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With its soft cakey roll and delicious creamy filling, you'll love our chocolate Swiss roll recipe.
A homemade Swiss roll is so much nicer than shop bought. The freshly rolled sponge and whipped cream is so much lighter and fresher than one from a packet. And it's easier to make than you might imagine. The rolling takes a little bit of care, but watch our video below and you'll see just how easy it can be. Despite its name, the dessert is actually thought to originate in Austria, but wherever it was concocted, it's been the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea for generations. Smother with custard, cream or chocolate sauce for an extra treat.
- 3 large eggs
- 100g caster sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling
- 75g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 15ml hot water
For the filling:
- 75g butter or margarine, softened
- 175g icing sugar
- A little milk
- Preheat oven to 220⁰C/425⁰F/Fan 200⁰C/Gas Mark 7. Line a 33.6cm x 22.5cm Swiss roll tin.
- Put the eggs and the 100g of sugar into a bowl and whisk until very light and creamy. The mixture should be stiff enough to retain the impression of the whisk for a few seconds. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
- Gently fold half the flour into the whisked mixture using a metal spoon.
- Fold in the remaining flour, making sure it has all been incorporated and there are no lumps. Stir in the hot water.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing it over evenly and gently. Bake in the oven for 7–9 minutes until well risen, golden brown and spongy.
- Meanwhile, have ready a sheet of greaseproof or baking parchment and sprinkle on some caster sugar. To make the sponge pliable you can place the paper over a damp tea towel.
- Turn out the cake quickly onto the paper and trim away the edges. Place a second sheet of paper on top of the sponge and roll it up loosely using the sugared paper underneath as a guide. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack, covered in the paper.
- To make the filling: Put the butter or margarine into a bowl, sift the icing sugar and add it gradually with a little milk creaming everything together well until very smooth. When the sponge is completely cold gently unroll it and remove the paper. Carefully spread the sponge with the cream filling, then re-roll.
Watch how to make our chocolate Swiss roll...
Top tip for making a Swiss roll
For a twist on the classic flavour, give it a minty kick. You can either add it directly to the buttercream filling, or mix chopped fresh mint to whipped double cream or half whipped cream and natural yoghurt for a less sweet alternative.
How do you roll a Swiss roll?
The key is to take your time and be careful but firm with your cake. Make sure your kitchen is not over-warm and you have plenty of space to work. Make sure that the filling is spread as evenly as possible so you don’t get any thin patches and that it doesn't ooze out of each side too much. Use the baking paper to carefully roll the cake on its seams, tucking the sponge in on itself.
Can you make a Swiss roll without a Swiss roll tin?
If you're an expert roller, you probably can but for anyone with little or no experience, we'd definitely recommend using a Swiss roll tin. They're designed to make sure you bake a thin, rectangular sponge perfect for rolling into a Swiss roll.
Why has my Swiss roll cracked?
Be ready to roll up your sponge while it's still warm from the oven as if it cools down too much, that's the main reason why it would crack. If it still cracks, it could be that your sponge has dried out too much in the oven. Don't be too despondent if you get a few cracks in the top of the sponge though - once it's all rolled up with the filling, people will be too busy enjoying it to notice.
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Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.
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