Cakes & Bakes: Swiss roll

Home-made Swiss roll | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cooking #cake #swissroll

Our food cupboard is full to bursting with last year’s home-made jams, jellies and other preserves. This year’s preserves have no place to live! One of the best ways to use up a fair amount of some of that jelly is to make a Swiss roll. Any excuse to make cake!

Egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and melted butter | H is for Home

If you look on the internet, you’ll find a lot of debate about what constitutes a ‘proper’ Swiss roll. Vanilla sponge or chocolate sponge? Jam on its own or jam and whipped cream together? Whipped cream or buttercream?

Whisked egg whites | H is for Home

For the purposes of this post (and our own personal preference) we’re going vanilla sponge with raspberry jelly.

Swiss roll batter poured evenly into a baking tray | H is for Home

You can buy a specialised Swiss roll cake tin for the job, but I’ve used a large, shallow baking sheet. I like my roll to have thinner, but a greater number of layers.

Sprinkled vanilla-infused granulated sugar | H is for Home

To attain a lovely, light sponge, cake flour is preferred. It’s much more widely available in the USA, but you can knock up a decent approximation yourself. For every 130 grams / 4¼oz of flour, remove 2 tablespoons and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornflour. Just make sure you sift them together really well to combine.

Scoring the Swiss roll sponge to aid rolling | H is for Home

There are a couple of tips for a successful rolling stage. Roll the sponge whilst it’s still warm, allow it to cool, unroll it, spread the jam/jelly/cream/buttercream and roll it back up again. The other tip is to make a straight, shallow groove along the entire width, about 1cm from the edge from which you begin the roll to help get it… rolling. Perhaps my photo above can better explain what I mean!

Home-made Swiss roll | H is for Home

Delicious with an afternoon cup of tea – or served as a dessert with whipped cream.

Slice of home-made Swiss roll with whipped cream and fresh raspberries | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest.

Swiss roll
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs, separated
  2. 125g/4¼oz caster sugar + 2 tbsp extra for sprinkling
  3. ½tsp vanilla extract
  4. 50g/1¾oz butter, melted
  5. 130g/4½oz cake flour
  6. ¼tsp fine salt
  7. Almost a full jar of jam or soft-set jellyHome-made swiss roll ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a Swiss roll tin or large baking tray with parchment paper
  3. Sift the flour(s) and salt into a mixing bowl from a height to incorporate air
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, vanilla extract and the egg yolks until the mixture is pale, airy and shiny
  5. Whisk in the melted butter
  6. Fold the flour carefully into this mixture, trying not to beat too much air out of the mixture. Set aside
  7. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (use a stand mixer/electric whisk for ease and speed)
  8. Gently fold the whites into the mixture in three stages
  9. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and tilt from side to side to cover evenly
  10. Gently bang the tin on to the workspace a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and springs back when pressed with a finger
  12. Spread a clean, damp tea towel on a work surface
  13. Cut a piece of greaseproof a little larger than the tin, lay it on the tea towel and sprinkle over the extra caster sugar
  14. Loosen the sponge around the edges and then invert on to the paper with one of the short sides facing you
  15. Trim the 4 edges using a bread knife to neaten
  16. Gently score a straight line from end to end around 1cm from the edge closest to you
  17. Whilst still warm, roll the sponge up as tightly as possible, rolling the paper in with it using the damp tea towel as an aid. Leave rolled up tightly until cooled
  18. Unwrap, flatten gently and spread with jam. Roll back up without the paper
  19. Slice to serve (with whipped cream and fresh summer berries)
Print
Adapted from How to cook the perfect...
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon curd and jelly tarts

Home-made lemon curd and fruit jelly tarts with a cup of tea | H is for Home

I had a bit of leftover lemon curd from last week’s Pavlova recipe… I also have jar upon jar of home-made fruit jelly in the store cupboard. As someone who hates to waste anything, I thought I would make some simple lemon curd and jelly tarts.

Making pastry tart cases | H is for Home

Whether you’re rubbing in by hand or using a food mixer, the shortcrust pastry is a breeze…

Filling pastry tart cases | H is for Home

…then fill with your preserve(s) of choice and bake. Start to finish in an hour or so. Perfect if you want to rustle up something quickly – or try a bit of baking with the kids.

Cooked lemon curd and fruit jelly tarts | H is for Home

You can leave them plain & simple – or perhaps pretty them up a bit. I garnished the top of the lemon curd tarts with a single blueberry and the jelly ones with a little sprinkle of dessicated coconut.

Adding garnishes to lemon curd and fruit jelly tarts | H is for Home

They’re a good finger food for a party or an afternoon or high tea. They’re simple, inexpensive and delicious – a great combination!

Click here or on the image below to save the recipe for later!

Home-made jelly and lemon curd tarts | H is for Home

Lemon curd and jelly tarts
Yields 24
Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 180g/6oz plain flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 90g/3oz cold butter, cubed
  4. 3-4 tbsp cold water
  5. 8tbsp lemon curd
  6. 8tbsp fruit jelly or jamHome-made lemon curd and jelly tart ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Put the flour and salt into a food processor and whiz briefly together to mix
  2. Add the butter cubes and pulse briefly a dozen times or so until you have coarse crumbs
  3. Trickle in the water continuing to pulse until the mixture resembles rough lumps and looks a bit like overcooked and dry scrambled eggs. Add only as much water as you need
  4. Tip the clumped crumbs onto a sheet of cling film and gently squeeze together into a ball without pressing too hard
  5. Wrap & chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 6
  7. Lightly grease a tartlet tin
  8. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out thinly
  9. Using a pastry cutter slightly larger than the circumference of a tartlet hole, cut out pastry rounds
  10. Press the pastry rounds evenly into each hole (I use the end of my rolling pin as a tamper)
  11. Fill each pastry case with about a teaspoon of lemon curd or jelly/jam
  12. Bake for 15 minutes
  13. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before attempting to remove them
  14. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Price Points: Preserve starter kits

Preserving starter kits | H is for Home

  1. Kitchen Craft preserving starter set, 4 pieces: £10, hobbycraft
  2. VonShef 9L Maslin pan jam preserving starter set bundle: £32.99, Amazon
  3. 5-Pieces preserve starter set by Kilner: £69.99, Wayfair

One of the things I love about the start of autumn is making jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys and all manner of other preserves. I made a batch of apple and chilli jelly this week… the first of the season.

Late summer is spent foraging for fruit such as wild raspberries, elderberries and blackberries. They’re added to the redcurrants that were harvested from our allotment in and are made into mixed fruit jelly.

You really should try it – it’s really easy, satisfying and far superior to most shop bought stuff. Get yourself one of these preserve starter kits and you’ll be quickly on your way to making your own.

Each has its own merits however, I’ve chosen #2 as the best of the preserve starter kits for a number of reasons. The most important component is the jam/maslin pan. It needs to be large, sturdy and made of the right material. It needs to be made of a non-reactive material such as stainless steel. Reactive metals such as aluminium and untreated cast iron can give a metallic taste to the food and can also cause discolouration. The pan also needs to be a good conductor of heat, for example, copper so that it achieves the high temperatures necessary in jam-making.

The next most important component is the thermometer. It’s not absolutely essential but, if you’re not entirely confident with using the cold saucer method, a thermometer is the foolproof way of knowing that the magic 105ºC/220ºF temperature has been reached.

A jam funnel is very useful if you’ve got shaky hands like mine, however buying the other components are less necessary. I have a huge store of different sized & shaped jars – I never put the finished jars of honey, mayonnaise, pesto etc into the recycling. With a little pre-planning, you shouldn’t need to buy jars specially for preserving. Just make sure ones you’re reusing have no chips or cracks and have their original airtight lids.

Having said all that – yes, both #2 and #3 come with jars as part of their kits. The former has the edge over the latter as the single 1-litre jar is much less practical than 6 smaller ones. If you store a litre of jam, jelly, chutney etc in a single jar you’ll have to eat all the contents within a couple of weeks of opening or it will go off. Also, you should store your preserves in the fridge once they’ve been opened. I usually have too much other stuff in the fridge to accommodate a litre-sized pot of jam.

In the years I’ve been preserving, I’ve never used a jar lifter (I use a pair of kitchen tongs), a jar wrench (just twist a dinner knife between the space between the lid and the jar) or a magnetic stick (again, I use kitchen tongs). So that’s 3 of the 4 Kitchen Craft items that would be neglected at the back of the cupboard. You could buy each preserve making component you think you’ll need singly – but it’s often cheaper to buy them as a bundle.

Apple and chilli jelly

Spoonful of home-made apple and chilli jelly | H is for Home

We spent about an hour this week picking apples in Justin’s parents’ neighbours’ garden. Got all that?

Chopped apples, chilli and lemon zest

We must have harvested about 10 to 15 kilos. I wanted to make something where I didn’t need to peel and core that many apples. Though they’re delicious (they’re cooking apples), a lot of them are small and misshapen – a nightmare job!

jelly making equipment | H is for Home jelly making equipment | H is for Home

Justin suggested apple and chilli jelly. It would utilise the apples – and some of the 300 glass jars I’ve managed to accumulate over the years!

Strained juice and bags of sugar | H is for Home

I weighed out 4 kilos of apples – so doubled up this recipe. I barely made a dent in the pile!

Sterilized jelly jars and funnel | H is for Home

It’s not a complicated process, but a bit of time is required for chopping, boiling, straining, re-boiling. No problem if you’re in the house as you can get on with something else as it bubbles away.

Jars of apple and chilli jelly | H is for Home

The resulting jelly is a wonderful colour – and tastes amazing! The perfect accompaniment for vegetarian or meat dishes which is ideal for this household. Perfect with cheese, burgers and kebabs. Justin thinks it will be absolutely awesome with slow roast pork and has vowed to try it at the weekend. If you have an apple harvest ready to pick then we can thoroughly recommend this recipe. It will last for months (even years) in your store cupboard – or make perfect presents for anyone deserving enough!

Jars of apple and chilli jelly | H is for Home

Now… what to do with the other 10 kilos of apples?!

Redcurrant jelly

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Jars of home-made redcurrant jelly | H is for Home

July sees the start of our food harvesting and preserving season. Last week we made a delicious elderflower ice cream with our home-made elderflower cordial.

colander full of redcurrants picked on our allotment

This week, we’ve made some redcurrant jelly using a recipe from Cordon Bleu Preserving.

Washed redcurrants put into glass jars

We inherited half a dozen or so redcurrant bushes when we took on our allotment last year. On our last trip down there this week, the bushes were heaving with little red jewels.

Redcurrants cooked in lidded jars in the oven

It took the pair of us about two hours to pick about half of them. When we got home, we gave them a rinse – they barely filled our small colander!

Weighing sugar to make redcurrant jelly

Despite this, we kept back a couple of cupfuls (to go into a pie) before making rest into jelly… it actually made 8 jars.

Straining cooked redcurrants through a jelly bag

We know that redcurrant jelly is usually matched with lamb or game and a dollop or two can go into a gravy for extra flavour. We’ll have to look for some other good flavour matches…any ideas?

Redcurrant jelly
Ingredients
  1. Redcurrants
  2. 800g granulated or preserving sugar to each litre of juice made
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Instructions
  1. Gently rinse the redcurrants in a colander before carefully removing the stems and putting the fruit into Kilner jars
  2. Firmly cover the jars with lids before putting them in to an oven at 300ºF/Gas mark 2 until the juice has run well
  3. Remove from the oven carefully remove the lids and turn out the fruit into a jelly bag or muslin overnight
  4. Measure the juice and take the correct proportion of sugar
  5. Add the sugar to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or jam pan and warm on a low heat
  6. In a separate pan, heat the juice to boiling point (but don't allow to boil)
  7. Add the juice carefully to the warm sugar stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved
  8. Pour jelly at once into sterilised jars
  9. Allow to cool before screwing the lids on firmly
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Adapted from Cordon Bleu Preserving
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Charity Vintage: Kilner jars

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collection of vintage Kilner jars for sale by & in support of Wesley Community Furniture(ends 23 Sep, 2014 20:07:23 BST)

With all the jam, jelly and preserve making that I’ve been doing this summer, I’m almost clean out of jars. I always give away a lot of what I make to family & friends so the jars are never to be seen again. This collection of 16 vintage Kilner jars for sale by & in support of Wesley Community Furniture* would set me up nicely again.

Kilner jars are great for preserves but are also useful for storing dry foodstuffs like rice, pasta, peas, beans, lentils and dried fruit. And they’re so much prettier than the plastic bags they come in!

*Wesley Community Furniture aims to work in partnership with others to provide furniture and other household items at the lowest possible prices to those in greatest need in Manchester, to further relieve poverty by providing jobs, volunteering and training opportunities, and to recycle and re-use as much of the material they receive as possible.