Making a good Swiss Roll, I have discovered, is all in the technique. Usually, I’m more of a “bung it all in – mix it up – stick it in the oven and hope for the best” – kind of baker. However, a Swiss Roll needs a bit more care.
To start, you need your eggs (4) and your caster sugar (100g). Then you have to whisk them together for ages. When you take the whisk out of the mixture, it should leave ribbons. If you have a freestanding mixer, this is no problem. If you have an electric whisk, it’ll take a while but you’ll be ok. If you are whisking by hand, order yourself a new arm before you start.
Once your mixture is thick and ribbony, you can fold in the self-raising flour (100g). I used gluten free flour, because I was making this for when a gluten-free friend came over, but you can use the normal kind if you like.
Carefully tip the mixture into your tin, which should be lined with baking parchment. I used a baking sheet, because I don’t have a Swiss Roll tin, although it is on my wish-list now. Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes. Watch it carefully, because it will scorch quickly.
While the cake is in the oven, get a length of baking parchment, spread it out on a work counter and sprinkle caster sugar over it. Be fairly generous.
When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven, and, while it’s still hot, tip it out onto the sugared paper. Get a knife and score the cake all along the short edge, about 1 inch from the edge.
While the cake is still hot, roll the cake and the paper together from the scored short edge, right up so that it is one long roll. Then you can allow your cake to cool. It may look something like this:
When the cake is cool, you can unroll it – it won’t go back flat, don’t worry. Spread strawberry jam generously all along the inside of the cake, and then re-roll it. You will find your cake will roll and not crack.
Don’t keep this cake to yourself – this is a good one to impress people with! Also, it needs to be eaten within a day or two as it will go dry quickly, so get eating!