This week saw the return of the much-loved Great British Bake-Off, and with it, the amazing celebration of all things cake that is #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, which you can find more details on here.
My first swiss roll recipe – Simple Strawberry Jam Swiss Roll , is without a doubt the most popular post on this blog. For why, I simply don’t know, but am certainly not complaining!
However simple is not always sufficient – and for this GBBO I wanted to ramp things up a bit. I’ve wanted to try a piped design roll for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Add to this homemade strawberry jam – why do things by half – and you can see why this really is a super swiss roll!
To start with – the jam, so it has time to cool. We are right in the middle of British strawberry season and there are lots of brilliant juicy fruits in the shops at the moment.
300g fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Chop the strawberries – I found quartering gave good chunky pieces in the jam, without them being too overbearing in the sponge
– Mix the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, and put on a low heat until the sugar has melted
– Turn the heat up to medium/high, and set the timer for 10 minutes. The mixture should foam and bubble up; stir often and monitor the heat so it doesn’t boil over
– When the ten minutes is nearly up, start testing to see if the jam has reached setting point. This is 105 degrees C on a jam/sugar thermometer, or you can use the wrinkle-test , using pre-frozen saucers to test if it sets.
– If it’s not setting, boil for a couple more minutes and test again. As a last resort you can some more lemon juice to boost the pectin levels.
– Once at setting point, take off the heat and pour into a bowl. Leave to cool whilst you make the sponge.
Swiss roll sponge (with piped strawberry decorations)
3 large eggs
125g plain flour
- Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and beat on high for up to 10 minutes, until the mixture goes from pale and yellow to light, white, and about double in size
(KitchenAid optional… but it really does help!)
- Whilst the eggs are beating, prepare your tray. An ordinary baking tray (with sides) is more than sufficient.
– Brush the edges and bottom of the tin with oil or melted butter.
– Cut baking or greaseproof paper precisely to size, it should be completely flat
– Brush the paper with more oil/butter, and sprinkle well with flour and sugar, to prevent any sticking
- Sieve the flour and gently fold into the egg mixture.
- To make the strawberry decorations, take 3 teaspoons of the mixture, and colour one orange, one red, and one green.
– Using small piping bags, pipe green leaves, orange seeds and fill round with red strawberry shapes
- Bake for 2 minutes at 180 degrees, so the strawberries set and don’t mix with the rest of the batter
- Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
– Spread the rest of the batter evenly across the tray, and return to the oven, for 8-10 minutes, at 180 degrees
- After 8 minutes, test to see if the sponge is done by lightly pressing with your fingers. If it springs back, it’s done; if your fingerprints remain indented, return to the oven for another minute
- When it’s ready, run a knife around the edge of the tin, before flipping out onto another baking sheet, sprinkled with a good layer of sugar. I put my baking sheet on top of a damp tea towel which helps stop the swiss roll from cracking
- Using another baking sheet (and I used a chopping board for support), flip the swiss roll over so the decorated side is face down
– Working quickly, whilst it’s still hot, spread the jam all across the cake
- Using the greaseproof paper to help, carefully, and as tightly as possible, roll up the cake
- Once all rolled up, wrap the greaseproof paper around and tuck in the ends. Leave to cool for at least half an hour before unwrapping and tucking in!
I was really happy with the way the strawberries turned out!
And the roll itself – Paul and Mary would be impressed – a good swirl, even filling…
Certainly not simple but stunning and delicious – a good first show-stopper to start the series!
And the best thing about a swiss roll, it’s still fat-free, and with all those strawberries must surely count as one of your five a day ;-)