Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Super Swiss Roll

This isn't just any chocolate Swiss roll. Neither is it an M&S Swiss roll. It's a chocolate chip chocolate Swiss roll filled with caramel and chocolate buttercream. It's an achievement not only because I wanted to try making a chocolate Swiss roll this summer but also because I finally managed to make a soft caramel properly. My mum makes the best ever millionaires shortbread and it has been the bane of my baking career so far that I have not been able to do the caramel right in order to live up to her standard. It's always lovely when you do something right, especially when it is an experiment.

Yesterday while I was making this I came to the conclusion that it is ok for me to own all the recipe books that I do because each one I buy is an extra source for research, a sentiment that I am sure that any baker in the land will agree with. When I said this to my mum she gave me the 'oh really' look. It is the only explanation that I can come up with to justify why out of the half a dozen or so things I have made since returning home from university at the end of my exams, only one was to a recipe I wasn't making up as I went along. The more research sources the better so that is why it is fully acceptable for me to buy an American recipe book that focuses entirely on chocolate. I've picked up several if this type of book on the numerous occasions I have drifted into books shops (seriously, why is it that these places have a stronger gravity than anywhere else?) but none can compare to the incredible decadence of Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson. I discovered this delight in the university library last year. I can't remember what I was supposed to be looking for at the time, probably some textbook to help explain Physical Chemistry, when I was distracted by a book with the word 'chocolate' in the title that someone had left behind on the desk opposite me. Evidently my mind wasn't on my work because I decided to search the library system to see what other more interesting books I could find. This Chocolate Chocolate came up and it only took me a brief glance inside to make me decide the university wasn't having it back until the last possible moment. The only negative thing I could say about it is that it is all in cups measurements and I wasn't sure I fancied converting to grams every time I wanted to bake. That minor issue is now resolved because a fortnight ago I found a set of scoops in a random shop in Doncaster that had cups measurements at one end and spoons at the other. So now I need a recipe book to test them out! And while I'm at it, I might as well order the set of mini alphabet and number cutters I've been after as well. I've got plans for those. Rather geeky plans but then I am a Chemistry student after all. All will be revealed soon.

3 large eggs
55g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
75g caster sugar
60g ish chocolate, I used Bournville but most will be suitable I'm sure

125g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
4 tbsp water
50g butter
4 tbsp double cream

50g softened butter or Clover (no idea why but chocolate buttercream made with Clover is yummy)
80g icing sugar
a splash of milk
  • First make the cake. Grease a 23cm x 33cm and line with greaseproof paper. Setthe oven to 220 degrees C/200 fan. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Set aside 20g ish of chocolate to eat while you finely chop the remaining 40g. You need some extra som you don't eat the stuff that is actually going into the cake and it must be finely chopped so it doesn't sink through the cake mix knocking out the air as it goes.
  • Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl until very pale, mousse like and increased in volume sevral times. It will take at least five minutes but I like to keep going a bit longer. Most recipe books will tell you to look for the stage when you lift the mixer out of the bowl and a ribbon trail runs off the beaters. I got slightly passed this stage so it doesn't fall off in a steady stream and I've found that as long as you are very careful with folding the rest of the ingredients it is fine - you just end up with a thicker swiss roll. Of course, Paul Hoillywood will probably tell you it is over-whisked at that stage but I'll carry on doing it this way and maintain all my respect for him.
  • Sift half the flour/cocoa from the bowl onto the whisked mixture and carefully fold in with a spatula or large metal spoon, then fold in the remaining flour and the chocolate chips until there are no streaks left. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and level off. It is imperative that you be very gentle with whisked egg mixtures so you knock as little of the air out as possible because it is this trapped air that will make the cake rise.
  • Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins. It needs to be just firm and a slioghtly darker brown colour. Try not to overbake or you run the risk of having a dry cake that will crack when you roll it up.
  • While the cake is baking, lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on the kitchen side and sprinkle over a good layer of caster sugar. As son as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it onto the sugared paper, lift off the tin and carfeully peel away the lining paper. Roll up the cake with the sugared paper inside and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Now for the caramel. Put the sugar, water and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat and stir untilall the sugar has dissolved. Gradually increase the heat so the caramel syrup comes to the boil, then simmer for around 8-10 mins until it has turned a golden caramel colour and is thicker, stirring all the while to prevent any patches from burning. You can see this caramel onthe right is too pale to be ready yet. Once the caramel is ready remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. Allow to cool but not go completely cold because you want to be able to spread it still.
  • Next make the buttercream. Beat the butter or Clover in a bowl for a few seconds to creamify it then sift and beat in the cocoa and icing sugar bit by bit until it is all incorporated. Adding it all at once will simply mean you will be inhaling a sugar cloud. I have a full set of sweet teeth but even I don't find that pleasant. If the buttercream is a bit stiff, beat in a bit of milk until it is easily spreadable. 
  • Unroll the cooled cake and drizzle on the caramel before spreading it in an even layer. Leave a small border all the way around to prevent the filling going everywhere when you roll it back up. Then spread on the buttercream. You don't need to make the whole amount of caramel and buttercream - adjust it to what you prefer or how indulgent you are feeling. I used half the caramel and the full lot of buttercream but found the caramel sunk partly into the cake. This makes it lovely and squidgy but next time I think I will try the whole lot of caramel and half buttercream because I adore caramel. 
  • Finally roll the cake back up, dust with cocoa and caster sugar and serve. 
Hope you enjoy!!

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