Jana Stocks Brown
Berry Blast Cake is fluffy, sweet and blasted with berries.

The holiday table is always a place for fun foods that speak to summer and bring friends and families together. With hamburgers, chicken, ribs, hotdogs, the grill stays busy and sides of salads and seasonal fruit abound, but what about the end of the meal, that all important time that will determine the final flavor guests will take home?

For the busy hostess, the matter of dessert is often just one more thing to do and left to the freezer to provide in the form of neon-colored Popsicles or rich fudge pops. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with either of these desserts, but sometimes you want to do a little something more. Something with a little panache, something festive and something delicious, but something that still doesn't mean slaving in the kitchen all day.

Enter the Berry Blast Cake. This cake is what is called a dessert roulade. By definition, a roulade is a dish, be it entree or dessert, that is prepared by wrapping a flat piece of material around a filling. In this case, the flat material is a light, chewy angel food cake and the filling a rich raspberry cream cheese.

A blueberry sauce adds zing and color, and the hostess can send her partygoers home knowing she's filled their stomachs and delighted their taste buds. For even more convenience, this roulade can be prepared up to a week in advance and frozen, then sliced and sauced at the holiday table. Either way you look at it, it's simple, tasty holiday success.

BERRY BLAST CAKE

1 angel food cake mix

Make angel food cake according to the box instructions, making sure to use the high-altitude directions. Spread into a parchment-paper-lined jelly roll pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then roll up in a tube and cool completely.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounce cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup milk

4 tablespoon Ultra Gel (optional but will increase the stability of the filling; if Ultra Gel is omitted, reduce milk to 1/4 cup)

1/2 cup low sugar raspberry jam or 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Beat together cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until light. Gradually add whipping cream, beating constantly until light and fluffy. Gradually add milk and Ultra Gel and beat until stiff. Swirl the low sugar raspberry jam or fresh raspberries through the filling. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

8 ounces blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Juice of one lime

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until desired thickness is reached.

Assembly:

Unroll angel food cake. Spread with Raspberry Cream Cheese Filling. Roll cake around filling. At this point, the cake roll can be wrapped with waxed paper and cling wrap and frozen to serve cold, or it can be immediately cut and served. Sauce slices with blueberry sauce and serve. Enjoy!

Jana Brown is a freelance writer, wife and mother. She is an excellent cook and loves her desserts. She blogs at cornabys.wordpress.com.

Twitter: Cornabys