How to make a swiss roll

Video guide to making a Swiss roll

Lucy:  Hi, I'm Lucy.

Claire:  I'm Claire and we're going to show you how to make a Swiss roll.

Ingredients for a Swiss roll

Lucy:  Swiss rolls are actually great fun to make and one of the nicest things about making them at home is that you can fill them with whatever you like. Starting off, you need four large free range eggs. I'm going to break them into this large mixing bowl here. And I've got 125g of caster sugar, just going to pour that into the eggs and I'm going to use this electric hand mixer and I'm going to whizz them all together so they get really nice and light and creamy and fluffy. Here goes.

Right, as you can see, that looks dramatically different. It's increased in volume by two, two and a half times its original size. So now the next thing is to put that teaspoon of vanilla extract in, pour that in. And alongside, two tablespoons of warm water, just pour that in as well. Give it one final mix. Now that's all done and we're ready for the flour. Just put this over here.

Claire:  Here I've got 125g of plain flour, you don't need self raising flour because the raising agent is the egg, and I'm going to put in about a third, and sieve it. And then put that in.

Lucy:  Give it a good bang. Shall I pour in some more for you?

How to fold the flour into the Swiss roll mix

Claire:  It needs to be folded, actually.

Lucy:  Folded, OK, that's my job. Big metal spoon, very good for folding. Very lightly, so you keep all the air in it, just fold it over very softly. You're not stirring, you're literally just lifting up and putting back over. This bit round here, lift up. You can do a figure of eight, whatever feels most natural. Shall I pass you the flour?

Claire:   And the next third of flour through the sieve.

Lucy:  Feels quite strange cooking a cake without butter, doesn't it?

Claire:  Yeah, this doesn't haven't any butter or fat in it, which does feel unusual, and it means the consistency is slightly looser than you'd expect from a cake batter, but don't worry, that's fine.

Lucy:  It's meant to be like that, promise.

Claire:  Last one. There you go.

Pour the mix into a Swiss roll tin

Lucy:   Lovely, and once this is folded in, we just pour it in to the Swiss roll tin that's been very well lined and greased. It's got greaseproof paper, the edges have been done with butter and flour and that means it won't stick. Well, that's the plan. A last couple of folds, make sure all that flour's incorporated into the mixture. Perfect.

Claire: Yeah, perfect.

Lucy: Just get all that off so we don't waste anything and do you want to pour that in?

Claire:  Yeah, I'm going to pour this into the Swiss roll tin. It's a lovely, gloopy mix, it pours in really easily. Look at that, it's almost foamy, and that's probably because it hasn't got butter in.

Lucy:  Can I hold the bowl, is that OK? Just scrape it all in, there we go, thank you very much. I'll just spread it out to the corners so we get a nice shaped roll. That's the theory. I'm just going to pop that into the oven at 180 to 190 degrees, depending on how hot your oven is, for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Hiding underneath this tea towel is our sponge and we're rather pleased with it, aren't we?

Claire:  We are.

Lucy:  The reveal. Now, it's important that the tea towel you use to cover it is slightly damp and you keep it under the tea towel for about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with caster sugar

Claire:  And now we laid out it out, when we took it out of the oven, onto some greaseproof paper, slightly bigger than the size of the sponge, with about two to three tablespoons of caster sugar and then we laid out and the caster sugar stops it from sticking.

Lucy: And it also gives it that nice crunchy coating that you want on a Swiss roll, doesn't it?

Filling your Swiss roll

Claire: It does. Now it's time to get busy with the filling. Here I've got some delicious raspberry jam which I'm going to spread slightly thicker than I'd put on my toast.

Lucy:   And you can use any filling here really. I love lemon curd  and crème fraiche, you could do a chocolate buttercream.

Claire:  Crushed berries and whipped cream.

Lucy:  Yeah, absolutely anything, any jam.

Claire:   Fill this right to the edges.

Lucy: Yeah, you don't want somebody to take a bite of Swiss roll and not get any jam. That would feel like a con. And it's about four tablespoons of jam?

Claire:  Yeah. Because the sponge is cool, it's going on really easily.

Lucy:  Last couple of spoonfuls in there, going on. Next we're going to add some double cream that we've whipped. The important thing is with a Swiss roll is you mustn't overfill it because when you come to roll it, you don't want everything to squidge out at the edges. So I'm going to put some double cream on. I'm going to put it in the centre, a couple of blobs, and spread it out, like that.

Claire: That looks delicious.

Lucy:  Doesn't matter if you get the jam and cream mixed up a bit.

Claire: No, that's quite nice. Few swirls.

Prepare to roll

Lucy:  I'm just going to smooth it all out with this palette knife and make sure we've got no gaps. And just get rid of that. The key to getting it right is don't be frightened of the sponge, don't be frightened of it cracking. You can be quite vigorous and probably far more boisterous with it than you would think. It's quite resilient.

So you want to try and get it as tight as possible and for the first roll, use greaseproof paper and you just turn it over. Then once you've got that roll up and running, peel this back. There you go. Keep rolling it over, it's going great. Because the sponge is quite thin - famous last words, it means it's not going to crack, but it has cracked. That's the beauty of home baking.

Claire:  A home-made Swiss roll.

Lucy: Very pleased with that. Now the next tricky bit is transferring it to the dish. You could use a fish slice, I'm just going to trust my hands, pop it there. Beautiful. Do you mind getting rid of that? Because it is home cooking and because the sponge has cracked slightly, let's just put a final dusting of icing sugar all over.

Claire:  And that's how you make a Swiss roll.

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