Ingredients for a Swiss roll tin measuring 26 x 38 cm:4 eggs200 g sugar100 g plain flour30 g potato starch1 tsp baking powder40 g butter1 pinch of salt pastry cream for the filling (see below)
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the yolks with the sugar, gradually adding the sifted flour and starch, 30 g of melted butter and a pinch of salt, and stirring until you have a smooth, soft mixture. Now beat the egg whites until stiff and delicately fold them into the other mixture, a little at a time. Finally add the sifted baking powder, stirring once again. Line the tin with greaseproof paper, grease it well (with the remaining butter), pour in the cake batter and bake in a preheated oven, at 150 °C, for roughly 15 minutes. The cake should be cooked and dry but only slightly “coloured”. While it’s still warm, remove it from the tin; with the help of the greaseproof paper, turn it out onto a rectangular tray previously lined with a damp tea towel. Then place another tea towel on top of the cake in order to soften it (1). After 15-20 minutes, remove the tea towel and cover the cake with the pastry cream (see below). Now, with the help of the tea towel underneath it, roll the cake up, pressing it down delicately with your hands. Put the “salami” in the fridge and leave it there for at least an hour before serving.
Gattò, as this cake is called in Arezzo, comes from the French gâteau and is a legacy of the period of French dominion over the city.
It can also be filled with jam, chocolate cream (when making the pastry cream, after the flour, add 2 spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 of sugar) or even with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries (or another fruit of your choice) cut into small pieces. If you chose to use fruit, the Gattò should be “filled” at the last minute before eating it, because the fruit tends to release its “water”. Gattò is very popular in Arezzo and is traditionally made at home. It’s “invited” to weddings, first Communions, christenings and any other celebration, especially in the countryside.
(1) If you prefer, the cake can be softened with a syrup made by boiling 6 tablespoons of water and 2 of sugar, with some La Fragolina strawberry purée diluted with water, with some Vin Santo or another liqueur of your choice.