Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Sift the cake flour. Crack and divide the eggs into yolks and whites. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Place the egg whites into a bowl and mix with an electric beater. Add the granulated sugar gradually to make a firm meringue. Then, mix in one egg yolk at a time at medium speed.
Next, sift the cake flour again over the mixture, and fold from bottom to top with a cutting motion. Add the vanilla essence.
Transfer half of the batter at a time into an icing bag with round tip. Squeeze onto the baking tray like in this picture without any gaps. You can also pour all the batter onto the tray at once.
Once you cover the tray, continue squeezing diagonal lines with 5 mm gaps until all batter is used up.
Sprinkle plenty of powdered sugar onto the dough. You will also need to sprinkle on sugar just before you bake. Bake in an oven preheated to 190°C for about 12 minutes until nicely golden brown.
Once baked, drop the tray from a little way up onto the kitchen counter to prevent shrinking. Let cool uncovered.
Meanwhile, set aside 8 small strawberries for decoration. Cut out a round shape with a knife and stick rose leaves on top. Keep the cut strawberries aside as you'll use them later.
Put the leftover strawberries from Step 8, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and brandy into a bowl.
Whip until firm peaks form.
Now turn over the ladyfinger cake and spread with cream. Put extra thick cream on your side. Then, place sliced strawberries along one side and kiwi fruit on the other side of the heaped cream like in this picture. Keep the leftover cream for decoration.
Roll from your side to other end like making sushi rolls. Wrap with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for about half day to let the cake moisten.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on the cake and decorate with leftover cream and small round strawberries on the top.
Tip: The dough might be too runny for a first time baker. Try 80 g of cake flour and 70 g of granulated sugar initially.
Tip: If you would love to have clear diagonal patterns on the cake, squeeze along the same lines to pile up extra dough.
Tip: If a crack appears on the surface of the cake, try less powdered sugar before baking. You will sprinkle on powdered sugar at the end anyway.
Tip: You can also use a star-shaped nozzle, like the plastic one which usually comes with a heavy cream pack. It squeezes out just the right amount and also turns out nicely.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to have a strawberry roll cake made with ladyfinger cookies.
Choose hard strawberries, otherwise it's too easy to ruin the round shape when you cut. Leaves with a stem will be easier to stick into strawberries. If the cake is too soft, it will stick to your hands when you roll, so make sure to bake well in Step 6. If you use 1 cm piping tip, it will appear like a beautiful flower at the sliced end. Try to squeeze extra dough on top.