This past summer I recently discovered the Swiss Roll. I’d seen them before in pictures and maybe occasionally in stores but I have never heard of anyone making one before, except for my dad who claims that he used to make them all of the time in the 80s… However, he’s never made one for me before so until he does I will just assume that he’s lying.
I was inspired to make a Swiss Roll after watching an episode of the Great British Baking Show where the contestants were challenged with making them perfectly. Things on the show got rather intense because they were all sitting in front of their ovens watching their cakes brown to just the right colour and they had to get the timing precisely right (I will admit that I did not go to such extremes to make sure my own cake was the right colour, I kind of just went along with things). The episode inspired me to go and find my own recipe to try. I opted for a classic strawberry jam roll to start, and decided that once I mastered the basics I could try some more advanced variations of the cake.
Making the batter for the cake is pretty straightforward. Baking the cake is also quite easy. For me, the hardest part of making a Swiss Roll is flipping the finished cake out of the pan and then filling it and rolling it. You want a tight roll in your cake so that you get a nice spiral and it holds together well, however it is possible to roll it so tightly that all of your filling comes out of the sides, which is kind of sad.
Overall, I would say that a basic Swiss Roll is easy to master and is lovely with a cup of tea. In fact, if you are hosting a tea event and want a little treat to give your guests, a Swiss Roll would be perfect because it is simple to make, tastes good, and looks very impressive.
If you are intimidated about trying to make one, don’t worry! It really isn’t too hard. And just like everything else, it gets easier with practice. Here is my classic Swiss Roll recipe!
3/4 Cups Self-Raising Flour*
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 Cups Caster Sugar
1/2 Cup Strawberry Jam
1.) Preheat Oven to 190°C (375°F). Lightly grease a shallow swiss roll tin (12 x 10 x 3/4 inches). Line the tin with parchment paper leaving two sides longer and hanging over the edge of the pan. Sift the flour onto the paper three times.
2.) Beat the eggs with an electric beater in a small bowl for five minutes, or until thick and pale. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar gradually, beating constantly until the mixture is pale and glossy.
3.) Transfer to a large bowl. Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour quickly and lightly. Spread into tin and smooth the surface. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly golden and springy to the touch. Meanwhile take a clean tea towel and place on a clean work surface. Cover with baking paper and sprinkle with remaining sugar. When the cake is cooked, turn it out immediately onto the sugar.
4.) Using the tea towel as a guide, carefully roll the cake up from the short side, rolling the paper inside the roll. Rest the rolled cake on a wire rack for five minutes, then carefully unroll and allow to cool to room temperature. Spread with jam and re-roll. Trim the ends with a knife.
*If Self-Raising Flour is not readily available, combine 1 cup of All-Purpose Flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
*Stir jam with a fork or microwave for thirty seconds to make it easier to spread onto the cake.