Saturday, October 15, 2011
blue-spotted swiss roll.
I've seen some lovely pictures of patterned swiss rolls around the blogosphere lately and that got me inspired to make my own funky pattern. Well, as funky as blue spots can be anyway. I think I over-blued on the spots, dont'cha think so? And I should have used a piping bag to pipe those spots. They're more like ovals now...
But before that, I made sure I got a recipe that sounded really reliable. I managed to find one, and it still failed for me but it's not the recipe's fault that my swiss roll cracked. I narrowed it down to a few possibilities: My sponge was too thick which made it hard to roll and I didn't roll it while it was hot. Then again, some bloggers managed to skip that first rolling step and still emerge with crack-free swiss rolls. I don't think I over baked the cake so it must be the thickness... I think. Maybe next time I should also try rolling while it's hot apart from making a thinner sponge. And I read somewhere that making a few shallow slits at the side that you're going to start rolling up from will make the swiss roll more manageable.
Apart from the huge fissure in the side of the cake, I really loved the texture. This is not the typical whisk-whole-eggs sort of recipe. This one utilizes the chiffon method which makes the cake less likely to crack when rolling. Instead of large porous holes you usually get from regular sponges, the chiffon method yields an even-textured moist sponge. The vanilla was spot on too- it masked the egginess without being too overpowering.
I filled my swiss roll with a lightened vanilla pastry cream. Basically pastry cream with the addition of whipped cream. I used a vanilla bean! Oh yeah! It was delicious but its fluidity made it hard to roll up in the swiss roll so not only did some spill out from the sides, the centre didn't get much cream either. And because my sponge was so thick, the ratio of cream to cake wasn't quite right.
So, not a total success but it was fun!
Blue-Spotted Swiss Roll
For the vanilla sponge, I used a half recipe from here and baked it in a 7 inch square pan but please please please use a 8 inch pan for easier rolling.
Lightened Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
125ml milk (I got away with skim since I was going to fold in heavy cream later)
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and pod reserved
1 and 1/2 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract ( I find that using vanilla bean alone doesn't give enough vanilla flavour)
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks (This can be adjusted to how "light" you like your final product)
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, vanilla seeds and pod until it comes to a simmer. Cut the heat and let the vanilla infuse for 10 minutes. You can let it be for more than 10 minutes if that's more convenient for you.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar. Bring the milk back to a simmer and slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has come to a boil and thickened considerably.
Strain the mixture and discard the vanilla pod. Stir in the vanilla extract and leave to cool completely. You can choose to refrigerate it or not, but I prefer to chill it first. Press a sheet of cling wrap on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming before refrigerating it.
Fold in the whipped cream. The pastry cream is now ready to use. After filling and rolling up the sponge, let the swiss roll chill in the fridge for at least an hour before tucking in.
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