This is how I roll.
The question we must ask ourselves today, beloved friends, is 'Does Mr. P have enough time to finish writing this before his scheduled date with a bowl of udon?' As ever, there is only one way to find out.
When I was a child, I used to love chocolate Swiss Roll. The kind that comes in cellophane packets and has marshmallow flavoured fluffy filling. I'm not proud of that. But I can't change myself just to please you, and it is unreasonable of you in the extreme to expect me to do so. Who do you think you are?
Incidentally, just so we're clear, when I say I was a child, I'm talking young child. Let's say age 8. I don't mean early teen years. At that point I was more interested in playing my Garbage and Skunk Anansie CDs (how embarrassing!) and not dancing to them, than I was in Swiss Rolls. Such misplaced priorities. Though, admittedly, you can't really dance to Garbage, can you?
So different from the earlier years, when I had an ABBA cassette tape, waggley fingers and a jumpy little routine. And that aforementioned love of industrially produced cake rolls.
It never occurred to me that you could make a Swiss Roll. Or that I would do so and call it a 'Cream Roll' just to try and get more hits from Google searches. But now that I have, I felt that I should tell you all about it, and the reasons for its creation in my hands.
A year or so ago, I found myself in the throes of a macaron baking obsession. Disappointed and saddened by failed attempts, I was unable to bear the sight of my oven trays any longer. The worn, misshapen and warped metal sheets were fine for heating frozen pizzas, but they made wonky macs and me cry.
Determined to succeed, I bought myself some sexy, heavy duty baking pans. They made some pretty gorgeous macaroon shells, even if I do say so myself. But they haven't seen much action recently. Hence the roll idea. See, my baking sheets have ridges around the edge; I have a feeling that I might now go into larger scale Swiss Roll production, so perfect are they for the task.
Now. Time is weighing heavy on my heart. It is ticking and the udon won't wait. So really you need to know the deal breaker: is it worth making your own Swiss Roll, or will those packet versions do?
I say yes. I rather like the baking without flour (yes, really), and the fact that the strawberry cream filling is blossom pink. It's not marshmallow flavoured, but it's not full of preservatives either. A sacrifice worth making!
Chocolate-Strawberry Cream Roll
You will need:
100g plain chocolate (I used a 65% cocoa bar)
1/3 pot of strawberry jam - I guess that's around 100g
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare your baking sheet; I just lined with oiled greaseproof paper. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside to cool.
- Separate the eggs. To the yolks, add half of the sugar and whisk (by hand is fine) for about 5 minutes until thick and creamy. Add the cooled chocolate and mix well.
- Whisk the whites until soft peaks form; add the remaining sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks.
- Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in four parts. Be gentle, but confident. You want no streaks, but as little deflation as possible.
- Spread this mixture out onto the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover immediately with a damp tea towel. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the jam and cream together until moussey and pink; spread this onto the cake. Then roll, starting at a short side, using the paper liner to lift the cake, and peeling it back as necessary.
- Once rolled, transfer the cake to a serving platter, crease side down, and chill until required.Will keep for 1 week in the fridge.