Friday, February 13, 2009

Strawberry Swiss Roll

I will pay high price for 2 types of cakes only at the cafe or bakery. Mousse Cakes and Swiss Rolls! Anything to do with lots of egg white beating, lots of cream piping and moulding also counts. Personally I think these 2 cakes require the most time in preparation and involves alot of steps and procedures before the end product comes out in one piece and presentable.

I have been thinking on what cake to make for this year's St. Valentine's Day for the past 2 weeks. I wanted the idea of fresh, simple colors and something light in the mouth and yet represents substantial love given into making it. Mousse cake was my first choice but there is another occasion this month that I will like to save that for and swiss roll was the next best option.

Long gone are the days when surprise flower bouquets and lovey dovey candle lit dinner tops my wish list for Valentine Days. These days, I am very happy to stay at home, eat at home and jump into my PJ and watch a soapy melodrama for the day. I think Curry is the same and we have come to terms with the idea that no matter what we do or want to do, we will always have to consider 2 little 'light bulbs' and if we cannot enjoy the day like all Lovebirds out there, we will just include them. Afterall, Valentine's day is all about love regardless from who to whom, as long as everyone is loved and appreciated in a special way.

The first time I attempted swiss roll was about 20 years ago in Home Economics class when I was still in my high school days. It was a failure, the cake was hard as a rock and impossible to roll. Indeed, I had phobia of making it again till this week but with so many lovely recipes flaunting in front of me, I was so tempted. My old friends from school knows about my phobia and I think they are happy for me now that I have succeeded in making one! To Dine and Cindy................this one is for you!

I tried 2 recipes, the first one contained less eggs with more cake flour and it turned out heavy and difficult to roll without cracking. The next recipe contained more eggs and less cake flour with more steps involved where the 5 eggs were first separated and beaten separately with respective amounts of sugar. The addition of vegetable oil to the melted butter kind of helped to lighten the cake batter more, resulting in a very soft and malleable texture which was a breeze in the rolling part. If I would have to do it again, I will use a kitchen cloth towel to roll as I find the parchment paper a bit difficult to handle and the light brown skin that is visible on the outer part of the roll seemed to stick and slowly peeled off sticking to the parchment paper when I started to roll it. The cake itself didn't crack but without the whipped icing on the top part, the cake didn't look very pretty. But I am very happy that I finally know how to make a cotton soft cake that is moist and light, just like those at Asian bakeries in Japan and Hong Kong. My palate is towards the Asian style where I prefer things light and not overly sweet in taste.

Lucky for me that I have the Kitchen Aid mixer to do the egg white beating. I was doing the yolk and egg white beating simultaneously, one with the hand mixer and the other with the Kitchen Aid Mixer. As egg whites were involved, putting the ingredients together needed to be done very quickly and carefully. The baking took only 12 mins with once rotating pan and at a very high temperature of 400F. I let the cake cooled off on a cookie rack and applied the inside cream when it was at room temperature. As with my terrible sushi rolling technique, I didn't managed to get a perfect round shape of the roll. The cake was left in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up and it was much easier to cut if done so. I did the piping freehand without any piping tips, hence the irregular strands.

Perhaps I used big sized strawberries, after the slicing, I had to take some time transferring each slice into the aluminum casing and they were a bit heavy to stand still. I love the strawberries, they kind of represent the red heart (although upside down in this case!) and the white cream that symbolizes something clean and pure. And all those strawberry chunks that I wrapped into the roll are all the everyday bits & pieces in my life, sweet and small but important to make the whole picture of love complete! Excuse me for being a bit melodramatic!

To all you out there, Happy Valentine's day. Sip something sweet, take a bite of something creamy, feel and give love to whomever you want to! And remember to say 'I love you' .


Agnes @ rB said...

Haha Jie its pretty what!!! Even though its not *ROUND* enough :P

Momsiecal said...

hey you finally summoned your courage! and as usual, you never cease to amaze! This is fantastic-kuddos J! I bet it even tastes better!

Momsiecal said...

you have a Kithen Aid? I am sooo jealous. Do you have the Red one? Bet it goes faster!..hehe...