As berries are fruiting or coming into season, we must make the most of the crops and this swiss roll recipe is a fabulous way to utilise them. A light and fluffy pudding, where the berries acidity balances out the white chocolate’s sweetness. Perfect for a summer garden party or to finish a family meal with a sweet touch.
As a child, I was fascinated by how my grandmother rolled up the sponge cake with great ability and created this visually intriguing dessert. Preparing the perfectly fluffy sponge cake seemed easy for her; however, as I learned more about baking, I realised how many ways it could go wrong! I initially felt intimidated on my first try at recreating this culinary childhood memory, but in fact, it turned out beautifully.
The trick is to place the hot sponge cake on a wet cloth napkin, rolling with care and cooling before filling with the jam and cream. There’s no doubt this will be a winner with all the family.
For the sponge cake:
- 7 eggs
- 140g white sugar
- 120g white flour
- a pinch of salt
For the mascarpone cream:
- 200g mascarpone
- 100g white chocolate (for extra texture, I like using white chocolate with pistachio)
- lime zest
For the berry jam:
- 500g berry mix (the best is fresh, but frozen fruits will also do)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (or more to taste)
extra fresh berries and mint leaves for decoration
- First prepare the homemade jam, either the previous day or the same day. (As it has no preservatives, store in the fridge for 3-4 days only) Cut the berries in half, place in saucepan, then add sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Cook over medium heat until the fruits start to release water. To accelerate the process, blend the fruits with a hand blender and lower the heat to a minimum. (or cook slowly until they form a homogeneous mixture.) Stir the jam occasionally to avoid sticking and burning until it reaches a thick, jam-like texture.
- Next, prepare the sponge cake. Heat the oven to 180ºC and cut baking paper to fit a large baking sheet.
- Beat the egg yolks with 100g of sugar using an electric hand whisk until pale.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until it’s halfway stiff; add spoon by spoon 40g of sugar, and beat until soft peak forms.
- Gently fold the egg white into the egg yolks, and add the sifted flour using a large spoon. Mix the batter until combined with cautious encircling movements. Pour the mixture evenly into the baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and firm. If the top gets starts to brown, place baking paper over it.
- In the meantime, make the mascarpone cream. Melt the chocolate either over a bain marie or in the microwave. Be very careful when using the microwave to melt chocolate – do it in short rounds, ie. 30-35 seconds over 600W and stir after each round until perfectly melted. Mix the mascarpone and the melted chocolate, and add some lime zest.
- Run a knife around the edges of the baked sponge cake to create a perfectly rectangular shape. Place the sponge cake immediately on a wet cloth napkin, roll it gently, then let it cool.
- Once cooled, roll it out, and spread it with the cream and the jam. Be cautious not to overfill as it will squeeze out and the roll will be extremely soggy. Roll up the cake and decorate with fresh berries and mint leaves.