I am a huge fan of roulades or swiss rolls. They have the perfect balance of a delicious creamy filling with a moist cake.
The fear of cracking the cake open with deep crevasses when rolling it up can intimidate some people to the point that they wont try. I say give it a try. So what if it cracks on your first or second attempt? The point is to give it a try and practice so that you know what works for you. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I know that when something doesn’t work in my kitchen nothing is ever wasted. It all tastes just as delicious.
Views on the correct technique used to roll the cake is polarized and some authors have very strong opinions. Some will gasp at the idea of rolling the cake when it is fresh from the oven and will tell you the cake will most certainly crack. Yet, this method works for me every time.
100g plain flour
100g castor sugar
20g cocoa (preferably Dutch)
1 tbs warm water
½ tsp baking powder
1 vanilla pod
50g castor sugar
Pre heat the oven to 190°C. Line a swiss-roll baking tray with baking paper and keep a small amount of paper overhang to help lift the cake when it is baked.
Whisk the eggs until they have at least tripled in volume and have a very pale colour. With the mixer still whisking, add the castor sugar a tablespoon at a time to ensure that the volume in the eggs is not lost.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together three times to ensure it is light and airy. Gently fold the dry ingredients and the tablespoon of warm water into the egg mixture until it is just combined.
Use a pallet knife to evenly spread the mixture to the edges of the baking tray and to make sure that the surface is even and smooth.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and use the paper overhang to lift the cake onto a clean surface. Roll the cake into the classic roulade shape beginning by folding one edge in then slowly and gently continuing along the cake to the other end. Leave it sit rolled up for a about five minutes then very gently unroll the cake into its original shape. The ends of the cake will remain curled up. Leave the cake to cool completely.
Whip the cream with the castor sugar and the seeds scraped from one vanilla pod. Use a pallet knife to spread the cream evenly along the surface of the cake. Try to leave about 2cm at one end so that when the cake is rolled, the excess cream will fill the gap without spilling over the edge.
Place the roulade seam side down. Dust with cocoa and serve.