The Great Pandemic Baking Show: Swiss Rolls

Netflix arrangement, season 1, episode 1. Cake week.

Signature challenge: Swiss rolls.

The contestants made:

  • lemon curd roll
  • orange and aniseed sponge with honey cream
  • cardamom, pistachio, and coffee
  • chocolate orange with orange jelly filling
  • pistachio with strawberry
  • strawberry and creme pat
  • raspberry and lemon
  • red velvet and white chocolate
  • tiramisu
  • apricot and basil with a mascarpone and white chocolate filling
  • black forest
  • coffee swiss roll with caramelized hazelnuts

My Swiss roll:

Early in the pandemic, I bought ground almonds for Passover baking. I then proceeded to use almost none of them. The remaining almonds have been in my freezer, but in preparation for a kitchen renovation, I brought them with me to my parents’ house. I decided to use them for an almond sponge for my swiss roll.

Then I spent way too long browsing recipes on the internet for a perfect almond sponge, gave up, and ended up making a basic sponge cake (Merlin’s Magic Sponge Cake) from The King Arthur 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Don’t worry; I’ll figure out something to do with the almond meal!

I asked my dad to buy an orange so that I could make an orange filling for yeasted rolls (think cinnamon rolls, only with orange), but instead decided to use the orange zest to flavor a Swiss meringue filling. (I thought about orange whipped cream, but that would have required another trip to the store, to purchase whipping cream, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so trying to minimize trips to the store. No whipped cream for this swiss roll!)

So, how’d it go? My Swiss meringue was closer to orange Fluff–delicious but not peaked–and the cake was…spongy. That said, it was a good first effort at a Swiss roll. I used Mary Berry’s tip to gently score the sponge to begin the roll, and I rolled the cake while it was still warm. No cracks in the cake, and I made a pretty decent roll.

The meringue resulted in four leftover egg yolks, so next up: lemon curd.

Photos (forgive my non-food-blogger quality photography!):

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