Confidence is a funny thing. There are those that have it in abundance, those that have too much of it, and there are those who are lacking. I'm definitely part of the latter group. Always have been, although, at times, I've been able to fake my way into looking like I have more than I do.
It's also a funny creature in that in those times when self doubt creeps in life has ways of boosting you up when your confidence is lacking.
A lack of confidence and self doubt has been my friend lately, for many reasons, that I won't go into. And of all places, the place where I thought it would least affect me, it has affected me most, and that has been in the kitchen and here, on the blog. Don't get me wrong, I've still been cooking, although not as voraciously, but when it comes to posting what I've cooked I'd been questioning whether everything was good enough. "Was it good enough to ask my lovely readers to spend their time reading the recipe, and perhaps even more creating it?" "Is what I write worthy enough of being read?" "Do you actually like and recreate the recipes I share?"
The longer this went on, and the more time I spent reading other food blogs, the more my doubt increased. "Who am I compared to all of these other talented people?" and "My recipes seem so boring compared to theirs." that little voice of self doubt said. Hence the sporadic posting lately. But, as I said, life has a way of boosting you up and reassuring you when you need it, and that's exactly what happened on Friday night.
My husband, Troy, and I attended a dinner with some of his work colleagues. Some of whom I'd briefly met at another work event, but most of those I had not, and it was these people who gave me back some of that confidence, although I'm sure they have no idea that they did.
Every few weeks the teams at Troy's work take turns in catering for a morning tea for everyone, and every few weeks it is my husbands teams turn, so I bake something for him to take in. I never thought much of it, however, on Friday night, when I attended Troy's work dinner, a number of his work colleagues came up and not only thanked me for the food I send into the morning teas but raved about it. I blushed, and embarrassedly thanked them, not quite sure what to say, thinking they were just being nice. However as more of them thanked me and raved about the doughnut cupcakes or dukkah crackers and other things I'd sent in that little voice of self doubt started to release its stranglehold, and the next day it got me thinking. Thinking about how we are often our own worst enemy when it comes to confidence, and how much easier it is to believe our inner voice of self doubt, than the voices of others praising us. But really these are the voices we should listen to most, not those who put us down, our inner voices included.
Cake is something I turn to when I'm feeling low, and it is also something I turn to when I want to celebrate, so its only appropriate that I share this Hazelnut Roulade recipe with you today. This simple roulade or swiss roll cake is filled with homemade nutella and roasted chopped hazelnuts. It's delicious served with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee, or any time you're in need of cake, which for me, is right now!
- 3 large eggs
- 80 g light brown sugar ⅓ cup plus 3 tbs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur optional
- 80 g plain flour ⅔ cup, all purpose
- pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup homemade Nutella
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts roughly chopped
- cocoa for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and grease and line a 22cm x 33cm (9 x 13 inch) [amazon_link id="B000TT7B86" target="_blank" ]swiss roll tin[/amazon_link] with baking paper.
- Place the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until the mixture is extremely pale, thick and creamy, around 5 minutes. The mixture should look almost mousse like in consistency.
- Add the oil and hazelnut liqueur (if using) and gently fold through with a metal spoon or spatula. Sift in the flour and salt and fold through gently, being careful not to knock too much air out of the whisked eggs. Once incorporated pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tilt to distribute evenly. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk back a little from the sides and springs back when touched.
- While the cake is in the oven dust baking paper generously with cocoa and when the cake is done remove it from the oven and immediately turn out onto the cocoa dusted baking paper. Remove the baking paper from the back of the cake and immediately, beginning at the narrow end of the cake, roll into a tight roll. Place on a [amazon_link id="B0001MS3DI" target="_blank" ]wire cooling rack[/amazon_link], seam side down, and leave to cool completely.
- Carefully unroll the cake and spread the Nutella over the cake, making sure to go right to the edges. Sprinkle with ⅔ of the chopped hazelnuts and carefully re-roll. Lightly dust with extra cocoa and serve.
Gourmet Getaways says
Fantastic idea to use your homemade nutella - it fits this recipe so well! Adding hazelnuts will the crunch it needs, too. Perfect!
Oh, lovely Jennifer. I understand how you feel, doubting yourself in this big crazy world, but people out there do care, in their own ways be it for the pretty pictures, the words, the recipes and for the lucky few the actual cakes! Swiss roll is exactly what I've been craving of late, I think a jammy version might just happen in my kitchen this weekend 🙂
I made the nutella you posted last week and as soon as I saw this cake I made it to take to work the next day and it was such a huge hit. I was asked to make it again next week for one of the girls birthdays. So easy too! The girls at work couldn't believe I made it as it looks so fancy. I also wanted to let you know you have a beautiful blog. I don't think I've commented before however I've been a regular reader ever since discovering it a year ago. I love that your recipes aren't faddy and I always know that when I make them they will be delicious. Keep up the wonderful work xx
Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed the nutella roulade, and that it made you popular with your work colleagues. Roulades do look complicated, but in fact they are really quite easy, as you discovered. 🙂 And thank you for your lovely comment. It made my day.
I've been reading your blog for the last few years and yours is one of the very few blogs I subscribe to. Jennifer, I love that your recipes are approachable and recipes that I actually want to and do cook. I've made so many recipes and they've all been fantastic, although they don't look quite as pretty as yours. 😀 By the way, I made the mushroom meatballs last week and they were amazing!
So many food bloggers now try too hard with odd flavour combinations or ingredients I can't find, and of the handful I've tried, they've been disappointing. Stay true to yourself. That is the reason why we love you.
Thank you for your kind words Mariah. 🙂 And I'm so glad you enjoyed the mushroom meatballs. They are a definite favourite of mine.
Your recipes are always look so beautiful and delicious. Never doubt your ability. I don't always cook many of them, because I'm so slack myself, but I drool over them and wish that I was half the blogger you are!
Jess @ Sweet Menu says
What a lovely swiss roll! I always have such trouble making these. Yours looks perfect - and a homemade nutella filling - wow!
I find this recipe pretty foolproof Jess, as long as you roll it while it's hot. 😀 If you decide to try it let me know how you go.
Oh, this is so true! I know exactly how you feel and that self-doubt can be paralyzing at times. I'm glad your hubbie's colleagues were able to help build your confidence and thank you for sharing this amazing looking recipe!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
I know about those feelings, I have them too but to YOU I say, "You silly sausage, you are incredibly talented in every way and your blog is one of my favourites." I know I'm not a veggo but I love vegetables and I learn something from you every visit.
*hugs* thanks Maureen.
PLEASE don't doubt yourself Jennifer, your blog is absolutely beautiful - great recipes and stunning photos. I like that you create real recipes that I want to make and eat - just the right balance of interesting and everyday. This looks like the perfect example - simple ingredients/methods made super delicious. Keep up the good work and have faith in yourself xxx
Thank you for your support Kate. It means alot coming from you 😀
Delicious looking! A wonderful tea time/ coffee break treat.
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life says
That voice of doubt is insidious indeed. I've been dealing with doubt and its cousin anxiety for both online and offline reasons too. Lately though, little pieces of encouragement from family and offline and online friends has reminded me why I love to write, why I love to bake, and why I got into this whole crazy mess in the first place.
Cookies are my comfort food, and whenever I'm feeling low a batch is sure to cure what ails me, or at least make me feel a little better.
I'm glad you aren't doubting yourself anymore. I always look to your blog as inspiration, and aspiration. You make bright, beautiful and innovative vegetarian food and sweets, and you are an inspiration to me.
Thanks Amy, you are so sweet. 🙂 And yes, little pieces of encouragement are wonderful. In fact it is amazing how a simple comment from someone can mean the world to you