Baking can be elaborate and extravagant, complicated and convoluted, intricate and involved. It can be all of those things, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes the most gratifying of pleasures are the most elementary in their creation and the classic Swiss Roll is the perfect example. I’ve filled mine with roasted rhubarb and custard, but there is great scope with regards to both the filling and the topping. Cream, fresh berries, chocolate, jam, the possibilities are endless and, oh dear I seem to be salivating at merely the thought.
Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 12 Mins + 20-25 Mins Roasting Time
3 Large Eggs
175g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
100g Self Raising Flour
For the rhubard filling
400g Fresh Rhubarb (Trimmed and cleaned)
4tbsp Caster Sugar
1.5tbsp Rum or Brandy
350g Custard (Bright yellow and inexpensive)
Icing Sugar (To dust)
We begin with the sponge. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6, grease a large shallow baking tray (I use one around 39x28cm) and line with baking paper. Separate the eggs into two separate mixing bowls. For the yolks, whisk together by hand with the vanilla extract and 150g of the sugar, then set to one side. For the whites, whisk (you can use an electric whisk for this) until soft peaks form, then sprinkle in the 25g of sugar and whisk until glossy with the peaks starting to stiffen. Fold the yolk mixture into the whites, until evenly combined, then sift in the flour and do the same. Spoon into your prepared tin and spread evenly to the edges. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 12-14 minutes, until light brown and springy to the touch, then remove and leave in the tin whilst you prepare the rhubarb.
For the rhubarb leave the oven on 200C/400F/Gas 6. Chop the rhubarb into thumb sized pieces and mix together with the sugar and alcohol. Place the pieces in a large oven proof dish, evenly spaced and roast in the centre of the oven for around 20-25 minutes, until soft and just starting to caramelise. Remove from the oven and you are ready for the final assembly process.
Remove the cooled sponge from the tin, peel off the baking paper and place upturned on a fresh large sheet of baking paper. Spread over the custard, leaving a small border around the edge, then spread over the rhubarb. Spoon over any of the roasting juices, then it’s time to roll. Carefully roll the sponge into a cylinder, using the baking paper to aid you. Place on your serving plate, seam side down and dust all over with icing sugar. Slice, serve and smile.