Amazing Cakes #13: Swiss Roll

I’ve been so behind with my blog posts recently. One day I’d like to have the time to write up about what I’ve made on the day it was actually made. Since we went into the second lockdown (though I can’t really call it that as I don’t think anything has closed where I live, except the pub and local cafes!) I’ve been working virtually full time and haven’t had much time for baking over the last couple of weeks. On the day after Boris’ announcement, it was business as usual for us at home. Loads of jobs to catch up on and a nice Sunday roast to cook, followed by some sort of dessert or cake for pudding.

I was looking through my Amazing Cakes From The Great British Bake Off book and was thinking what would make a great pudding. I thought about a Swiss Roll as I can’t believe I’ve never made one before. They look so fiddly and awkward to handle that I’ve thought I can’t be bothered with all that effort.

This recipe for a Swiss Roll is a quick bake and is made in just ten minutes. As a whisked and fatless sponge it doesn’t last long but then again anything with cream inside never lasts long in our house!

I didn’t have a special Swiss Roll tin for the bake but I used a shallow baking tray which usually ends up being my roast potato baking tray as it was the same size. I lined it carefully with some baking paper. You need quite a bit of baking paper for this bake as you need an extra piece to help you roll up the Swiss Roll when it has baked.

I got started on the sponge part just before lunchtime on the Sunday after I had waded through a huge pile of ironing. A baking session with music playing in the background is always my spur to get the chores done. To begin with, I whisked eggs and sugar together until the mixture was thick and like a mousse. It took a while to get the ribbon trail hanging down from the whisk!

I used the spare sheet of baking paper to sift the flour and salt on it. I then took half of the flour off it and folded it into the whisked egg mixture with a large metal spoon. Then I added the other half of the flour and did the same.

The mixture was then poured into the prepared tin. I had pre-heated my oven to 200oC fan which seemed very high but that was what the recipe stated. I was meant to put the sponge in for 9-10 minutes but after 8 minutes it looked burnt and was coming away from the sides of the tin. I hope it wasn’t because the oven was too hot!

Feeling disappointed and deflated, I sprinkled caster sugar onto the spare baking sheet and then turned the sponge onto it. Hoping the caster sugar would cover up the mistakes and any cracks, I was careful to roll it up until it was completely cool.

I was thinking about what filling to put in the Swiss Roll and thought ooh great I’ve got some lemon curd! I didn’t realise that there wasn’t enough to spread on even half of the roll. Same with some blackberry jam. In the end it became a hybrid lemon-blackberry combo with far more whipped cream than jam.

I know when I bake sometimes things do look like the pictures in the recipe book but the same can’t be said of this recipe! I couldn’t see any jam when I rolled up the Swiss Roll. All I could see was the cream and it didn’t look that pretty. This was a true case of it tastes better than it looks!

The Swiss Roll was ready before I had even started on the roast chicken dinner we were planning on eating. I felt hungry and ended up cutting off a piece to eat. It tasted lovely and definitely not burnt!

Next time I make a Swiss Roll I’ll check if the oven temperature really should be 200oC even for a fan oven or maybe I’ll reduce the baking time. It was true that the cake should have been eaten on the day it was made, we had all had a piece but the following day it tasted stale.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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