Monday, January 24, 2011

A soft and mild tea break

I know I wouldn't mind a simple and mellow taste that takes me back to my childhood. A swiss roll is a cake with a twist, it's funnier to make than an essay and you can change the filling like you change your shirt. Today I  made it with figs and almonds jam (homemade of course).

I find swiss rolls to be a very nice option for a quiet afternoon, especially if you eat it with a nice tea, juice or even hot chocolate. It's also fun to prepare when taking care of children during an afternoon. The advantage is that you can choose the filling, so even if you don't have jam, you can try with chocolate mousse, Nutella and all that's tasty with bread.

It is a light cake (there's no butter or oil), not too sweet, so it's also excellent at breakfast. It's quite easy to make it and it cooks in a wink, and even if it's better to let it cool so it stays in shape, you can eat it immediately.

A nice blond colour and an even surface.

Ingredients for a roll (6 persons):
4 eggs
125g caster sugar
125g flour
1 packet of vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 medium jar of jam (about 400g)

Preheat oven to 210 ° C.

Break the eggs, reserving whites.
In a bowl, mix yolks with sugar and vanilla sugar. Whisk until frothy, then slowly add the sieved flour and baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and add them in small quantity to the above mixture using a spatula. Take care not to break them, do not whisk.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the batter, spreading it with your spatula. It is necessary that the surface is evenly spread and flat.
Bake for 10 minutes. When the cake takes a blond colour, remove from the oven.

Let cool a few minutes, then take a kitchen cloth and moisten it. You will use it to roll the cake without breaking it. Turn cake onto the cloth and gently remove the parchment paper. Wrap in cloth and allow to cool.

Unroll carefully. It is possible that a thin layer of dough sticks to the cloth. Go slowly, but don't panic, it's no big thing. Spread the cake generously with jam and roll the cake again tight. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and let stand 1 hour.

When you serve it, it's always nice to add some icing sugar around it. I had none left when I made the swiss roll. Cut the ends so that the jam and the spiral are clearly visible (don't forget to eat it of course!). It's ready!

Details from Le Berceau by Berthe Morisot, 1872, Musée d'Orsay. Berthe Morisot is the woman from Impressionism, and is also the one that's been fascinating my mother for several months. A book about her was newly reissued. Go right ahead if you're sensitive to that style, it's a beautiful book. The link to Flammarion (you can flip a few pages). I don't know if you can get it in English though.

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