Hands up, I confess, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and a lot of a control freak. (Don’t tell Daddy Bear I admitted it!) Especially when it comes to baking and blogging about baking. It would take a lot of wine or hideous computer error for me to post true baking disasters. But I am also one not to resist a challenge, and when a fellow baker challenged me to attempt – for the first time ever – a swiss roll, I could not resist it. However the catch was however it turned out looking, I had to post a photograph on Facebook. I may have bitten off more than I could chew. (Or bake).
The control freak in me went into over drive – note the mug hiding the end of the roll, and the fact that I cringe about the looseness every time I look at the photograph. But a deal is a deal!
The recipe I followed is the one shared by my fellow baker, and having never made a swiss roll before I followed it almost to the letter.
Traditional swiss roll
Vegetable oil for greasing
3 large eggs (ideally at room temperature)
125g golden caster sugar
125g plain flour
1 tablespoon warm water
Half a jar of raspberry or strawberry jam, about 200g
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / Gas 6. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin you are using (I used a large roasting tin as I hand no swiss roll tin) approx 30x25cm. Grease the bottom of the tin, then put in the paper and grease that too, and dust with caster sugar and a little flour.
Beat the eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk for about ten minutes. The mixture will almost triple in volume and become paler in colour, it will be thick enough so that when you lift the whisk out of the mixture it will leave a visible trail on the surface (you will notice this more prominently if you leave the mixture to stand for a minute or so). Sift in the flour in three parts, very gently folding it in until the flour is blended in completely, it is important to go slowly and not to be too vigorous or you will lose some of the air in the sponge. Fold in a tablespoon of warm water.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly to the edges. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden and just firm to the touch. Put the jam in a bowl and stir it so it is spreadable (heat it up a little in the microwave if necessary).
Lay out a clean damp tea towel on your work surface – this is to stop the paper slipping when you roll the cake. Place a large piece of greaseproof paper that’s at least 5cm bigger than the Swiss roll on top of the towel. Dust the paper with caster sugar.
Loosen the sponge with a butter knife and then turn it out quickly onto the dusted paper (topside down). You may need to support the sponge with your hand as your turn it out. Peel the paper off the sponge. Trim the edges with a knife so you have a tidy rectangle.
Using a spoon, spread the jam evenly onto the sponge, leaving about 2cm clear around the edges as the jam will spread when rolling. Make a little incision at the edge of the sponge (not all the way through) about 1 cm in from the edge. This just helps to get the roll tighter to start with. You tend to roll the shorter side inwards.
Use the paper to help you start rolling, and roll it as tightly and as quickly as you can. Leave the roll with the seam side down to cool then dust with a little icing sugar and serve, cut then ends off to hide any raggedness, and serve!
It was absolutely delicious, very sweet and very light, but it also disappeared inside the Little Bears’ tummies within 20 minutes of me making it, so entirely sure it was worth the hard work. Although it may have taught me to be a little less concerned about achieving perfection first time around!
Mummy Bear x