Tomorrow is Asian New Year and as an official grown-up, I have started being invited to bring along goodies with me to family dinners like all the other adults.
Swiss roll, jelly roll, roly-poly, bûche or what have you, this cake is definitely one of my favourites because it’s so light and yummy. I’ve just never made one before. As a kid, I pretty much gobbled up those Little Debbie snack cakes without realizing that there was a real, homemade version out there in the world.
This here is the recipe for a typical Swiss Roll cake, however instead of the usual jam filling, I used a lemon-lime cream. The cake recipe come Paula Deen, but I found it on my favourite food blog, Baking Bites.
When making this cake, it’s really important not to overcook it because it dries it out and makes it impossible to roll without cracking. Also, make sure the batter is spread out evenly across your pan, otherwise you’ll find yourself with crispy edges and/or a thinner cake on one end and a thicker cake on the other. This also makes it very difficult to roll. Since there’s no added fat to this cake besides the eggs, you’ll find that the cake will dry out really quickly as well if you leave it to cool before you get a chance to do the initial roll. Basically, just be prepared to take the cake out of the oven and to start rolling ASAP.
I made the lemon-lime curd first so that it could be nice and cool and thick before I even started on the cake batter. Then, I added some freshly whipped cream into it in order to make the lemon-lime cream filling. You can skip out on the cream if you want and just fill the cake with the curd.
If you choose to fill you cake with a premade filling, prepping, baking and assembly time should amount to about 40 minutes. It’ll take a bit more time if you’re using the homemade lemon-lime cream because you need to let it cool.
Prepping time (by hand): 12 minutes
Baking time: 8 minutes
Assembly time: 20 minutes (10 minutes to cool, 10 minutes of rolling and fillng)
Low Fat Lemon-Lime Curd
(inspired by bakingbites)
This is enough curd to use on your roll without adding the cream, and you might even have some leftover. If you want to make the cream filling, then simply halve this recipe.
2 lemons and 2 limes (or 4 of either)
Zest of 1 lemon
10 tbsp of sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
“In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine sugar and citrus juice. Add zest and stir until sugar is dissolved completely.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg. Whisking constantly (or with an electric mixer on low), very slowly stream the hot lemon-sugar syrup into the egg. Beat for 2 minutes (only 1 if you’re using a mixer), then transfer back into the saucepan by pouring the mixture through a sieve.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the curd just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.” The curd should coat the back of your wooden spoon or spatula. It won’t be super thick like pudding just yet, but it’ll set in the fridge.
Transfer to a bowl with plastic wrap (airtight) so that the curd doesn’t form a skin and cool in the fridge.
Low fat lemon-lime curd (see above)
125 ml (half cup) full-fat whipping cream (35% milk fat)
It’s best to start with cold utensils, so pop your bowl and whisk into the freezer for a couple minutes. Then, when they’re cold, pour your cream into the bowl and whisk. If beating by hand, don’t beat in circles around the bowl, but rather in an up-and-down motion to get air into the bowl. Then, when your cream is thick enough (approx. 5 min of whipping by hand), gently fold in your lemon curd. Put it in the fridge while you prep your cake.
Here’s a great video tutorial on how to fold ingredients.
Here’s another great tutorial on how to whisk egg whites BY HAND, and it’s also applicable for whipped cream.
Lemon Swiss Roll
(Re-posted from Baking Bites)
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
3/4 cup plain sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
filling: about 1 cup of jam/curd/cream
“Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a 15 by 10 by 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until light. This will take a few minutes. Gradually add in the sugar, followed by the vanilla, and mix until fully combined. Add the lemon zest if you wish. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into the yolk mixture and beat in until just combined.
Quickly clean and dry beaters well, then beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a medium bowl. Here’s a step-by-step guide with pictures on how to beat egg whites.
Gently stir 1/2 of the egg whites into the flour mixture, then fold in the rest of the whites until the batter is even. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake at 400F for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched.
Dust a large dishtowel with powdered sugar.
When cake comes out of the oven, loosen edges of cake, then place the sugared towel on top of the cake (yes, some will come off), then invert the pan so the cake comes out onto the towel (which should be lying on a table or counter). Trim off the firm edges.
Beginning with the short side, roll cake and towel up together. Here’s another video tutorial on how to do this. Place towel wrapped cake on a wire rack and let cool.
When cake is cool, gently unroll and spread with jam (or jelly) and re-roll. Place on a serving plate.
Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.