Chocolate Swiss Roll (巧克力瑞士蛋糕卷)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

If you've never made Swiss roll before, or never made one successfully, please don't try my chocolate Swiss roll recipe.

Making chocolate Swiss roll is a bit tricky. Why? Because cocoa powder complicates things. If you want a straightforward recipe, go for vanilla roll. That's almost idiot-proof (not that idiots are the lowest common denominator).

Cocoa powder makes the cake less stretchable, so you have to be careful not to overbake the cake. Even slight overbaking makes the cake crack when you roll it.

Cocoa powder also makes the crust sticky, so you have to be careful not to underbake the cake. The more underbaked the crust is, the stickier it is.

The cake is perfectly done when it just turns springy in the middle. After it's cooled down, the crust should be a bit sticky around the edges. That's OK because the ends will be trimmed, or tucked inside/below after the cake is rolled.

If the entire crust isn't sticky, that's not a good thing at all. The cake is too dry and will likely crack when you roll it.

If the entire crust is sticky, it's gonna stick to whatever it rests on. Of course, that's not a problem if you ice the cake. Or if you go for the skinless look and roll the cake inside out.

Even when you've got the cake baked just right, you may still have a problem when you're rolling the cake. Why? Because the crust doesn't really stick to the crumb, so it comes off very easily. The loose crust is caused by cocoa powder which, as I said, complicates things.

Chocolate cakes have haphephobia (fear of being touched). Direct contact with the crust must be minimized if you don't want to damage it. How? Like this:

Put the cake on a piece of parchment paper, face down. Spread with whatever filling you like.

Start rolling the cake by making a fold in the cake. The fold must be very small, or the cake will be oval instead of round after rolling.

After the first fold is tucked in tightly, lift and tilt the parchment paper with your left hand (if you're right-handed). As the cake moves forward, it may bulge here and there. Gently flatten the bulges with your right hand so that the roll is tight and even. If you're making a very long roll, you'd need a rolling pin (or the core of your parchment paper or aluminium foil) to do this.

Because the cake doesn't handle well, it cracks (when you roll it) if it's too thick. And if it's too thin, the inside may be too dry when the crust is just right. Hence, you must scale the recipe according to your pan size. You don't want too little or too much batter in the pan. 

Why make such a fuss over a cake? Why not just let it crack? You can hide the cracks with icing, icing sugar, chocolate rice/shavings, nuts, whatever. Nobody would know, right?

Yup, covering up is an easy way out. But you'd have bought a chocolate Swiss roll if you had wanted the easy way out. Or at least made a Swiss roll without cocoa powder. Or just eat the bloomin' cake without rolling it!

For those who want to make a good but uncomplicated Swiss roll, click here for my vanilla recipe.  For those who want to make a chocolate roll for the sake of making it, because eating is only half the fun:



CHOCOLATE SWISS ROLL (巧克力瑞士蛋糕卷)
(Recipe for one 12" roll)

15 g corn oil
5 g natural cocoa powder
15 g castor sugar
30 g water
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30 g egg yolks
35 g cake flour

80 g egg whites
20 g castor sugar

75 g whipped cream

1. To make cake, preheat oven to 170°C. Measure and prep ingredients as detailed above. Grease 10" x 7" pan with butter. Line with parchment paper.

2. Heat oil till warm. Whisk thoroughly. Add castor sugar. Whisk thoroughly. Add water. Whisk till thick paste forms. Add salt, vanilla extract and egg yolks. Whisk till sugar dissolves. Sift half of cake flour into mixture. Mix with whisk till even. Sift remaining cake flour into mixture. Mix with whisk till even.

3. Whisk egg whites on medium-slow speed till thick foam forms. Gradually add 30 g castor sugar whilst continuing to whisk. Keep whisking till egg whites are at soft peak stage. Reduce speed to slow and continue to whisk till firm peak stage (when whisk is lifted, egg whites form peak that's hooked).

4. Loosen egg yolk mixture from bottom of mixing bowl with whisk. Add egg whites in 2 batches. Mix with whisk after each addition till batter looks even. Scrape down and fold with spatula till batter is truly even.

5. Pour batter into cake pan. Spread with spatula as evenly as possible, pushing batter into corners of pan. Jiggle vigorously till batter is level. Tap pan against worktop twice.

6. Bake cake on middle shelf till middle of cake is springy when pressed, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Drop pan from 1' high 3-4 times. Unmould cake onto wire rack. Peel parchment paper from sides of cake. Leave till cool.

7. To assemble Swiss roll, place cake on clean parchment paper, face down. Peel parchment paper from bottom  of cake. Spread evenly with whipped cream. Roll cake as shown in video. Do not remove parchment paper till cake is transferred to serving plate (so that cake may be moved easily without touching the crust).

8. To cut Swiss roll neatly, chill till filling is set. Cut with serrated knife, wiping knife clean with paper towels after each cut. Transfer to serving plate. Discard parchment paper.

9. To store overnight, place Swiss roll in cake pan. Place pan in plastic bag, making sure bag doesn't touch Swiss roll. Refrigerate. Remove from fridge about 15 minutes before serving. Cut immediately. Transfer to serving plate. Discard parchment paper. Serve when cake is soft but filling is still cold.

47 comments:

Judith said...

I tried your original swiss cake roll yesterday and turned out so good, my husband and son love it. I will try this chocolate cake roll. Thanks for your recipe. By the way, will you plan to make matcha (green tea) cake roll soon?

Paimiah said...

After Blumenthal commended it for its decent flavour, Green and Black cocoa has been out of stock for yonkers in our little red dot, where did you manage to get yours?

KT said...

Four Seasons expects to restock in about two weeks' time. If you like, they can text you when stocks arrive. Not sure if Cold Storage will also restock. They used to sell it online and in some stores but the item has been removed from their website.

paimiah said...

Thanks for the headsup

Lily said...

Thanks KT, this is an awesome recipe...all your recipes are great...need to be exact in wts & instruction...then it'll turn out, maybe not as good as yours, but very successful & happy....thank you for being so generous with your recipes.

edamat said...

I second that. would like to see matcha cake roll as well.

edamat said...

I am having difficulty to find the pan size to match. would you please tell me when you put batter into your pan and level it out, how tall (height/thickness) the batter is?
thanks

Jonathan livingstone said...

Thanks to you, I can make wonderful cakes now! I read and studied your ''cake Dos & Don'ts, cake QAF and every sweets recipes ' And, there is all answers of problems that could be made easily when we make cakes. KT, you are the best teacher I ever met. Just follow your recipe, I don't make errors any more. I am not good at English(I am bad, actually. ..), so I can't tell you how much I thanks to you in detail. (It makes me so sad~~...)
Anyway, I will always think you as my perfect teacher, and wait for your wonderful recipes.
Have a nice day~^^

Jonathan livingstone said...

and these are my works ...

Jonathan livingstone said...

Me too. I really want to know KT's green tea roll cake?

KT said...

You are welcome, Jonathan. Your chocolate roll looks good! Thanks for the photos.

Some people write bad English because their command of the language is poor. That's OK for me. But there are people who write badly because they just can't be bothered. I can tell which is which. For those who don't make an effort, why should I bother to answer their questions, which are usually damn stupid anyway.

KT said...

Scroll up and click on bright pink thumbnail.

Jonathan livingstone said...

Oh,... this is the best praise I ever heard!!
KT, I'll do my best!

Li an yu said...

are you live in taiwan?

KT said...

I live in Singapore.

Abigail said...

Hello! I really really want to make this green tea cake but I don't know the the grams measurements. Can you convert the recipe into cups/tablespoons/teaspoons? Thanks :)

KT said...

You don't really want to bake this cake. If you did, you wouldn't let anything stop you.

Li an yu said...

Thanks for rplying I live in Taiwan

Igusti Ayu Dewi said...

KT, triple love you!

Gaby said...

Hello! I really love your recipes! In the cake recipes you use cake flour.. and my question is if I can use all purpose flour instead?? Thank you very much :) xo

SM Chan said...

Hi KT, I enjoy reading your blog very much. Btw, may I know what's the brand of the electric hand whisk that you use in most of your baking? It looks handy as compared to the electric hand mixer.

Jonathan livingstone said...

Isn't that BRAUN??

Rita Sg said...

Hi KT...I luv ur recipes especially your chocolate swiss roll. It was a hit! I'd now like to bake a matcha swiss roll and wondering if I could use this recipe? Thanks for sharing!!!

mia said...

get a scale, they could be very cheap and can be easily found in grocery stores.

Ann said...

Hi KT, thank you very much for the recipe! I tried it yesterday and the cake turned out beautifully. However, I had some difficulty whipping the cream to "dead stiff" like you did. I used UHT 35% fat whipping cream. But as I whipped it, it gradually turned into a watery mix of butter chunks and matcha powder... This is probably because my technique is wrong... but do you have any suggestion as to what kind of whipping cream I should use? Maybe if the fat content is higher, it will be easier for the cream to reach the "dead stiff" stage like you did? Thanks again!

KT said...

Was your cream (softly) stiff before matcha was added, as in 7:56 in the video?

Fatima said...

Hello KT I need your help please.
I love the way the chocolate Swiss roll looks and in 2 days I will make a two level cake and I was wondering if I could use the cake recipe for the chocolate Swiss roll for my cake. The pan sizes are 8in-2in and the other pan is 12in-2in. What would be the measurements or could I just triple the recipe? I really hope you can take the time to answer my question.
Thank you

Diana said...

Dear KT,
I have tried your recipe and it came out very nice. Thank you! I'm really sorry I haven't taken a picture, but I can tell you that the surface didn't crack, didn't become sticky, it was flexible and easy to handle and as a cake it has maintained its nice aspect throughout the whole 3 days period that it lasted :) (stored in my fridge in the parchment paper). The chocolate flavour was enhanced by preparing the cocoa as advised, so: thumbs up for your recipe!

It was my first Swiss roll experience, but before starting I made a bit of a research. I agree that the quantity of flour indicated in other recipes is too high for such a delicate cake and couldn't help noticing how the Swiss rolls made with more flour by some TV chefs kept cracking in all their versions used for demonstration and of course, wondered how come they keep on going and showing their failures. Probably they serve as examples for "don't"s.

Moreover, I liked the fact that your creations have a professional presentation and appreciated the way you are emphasizing the texture of the cake (both before and after baking) while sharing explanations and useful tips along the way. To sum it up, well done not just for the recipe but for all your work of writing the steps,preparing videos and being a good storyteller, because each cake has its own identity and creation story.

Finally, since I want to keep my comments relevant, I would appreciate it if you could indicate me an e-mail address (or similar means) where I could contact you privately, as I would like to learn more about you (always provided that you would be interested in sharing).

All the best,
D.

KT said...

http://kitchentigress.blogspot.sg/2015/02/matcha-green-tea-azuki-red-bean-roll.html

Dewi said...

Hi KT I tried this recipe today because I used 9x13 inch pan, I triple the recipe and ended up left it in the oven for 12 mins. I will make Black Forest cake with this cake. Here are the pictures. I love your cake recipes and I will make more, thank you so much for sharing.

HolyRoly said...

Is the pan size wrong? Your plain swiss roll has double of many ingredients for similar pan size. Thanks.

Jasmine Riccardi said...

Hello KT, first of all let me tell you that i'm not good at cooking, but i enjoy doing it, so, what a heck. Therefore i decided to cook your swiss roll and…. it came out almost perfect, THANK YOU, your recipe is so well explained that even a disaster like me, can succeed, thanks a lot. I just "personalized" the filling, i made marshmallow. :-) :-) :-) Trust me, it's worth a try. Looking forward your next recipe. Best wishes.

Jasmine Riccardi said...

Kt uses different pan size in the 2 recipe. In this one it's 12'' by 9'', the vanilla one is 13'' by 10''.

KT said...

Hi Jasmine, glad you like the recipe. How do you make your marshmallow filling?

Jasmine Riccardi said...

Hi KT, i followed the recipe on youtube by CHOW, that is pretty similar to the one by American Test Kitchen. Another recipe that is even better, is the marshmallow fluff. :-) :-) :-) Trust me it's a dream. This time i couldn't make it because i didn't have the egg whites, but i think the marshmallow fluff could be better, unless, being more like a cream, would make the swiss roll soggy after a while. I'm not sure about this, i'll try next time i'll make the swiss roll, unless you try it first, in that case, please share. Best regards.

izumi said...

Hi KT, can I use vegetable oil instead of corn oil? thank you

JuliaCommento said...

What is happening in the cake when you drop it AFTER baking. I understand banging the batter before baking to break the bigger air bubbles, but I can't imagine the action inside(?) the cake of banging after removing from the oven. Do you have any thoughts on why this is effective for minimizing the shrinkage? Does it bang out the steam in a more even way? Usually you describe every reason for what is done so intricately, this one is a mystery for me.

KT said...

A foam cake, after it's baked, is like a web. When one part of the cake contracts, it pulls along the rest of the cake. Dropping the cake breaks up the web, so one part of it contracting doesn't affect the rest.

JuliaCommento said...

That is just fascinating. Thank you so much for explaining this! I've learned so much in the short time since I discovered your site. So much that has already improved my baking.

IT said...

Thanks KT for a wonderful recipe. Best light and never crack Swiss roll. I have made 2 Swiss rolls on different days and using different quantities. Both turned out beautifully. Easy to roll. I have ganache as filling in one and the other I have raspberries and whipped cream as filling.

LJ said...

Hi KT,


My first attempt of baking Pandan cake was successful ! Couldn't have done it without your recipe! Thank you very much!


LJ

Ling said...

Hi KT, May I know what kind of baking paper you are using in your video? The normal parchment paper or non-stick parchment paper?

KT said...

If the paper sticks, it's not parchment.

Monika Tellvik said...

this look great, I am going to try and make it. May I know what brand of mixer do you use in the video?
Thank you. =0)

Sharon said...

Hi KT,


This Chocolate Swiss Roll is soooo yummy! The sugar portion is just right, not too sweet. After keeping it in the fridge for 2 nights, it's still spongy. My husband liked it and said, the ones in the bakery do not taste as rich as this. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe here!


Warm regards,
Sharon :-)

Shenice said...

Hi KT, I had just baked a chocolate swiss roll today. Super soft and yummy but I have problem with the whipped cream. The whipped cream is stiff and stick to the whisk but my hubby said its not as thick and stiff as those selling outside. After I refrigerate the swiss roll the whipped cream is abit stiffer but still taste soft like ice cream texture. Is it under whipped or normal? Thanks

James said...

I love your recipe but don't understand the grams/ounces. Could you send me the recipe in US measurements. Would like to make the chocolate swiss roll soon?
Thank you so very much

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