Straight from the Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache cookbook, here is the Swiss roll I made while my mum was here. It's definitely the best cake I've made from this book so far.
Vanilla cream and raspberry Swiss roll
a little icing sugar
100g caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 medium free range eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and the seed scraped out
100g peeled and finely grated sweet potato
70g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
caster sugar for dusting over the top
2tbsp sieved icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
140ml double cream
200g raspberry jam
100g fresh raspberries
you'll also need
a 33cm x 24cm x 2cm swiss roll tin
a rubber spatula
a clean tea towel
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F gas mark 4. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment, cutting into the corners to get a neat fit. Using a sieve, sprinkle this with icing sugar so that there is a fine layer more or less all over the base. This is important in helping prevent the sponge from sticking to the bottom.
Measure the caster sugar into a small mixing bowl with the salt. Now remove 2 tbsp of the sugar and put them in a large mixing bowl with the egg whites. Whisk until the egg whites are stiff. Set the large mixing bowl aside.
Add the vanilla seeds and egg yolks to the remaining sugar in the smaller mixing bowl and whisk for a full 4 minutes until they are pale, fluffy and hold a ribbon trail when you lift the beaters. Add the sweet potato to the egg yolk mixture and whisk to incorporate.
With the help of a rubber spatula, beat one third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Don't be shy, you needn't be afraid of hurting the sponge at this stage.
Taking care to work delicately so as not to knock out too much of the air, cautiously fold in the next third of the egg whites. To do this, spoon the egg white into the middle of the bowl, so that it is sitting on the bubbly mixture, then go under the contents of the bowl with your spatula as if you were cleaning the sides, and dump the liquid from the bottom on to the floating egg white island in the middle of the bowl. Then decisively cut through the middle of the floating egg white with the side of your spatula and repeat the process until it has broken up and blended in a airy pillow with the heavier liquid part.
Repeat the process with the final third of egg white, and at the same time sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Fold as before until all elements are incorporated.
Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared Swiss roll tin, aiming to drag the lazy mixture from the bowl into the centre of the tin. This makes it easier to tilt the tin this way and that to coax the mixture into the corners of the tin, so that it doesn't just lie in the centre. Don't pat it down with the spatula as this will knock out the air completely. It is important for the mixture to reach all corners of the tin because it will set and start to cook very soon after it as gone into the oven because it is so flat and exposed. How it goes into the tin is how it will end up looking once cooked.
Cook in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Once cooked, it is important to act quickly. Lie a clean tea towel flat on an empty kitchen surface and cover it with a slightly smaller rectangle of baking parchment of the same shape.
Take the tray out of the oven and carefully lift the sponge out of the tin, holding it by the edges of the baking parchment. Don't be frightened by the sponge that is clinging to the paper, it is quite safe and much more robust than you think.
Place the sponge, exposed side down, on the baking parchment in the middle of the tea towel (lie it out lengthways so that it looks like two rectangles that fit into each other) and carefully peel off the paper from the back of the cooked sponge; it will come off easily in your hands.
The next stage is the most important of all. Start from one end of the cloth and roll a cigar shape with the tea towel and parchment paper. When you come to the sponge, continue to roll it snugly, to that the sponge and towel are meshed together in a roly-poly shape. Continue until all the sponge is cosily tucked up inside the tea towel. Let it stand fro 10 minutes to cool and semi-set in a snail shape whilst you make the vanilla cream filling.
Beat the icing sugar, vanilla extract and cream for one minute on full blast until stiff. As always, don't over-whip the cream or it will go grainy and slit and splutter. Put it in the fridge until needed.
Once the sponge has had 10 minutes to cool off and slightly set, unroll it from its paper and tea towel, and spread a generous layer of raspberry jam all over the inside. Remove the cream from the fridge and spread it over the top of the raspberry layer. Sprinkle over the fresh raspberries.
Roll the bulging sponge up again and don't worry about the mess. It's bound to crack a little here and overspill a little there. Scatter the caster sugar all over the top and refrigerate until needed. Take the Swiss roll out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving for a lighter result.
I didn't use a vanilla pod in the sponge, just normal vanilla extract. I also forgot to sprinkle the baking parchment with icing sugar before I poured the sponge mixture into the tin, but I didn't have any problems getting the paper off afterwards. And my Swiss roll tin was a bit bigger than the recipe specifies, but again, no problems there.
Folding the egg white into the egg yolk mixture feels like you're going nowhere but the lumps of egg white do disappear into the mix eventually. I've always done this type of folding with a metal spoon, it seems to cut the egg white up better.
Try to get your cooked sponge turned over into the centre of the tea towel/parchment on first go. I kind of missed and had to try to shuffle the sponge over, which didn't really work, but in the long run, it didn't make much of a difference.
The cake certainly won't be cool after being rolled up for 10 minutes, but the way I understand Swiss roll making, it's important to roll it while it's warm otherwise the sponge cracks. I think when I've made Swiss rolls before, I've left them rolled up til they're cold.
I used a 225g block of plain, full fat Philadelphia mixed with a 200g pot of creme fraiche, a couple tablespoons of sugar and a splosh of vanilla extract. Mr G thought it was rather salty, although I found the taste got better once it was in the cake (if you see what I mean). I didn't bother with the jam and used about 200g of sliced strawberries instead of the raspberries. The intention here was to avoid raspberry overload (having made another cake with raspberries two days earlier) and lower the fat content (although I'm not sure that worked). You could, of course, use whipping cream instead of double.
Based on my version, a one-seventh slice (so about ¾" wide) worked out at 9 Weight Watchers points, which I thought was quite a lot. Good job I left the jam out!
I know it looks like there are lots of instructions and it's all very complicated, but it isn't half a tricky as it sounds, so it's worth having a go. It was pretty damn delish, and I think there will be a second version with just jam and (proper) cream appearing in the near future.
Oh, one other thing: if you're going to dust it with icing sugar to make it look all fancy, do it as the last minute because the sponge is quite damp and the sugar will just disappear into the cake.