Swiss Rolls – 3 Sweet & 1 Savoury

Technically, the savoury one was a roulade, but it was probably the best looking one so I’m going to keep it in. As you may or may not know, I decided to bake Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, cover to cover and I had reached the point where there are three Swiss roll recipes (more about the random fourth trespasser in a moment) on the bounce: a simple one, followed by a lemon roll and then a chocolate one. I think the lemon one was the best tasting, but they all tasted fine.

Now I have made Swiss rolls (and roulades) before, but to be honest I made a bit of a dog’s dinner of all three, for different reasons. When I learnt to bake, metaphorically on my mother’s knee rather than literally, she always used to roll up the cake in greaseproof / baking paper as soon as it came out of the oven, which was not Mary Berry’s preferred method, in the first two recipes at any rate. The obvious benefit of rolling it straightaway is it is at its most pliable then. The obvious problem, either way, is that it may crack, either when rolling it up for the first time cold or unrolling it cold. I’m not sure that I’ve figured out the best way so I’m going to try again soon and report back if and when I make a decision on what’s best. I’d welcome anyone’s thoughts / experiences on this.

So how did I mess up? Well, I foolishly treated myself to a new non-stick tin (£1.99 in Aldi, bargain), but it was a little bigger than my usual ones. Using a four-egg recipe, the mixture was a little thinly spread and so it baked a little too fast and crispy at the edges, making it difficult to roll up. For the lemon one, I increased the recipe to five eggs, which perhaps overcompensated and made a giant roll that cool, refused to roll up at all and looked more like a layer of slabs (tasted the best though). Finally, with the chocolate one, I went back to four eggs and my old tin, but then forgot to take the tin out of the oven when the timer beeped and by the time I remembered, it had lost some of its best life. I probably should try the whole lot again and see if I can get it right.

On the plus side, I did make my own lemon curd for the lemon roll’s filling. If you haven’t made it, I heartily recommend it. It tastes so much better than anything you can buy, I think, like a little taste of paradise. While it does take some time, doing nothing but some gentle stirring while watching eggs, lemons and sugar evolve into heaven is therapy money cannot buy. I served the lemon roll for Sunday pud with a little stewed rhubarb, a remarkably good combination.

As for the interloper, the savoury roulade, I should say that this is not from the Baking Bible at all, but is a recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly book Vegetarian Cooking. I’ve been making it for years, the only recipe I make regularly out of the book and it is a family favourite, one that my meat-loving son actually asks for. The roulade itself contains leeks and the filling is soft cheese mixed with sweetcorn. As you can see below, it is a rather homely looking. It is rolled up and served as soon as it comes out of the oven and with some equally fresh bread as an accompaniment (I made an Irish oatmeal soda bread) perhaps with a salad, it is an excellent, tasty tea or dinner (depending on where you come from).

01052017 leek roulade

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