcome for a colder eveing. Looks yum!!

  12. Nature gives and nature takes away. That´s so hard to face sometimes.
    Your roly-poly looks very soothing indeed!
    Liebe Grüße

  13. You did a great job of dressing up your roly poly. It looks delicious! I wish I had a fork.

  14. I think this roly poly looks great, it's the kind of dessert that I would love to eat. I enjoy making recipes that my grandmother y=used to is so good with family memories.

  15. Try not to be too sad, it has a tendency to linger if we allow it to.

    I think your photos are as gorgeous as ever. This is a rustic, heart-warming recipe, and that's exactly the way it looks. :-)

  16. I would like a slice of this for breakfast right now! I love your use of cardamom and orange zest - I bet it is delish:)

  17. superbe ! les photos donnnent envie de lécher l'écran !

  18. Des versions très gourmandes, et sublimement parfumé, la cardamome et le zeste d'orange doivent faire leurs effets, j'adore
    Rosa, je te souhaite une très belle soirée

  19. Toujours de superbe photos et ce dessert magnifique qui évoque encore bien l'été. Bisous et bon WE

  20. I don't think it's ugly ... i like the look .. it's more rustic .. real :)
    If only I could grab a plate and eat a bite now!

  21. ecco un'altra delle tue ricette deliziose, la tentazione é forte, le foto sono spettacolari come sempre io adoro venire da te.
    Una nota particolare per la stupenda foto con l'albero, i colori sono meravigliosi!
    Buon fine settimana!

  22. I don't think that's ugly at all! It looks marvelous, Rosa!

  23. Lovely post Rosa! I miss my gram every day. Grams are is a special category all their own. Love the roly poly! Looks irresistible.

  24. This jam roly poly is a wonderful tribute to your grandmother Rosie. Just the name alone would cheer you up:D

  25. How is it ugly? Which part? You're deluding yourself! It's pretty for something potentially ugly!

  26. I had a similar relationship with my grandmother, only difference she couldn't cook! Double whammy!

    But with *very* British parents growing up, I'm very familiar with this sweet dish. Yours looks lovely!

  27. How true about life and the multiplying hardships as we write beautifully Rosa..each one of us is trying to accept the realities around us.
    Hope this scrumptious jam pastry made you feel better.Love such rusting desserts. I love the picture with custard sauce drizzled all over. Have a fab weekend.

  28. I understand t 'void' of missing loved ones... lost my dad last year July n still missing him

    On the other note.... Your roly poly looks fabulous :)

  29. Wow Rosa, it doesn't look ugly to me, actually I love the cracks that reveal a little of what's inside. And that slice with the custard got me drooling... gorgeous shots, as always!

  30. Goes so well with background music you have chosen.Delicious as we are used from you:)

  31. Oh, this rolly polly sounds so delicious! Great combinations of flavors and lovely shots!

  32. nicht alles, was nicht von foodstylisten präpariert wurde, ist hässlich.

  33. Oh je ne le trouve pas si affreux que cela... Ou alors c'est le talent de la photographe qui fait pour beaucoup... ;))

  34. Très beau texte sur ta grand-mère, et ces manques, ces pertes qui nous font grandir. Ton talent est décidément multiple!
    Et je crois que ce roly-poly (j'adore le nom) va finir sur ma table dès ce week-end, que je te souhaite ensoleillé!

  35. Beautiful post!
    Rosa another irresistible recipe..... the roly poly with custard sauce is toooo tempting!

  36. This is so tempting Rosa, specially the first picture, I wanted to take that piece off the plate and eat it so badly :)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, the dish looks yummy!

  37. mais ça donne faim des petites choses comme celles-ci...
    bon weekend bises

  38. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. It's so true - our loved ones take many information, memories and secrets to the grave. My father once said when he was the only one left in his family that is placed a huge burden on him to have to be the one with all of the answers now.

    PS Nothing you bake is ugly, but I also agree with irresistible.

  39. Normally I'm really ready for fall to get here, but this year I definitely want summer to stay a bit longer! These damson plum-infused desserts look amazing. The perfect way to keep summer alive a bit longer.

  40. I tend to have my mood changed as well. I am sad to see summer has gone.
    happy fall Rosa and enjoy your weekend.

  41. That's definitely not ugly! It's one good looking dessert!

  42. J'adore ce genre de pâtisserie, il faut que je tente une version sans gluten.<

    Nos parents et grands-parents continuent de vivre dans nos coeurs, il nous faut leur parler constamment car ils nous accompagnent partout.

    Bonne fin de ce samedi Rosa!

  43. Lovely post as usual. And a delicious treat!
    Have a great weekend Rosa!

  44. Rosa, this is a beautiful way to remember your granny! Gorgeous treat!

  45. Delicious recipe, looks definitely irresistible. Photographs, as always are stunning!

  46. Rosa not ugly at all! In fact the imperfections in their looks make food more homey, rustic and appealing:) It is a beautiful beautiful dessert! and beautiful photographs and you write from your heart in a way that touches and invokes our deepest thoughts!

  47. It's a wonderful way to honor your grandmother. It looks delicious.

  48. i love the look of this, its fun name, its use of the all-too-often-forsaken plum. bravo!

  49. j'adore tes photos et les quetsches aussi !!pierre

  50. You said "ugly"? I find it heavenly !!! A must-try with the quetches in season...

  51. Hi
    Just few words, to say that i am a big fan of your blog :)
    i am always looking forward to your new post
    Greetings from Bordeaux - France
    Bell x one
    Ps : i invite you and your visitors to visit me @

  52. Well if you had trouble photographing it it doesn't show. I love the addition of cardomom in the pastry. It would go so beautifully with orange and plum. Cheer up you turned out well, imperfect relationships not withstanding

  53. Looks beautiful and yummy to me! Anf I'm not even a dessert person!!

  54. Ca a l'air délicieux avec la petite crème! En plus j'adore les quetsches!

  55. Very touching post, Rosa...
    Hope your cake will have helped you going through that hard first autumn "without" your Granny...
    Ici, c'est plus simple le 2e anniversaire "sans"...
    Une grosse bise pleine de chaleur.

  56. Your grandmother sounded very Victorian; Derbyshire is a beautiful area of England that I visited a few years ago; I could definitely relate to your feelings so eloquently put forth in this post, as I have "close" relatives who are very closed off with their feelings as well, and my beloved grandmother who at least was not in my case, lived alone in Lebanon the last years of her life while I was in the US, after giving her whole life to her kids and grandkids.. such is life.
    This dessert is beautiful, the photos look great and I can just imagine the taste, swooning as I do!

  57. Your story is very touching. Relations with our family are rarely the way we would like them to be...
    Autumn is a very difficult season for me. Especially when it gets colder and sun is rare.
    The cake is simply irresistible and for me it looks beautiful, not ugly! I have never seen any similar cake.

  58. How growing is difficult especially when parents or grand parents are disapearing... we have to stand alone and go our own way : not always easy. But we have.
    Nice dessert for remembering the past.

  59. Not ugly at all Rosa.......ruticly beautiful I say. Gorgeous :)

  60. Très très belle recette, tellement gourmande... et puis ce nom qui roule me plait bien aussi... Bises

  61. The plum compote sounds lovely layered into the spice-filled pastry. I bet your grandmother would be proud!

  62. Oh, I think this looks lovely. It looks like perfect comfort food.

  63. OMG Rosa this look absolutely georgeus and amazing and your pictures absolutely awesome, what nice pictures Rosa! gloria

  64. merci pour le partage, passe une bonne journée, ce lundi, kiss

  65. Voilà qui change de la recette traditionelle. Sympa avec les prunes.

  66. Oh gosh I haven't had jam roly poly in years. Now I'm craving it.

  67. Je ne trouve pas ça si ugly que ça et puis ça m'a l'air délicieux avec cette crème .. MIAM

  68. No no no it is not ugly at all, and it looks so delicious, perfect for tea-time!

  69. J'adore le nom de ces desserts anglais, un peu desuets. Ca me tente terriblement d'essayer en fait.
    C'est un joli hommage a ta granny je trouve, un dessert qu'elle faisait, mais transforme a ta facon.

  70. Looks so moist and often do you bake Rosa, you are amazing :D

  71. I love your roly poly! Not ugly, just got personality.

  72. Todo es absolutamente maravilloso,es una receta muy deliciosa ,fotos espectaculares,abrazos grandes,hugs,hugs.

  73. The Ground cardamom makes a difference for additional flavor. The frosting creme on top in the picture looks like a perfect pairing. I can't wait to try this.

  74. No far from ugly - love that kind of comfort food. Intrigued by the alternative names to Roly Poly pudding too.

  75. I don't think it looks ugly at all. I love its vintage look..super delicious!

  76. Not ugly at all, that looks delicious! Especially the glaze on top...YUM. Great recipe. xx

  77. OMG, Rosa your picture are breathtaking....
    I love your roly poly, DELICIOUS!!!!
    Amazing clicks dear.

    P.S Rosa I have an award waiting for you. You can have it here
    I hope you"ll enjoy it.

  78. great post again,your roly-poly is awesome!

  79. Never had anything like this before but your Roly-Poly makes me want to eat a slice. This looks so tempting especially the one with the cream sauce on top:)

  80. Delicious! Looks like a great recipe.

  81. Rosa, this is not ugly, it is yummy!! Great recipe, I would love to try this roly-poly.


  82. Our Grandmothers did have a peculiar way to show their affections towards us...and only when I got older did I understand why. Rosa, I completely get the ache in your beautiful heart ;)

    Your Roly Poly is quite amusing to me because of the phrase you associated with it.."Ugly, but irresistable." Isn't Beauty in the eye of the beholder? I very much appreciate the combo of ingredients. My cup of tea is ready :o)

    Ciao for now...better days are ahead.

  83. Simply irresistible, Rosa! I've never tried Roly-Poly before...And I'm absolutely curious to try it. It looks so moist and spicy :) I love the creamy custard on top makes it even more delicate!

    I missed my grandmother too and I'd love some of those moments back. Just to get to know her better. She also was (like you said) sentimentally handicapped. It took me quite some time to forgive her and I'm glad I did. It feels wonderful. And I understand your feelings on the subject :)

    HUGS <3

    BTW, Love that second and last pic.

  84. You feed my soul with your posts. Thank you :)

  85. Rosa,
    This is such a beautiful treat (not ugly at all).. I love how beautiful your photographs are and it simply makes me drool looking at those yummy roly poly's :)

  86. I'm so sorry for your loss, Rosa. I have a similar relationship with my grandmother, although she is still alive. I really need to put forth more effort to get to know her better. Sending you hugs, my friend.

    Thanks for sharing this roly-poly! It looks delicious and lovely.

  87. Ahh my grandmother is still with me but she is very stingy with her affection, but I still feel she adore me. funny, no? I see nothing ugly only deilsh!!

  88. Wow...I can't wait to try this out...have never had or made this, but it sounds so delicious. I know your grandmother would be proud!

  89. So delicious looking and yes as you say just perfect served with vanilla custard! :)

  90. De toute beauté!! Tu as vraiment tous les talents:)

    Bonne semaine ma belle Rosa xx

  91. What a beautiful post! Both my grandmothers have passed away and I miss them a lot, even though I didn't get a chance to see them often as we were not living in the same city. :-(

    The pudding sounds delicious! :-)

  92. Une gourmandise bien sympathique que l'on a là, je ne connaissais pas du tout ! Très jolies photos, comme toujours !! :)
    Bises, bon après-midi !

  93. the roly poly looks so tasty, the most humble are sometimes the sweetest! Your post made me think of my grandmother too, at least we have the fond memories... I was born in the summertime and love the long days, it always is a bummer for me too when the season changes

  94. Sorry to hear you're suffering from some autumn depression Rosa. It's always hard to lose a loved one and it is even harder in the circumstances you describe. I do hope you find your peace with the situation as there seems to be no alternative. This rolypoly certainly looks gorgeous enough to do the job!

  95. There is nothing ugly about your roly poly..sweet post and great music....

  96. I am a fall person so I enjoy this time of year but I know many who have a hard time with the changing of Seasons...hope you are feeling more like yourself soon :)
    These treats are just luscious and love the name :)

  97. I feel that way when the summer ends myself, even though autumn is my favourite time of year. I hope you feel a little less blue very soon. I know how you feel about your grandma; I miss my grandparents the same way, and they have been gone a very long time. Your baking doesn't look ugly at all. In fact, I want to take a great big bite.

  98. Yes butt ugly but I bet it was delicious amazing recipe I adore how simple it is. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  99. A great idea to start a fresh fall very appetizing .. beautiful photos .. bsssMARIMI

  100. Mmm roly poly was a favourite of mine growing up, very popular back then in New Zealand too. Yours looks divine Rosa. Gorgeous photos!

  101. Délicieuse recette avec les prunes!
    Ca a l'air très bon!!

  102. mmmmmh it looks delicious! I go immediately to cook it! Have look here:

  103. It's not ugly... just a little rustic! Sounds very delicious.

  104. Super tentant ton espèce de biscuit au drôle de nom j'attendrai la prochaine saison des quetsches pour me l'approprier !

  105. C'est bon, le roly poly. Moi, je le fais cuire à la vapeur; j'essaierai au four ... Et avec la compote de quetsche, j'imagine que c'est juste divin !

  106. I can't believe I'm English and have never had a proper suet roly poly! Beautiful post, love the idea of the damsons in the pudding - it looks truly comforting.

  107. I adore when you do a "British" post, Rosa. I remember once when you said you were going to do them more often. Your Roly-Poly looks as comforting as your thoughtful words.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  108. Tes photos sont franchement irrésistibles Rosa:)xxx

  109. Absolutely beautiful Rosa. The food and the photos.

  110. Tes mots sont un bien bel hommage à ta grand-mère, Rosa.
    J'espère que la mélancolie s'est estompée depuis.
    Et tu me fais découvrir le roly-poly. Mignon comme nom.

  111. You are so right - it looks irresistible!

  112. This looks delicious! I'm sorry for your loss. I go through the motions of loosing Summer as well.

  113. what a nice blog. , Great pictures and yummy food. :)

  114. Love how you put a new spicy spin on an old favorite with cardamom and orange zest!

  115. Oooh - a roly poly! Such a classic dessert and one that I have not had in years. Love the damsons in it!

  116. Oooh ... this looks good. I'll need to have some ladies over so I can try this one. Sounds like it is best served warm.