A Swiss roll is one of those odd cakes that are simple, but can incite the most irrational fear in home bakers. I know this, because I felt that fear. Yes, it's just a sponge cake with jam on the inside, but there are just so many places you can stuff it up. The batter itself is easily deflated - being a bit too rough while mixing, or banging the oven door can knock all the air out of it. And let's not get started with the rolling! I have vague memories of attempting one in year 9 Home Ec class, only for it to crack and break as I tried to roll it. That was 12 years ago, and I hadn't considered trying again.
However, it is my parents' favourite cake, and I really wanted to try making it for my mum's birthday last week. Store-bought ones just don't cut it.
I used this recipe, from the Australian Women's Weekly, on advice from Thanh. And I was pleased to discover it was really, really easy! If I can do it, you can too.
Top: Folding the flour, baking powder and salt into the beaten egg-and-sugar mixture
Bottom: In a lined baking tray
It only takes 12 minutes to bake, and smells fantastic.
From here it is important to work quickly. You turn the sponge out onto a sugar-dusted clean tea towel, and gently peel off the baking paper...
... and roll it up! This helps the cake keep its shape and prevents it from cracking after you've filled it later.
Some recipes say to let the sponge cool completely whilst rolled up, others say to unroll it straight away, and others say to let it cool, covered with a teatowel, before rolling it. Surely that would result in it cracking! And I was in a hurry, so I unrolled it straight away.
I microwaved the jam to make it easier to spread - I didn't want to tear the delicate cake! Because I was only using jam as a filling I did it while the cake was still warm. If you're using fresh cream or anything like that, obviously wait until the cake cools completely.
Then just roll it up again! Thankfully it didn't crack - the cake was super soft and pliable.
You have to slice off the ends to make it neat. These crunchy bits are the best! Cook's treat!
I put it on a long plate, covered it loosely with glad wrap, and took it over to my folks' place.
They loved it! Success! Dad finished his slice before I even started on mine, hehe.
The Swiss-roll fear is gone. I was surprised how easy it was! Now I want to try making chocolate ones, matcha, raspberry cream-filled.... Do you have any flavour combo ideas to add to my list?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
7/22/2010 10:54:00 PM Sarah 12 comments