Monday, 4 January 2016

Swiss Roll, and musings about the blog

I wanted to give filo another go, but didn't really have time, and didn't have any suitable fillings (trip to Waitrose tomorrow). I've done a bit more reading, and checked out other recipes, and I think that I had far too wet a dough.

So, had a look round the kitchen, flicked through some books, and settled on a swiss roll. Never done a fat-free sponge before (well, I've done Angel Food cake, but that's really more a swiss meringue, with a bit of flour thrown in). I didn't have any cream, so made a soft vanilla buttercream instead, and used a jar of raspberry jam I'd bought as a back-up for a bakewell I made before Christmas (I'm always very generous on jam in bakewell tart, rather have too much than too little).

The entire thing went pretty smoothly, though it was one of those "I'm glad I have a stand mixer" ones, as the eggs and sugar were whipped for ages until they got to the right consistency. Then it was simply a case of folding in the flour (I spent a couple of weeks last year learning to make macarons, and you have to get good at folding dry powder into whipped eggs for that), and whapping it in the oven. The recipe warned that it could overcook quickly, and it's only in the oven for 8-10 minutes that was a bit of door-gazing. It rolled fine, without cracking, and I piped the buttercream on, so I got a good, even and copious layer. I'll pop the full recipe at the end of this post...

...which got me to thinking. This is going to be, to all intents and purposes, a baking blog. I read them all the time, however normally you go looking for a recipe you want to do, or you need help with something. So, what I'm going to do is create static pages for recipes as and when I do them, replete with photos, and then I'll build up an index page. the end result it that I'll have a recipe list in Page form, and then the posts will be covering what and when I baked, what went wrong etc etc.

Swiss Roll Recipe

Pre-heat the oven to 200'C
Neatly grease and line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment. It's important it's neat, and well fitted to the corners, as well as slightly overlapping the top on each side.

Sponge Ingredients

4 eggs (room temperature)
100g of caster sugar
100g of sieved self-raising flour

Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly (I strongly recommend a stand mixer) until the mixture has whitened and thickened. It's done when you lift the whisk out, and it falls back slowly, leaving an impression in the mix (there is a photo above of when it's done). It took about 6-7 minutes for me, with the mixer on full blast.

Add the flour in parts to the egg mix, folding gently. You need to keep as much air as possible in the mix. I tend to find that adding in a small amount at a time is better, and add more as soon as the previous batch is incorporated. Folding is a knack, it's hard to properly describe, but once you've got it, you know (that sounds pathetic...I'll try and video myself doing it one day).

Gently pour the mixture into the lined swiss roll tin, and get it into the corners (I gently tilt the tray to fill the gaps...again, you want to avoid getting any air out of the mixture, Then put it the oven. While it's in the oven put another piece of baking parchment on your work surface, and sprinkle it with caster sugar. Also, get a sharp knife ready.

It will take up to 10 minutes to bake, but keep an eye on it, as it can overcook quickly. The recommendation is to look for it pulling away from the sides of the tin. I saw this happening at about 8 minutes(but my oven does run a little hot)

Once it's done, take it out of the oven, and (quickly...this is why you prepared the baking parchment and sugar) turn it out onto the sugared paper. Peel off the paper from the swiss roll tin, and (if needed) trim the sponge, as well as doing a single score parallel to one of the shorter edges, about 1 inch from the edge.

Starting at the scored edge, roll the sponge up with the sugared baking parchment (leave the paper inside for now), until it's fully rolled up (you do this while it's hot to stop it cracking). once done, put it aside to cool. In the meantime, you can prepare the fillings.

Filling Ingredients

Raspberry Jam (about 3-4 tablespoons)
120g butter (room temperature)
240g icing sugar
A couple of drops of vanilla essence
~some~ milk

Put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl, and beat until light. I add some milk to make it slightly slacker (and easier to pipe). I like to really beat it up, making it quite light, though everyone has their own preference. Put the buttercream in a piping bag (don't chop off the point yet, and put it to one side for now (I use bag clips to seal them up)

Once the sponge is cool, carefully unroll it and remove the paper. Spread the inside with raspberry jam, and then chop the end off the piping bag and pipe the buttercream over the inside, getting an even covering. Keep a little away from the edge, as it will spread out a bit when you re-roll it.

Finally, re-roll the sponge, with the jam and buttercream inside...don't press too much, or it will all come spewing out the sides and end. Once done, use a sharp knife to neatly trim the ends (and obviously eat these ends as a chefs reward!)