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!
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?
For the purposes of this post (and our own personal preference) we’re going vanilla sponge with raspberry jelly.
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.
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.
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!
Delicious with an afternoon cup of tea – or served as a dessert with whipped cream.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 125g/4¼oz caster sugar + 2 tbsp extra for sprinkling
- ½tsp vanilla extract
- 50g/1¾oz butter, melted
- 130g/4½oz cake flour
- ¼tsp fine salt
- Almost a full jar of jam or soft-set jelly
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- Grease and line the bottom and sides of a Swiss roll tin or large baking tray with parchment paper
- Sift the flour(s) and salt into a mixing bowl from a height to incorporate air
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, vanilla extract and the egg yolks until the mixture is pale, airy and shiny
- Whisk in the melted butter
- Fold the flour carefully into this mixture, trying not to beat too much air out of the mixture. Set aside
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (use a stand mixer/electric whisk for ease and speed)
- Gently fold the whites into the mixture in three stages
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin and tilt from side to side to cover evenly
- Gently bang the tin on to the workspace a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and springs back when pressed with a finger
- Spread a clean, damp tea towel on a work surface
- Cut a piece of greaseproof a little larger than the tin, lay it on the tea towel and sprinkle over the extra caster sugar
- Loosen the sponge around the edges and then invert on to the paper with one of the short sides facing you
- Trim the 4 edges using a bread knife to neaten
- Gently score a straight line from end to end around 1cm from the edge closest to you
- 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
- Unwrap, flatten gently and spread with jam. Roll back up without the paper
- Slice to serve (with whipped cream and fresh summer berries)