A light delicious cake, made this for my birthday and it has turned out beautifully, light and soft and fluffy!! So I dedicate my birthday cake to all of you, my wonderful KF family!! Love you all to pieces, and wish I could share slices of cake with everyone here!
The recipe is a very very easy one, and the cake will be done and ready to serve within half an hour or less. I have added detailed instructions with tips to help make it easier to understand and in order for everyone to have the best results possible!
Make sure the eggs are COMPLETELY at room temperature. Cold eggs will not yield best results. Also, sift the flour THREE times. Sifting the flour this many times results in a lighter and more airy sponge cake.
This recipe makes a PLAIN vanilla sponge swiss roll. To make a chocolate one (like mine), after measuring out the flour, remove 1 and a half tbsp. of flour, and replace it with 1 and a half tbsp. cocoa powder. Sift together and proceed with the recipe as directed below.
Filling of your choice. (I used whipped cream, but you can use warmed up jam, chocolate, buttercream frosting, even ice-cream...etc.)
Pre-heat the oven at 200 C.
Prepare a swiss roll baking tray (13" x 9" x ½") by greasing it, lining it with greaseproof paper, then greasing on top of the paper again.
Sift the flour with the salt (and cocoa if you're making a chocolate roll) three times. Set aside.
If possible, put the flour on a baking sheet and put it on TOP of the oven so that it gets a little bit of heat. Warming the flour helps give better results for the cake. Not too much, just for a little while.
Put the eggs and sugar in a large heat-proof or glass bowl. Place the bowl on a pan quarter-filled with boiling water. The water must not touch the bottom of the bowl of eggs/sugar. Whisk/beat the eggs with the sugar over this double boiler, the steam from the boiling water helps make the eggs fluff up much faster and you get better volume this way.
Whisk the eggs until pale and fluffy. Take the bowl off the pan of boiling water, continue whisking the eggs until the trail left behind by the whisk lasts around 3 seconds. This means the eggs will be thick and creamy/fluffy.
Sift the flour into the egg mixture in 3 installments and FOLD in using a spatula or flat spoon, taking care and being very gentle so as not to deflate the eggs too much during mixing of the batter. The eggs WILL deflate a little bit, so don't worry about that, but you don't want to be too vigorous. Gentle hands. :)
When adding the last of the flour, add in the warm water and vanilla essence. Fold in and then spread this batter on your prepared baking sheet.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven. This cake is thin so it won't take long to be done. It took me about 5-6 minutes! If you over-bake the cake, it will end up being too hard and will crack when you roll it. So don't wait for the cake to brown, once it looks firm, get it out of the oven!
Whilst the cake is baking, dust some icing sugar or caster sugar all over a clean towel or on a sheet of baking paper. This will be used to help roll the cake once it's out of the oven.
When cake is done, remove the tray and turn it over on the towel/greaseproof paper. Lift the tray off and gently peel the paper used to line the baking tray. If it sticks to the cake, just wet your fingers slightly and then dampen the paper and lift it off. Discard.
Now trim the edges of the cake with a sharp knife to get rid of hard or brown edges. You need to do this fast whilst the cake is still warm.
Then, gently roll the cake away from the shorter side using the towel/greaseproof paper. Roll gently but make sure you make it a tight roll. Let the towel get rolled with the cake. Keep going until you reach 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, whipped cream, or just dust it with icing sugar, or use frosting or ganache.
I've decorated mine with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, heart sprinkles and edible pink and blue glitter dust.