I've found this fatless sponge mix works wonders for making Swiss roll cake, especially ones with dyed sponges as it doesn't spread when piped into a tray and gives you the cleanest of lines. It also doesn't tear or break when you roll it up but I say this having been a convert to the damp tea towel technique. I have to admit, one thing I didn't consider before was adding gelatine to the whipped cream. It makes all the difference as it actually sets and helps the cake hold its shape. It also means it will travel better. By adding a little it doesn't affect the texture of the cream at all and remains light and fluffy. Being that the sponge and filling are light as well as both of them being not very sweet, you may find that the serving recommendations is a stretch as it's possible for two to eat this cake on their own (if not me on my own, he says typing on Feb 14th).
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 6 hours
Baking Time 8-10 minutes
6 tbsp Caster sugar
3 Eggs, large
Red Food colouring (liquid gel is recommended)
9 tbsp Self-raising flour
1 tsp Gelatine powder
3 tbsp Water
200ml Whipping cream
Baking sheet (or roasting tray, basically anything measuring about 25cm x 35cm)
2 Mixing bowls
2 Piping bags
Clean tea towel
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C (Fan)/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Line the baking sheet/tray with parchment.
Add the sugar and eggs to one of the mixing bowls. Whisk on a medium-high speed for 10 minutes (yes 10 minutes) until you have a thick meringue like mixture.
For the next step I divided the mixture at this point and decanted half of it into the other bowl.
Add a couple of drops of food colour or a dash of gel to the mix and gently fold until there are no visible streaks. Add more if the colour isn’t vibrant enough.
Sieve 4 1/2 tablespoons of flour over both bowls and gently fold it into the egg mixtures. Ensure you scrape upwards now and then so you clean the bottom of the bowl. Once you see no specks of flour stop folding.
Transfer the mixes into your 2 piping bags.
Now, on with the piping. It’s up to you how you do this, here are the instructions for the stripped look I went for.
Pipe a line of plain mix from one corner of the tray the other. Sandwich this with a line of red mixture either side. Continue alternating as you go outwards. If you have a little mixture leftover you can always top up the lines you’ve already piped.
Pop the tray into the oven onto a middle shelf for 8-10 minutes until the sponge is a light golden colour.
Whilst the sponge is baking rinse your tea towel under a tap and wring it out. You want them damp but not dripping wet.
When the sponge has baked remove the tray from the oven.
Lay the tea towel across a worktop narrowest side closest to you. Slide the sponge, whilst still on the parchment onto the towel. Gently pull any sides of the parchment down if they’re sticking up.
Using the width closest to you roll the sponge up in the tea towel. Don’t forget you are doing this width ways and not the typically length-wise fashion for a traditional Swiss roll.
Leave the sponge to cool on the worktop until it is cold to the touch.
When you are ready to assemble add the water and gelatine to a small microwaveable bowl. Pop into the microwave for 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until the gelatine has dissolved.
Add the whipping cream to a clean mixing bowl. Whisk until soft peaks.
As you continue whisking, pour the gelatine into the cream. Keep whisking until the cream is stiff.
Using a knife, chop the strawberries up and pat dry using a piece of kitchen paper to mop up any juices.
Carefully unroll the sponge and discard the tea towel. Carefully peel away the cake away from the parchment but keep it under the cake.
Dollop the cream onto the cake and spread it out using palette knife. Don’t go too far up to the edges.
Sprinkle the chopped strawberries over the cream.
Now carefully roll the cake up. Use the parchment to help you. Keep an eye on the far edge of the cake, it’s likely some cream and strawberries will try to escape. Tuck them in if you can. If any cream has oozed out, use a clean finger to tidy up the edges. Roll the cake so the join is on the bottom. I keep the parchment as firm as possible around the cake to help it keep its shape.
Pop the cake into the fridge for 6 hours to set.