30 May 2012

Strawberry & Mascarpone Swiss Roll


As I often said to anyone listening, I am not a baker.  A frustrated one, if you want to know really.   I have long admired beautiful cakes and had never thought (but always dreamt) that I can create a simple, pretty one.  My kids said it's bella (beautiful) and I take their word for it and then they said it's molto buona (very good) and I take that as a real compliment.  The only complaint from my son was, why I had  to put that white thing.  I forgot that he doesn't like anything suspiciously white in his food.   I told him that the white thing, that is called mascarpone, is a part of the cake that would make the cake incomplete if I didn't put it. 


Swiss rolls intimidate me.  If I can't even bake a perfect cake, how can I even think of rolling one?   Like all the cakes that I admire but continue to file "to make in the next lifetime", I put away my Swiss roll hope.  Then I watched Lorraine Pascale in her cooking show.  A whole world of baking possibilities opened up.  I usually switch off their voices in my mind when the chefs start explaining how to bake cakes and just look at the videos but when Lorraine started explaining how to make her Swiss roll, she got my attention, all 100% of it. 


Now, how did that happen?  I think it's her relaxed, simple approach to baking and cooking in general that gave me confidence in trying it myself.  Sometimes, I tend to be worse than a hurricane in the kitchen.  Always in a hurry, moving too fast and not having the time to pause and enjoy what I am doing.


I chose to bake on a Sunday when my husband took the kids out for a day in the park.  I was alone.  I relaxed, I watched all of Lorraine Pascale's recorded shows and I had one unforgettable lunch in front of the TV.  I could hear the crunch of the food, I can taste what I was eating and I didn't find the need to stand up every 2 minutes to serve someone or get something missing on the dinner table.  I felt like I gained back years lost in hurrying in a matter of minutes. 


I baked the whole cake for the next hour, unbothered, in the quiet of the house.  Maybe what they say is true.  Baking is relaxing.  It did relax me.  I stepped back to take a good look at my handiwork.  Now that's a cake.  I was happy and quite proud of myself.   I should thank Lorraine Pascale, not just for the recipe but for her relaxed way of cooking that influenced me. 


When my family came back, the cake was the first thing they saw on the kitchen table.  How many times have I wished to have a cake that I baked, ready on the table when the kids come home?   It was very good that we didn't leave a single crumb.  That immediately solved the problem of the roll not keeping for more than 24 hours because it doesn't have butter.  It also has mascarpone and that one doesn't keep too long too. 

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Buon appetito!

Please don't forget that I still have the giveaway of Bronte pistachios, almond paste brick and Sicilian dried oregano, going on until Sunday, the 3rd of June at 12 Midnight, Rome Time (GMT +2).  Please click on this LINK to go to the post with the instructions.  Thank you!



Strawberry & Mascarpone Swiss Roll
original recipe from Lorraine Pascale
 
Ingredients:
Serves 6 - 8
 
Strawberry Filling:
  • 250 g. strawberries, hulled + 50 g. extra for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine
Sponge Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 80 g. caster or granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 g. plain flour
Mascarpone Cream:
  • 250 g. mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla extract
Directions:
 
Prepare the strawberry filling:
  1. Put 2/3 of the strawberries in a blender  with 2 tablespoons sugar and blend well.  
  2. Transfer them to a bowl and add the Marsala.  
  3. Stir in the remaining strawberries and chill for 1/2 an hour in the fridge at the least.  The flavour sets better the longer you leave them so a few hours ahead would be better.
Prepare the sponge cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius (375F/Gas 5).  Grease and line a 23 x 33cm (9in x 13in) Swiss roll tin or small roasting tin with parchment paper. 
  2. Beat the eggs, 80 g. sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is very pale yellow, foamy and mousse-like.  
  3. Pour the flour on one side of the bowl and fold in gently with a rubber spatula.  Add the water.  This should help prevent cracking when you roll the cake later.   Don't overmix so that the cake doesn't lose the air and fold as less as possible.
  4. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin and level it gently with a palette knife.  Bake for 10 -15 minutes.  
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and turn the cake out onto a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with caster sugar.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then gently peel the lining paper off the sponge and leave to cool completely. 
Prepare the mascarpone cream:
  1. Mix mascarpone, icing sugar & vanilla in a bowl.  
Assemble the Swiss roll:
  1. Trim off any rough edges of the cake with a sharp knife to make the sides tidy.  
  2. Spread the mascarpone cream all over the sponge, leaving just a small margin so that it doesn't squelch out when rolling.   Leave about 2 tablespoons to fill up the ends of the roll when finished.
  3. Spoon the macerated strawberries over the mascarpone cream and spread evenly. 
  4. With the shorter side facing you, roll the sponge (going forward, away from you) using the parchment paper to help.  Try to roll it as tightly as you could.   Leave about a tablespoon to fill up the ends of the roll when finished.
  5. Once you have rolled it all up, make sure the end part is underneath so it doesn't open.  
  6. Transfer to a serving plate carefully.  
  7. If the ends of the roll are a bit empty, fill them up with the mascarpone & strawberry filling you set aside.  Sprinkle with caster sugar and decorate with the extra strawberries. 

 

34 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! You say you are not much of a baker - well I think you are a great baker. I bet everyone enjoyed this stunning dessert! LOvely photos

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    1. I'm just a passable baker Lisa, believe me. But this Swiss roll was made so easy by Lorraine Pascale when I watched her that I was able to copy her roll easily. Thanks!

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  2. Your Swill roll is gorgeous! I love the strawberries and Mascarpone. Molto buona indeed!

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    1. It's such a delicious combination Laura! Thanks!

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  3. Rowena, I don't know how you find the time to bake something so beautiful! Good thing your lovely husband took your kids to the park abd you were able to enjoy some time alone baking! Your family is fortunate to have you, indeed! They come home to this pretty Swiss Roll! It's so preeee-tty! I bet it tastes very good also! Molto, molto buona!

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    1. We need some time off sometimes Jen. Staying with kids can be stressful and I think you know that. I needed that day and I think I made good use of it. I was happy and everyone was happy. :-) Thanks!

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  4. Anonymous31 May, 2012

    Oh, my, oh, my! Wow!

    Kathryn & Allan

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  5. This is the most beautiful roulade I've ever seen!

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    1. And your comment is the most beautiful I have ever received! Cheers!

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  6. Haha "the white thing"! My kids always leave the cream from the cake. I wonder why...maybe it's too sweet or they don't like the texture?

    Okay, Weng, if you say you are not a baker, then my baking skill now goes NEGATIVE!! Seriously, you can go from not a baker to a professional baker from the swill roll you just made! That means, you have a talent! ;-) This is so beautiful. I can look at this forever.

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    1. Oh Nami, I am still grasping the idea of baking. I think I still have a long way to go. I am getting more comfortable and more confident in baking though compared to how I was months ago. Kids do have this aversion of anything whitish or greenish in their food. My son says because it's like milk. He hates the sight of white milk. He puts malt in his.

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  7. this looks amazing! yum!

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  8. I've been looking for options to use this mascarpone in! This looks perfect, but I'm not fond of strawberries. DO you think it could be substituted with other fruits?

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    1. You can try the other berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. Cherries would be good too, also peaches & apricots.

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  9. Fabulous Swiss roll and you deserve the praise from your kids. Your food is always so beautiful or bella!

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    1. Thank you Suzanne! They loved it but held back a bit with the mascarpone because it's white! LOL!

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  10. Sweetie, I am not baker at all, but I can from time to time make something actually to taste like a dessert LOL!
    Now your swiss roll do look bella & molto buona...I really love the recipe and photo are OMG i need sweet kick right now :)) Pretty and delicious!!!

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    1. Funny Sandra, yeah, I am able to scrape something passable as a cake too. But there usually is a blunder attached to it. This is the first one that really pleased me. Thanks!

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  11. I can clearly see why not a crumb was left, what a masterpiece! You can no longer say you are not a baker, because clearly, you are! This is stunning. Between you and me, swiss rolls intimidate me, too!

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    1. I found out that you need to be relaxed to make a good cake. I can scrape a passable one sometimes. Thanks!

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  12. You are, too, a baker! Not many people would attempt a swiss roll just like that and you did a fabulous job. Frankly, I'm intimidated by them. You did awesome, Rowena. :)

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    1. If you only how scared I was when it was time to start rolling it! When it stayed rolled, I was ecstatic! LOL! Thanks Jean!

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  13. No, I am not a baker...this, looks incredible! What a beauty!!!

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  14. My heart skipped a beat just looking at this! You did a wonderful job!

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  15. Anonymous12 June, 2012

    I am about to make this roll right now and am wondering if it refrigerates well? Can I wrap it in wax or parchment paper and serve next day or the sponge cake goes flat? Thank you!! Svetlana

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    1. Hi Svetlana. The sponge cake shouldn't go flat. However, this cake doesn't last longer than 24 hours because there's no butter in it and the mascarpone doesn't keep long too. However, if you are doing it the night before and serving it for lunch, keep it in an airtight container if you have something that big, or wrapped with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Garnish before serving. Hope that helps.

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    2. Anonymous04 July, 2012

      Thank you! It came out great and I couldn't hide it till the next day :)

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  16. mmmm...looks so yummy and quite pretty too!

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  17. Oh, so pretty! Not just the cake, but how you decorated the platter. Just perfect, so spring-y! And of course I clicked on it because it sounded absolutely delicious--can't wait to try.

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I would love to read what you think!