The latest series of The Great British Bake Off finally opened last week. And the very first challenge of the season was – the Swiss roll. Apparently, what the judges were looking for was a tight roll and the perfect swirl. I reckon the flavour is also a given.
I have made Swiss rolls in the past, and never really had much of a problem with it. But then, they were all very basic, undecorated rolls. So this time I decided to do something a little bit different, using a cake recipe adapted from one of the contestant’s recipe.
Makes a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake
4 large eggs
100g castor sugar
100g self-raising flour
Edible colour paste (I used Wilton’s Christmas Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf, Royal Blue and Violet)
20g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp liquor (optional)
½ cup (115 ml) whipping cream, cold
10g confectioner’s sugar
1) Prepare your baking sheet by lightly greasing and line it. Then, lightly grease the parchment.
2) Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture have tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. When you lift the whisk, you should be able to make the figure “8” using the batter.
3) Sift the flour into the egg mixture in 2 separate additions, carefully folding to incorporate it. Remember to reach to the bottom of the mixer bowl to ensure you do not leave clumps of unmixed flour.
4) Weigh out 6 separate portions of the batter and colour and pour into separate piping bags.
5) At this point, pre-heat your oven to 200C (fan).
6) Pipe generous diagonal lines onto the baking tray, alternating between the colours. (I have seen people doing horizontal or vertical lines – whatever takes your fancy.)
7) Bake in the oven for 9 minutes, lowering to 170C for the last 2 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly pressing the cake. It should spring back.
8) Immediately remove the cake from the baking sheet by inverting it onto a board lightly coated with some sugar (to ensure it doesn’t stick. You may have to score the cake along the sides of the baking sheet (which I had to do as the sides were slightly over-cooked and was stuck to the baking sheet).
9) Remove the parchment and then re-invert it onto a clean kitchen towel lined with a piece of baking parchment. Lightly score one of the short end of the cake, about 1.5 cm from the edge. Fold up the scored portion and roll up the cake. Try to roll it up as tight was possible. Set aside to cool.
10) While cake is cooling, prepare the syrup by heating the sugar with 20ml water on a low heat. When all the sugar has melted, turn off the heat and stir in the liquor.
11) To prepare the cream, sift the confectioner’s sugar into the whipping cream and whisk on high speed until cream forms stiff peaks. Put in a bowl, covered with cling wrap and let cool in fridge.
12) When cake is completely cool, unroll the cake, and drizzle generously with the syrup. Let it soak. Then, spread the cream from the middle of the cake, leaving about an inch on each sides uncovered by cream.
13) Re-roll the cake with the syrup and cream. Wrap tightly with parchment and kitchen towel and leave it in fridge to set overnight.
I have to say this is the simplest cake recipe I have ever made. And the texture was perfect for creating a nice swirl. I did not use up all the cake batter, which was probably a good thing, otherwise, it might have resulted in a thicker cake, which would make for harder rolling. I was initially worried that the colour of the egg yolks would taint the resulting colours, but as you can see, they turned out absolutely vibrant (no editing)!