Monday, July 30, 2012

Polka Dot Swiss Rolls..a success and about time too!

I have never been one to be fancy of swiss rolls. I don't know why that is. These pillowy, eggy cake with all sorts of delicious fillings to me were rather...intimidating.

Okay, i lied. I KNOW exactly why I do not fancy them. Haha. Back when I just started my interest in baking - it was 2005, I tried baking many butter cakes, pound cakes and cupcakes. I tend to avoid recipes which calls for beating egg whites. I'm lousy at determining the soft peaks, stiff peaks and always have the tendency to overbeat the whites into a bubble of watery blah.

One fateful day, I thought to myself that I should bake a swiss roll. I was so excited and did no research whatsoever on how to make the sponge. I mean, cmon, cakes are cakes right? You beat 'em butter and eggs till fluffy, you beat in the sugar etc...

I did everything wrong and ended up with a slab of flat, hard and sticky cakescuit. You know, cake & biscuit...or biscake..whichever rocks your boat. heh. We (my hubby, Rah and I) could not define what it tasted like. The texture was...hmmm...non descript. Evenetually, it was a good snack for Mr Bin.

From then on, I AVOIDED making sponge cakes. However, the Hokkaido Chiffon cakes reawakened my senses and i tried baking sponge cakes of late. and Ooohh..oohhh..ooohhh....i discovered sooo many things which I have done wrong in my first attempt at the sponge!  I found the nearest wall and knocked my head against it. Good job Yan, it took you 7 freaking years to learn this. Such a YouTube idiot! There are so many tips on baking sponge on YouTube and I didnt even bother.

Last Friday, I was at Sun Lik with my buddy to buy baking stuffs and saw a Japanese book which had so many pretty decorated swiss rolls on it. You can see what I mean from here. Seen it yet?? Pretty, cute,!? I told myself, its time to try making a swiss roll and since I have missed all that 7 years, I should make something more challenging than a normal one. Okay....its not THAT challenging since the design I chose was just simple polka dots. But it was an effort all the same and the result was beautiful!

I ran out of whipped cream for the filling so I used Nutella as the filling and loaded it in with Kit Kats. It was a hit with the kids and I brought it to a gathering with friends and it was very well received - even got an order for it.

Decorated Swiss Rolls (basic swiss roll recipe adapted from Honey Bee Sweets):

Vanilla Swiss Roll:

Egg Yolk Batter:
4 yolks
40g caster sugar
75ml water
50ml vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
1.5tsp vanilla essence (I used 2tsp)
100g cake flour 
Egg Whites Batter:
5 egg whites
40g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Okay, this is as far as I followed the recipe because I found the instructions on mixing the different batter colours rather confusing. I feared that I may misunderstood her instructions so I trawled the internet and read somewhere (sorry, I forgot where it was from) that I could simply add 30g of cake batter to 2tbsp of Egg white batter and colour it as I wish. ..and Yay! it worked!

  1. Sift cake flour, set aside. Line a 10" x 14" Swiss roll tray with parchment paper. Grease underneath the paper to ensure it sticks real well to the tray. Lightly grease, verrrryyy lightly, on the surface of the paper. Pre-heat oven to 150 degC.
  2. With an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar on high for about 5 mins. You will see that the batter will turn fluffy, doubled in volume and abit pale. Add the water, oil and vanilla to mix.
  3. Add sifted cake flour into the batter in about 3 portions. Fold in the flour into the batter taking care not to mix to hard as it will deflate the batter.
  4. SEPERATELY, in another bowl, beat the egg whites and as you see bubbles, add the cream of tartar and the sugar a little at a time.
Now, time to make the decorated portion of the recipe.

  1. Take 30g of the egg yolk batter and mix in 2 tbsps of the egg white batter.
  2. Seperate the mixture into different bowls and tint the mixture in the colours you want.
  3. Put the coloured batter into piping bags and pipe on the parchment with the designs you want.
  4. When you're done designing, bake the design in the oven for about 1minute.
  5. DO NOT BAKE TOO LONG. You just want to bake short enough so that the batter will set and will not run into the main cake batter when its poured over the designs.
  6. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven heat to 175C.
We're now back to the main cake mix.

  1. Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg white batter into the yolk batter. Mix well.
  2. Pour the mixed batter into the remaining 2/3 of the white batter and mix well.
  3. Pour the cake mix over the design on the cake tray and smooth the batter evenly.Bake for 10minutes.
  4. Cool the baked cake and turn over on a parchment paper. You will see the design on the sponge portion of the cake that way. Peel away the parchment carefully. Some of my dots got stucked on the parchment but it was too few to bother.
  5. Use another parchment paper to turn over the cake so that you have the skin facing you.
  6. You have an option to peel the skin or leave it be. I guess I would leave the skin on if it was whipped cream filling as it would be easier to spread.  But since the filling is nutella and its a bit sticky, I chose to peel away the skin.
  7. Fill the cake with nutella and Kit Kats and then Roll away! I wrapped the rolled cake with the same parchment I rolled it with and placed it in the fridge.
  8. I enjoyed the cake a few hours later.

So this cake here, ended my misery with sponge rolls. And I can betcha Im making more of these. In fact, I am planning to make one in a totally different recipe and method altogether. Its already bookmarked and I just need to find TIME to do it. Happy decorating and rolling!


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