The perfect Swiss-roll (thanks Mom!!!)

It’s ironic, but it’s taken me up until now (aka late 30’s) to start writing down, my favourite recipes that my mum used to make, that evoke amazing aroma’s and associated childhood memories.

I was never much of a baker growing up, always believing, just read a book and you can do it.  Alas, I learnt the hard way, that some tricks in obtaining great baking, come from passion, a feel for what’s right, and knowledge passed on, never shown in books; that is besides the science that baking is i.e. balancing fats to proteins etc.

One of those secrets is the elusive swiss roll.  Everyone always complains it cracks or it can’t roll properly etc.

In actual fact, it is simple to do – the secret is to do everything immediately when it’s taken from the oven & SWIFTLY is the name of the game.  Besides not over baking!!!! So this is how it’s done…..(owning up to guilt, is the fact that this was consumed before even a photo was thought to be taken, so I will make one again this weekend and put the photo on my blog)


  • 5 large eggs i.e. 51g (or 4 XL eggs i.e. 59g+)
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 3 TBSP cold water
  • 1 cup flour (or 136g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (which my mum always forgets to add, so clearly not critical)
  • 1 small tin apricot jam (or any jam you luv to have in a swiss roll)
  • grease-proof baking paper
  • baking tray with sides

How to do it?

  1. Heat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Separate the eggs into egg yolks and egg whites.
  3. Beat the egg yolks until thick and creamy.  Now add the sugar and water.  Continue beating.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder & salt.  Mix until well blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks.
  6. Now fold the egg whites into the egg, sugar, water, flour, baking powder mixture.
  7. Place the grease-proof paper onto the baking tray.  Pour the mixture onto the grease proof paper.  Place into oven and bake for approximately 20minutes.  I would suggest you check at 15minutes to see if baked or not, since in some ovens 20minutes might be too long. Remember when pressing lightly onto the top, it should spring back – this means it’s ready.
  8. Cook on the stove, in a small saucepan your jam you will be using.  You want it runny and liquid.
  9. Whilst your swiss roll is baking, put onto your kitchen counter the equivalent grease-proof paper, which is lightly dusted with flour.  When the swiss roll is baked, you will take it out the oven and immediately turn over onto the grease-proof dusted paper on your kitchen counter.
  10. Remove gently the grease proof paper sticking to the swiss roll. Cut the edges, if you want to neaten (not necessary, but only for presentation).  Pour the jam onto the top and smooth over with a palette knife (or any flat knife).
  11. Now take hold of the side-edge, together with the grease-proof paper below it and start rolling gently but quickly (make sure you don’t roll the grease-proof paper, this remains behind, but it acts as a mechanism to help roll).  It’s the same process as rolling sushi rolls, if you are familiar with this?!?
  12. Once you’ve rolled it, there you have it, a complete wonderful swiss-roll.  Lightly dust with castor sugar or leave as is.
  13. Serve cold, by itself or with cream.Absolutely simply delicious.

Now some tips on modifying the swissroll….

  • If you want to put a cream & mascarpone mixture inside, but can only do this when the roll has cooled, the trick is to roll the Swiss roll up immediately once baked, then when its cooled down, you unroll gently and palette knife the filling in and re-roll
  • a great combination is 1/2 whipped cream (soft peaks) + 1/2 room temperature mascarpone and then strawberries or blueberries or cranberries, for the filling,
  • smothering the top of the roll with melted chocolate or ganache also rocks!
  • making a chocolate instead of vanilla Swiss roll also is great, substitute 15g flour with 15g cocoa.

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