How to Make Swiss Roll

Every schoolboy knows how to make a Swiss roll: push him down a mountain! But if that’s not what you have in mind, don’t despair! We have all the recipes you need to make a perfect Swiss roll.

A Swiss roll makes use of Genoese sponge, which can also be used for gateaux and trifle sponges. It’s an almost fatless sponge, which doesn’t keep well so should be eaten as fresh as possible.

Swiss Roll

  • 3 eggs
  • 75g (3 oz) caster sugar
  • 75g (3 oz) self-raising flour
  • 40g (1 oz) melted butter

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper making sure the corners and edges are neat. Grease the paper.

Place a bowl over a pan of hot water and beat the eggs and sugar together using an Electric Mixer. Beat until it’s very thick: you should be able write your initials in it without them disappearing. It will take about 5 minutes or more of beating – even longer without an electric mixer.

Sieve the flour and fold it gently into the mixture. Pour in the butter and fold very gently until that is incorporated. Pour the mixture into the tin and level it off. Bake for about 20 minutes or until firm and golden.

Cut out a large piece of greaseproof paper and cover it with caster sugar. Turn the Swiss roll out onto the sugared paper. Trim the edges of the sponge and spread with Jam. If necessary warm the jam slightly first so that it will spread easily. Then using the sugared paper to help you, gently roll up the cake.

  • To fill with Buttercream or fresh cream, after you’ve trimmed the edges, place a clean t-towel on top of the cake, and roll up. Leave it to cool and then carefully unroll, remove the t-towel and spread with the filling before rolling up again.

Chocolate Swiss Roll

  • 3 eggs
  • 75g (3 oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 25g (1 oz) cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 25g (1 oz) melted butter

First sieve together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Then follow the instructions for a plain Swiss roll.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 25g (1 oz) cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 175g (6 oz) butter, softened
  • 275g (10 oz) icing sugar

Mix the cocoa in the boiling water and stir until you have a smooth paste. Cream the butter until very soft. Sieve the icing sugar onto the butter and beat it in well. Finally beat in the cocoa paste. Use more or less icing sugar depending on how stiff you want the buttercream to be.

Genoese Sponge Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 110g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 110g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • 35g (1 ½ oz) melted butter

Follow the instructions for a Swiss roll but use an 8” tin, preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Use as the base for a gateau.

Mandarin Gateau

  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or brandy
  • ½ tablespoon orange juice
  • Genoese sponge cake
  • 425ml (15fl oz) double cream
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • vanilla essence
  • 2 tins mandarin oranges, drained
  • good quality dark chocolate, grated
  • apricot jam

Mix together the Cointreau or brandy and orange juice. Slice a Genoese sponge in half and spoon the orange liqueur over. Set aside to absorb.

Whip the cream. When it’s half-whipped add the sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence. Continue beating until thick. Spread some over the bottom layer of cake. Top with mandarin oranges. Put the other half of cake on top.

Spread cream around the sides and roll in grated chocolate. (Or if you prefer, throw chocolate at the sides until covered.)

Melt some jam and allow to cool slightly. Spread a layer of cream over the top of the cake. Then decorate with mandarin oranges, piped cream, grated chocolate or toasted nuts. Brush the orange pieces with melted jam to glaze.

Go Global

Once you’ve mastered the Swiss roll, why not sample some more classic cakes from around the world, such as French Brioche, Italian Rum Baba, or American Coffee Cake.

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