Thursday, February 26, 2009

my bane!

I titled this post "my bane" for a reason, yes, swiss rolls are my bane. They made me annoyed, frustrated and sleepless. The first time i embarked on my swiss roll journeys was sometime last year, before i started out this blog.

I failed countless times, from a swiss roll that became a layered cake (so can you imagine how badly it cracked? no, infact it tore apart zzz) to a swiss roll that was with cracks, to finally, a swiss roll without a crack. yay! BUT, still looks pretty ugly.

I stopped making swiss roll after my last attempt which i considered a "success" since it didn't crack because i was afraid that i just got lucky. This time, i faced my fears and tried it again.

The picture below, were the last few swiss rolls i did before this chocolate swiss roll. See how horrible they were? I tried various recipes/methods.

top left:
-sponge cake method
-rolled up perfectly
-cake was super dry. *faints*

top right:
-chiffon cake method
-rolled up like crap, with tiny cracks here and there
-tasted superb!

For a while i hoped they could combine their powers and i'd arrive at my totally perfect swiss roll. but no, it didn't happen in my dreams. Then on, i went to try a green tea flavoured one..oh my! it had a huge crack. that was it. I had enough. No more swiss rolls. till now.

I've no idea what made me conquer my fear, but somehow i did. To make things worse, I even tried rolling with fruits in it! I must be crazy. Rolling it up without a crack was bad enough, and to roll it up with fruits?!

Well, I braved my fears and went ahead. to my surprise, the cake was soft, springy and really "foldable". I guess people who failed in making swiss rolls would probably understand my agony. If you've ever come across sheet cakes that are dry like anything, they crack and give way the moment you start. And i tell ya, that's uber heart-breaking. and annoying!

This time, I did not try folding so much in the beginning for the fear it would crack and i would cry, so that explains the really ugly turn out. Also, my 1" thick cake became 1/2" thick probably cos i was over-zealous in tightening the roll like nobody's business. (wrong choice)

and of course, i stuck to the chiffon method because somehow, i just feel safer with it. I can never fold in flour into beaten eggs without having bits of flour here and there.

Although things turned out ok, i still don't know when will be my next time attempting another swiss roll. =X

And now, the recipe. I adapted it from some HK blog and made minor changes and translated it to english. for the original version, please refer here

Chocolate Swiss Roll makes one 11" x 14" cake
(Printable Version)

80g egg yolks (about 5 egg yolks) **
40g caster sugar
67g corn oil
50g water
1/8 tsp salt

85g cake flour
15g cocoa powder
1g baking powder

*sift together

167g egg whites (about 5 egg whites) **
50g sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

**: depending on size of egg

1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Line a 11” x 14” tin. *no need grease
3. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar (group A) till pale yellow or till sugar dissolves.
4. Add in salt and corn oil, emulsify well.
5. Add in water, stir well to mix.
6. Add in flour mixture (group B) and mix to form a smooth batter. *batter will be quite thick
7. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy, add in sugar in 3 additions and whisk till stiff peaks form.
8. Fold in 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the prepared batter. Fold in the rest of the egg whites 1/3 at a time. Be careful not to deflate the batter.
9. Pour batter into tin and bake in preheated oven for 20 min.
10. Remove cake from oven when done and let it cool.
11. Unmold the cake and spread desired fillings and, using parchement as a guide, roll up.
12. Refrigerate cake at least 30 min to allow shape to set. Cut and serve =)
Here's a video showing how roll up the swiss roll with the parchment as a guide.
Good luck!
updates: the swiss roll stayed soft and moist despite leaving in the fridge uncovered for 1 night.


Anonymous said...

Hi there!

Yr swiss roll looks soo soft n delicious!! MAy I noe which oven u r using?


youfei said...

Hi saori!

Thanks for dropping by and the compliment! =)

Hmm..mine is a built in oven, brand name: teka

I'm not too sure what the model number is, cos it was already here when i moved in =)


Baking Librarian said...

hi youfei

you have much better luck than me in making swissrolls. i never had a decent attempt. most of them either end up being sticky due to undermixing or overlymoist due to underbaking. sometimes i wonder if the cooking times stated are correct. even the best attempt i had ended with major cracks.

i totally agree that it is a diffcult task to fold flour into beaten eggs. after watching a video demo, i tried to incoporate the flour into beaten eggs by beating on low speed and it worked really well.

shall attempt swiss rolls again when i fully recovered from my negative experience. good luck for ur bakes

youfei said...

Hi Baking Librarian,

It's great to see you back! I've read up on your latest posts and can't wait to read your post on the cny goodies and eclairs you did! =)

Thanks for you compliments!
Hmm, I've never come across sticky swiss rolls. but underbaked, yes, it still makes a squishy sound when i press it lightly. but i don't think to the extent of being overly-moist.

Hmm, i know aunty yochana has pretty good swiss rolls recipe (heard from others)and myself i have tried from HHB and the link i provided.

As for folding flour into beaten eggs, I've actually tried, but i was so scared i would deflate the beaten eggs! how do you do it? did your cake still rise nicely?

sorry for the longggg comment =) I hope you overcome your fears and embrace the swiss rolls hahah! =p try the chiffon method! it's really different! i'm sure you'll make it through since you've done a chiffon before..yea?


Baking Librarian said...

Hi youfei

sorry i am having a busy time so din really have the energy to blog. hopefully,i will be able to blog constantly soon when i have more free time.

btw my sticky rolls were because the flour/cocoa powder were not well combined. hence the texture was sticky. i realise most of the cookbook timings stating 10-15mins baking time were not that reliable and as a result some of my rolls were too moist due to underbaking. hmm another thing about cookbook recipes are that they seem simple with much fewer ingredients but it may not be so when actually baking.

so far the best recipe i tried was from bakingmum. yup HHB and aunty yochana have great swiss roll recipes as well.

you can try using the electric beater to incorporate the flour at the lowest speed and stop once its well combined. surprisingly, the beaten eggs do not deflate. Try this only for recipes using beaten whole eggs. However, it doesnt seem to work well for recipes with high amount of flour, say > than 100g. the beaten whole eggs will deflate.

indeed the chiffon method is different. i have tried and it worked well. however the unsuccessful part was that the roll cracked.

youfei said...

Hi Baking Librarian,

When you mentioned 10-15 min baking time too short, is it the sponge cake method? If it is, for me, that's too long, my rolls usually come out dry and difficult to roll.

not too sure if i wanna conquer my fears and try the sponge method again =p

would love to see more lovely stuffs from you! btw, the truffles look really good! =)


Baking Librarian said...

Hi Youfei

yup 10-15 mins is the sponge cake method. I think my oven needs more time. I did a recipe which requires only eggs, sugar and flour using the sponge method ( without double boiler) and the roll came out soft and light even though it was underbaked and overly moist. i whisked in my flour at low speed to attain this texture.

have faith in yourself and hope u can conquer the sponge cake method in time to come. thanks for the compliments on the truffles, you may want to try making truffles for V day next yr or coming Xmas. It is a good alternatives to cookies, macarons and cakes as a gift alternative =]


youfei said...

Hi Baking Librarian,

Hmm, I haven't used a double boiler before for sponge cake method. or rather, never come across that method before..Were the rolls easy to roll up?

I tried making truffles, but kinda messed it up. so never tried it again =p i'll give it shot!


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