The simple, elegant, refined Swiss Roll. It’s one of the nicest cakes you can make, and it’s practically a health food as it contains no fat. You can fill it very simply with jam (home made tastes best but I would say that) and dust it with icing sugar, or you can fill it with a mousse and cover with buttercream for a much richer version. (see the December archive of this blog for my Yule Log which is a chocolate roll with a mocha buttercream filling).
Our Seniors Lunch Club group started back meeting in person again this week, which is why I wanted a simple easy to handle cake for our first week. We have enough to get used to and be concerned about without having a fussy cake to contend with. We had a welcome-back chat, covering how to be safe when meeting other people and we celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday by reading out famous lines from his work and guessing which play they came from and who said them. One of our members gave a most rousing rendition of Henry’s “Band of Brothers” speech before the Battle of Agincourt from the play Henry V. It was quite a demanding quiz but we battled through in true St. George spirit (it’s amazing how much Shakespeare we remember, seventy years after leaving school) and so much enjoyed being back together.
Serves 10 Timings – 10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes in the oven, 5 minutes to fill and roll.
Pre heat the oven to 220°C.
Put the eggs and sugar in the mixer and beat vigorously until fluffy and creamy-coloured. While that is going on, you can line your shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper. You need to make a shell of paper for the sponge, so cut the paper a bit bigger than your tray and fold up each side, creasing the folds. Cut each corner at an angle so you can fold the paper over the corners to make a nicely edged shell – it doesn’t have to be exact and you don’t have to pin the corners as I was once taught.
Once the egg/sugar mixture is light and creamy, turn the motor of your mixer down low and add in the flour. Remove the whisk from the bowl and add in the hot water. Mix carefully with a metal spoon to keep the air bubbles in, and then scrape the mixture into your prepared paper shell. You will get quite a thin layer – spread it carefully with the back of your metal spoon right into the corners of your paper shape.
Place it in the oven and watch as the sponge puffs up and rises. It only takes 7-9 minutes as it is a thin layer of cake. While it’s baking, lay out a clean tea towel on your work surface and sprinkle some caster sugar on it. Also, check the consistency of your jam – if it isn’t quite runny, put it into a small pan and warm gently – this will make it much easier to spread.
When the sponge is done – nice and springy to the touch but not burned on the edges yet – turn it out front side down onto the tea towel and peel off the greaseproof paper. Immediately spread the whole exposed surface with a thin layer of warm jam.
Keeping it in the tea towel, roll up the cake from the short side – so you get a short fat roll with more layers than if you had rolled from the long side. Keep the cake rolled in the tea towel on a wire rack as it cools and then transfer to a sealed cake tin. Just before you serve, dredge over some caster sugar or icing sugar for effect.
The Swiss Roll keeps for about 2 days in the tin, but you can also freeze it and use it for trifles or Tipsy Parson (you can find the recipe for that in the April blog or on the Summer of Six menu, from Mexico to Marseille.)
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.