A Swiss friend of mine once told me that there is no such thing as a Swiss Roll in Switzerland, which prompt me to do my research and realised that it in fact originates from Central Europe but possibly from Austria. Perhaps the two countries being so close to one another strikes the confusion, very much like how Australia and New Zealand being on their own debate on where Lamington was first invented.
Nevertheless, Swiss roll or sponge roll is one of the many popular desserts in Asia and often they have a much softer and spongier texture.
I purely started this sponge roll because I have some left over Kaya (Malaysian coconut pandan custard jam) from previous post and I thought I would utilise it with all my favourite things combined, which is a soft fluffy sponge cake with light whipped mascarpone cream and fresh strawberries.
Ingredients Break Down
When making light and soft sponges such as for this sponge roll, cake flour are recommended for the lightest texture. Cake flour generally contain protein content that sits around 6-8%. I bought my own cake flour from most Asian grocery where they come in 500 g packets.
If you are unable to find cake flour, you can use plain flour with a slightly higher protein content and it should still yield a similar result.
When referring flour to its protein content, it generally means how much gluten forming protein it has which determines the strength of the flour and how tough your baked goods will be. The higher the gluten forming protein, the tougher and chewier the baked goods will be. The flour that has higher gluten protein are such as baker's flour or strong flour and are generally used to make breads.
In the case for light airy cake, you want flour that still has some gluten to enables it to hold on to the structure of the cake during baking, but low enough to not toughen your cake too much.
Liquid Milk are often used in cake recipes as it adds to the flavour of the cake. Other than flavour, protein in milk also contributes to the moistness of the product and helps the cake to colour during baking through Maillard reaction. In many cases, Milk powder is my favourable substitutes for liquid milk if I feel that the my recipe has too much liquid than is needed but I still want the properties that the milk protein can give. In the below sponge recipe, I have substituted liquid milk for the powder for just that reason.
Whipping Cream with mascarpone
When making creamed cake, some of the biggest issues we can have is that the whipped cream is not stable enough and do not hold its shape as well as a buttercream could. If you are looking for a more stable whipped cream that enables you to pipe and mask a cake, the best way to achieve that is to incorporate mascarpone or cream cheese into the whipping cream to be whipped, which helps holds its shape much better than just whipped cream on its own. Be mindful though that mascarpone does contain a higher amount of fat compared to normal cream with around 45% fat. This means that mascarpone has a higher tendency of being over whipped. Incorporating whipping cream and mascarpone can reduce the tendency of over whipping as well as give stability to your final cream.
Most cream are considered suitable for whipping if they contain at least 30% fat, and the higher the fat content, the more stable and easy it is to whip. A typical whipping cream in Australia has a fat content ranging 30-36%.
Mascarpone cream is an Italian Cream Cheese that is richer and smoother in texture and has a higher fat content compared to American Style Cream cheese that are typically more acidic than Mascarpone. Most Mascarpone Cream in Australia has a fat content of 45% and this make mascarpone cream suitably stable and perfect for whipping.
Combining the whipping cream and mascarpone cream is great as it still gives you the light airiness that the Milk Cream can give and the stability that mascarpone cream can provide. Add a dash of lemon and vanilla bean paste and it is just perfect.
Alternatively, you want to have a more acidic flavour to your creamed cake, you can substitute mascarpone for the American Cream Cheese.
Kaya is a traditional coconut custard jam that originated from Malaysia. This is something that I grew up eating on my breakfast toast a lot. They come in different variation, with some being cooked with caramel and some milder or darker in colour, but they are almost almost made together with Pandan juice or extract. If you are interested in making this custard jam, you can visit my page on Homemade Coconut Kaya. Alternatively, you can buy pre made kaya from Asian Groceries.
Equipment: 350 mm x 240mm x 25mm depth Sponge baking tray
Yield: 1 x Swiss Roll
Pandan Egg Yolk Batter
60 g Egg yolks (3 Yolks)
20 g Granulated Sugar/ Castor Sugar
1/4 tsp. Fine Salt
45 g Vegetable oil
40 ml Pandan extract
65 g Cake flour (low protein flour)
10 g Milk powder
150 g Egg whites (From 3 medium eggs)
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
60 g Granulated sugar/ Castor Sugar
160 g Whipping cream 35% Fat
20 g Granulated Sugar/ Castor Sugar
40 g Mascarpone Cream
10 - 12 Strawberries (top and base trimmed
3 tbsp Kaya Jam
Pre heat the oven to 170°C. Line a rectangle deep sponge tray with parchment paper at the base and around the sides. Set the tray aside ready to use.
1. Start with the egg yolk batter. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vegetable oil together then add in the sugar, salt and Pandan extract followed by the sifted flour and milk powder. Whisk the ingredients together until it is smooth and there are no lumpy bits of flour in the batter.
Set the Pandan batter aside ready to use.
2. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, place the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk on medium speed until aerated and there are no liquid egg whites remaining. Gradually stream in the sugar while whisking until all the sugar have been added then increase the speed to high.
Continue to whisk until you reach a medium to stiff peak.
3. Gently fold the meringue in two additions into the pandan batter. Transfer into a pre lined sheet tin and bake in the pre heated oven for 18 minutes or when you touch the surface of the sponge it bounces back.
4. Once baked, remove the baking tray from the oven and immediately remove the sponge from the tray and place onto a wire rack to fully cool for 3 to 5 minutes with the parchment paper still intact at the base.
5. Once the sponge has cooled, place a parchment paper on top of the sponge and turn it gently over. Remove the parchment paper carefully then proceed to preparing the whipped cream.
6. When the sponge have cooled. On one end lengthwise, trim the ends on a slanted angle then trim off the other 3 sides straight using a serrated knife.
On the opposite end lengthwise from the slanted ends, slightly run the knife on the sponge to create 3 strip without cutting through the sponge of approximately 3 cm apart. This makes rolling the sponge easier.
7. Spread a thin layer of kaya jam on top of the sponge followed by some cream, reserving enough for piping later.
8. Place the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a 30 mm plain tip and pile a strip of cream in the centre of the 3 lines. Place the trimmed strawberries on top of the cream close to each other until you fill the lines of cream. Pipe another line of cream on both sides of the strawberries and another on top.
9. With the help of the parchment paper underneath the sponge, start rolling the swiss roll on top of the strawberries and over to the opposite ends ensuring the seam sides are underneath. Gently press to secure and tighten. Wrap the swiss roll in the parchment paper then wrap a cling warp around the parchment paper. Secure the ends of the cling film then place the swiss roll in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the cream are firm enough before cutting and serving.