Tuesday, 27 June 2017

No Crack Swiss Roll Recipe (Wheat Free, with Dairy Free Option)

I cannot believe that in all my years of running this blog that I've never once made a Swiss Roll!

The only time in my life that I've ever made a Swiss roll was when I was about 20: I was meeting the parents of my boyfriend-at-the-time for the first time, and I hate turning up to a house empty handed. It was a few years after that cake that I started doing this here blog, but in the three or four odd years that I've been writing this I've never attempted another one.

However, I've had my interest reignited: my companion has told me that for his birthday in July he'd love an Arctic Roll! (For those of you who managed to miss the '80s and '90s, an Arctic Roll is a Swiss roll made with an ice-cream filling). I figured I'd need to get some practise in rolling cakes before the end of July.

The sponge itself varies quite a lot from recipe to recipe: a traditional English rolled cake uses a 100% fat free cake recipe, whereas rolled cakes from East Asia add in oil and milk to make it more flexible. I have found that the East Asian approach works a hell of a lot better, but I have maintained the ratio of egg-to-sugar-to-flour that I'm used to, as the East Asian recipes tend to use very little sugar and flour to every egg, resulting in something that's more like a slightly sweet omelette.

By blending a little bit of both recipes, I found a way of making a super light and fluffy cake, which is still flexible enough to roll: the addition of cornflour reduces the amount of gluten in the flour, and the addition of milk and oil adds the needed moisture to make the rolling easier.

I will say, mind, that a homemade Swiss roll benefits massively from two major steps: 1) the cake being pre-rolled while hot, so that it re-rolls nice and tightly on being filled, and 2) the said filling should be a thick, firm filling; avoid thin, runny fillings.

With that said, let's move onto how I made it.

For one 9x13 inch (22x33 centimetre) flat cake
  • 4 room temperature medium eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons (60 millilitres) sunflower oil
  • 4 tablespoons (60 millilitres) milk, or dairy-free milk alternative
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) caster sugar
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 2 ounce (55 grammes) cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons (75 to 90 millilitres) filling of your choice: jam, chocolate spread, whipped cream, buttercream icing, lemon curd, etc.
  • Optional: icing sugar, for dusting

  • Line a 9x13 inch (22x33 centimetre) rectangular tin with non-stick baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mk.4), with the rack in the centre.
  • Sieve the spelt flour, cornflour, and salt together onto a plate or piece of baking paper. Sieve it two or three times to make is super light and well mixed.
  • In a jug, mix the yolks, oil, and milk together until well blended. In a medium mixing bowl, make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar, whisking to firm peaks.
  • Take a scoop of the whites and mix into the yolks to lighten them. Return the yolk mixture to the whites and fold through gently but completely until there are no streaks of white.
  • Sieve the flour onto the meringue and fold through completely until there no clumps of flour and the mixture falls from the spoon in thick ribbons.
  • Pour into the lined tin and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon. Tap the tin on the work surface several times to further even out the cake mixture and release any trapped air bubbles.
  • Bake on the centre shelf for 15 to 17 minutes until pale golden brown, well risen, and springy to the touch.
  • Lie a piece of paper on a wire rack, and when the cake is cooked invert it onto the wire rack while it's still hot. Slide the cake off the rack onto a tea towel on the work surface.
  • Cut all the crusts off and then--using the baking paper like a sushi mat--roll the cake up tightly. Tighten the ends of the paper, then wrap it in the tea towel. Allow to cool to room temperature, still wrapped.
  • Once cool, unwrap and un-roll. Spread the filling over the cake, leaving the end opposite to the rolling end uncovered for about an inch (2½ centimetres). Roll it up again, wrap again, and chill for about an hour before serving. To serve, dust with icing sugar.

There were no blogs on this day in 2016 nor 2015.

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