When I was in my 20’s I had two favorite desserts that I would make. One was a chocolate and coffee Swiss roll, and the other a chocolate bomb, which I plan to do a post for this month as well. I hadn’t made either in a long time and I’d forgotten how divine this Swiss roll is.
“A Swiss roll, jelly roll, roll cake, cream roll, roulade or Swiss log is a type of rolled sponge cake filled with whipped cream, jam, or icing.” Wiki
Swiss rolls are not easy to get right. The volume from the eggs is critical. The goal is for the cake to be so light that along with the filling it almost melts in your mouth. Some recipes call for too much flour and this will make the batter too thick for when you are folding in the whipped egg whites causing them to deflate and the cake coming out very thin and tough.
When looking at recipes for sponge cake or genoise, you are going to find two basic ways of making them. For the one, the eggs are separated, beating the whites and folding them in, and for the other the eggs are left whole and beaten until very light and folded in. The Christmas Chocolate and Hazelnut Buche de Noel, where I was following Martha Stewart’s recipe, was done leaving the eggs whole. For this recipe, you will be separating the eggs.
(pictured with chocolate covered coffee beans)
Chocolate and Coffee Swiss Rol1
Preheat oven to 350°.
Butter a jelly roll pan. Lay a piece of waxed paper (or parchment) on the bottom of the pan and butter the waxed paper.
Shake the flour and cocoa powder though a sieve into a bowl. Add the salt. Place the yolks, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla in a mixer bowl. Add the whisk attachment and beat on high. At first it will be a lemon yellow and then after about 5 minutes you will see a distinct change to a pale yellow and the consistency will be different. Transfer the egg mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the flour and cocoa mixture. Wash the mixer bowl and whisk. Beat the egg whites until they begin to thicken. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until fairly stiff.
Gently fold a large spoonful of the egg white mixture into the flour and yolk mixture. Then fold the rest of the egg whites in. Gently spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your pan and how your oven is celebrated. My jelly roll pan is 12″ by 18″ and it cooks in 13 minutes in my oven. A 10″ by 15″ would take a little longer. You want to catch it right when it’s done so you don’t overcook it which will dry it out and make it tough. The cake is done as soon as you press your finger on it and it springs right back. Remove it from the oven and let it cool 5 minutes, then turn it out on to a thin kitchen towel that has been lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Remove the waxed paper and roll it up in the towel and set it on a cookie rack to completely cool.
Coffee Whipped Cream Filling
Dissolve the coffee granules in the cream. Beat the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it’s the right consistency. Unroll the cooled cake. Spread the filling over the cake and roll it up.
Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Dissolve the instant coffee in 3 tablespoons milk. Cream the butter in a mixer. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and the 3 tablespoons of milk. Beat the frosting until it’s the right consistency, scraping down the sides of the bowl and checking to see if it needs more milk.
You can trim the ends of the roll to make them look perfect and just frost the top and sides, or you can frost the ends too. Chill for 2 hours. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Store in the refrigerator.