Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Swiss Roll by Mel

Today's post comes to you from a bit of a time warp. Due to crossing the international date line on an overnight flight we're skipping the 17th September this year and going straight from Tuesday in Canada to Thursday in New Zealand. Strange!

Since we've temporarily ceased to exist we've got the first of our guest posts for you today. Over to Mel:

You will by now be very familiar with the Great Swift Bake-Off, but as Joe stated in his first Bake-Off post, he got the idea from a friend who’d done something similar. Well, that’s me. In a much less organised manner, I and my friend and colleague Nikki vie for ‘Queen of the Cake-Off’ on an approximately monthly basis. So far we've covered ginger cake, lemon drizzle, Halloween, brownies, cupcakes and an Easter spectacular, plus a few more - we've reached about 10 now. This week it was Swiss rolls; inspired by the Great British Bake-Off the other week I went for a Chocolate and Salted Caramel swiss roll, I can’t take credit for the recipe I’m afraid, but here it is:

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Swiss roll

For the cake mix:
  • 4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 80g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the salted caramel:
  • 80g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp water
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 pinch flaked sea salt
For the butter cream:
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 100ml of the cooled salted caramel sauce
Apologies for my photography skills, I’m not as kitted up camera wise as Jenny and Joe!

Start by whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks – using a gadget always works best for me, hand whisking is too much hard work. I've been given a tip that it’s best to do this in a glass bowl rather than plastic, as plastic can retain some greasiness, even after washing, which will prevent the whites from whisking well, so I always whisk eggs in glass.

Once you've got stiff peaks whisk in the sugar then gradually combine in the egg whites whilst still whisking, add the vanilla essence at this stage too.

Sieve the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and gently fold it in, trying to keep as much air as possible in the eggs. The air makes the sponge stay nice and light, and less like a pancake . . . more on that later.


Gently pour the mixture into a lined, greased tin ~21x31cm, and even the mixture out by tipping the tray and gently smoothing with a spatula, do not bang it, all the air will disappear! Approximately 8 minutes in the oven (175C for fan oven (190C non fan/gas mark 5 1/2)) and you will end up with a nice springy sponge, slightly pulling away from the edges of the tin.

Whilst the sponge is still hot, spread a piece of greaseproof on a clean work surface, tip the sponge straight out on top and peel off any lining paper you used. For a nice tight roll, use a knife (doesn’t need to be a sharp one) to score a line along the short edge about a centimetre in and about half the depth of the sponge.


Use the greaseproof to grip the hot sponge as you tightly roll it up, the sugar now stuck to the outside will help it come apart again later, but if you try to roll it cold you tend to end up with massive cracks. Leave it to cool.



Melt together the sugar, butter and water to make the caramel. Swirl it rather than stirring, otherwise you’ll probably end up with crystals instead of caramel. After bubbling for a few minutes, take it off the heat and whisk in the cream and the pinch of salt (I used ground, not flaked, don’t think it ought to make a difference really). Again, leave to cool.

Meanwhile some more:

Beat the (room temperature) butter to soften it, and then gradually beat in the icing sugar and ¾ of the caramel sauce. It gets quite stiff once you’ve added all the icing sugar, but eases off a bit once you add the caramel.


I piped my buttercream, filling the bag a little at a time so that it doesn’t get too warm from my hands, and using a star piping nozzle makes for nice patterns later. And here the humble water glass, essential to filling a piping bag, and not making a mess once it’s filled . . . 


Unroll the sponge roll and pipe/spread some of the buttercream across the surface, then roll tightly. You don’t need to pipe perfectly to the edges, the buttercream spreads to the ends as you roll it tight.


First to admit I’m rubbish at piping, but here’s my attempt at a nice smooth covering, with nice arty ridges created by the star shaped nozzle. Drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce and voila, an iced chocolate and salted caramel swiss roll, fit for a Queen of cakes.

Yes, I won. Unfortunately Nikki’s recipe stated whisking the eggs whole, rather than whites separately, which meant almost no volume to her sponge . . . so it ended up a bit like a rolled up pancake. But she’s not the only one to make that mistake, I attempted a Slimming world friendly Chocolate and strawberry roulade earlier in the weekend, and also ended up with a slightly pancakey sponge. Tasty though, and much less guilt eating it!

Mel is an Electronic Engineer living in Stevenage. She designs and tests motor control circuits at work, but like to fill her spare time with activities like baking, knitting, cross stitch or just hanging out with her pair of house bunnies. She met Jen on the first day of university, when they found themselves sitting together in an introduction session, having unconsciously grouped together as some of the few female engineers in the room!

1 comment:

  1. Nothing but admiration here. I have tried to make a yule log cake every Christmas for years and I usually end up throwing it in the woods for the wildlife on Christmas Eve. It's become a tradition.


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