Sunday, October 30, 2016

Deco Roll? Nailed It!

We were overdue for a major fail and we really pulled one off with this challenge, if I do say so myself. We began very hopeful and excited, with grand plans for a Halloween-themed design.

We mixed together purple/black, orange, and green batters for our design.

And then we very carefully drew the design onto the parchment paper.

One step at a time...

So far so good...

How cute is that?!

We baked it for about 90 seconds in the oven, as instructed. Then we put the sponge cake batter over top of it and baked it for another 12 or so minutes. It was still looking good. But then...

We peeled back the parchment paper, and the design came right up with it. We were both so sad! (Our suspicion is that we baked the initial design for too long. Maybe we should've just frozen it to set it and/or used more vegetable oil to grease the parchment.)

Things only went downhill from there. We tried to recover by whipping some orange food coloring into the whipped cream, but when we tried to roll the cake around the very-fall-appropriate whipped cream and brown-sugar-walnut-spices mixture, it simultaneously came apart and collapsed.

As you can see.

It was extra pitiful to see the remnants of our green pumpkin vine peeping out from inside the mess. I'm pleased to report, however, that after about 10 minutes in the freezer, we took it out and dug right in -- and it was delicious. So at least it was more of a success than some of our past failures (I'm looking at you, tuiles and lasagna).

In any case, we look forward to redeeming ourselves next month. In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

Decorated Swiss Roll Recipe
Servings: 6-8

Preheat the oven to 340 ̊F / 170 ̊C / Gas Mark 4. Line 10”x10” / 25 x 25cm square baking pan, or
9”x13” / 23 x 33cm rectangle baking pan with parchment paper, and use a paper towel to lightly but
thoroughly grease the parchment paper with vegetable oil. Place your stencil (if using) underneath
the parchment paper. For a 10”x10” / 25 x 25cm square pan, make sure the pattern is in the middle of
the pan. For a 9”x13” / 23 x 33cm rectangular pan, make sure the pattern is in the upper third of the

Part A: Egg Yolk Mixture

  • 3 large egg yolks (save the whites for Part C)
  • 35g / 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup water
  • 40ml / 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 5ml / 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g / 4/5 cup cake flour or 65g / 1/2 cup all purpose flour + 15g / 5 1/2 tsp cornstarch)
  • pinch salt
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer and whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar on medium-high speed until very pale and thick. Add the water, oil, and vanilla and mix to combine. Sift over the flour and salt and mix to make a smooth batter. Set aside.
Part B: Pattern Mixture

  • 15ml / 1 Tbsp prepared egg yolk mixture from Part A
  • approx..3g / 1 tsp cake flour
  • food colouring, if desired
  • 1 large egg white
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • Place 15ml / 1 Tbsp of the prepared egg yolk mixture from Part A in a small bowl and mix in the cake flour. Divide this mixture into as many small bowls as you need colours – ie, if you need 3 colours for your pattern, divide it between 3 bowls. Tint the mixture in each bowl with the desired food colouring.
  • In a clean medium bowl, beat the single egg white with an electric mixer and whisk attachment until foamy, then add a pinch of cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Measure out 45ml / 3 Tbsp of the egg white meringue (keep the rest for Part C) and divide it evenly between the bowls of coloured mixture. Mix to combine.
Part C: Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 30g / 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • food colouring, if desired
  • In a clean large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer and whisk attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, until stiff and glossy peaks form. Mix in any remaining egg white from Part B.
  • If you want to tint the cake batter with food colouring, mix your desired colour into the egg yolk mixture from Part A. OR, if you want to flavour the cake (see suggested Variations at the end of the recipe), mix the flavouring into the egg yolk mixture now.
  • One third at a time, mix the meringue into the egg yolk mixture from Part A, folding gently with a spatula so as not to deflate the meringue, until the batter is smooth and no streaks of meringue remain.
  • Pour the batter over the baked pattern in the prepared cake pan and spread evenly. Lift up the baking pan a few inches and drop it onto the counter 2-3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles. 
  • Bake in the preheated 340 ̊F / 170 ̊C / Gas mark 4 oven for 12-14 minutes, depending on the size of your cake pan, until just set and slightly springy. Try not to let the cake colour/brown much, if at all.
  • Place a fresh piece of parchment paper on top of the cake and invert it onto a cooling rack. Lift off the pan and stencil and gently peel back the parchment to reveal the baked-in decoration. Place the parchment back on top and allow the cake to cool between the pieces of parchment paper. Make sure the cake is completely cool before filling.
Part D: Simple Syrup

  • 10g / 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 20ml / 4 tsp boiling water
  • 1 ½ tsp liqueur of your choice, optional
  • In a small bowl, combine the caster sugar and boiling water and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the liqueur, if desired.
  • When the cake is completely cool, peel off the parchment paper and turn it over so that the pattern is facing down and horizontal (for a 9”x13” / 23 X 33cm cake, make sure the short edges are at the top and bottom and the pattern is at the top). With a serrated knife, trim the top and bottom edges at an angle and make some very shallow cuts horizontally across the cake, about 1” / 2.5cm apart. This will help with rolling.
  • With a pastry brush, brush the simple syrup over the cake and let it soak in while you prepare the filling.
Part E: Filling

  • 150ml / 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 15g / 1 Tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ~ 125ml / ~ 1/2 cup fresh fruit, a few spoonfuls of jam, etc of your choice
  • Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until firm peaks form.
  • If you’re using jam or another spread (I used Nutella), spread it evenly over the surface of the cake, leaving the angled parts that you trimmed on the top and bottom edges bare. Spread the whipped cream evenly on top, again leaving the angled parts bare. For a 10”x10” / 25 x 25cm cake, arrange the fruit in lines in the middle of the cake. For a 9”x13” / 23 x 33cm cake, go easy on the filling and arrange the fruit in lines over the bottom half.
  • Tightly roll up the cake from the bottom edge, using the parchment paper to help. The 10”x10” / 25 x 25cm square cake will form a complete cylinder around the filling, with the top and bottom edges meeting. For the 9”x13” / 23 x 33cm cake, lift the bottom edge and tuck it over the filling, then continue to roll – there will be a bit of an overlap between top and bottom edges. Once rolled, twist the parchment paper ends like a candy wrapper to secure the cake in a log. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until the filling is firm.
  • To serve, unwrap the parchment paper and trim the ends of the cake with a serrated knife. Roll it up in parchment again and re-shape if necessary, then transfer to a plate. Cut slices with a serrated knife, wiping it clean between each cut.


For Cocoa or Matcha-flavoured Cake:
  • 20g / 3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder or matcha powder
  • 30ml / 2 Tbsp boiling water
For Coffee-flavoured Cake:
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp boiling water
  • Follow the recipe as above but omit the food colouring in Part C. Instead, in Part C, before you add the meringue into the egg yolk mixture, combine the powder of your choice with the hot water and mix it into the egg yolk mixture. Continue with the recipe as above.
  • For the cocoa and matcha versions, reduce the baking time by 1-2 minutes – these versions will be slightly drier than the plain sponge and you do not want to over-bake them, or they will crack when rolled.
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
This cake can be stored in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap for up to 2 days. You could probably freeze it, wrapped in plastic and an outer layer of foil, for up to 6 weeks – I didn’t try this so can’t guarantee anything, but if you’ve had luck freezing other assembled cakes, I don’t see why this one would be any different (as long as whatever you use for the filling can be frozen).

1 comment:

Korena said...

Oh no! Your poor little cake was so cute before the design peeled off - I found that some of the lines on mine peeled off too, so I think the more batter, the better. I'm sorry it didn't turn out, but very glad that you still enjoyed eating it :)