Swiss rolls!

Swiss rolls are fun to make, once you get the hang of them. I’m almosttt there, getting it. I think :p Now if only I can figure out if there’s something wrong with my cakes, with them shrinking and not being fluffy enough. There will be more experiments lined up!

In Singapore, almost every bakery sell swiss rolls. They come in many colours, though the most common are red (strawberry), green (pandan), brown (chocolate or coffee), and yellow, the good old plain vanilla. They usually come filled with buttercream.  Some are plain on the outside, others are rolled with sugar, sugar rolls, and then there are others rolled with a variety of things like chopped nuts, dessicated coconut,  chocolate sprinkles, and so on.

I tried out two recipes today, with two different techniques. Both turned out tasty, despite my not quite up to par swiss roll skills haha!

The first is a vanilla swiss roll from Corner Cafe, adapted from Alex Goh’s Japanese cotton soft spongecake. It uses a Japanese technique of using a roux, cooking the flour – this supposedly makes the cakes softer as it prevents gluten formation. The eggs are also beaten separately.

Vanilla swissroll

The second recipe is a pandan swiss roll from My Kitchen. This recipe differs in that it uses the technique of making a genoise, whipping whole eggs with sugar, then adds the flour and melted butter.

Pandan coconut swiss roll

I filled both cakes with my favourite swiss meringue buttercream, adapted from Tish Boyle, shared below. For the pandan swiss roll, I added dessicated coconut to compliment the pandan ;)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Adapted from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book)
Makes about 4-5 cups of yummy buttercream

200g sugar
200g egg whites
400g unsalted butter
(or 350g unsalted butter, 50g salted butter, omit the salt)
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

1. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water.  Remove from heat once it reaches 160 degrees F

2. Beat the egg whites until the meringue forms, stiff, shinny peaks and bowl is cool.

3. Slowly beat in butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. This takes a while, but your patience is worth it. If at any stage it starts to curdle, fret not, just continue beating and it will all come together in the end.

4. Beat in the vanilla.

5. Take a spoon and eat. I mean, frost your cakes. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 6 days.

 I’m not an expert at swiss rolls, but here’s a tip to keep your cakes moist and crack free. After removing your cake from the oven, leave it to cool in the pan for about a min. After that, immediately flip it over onto a towel and peel off the parchment paper at the bottom. Leave to cool about 5 mins. Trim the sides of the swiss roll. Using the towel, roll your cake into a log and keep it covered as it cools –

Swiss roll - rolled in a towel!
Swiss roll rolled in a towel

If you leave the cake to cool completely before rolling, it’ll end up cracking!

Once the cake has cooled down in the towel, unroll in and spread your buttercream, and roll it up –

Pandan coconut swiss roll
Filled with coconut buttercream!

Have fun rolling your cakes! If you have any favourite swiss roll recipes to share, please send them my way! ;)

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