Swiss Roll - New Version
I decided to try out my absolute favorite sponge cake recipe in the form of a swiss roll and the results were beyond outstanding! If the recipe and instructions are followed exactly, this will give you the best and softest swiss roll you will ever have!
If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own by simply measuring 3/4 cup plain/all purpose flour, then remove 1 1/2 tbsp. from it and substitute with 1 1/2 tbsp. of cornflour/cornstarch. Sieve together and use as per the recipe.
I normally do not add any baking powder to this cake and the results turn out exceptionally well. The cake's lightness comes from beating of the eggs, which if done correctly will give the lift needed for the cake to rise well. But if you are worried, you can add just a 1/4 tsp. of baking powder to help the cake along.
Preheat the oven at 200 C.
Grease and line a 13'x9" swiss roll pan, then grease over the parchment paper and dust it lightly with flour.
Sift the flour 3 times, then add the pinch of salt to it and set aside.
Put the butter and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
Take a pan filled quarter-way with water and put it on the heat, allow it to gently heat up but not come to a rolling boil. we will need this to act as a double boiler in a little while.
Put the eggs and castor sugar in a large bowl and beat using a hand mixer for 30 seconds. Then place this bowl over the prepared pan of simmering water and continue beating the egg mixture for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and turn off the heat. Place the bowl with the butter and milk in this hot water so that it melts gently. Take care that water does not go into the butter and milk mixture.
In the meantime, continue beating the egg mixture for another 4 minutes. Then take a balloon whisk and whisk the egg mixture for a few seconds just to make sure everything is well combined.
Now put the flour in a sieve and sift ALL of it gently over the egg mixture. using a spatula, fold the flour into the egg mixture using long gentle strokes, you can count the strokes, they should not exceed 30. Then add the vanilla and the melted butter/milk mixture. Again, fold the mixture with your spatula using gentle strokes, this time not more than 50 strokes. Be very gently and us a light hand to avoid deflating the batter too much.
Once done, pour the batter into a prepared pan, making sure to ease it to the corners. Tap the pan once on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Then bake in the preheated oven for about 7-8 minutes.
While the cake is baking, prepare a kitchen towel by dusting it lightly with icing sugar. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, turn it over on the prepared kitchen towel. Peel off and discard the parchment paper and trim off the edges from the cake with a sharp knife to get ride of the hard or brown edges. You need to do this fast while the cake is still warm.
Then, gently roll the cake away from the shorter side using the towel. You can start off the roll by making a small indentation using the blunt side of a knife and about a quarter inch from the edge, which will help give you a tighter roll. Roll gently but make sure you make it a tight roll. Let the towel get rolled with the cake. Keep going until you read the end. Hold the roll in shape for a few seconds to help it stay in that shape.
Now, if you're using whipped cream or ice cream for a filling, let the cake cool completely before you unroll it and add the filling because whipped cream and ice cream do not work well in a warm cake. But if you're using warm jam, you can just apply the jam on the cake when it comes out of the oven, then roll it using the towel to help push it into a tight roll, this time you don't fold the towel in the cake as there will be jam already inside the roll.
Decorate the cake with whatever you like, whipping cream, or just dust it with icing sugar, or use frosting or ganache.
I waited for mine to cool then filled mine with cream and chopped fruit cocktail.