If you hadn't already guessed from my previous recipe post (flourless almond and coconut cake), I'm very very very happy to see the Great British Bake Off back on our screens. I've already picked out my favourite bakers, and been suitably impressed with the high standard of baking and creativity so far.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not exactly that good at baking and usually stick to my tried and tested recipes. However, I want to start getting better and learning new things, so I thought I'd take inspiration from the Bake Off and try some new ideas.
I was also really pleased to see how much baking enthusiasm there is among the blogging community, and discovered that Polly of Polly's Little World is collating all the bakes that people try out from the bake off in her #GBBOLinkUp. I can't promise that I'll be able to make something every week- the bake off will be really starting to heat up as I go back to uni and I'm not sure I'll have the time or resources for it, but we'll see how it goes.
This week I decided to go with the Swiss Roll theme. As I've never made one before, I thought it would be best to keep it simple and stick to a cream and jam filling with the traditional sponge. The recipe I used was of course a Mary Berry one, although the cream was an addition. Thanks to my sister for
acting as my assistant guiding me through this bake!
This is a nice, straightforward recipe with minimal ingredients. To make it, you will need:
100g self raising flour
100g caster sugar (Plus a little extra to cover the outside of the sponge)
150ml double cream
2tbsp jam (I used raspberry)
(Recipe adapted from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book, BBC Books)
Grease and line a swiss roll tin (33 x 23cm). Pre-heat your oven to 200°c (fan). Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are light and frothy, and there is trail when the whisk is lifted out. This means that what drops off the whisk should leave a trail on the rest still in the bowl.
Sift and fold in the flour, taking care to keep air in the mixture. Once it's all mixed together, pour it into the prepared tin, making sure it goes right to the edges- a gentle shake should do the trick.
So far so good!
Put the tin into the oven. This cooks really quickly (great for impatient bakers like me!), mine only took about nine minutes to go golden-brown in colour. Mary's recipe says ten minutes- either way you don't have much time! While it's cooking, take a rectangle of greaseproof paper bigger than the tin, and sprinkle a few teaspoons of caster sugar over it.
Probably more than a few teaspoons of sugar actually. But it turned out to be a good thing... if you read on haha!
Once the sponge is cooked, take it out of the oven and turn out onto the greaseproof paper. But er, I'd recommend doing this carefully rather than quickly- otherwise you lose most of your beautifully spread out sugar... oops! Remove the tin and the layer of paper on the sponge.
Yeah, don't do this...
Trim the edges of the sponge to get a neat rectangle, then score a line about two and half centimetres from one end with a sharp knife- although don't cut all the way through. Leave the sponge to cool for a few minutes before adding the filling. You can use this time to whip the cream.
Once the sponge has cooled a bit, you can add the filling without it soaking into the sponge and sliding off all over the place. Before you do though, you need to roll the sponge once without the filling. Roll from the scored end. I always thought this would be really hard, but so long as the sponge has turned out ok, it's not too difficult! After that, let it unroll and start adding the fillings.
I've given the amounts of jam and cream I actually used in this, but I'm not quite sure they are the perfect quantities. I ended up with a lot of the filling coming out the end as I rolled so I thought I probably used too much, but then the middle didn't look like it had enough... more practice required I think!
I started by adding the jam and using a spatula to spread it evenly across the whole sponge. I then added the cream and used the spatula to 'push' rather than spread it around so that it didn't just mix up with jam (I learned from the show that Mary Berry likes the layers to be defined- not that mine are!).
Now for the tricky bit. Rolling it with the filling inside. I have no tips for this at all- other than just go for it! Mine isn't really rolled tightly enough, and the filling isn't very even, but hey, we're all beginners once.
Once rolled, I transferred it to a plate ASAP before it had a chance to unravel again! If you wanted it to be a bit neater, you could trim off the ends, but I wasn't going to risk it falling apart at this stage. We gave it a quick dusting with icing sugar, showed it off to mum, and stuck it in the fridge to cool before serving.
Not bad- even if I do say so myself!
I was really surprised at how this turned out. I do tend to expect the worse when cooking anything, but I was genuinely expecting this to be near enough impossible for me to make. It was a reasonably simple bake though, with basic ingredients and didn't take much time at all. As you can probably see, the sponge is a bit dense, and definitely wouldn't impress Mary and Paul, but that's something I've learned- make sure to keep plenty of air in the mixture! The recipe book I used has another two swiss roll recipes- including a chocolate one, so perhaps the newly bought swiss roll tin will be coming out again soon!
(No photos I'm afraid, but after slicing the end off it did actually look a whole lot better, so if presentation is important and you can live with a slightly shorter roll, do this!)
Do let me know if you give this a go, or if you've got any tips for how to make it better next time!