Quarantine Kitchen: A Taste of Italy in the Carolinas

by | Dec 7, 2020

This year has been full of unprecedented times and situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals will be cooking at home this holiday season. That’s why we are bringing the dishes to you all month long in our Quarantine Kitchen series. We talked to twenty-three chefs who willingly shared some of their favorite dishes to prepare for the holidays. Stay tuned Dec. 1 through 24 on the blog as well as our social media channels for a new dish to feature in your home each day and let’s get cooking!

Batistini Farms in Winston-Salem was born out of family tradition and a love for Italian food and culture. Owners Tom and Cindy Sephton work with small family farms to provide high-quality products, such as olive oil and vinegar, to American tables. Their products can be used in a variety of dishes around the holidays, including one of their favorite recipes for Italian Orange Chocolate Cake Roll with Goat Cheese Frosting. Not only will it look beautiful on your Christmas dinner table, but it will taste delicious and impress all your guests. See the full recipe below and be sure to purchase products from Batistini Farms this season!

Tom and Cindy Sephton

Italian Orange Chocolate Cake Roll with Goat Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Rest Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours and 35 minutes

Serves: 10 to 12 slices


  • Italian Orange Chocolate Cake:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 orange
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Light Ricotta & Goat Cheese Frosting:
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powder sugar
    • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese or regular ricotta
    • 8 ounces goat cheese, plain
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, optional
    • Chocolate ganache, optional


  • Italian Orange Chocolate Cake:
    • Make the Cake:
      1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 12×17-inch baking tray with parchment paper.
      2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda until well combined.
      3. In a separate bowl, beat together the olive oil, brown sugar, zest of the orange plus 2 tablespoons of orange juice for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, then beat for another 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy. Finally, whisk in the milk.
      4. In a small pot over medium low heat, add in 1/2 cup water and the chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate is melted. Slowly pour the hot mixture into the egg mixture while whisking, then immediately pour into the flour mixture to whisk just until combined.
      5. Pour the cake mix in the prepared baking tray, then use a flat spatula to evenly spread it out.
      6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Keep a close eye and do not overbake it!
    • Roll the Cake:
      1. As the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper or a thin kitchen towel (larger than the cake) flat on the counter. Sprinkle with a light coating of cocoa powder.
      2. Once the cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the parchment/towel.
      3. Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked. Starting with the narrow end, gently and slowly roll the cake up with the parchment/towel. The cake will be warm.
      4. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled up in the parchment/towel. Place in the refrigerator to speed up cooling, about 1 to 2 hours.
    • Make the Light Ricotta & Goat Cheese Frosting:
      1. In a mixing bowl, whip together the powdered sugar, ricotta and goat cheese until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
      2. Add in the remaining frosting ingredients, then whip another minutes.
      3. Gently and slowly unrolling the cake, evenly spread the frosting on the cake, then re-roll it slowly once again.
      4. Wrap firmly in saran wrap or a kitchen towel to place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
      5. (Optional) In the meantime, make a chocolate ganache or vanilla buttercream to drizzle on the cake roll.
      6. Prior to serving, allow the cake to sit at room temperature for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
      7. Enjoy!