Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Patterned Swiss Roll (Giraffe print) Recipe

It was a lazy Saturday and I wanted to make a simple baked treat which my family will enjoy. This means no fancy layered cakes or desserts - just plain old-style cakes using the baking basics (eggs, flour, oil, milk, etc.). I settled on a Swiss Roll but gave it a twist to make it look more fancy.

Originally, this pattern was supposed to be inspired by cows.

But it clearly became something else.

Either ways, I loved the patterns and it is very simple to make, albeit with a few additional steps. This style of swiss roll making is rather popular in Japan and I have seen several Japanese baking books featuring swiss rolls of various designs. If you are interested, pop by Kinokuniya or understand the basics of it in this post.


1. What exactly is this patterned swiss roll?
This is a normal swiss roll but innovative bakers decided to put designs on them so that they look more aesthetically pleasing. You can create any patterns you like, in any colour and design. There are specially made design mats and templates out there for purchase to make themed swiss rolls, e.g. Halloween or Christmas themed swiss rolls, etc. The list is endless. Think of this cake design.

2. How do I achieve it?
Put simply, it is like painting a canvas. You start off with a regular rectangular pan in which you will bake your normal swiss roll in. Take out small portions of the swiss roll batter you have prepared and colour them. I used cocoa powder to get brown, you can use artificial food colouring to get your desired colour. After colouring mini batches of your batter, draw your designs on the baking pan lined with baking paper. You can draw hearts, lines, circles, etc. I made a simple design this time round so I only used a spoon to draw out patches of brown. For more sophisticated designs, use piping bags to draw your design.

Once done, bake tray in pre-heated oven for 1 minute to set the design. This step is crucial to retain the structure of the pattern. You will see that the designs have been partially baked and won't move around when you pour the remaining swiss roll batter on top. Pour the remaining batter on top of design and bake for 20-30 minutes till roll is ready.

Patterned Swiss Roll (Giraffe print)

Making a pattered swiss roll is not difficult. All it takes is some patience and you will be rewarded with a lovely looking roll. 

This recipe is based on my basic sponge cake recipe, with some substitution of cake flour with corn flour. Corn flour will help to soften the crumb of the sponge, making it easier to roll without cracking. Also, you should leave the swiss roll to firm up in the fridge for several hours before cutting it into slices. That way, your cake is less likely to crumble.

Filling wise, I opted for something more fancy as well, peanut butter mousse!


For egg yolk-flour batter 
4 egg yolks (large)
20g caster sugar
50g non-flavoured oil (I used Canola oil)
60g milk
1/2tsp vanilla extract (I use Homemade vanilla extract, refer to recipe here)
70g cake flour
20g corn flour

For egg white-stiff peaks
4 egg white (large)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar

For giraffe print
1 tbsp cocoa powder

For filling
30g cream cheese (I used block cream cheese, softened at room temperature)
80g peanut butter (I used Skippy creamy peanut butter)
200ml whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
40g icing sugar

(for detailed step-by-step pictures, refer to my basic sponge cake recipe)
1. To prepare egg yolk-flour batter, whisk egg yolks and sugar till pale and fluffy. You will also notice an increase in volume.

2. Add in oil and milk. Mix well. Sieve in cake and corn flour. Mix till no flour traces remain. Add in vanilla extract. Mix and leave aside. Take out 2 tbsp of mixture and add in cocoa powder. Mix well and leave aside.

3. To prepare egg whites meringue, beat egg whites till frothy for 40-50 seconds at speed 2 if using hand-mixer. Add in cream of tartar. Increase speed gradually from 3 to 4 and 5, adding sugar in small batches. Beat till stiff peaks and reduce speed gradually. This will help to stabilise the air bubbles and produce a finer crumb.

4. Take 4 tbsp of egg white meringue and mix with cocoa mixture. Add the remaining beaten egg whites into the rest of the egg yolk batter. Add in 3 batches, mixing evenly with a spatula. 

5. Using the cocoa swiss roll mixture, spoon out some portions, dotting the lined baking pan with patches. Bake in pre-heated oven of 170 degrees for 1 minute. The designs should be set and will not slide around. Pour remaining batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes. Swiss roll is ready when the top is dry and springy to touch.

6. Whilst the cake is still warm, roll the swiss roll tightly, along with the baking paper it was baked on. Leave to cool. 

7. Prepare filling. Beat peanut butter and cream cheese till combined. In a separate bowl, combine cream and icing sugar and whip till soft peaks. Add in peanut butter-cream cheese mixture and whip till well combined. 

8. Once swiss roll has cooled, unroll and spread with filling. Roll up tightly and cover with cling wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 2-3 hours before cutting and serving.


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