I'm not one to shy away from a baking challenge, but there are some past disasters so neatly scored into my mind that I have refused to try them since. When I was about 11 I made a beautiful swiss roll cake and then felt the bitter disappointment of a catastrophic roll-up. My creation was the frankenstein of rolls, more like a broken piece of sponge on top of a jagged one with jam oozing out. Distinctly un-Swiss. This may seem like a curious introduction to a recipe for Roulade but my point is that this recipe was not made by me but my mother. A roulade is beautiful meringue meets cake and becomes mouse-y when filled and rolled a few hours in advance. One of my favourite desserts and really stunning if you can roll it up! This mixture is ideal for rolling as it is light and fairly elastic. I've added Mary Berry's guide to rolling a roulade from The Great British Bake Off Book. Also bear in mind that shallow cracks are part of the aesthetic!
From Neven Maguire, Country Living
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
4 1/2 oz caster sugar
5 eggs separated
4 1/2 oz ground almonds
couple of drops of almond essence
10 1/2 fl oz cream
8oz raspberries, if frozen allow to thaw.
1. Heat the oven to 180 o C. Line a 33 x 23 cm swiss roll tin with non stick paper, coming up the sides too. Brush with sunflower oil.
2. Whisk the caster sugar and 5 egg yolks together until thick and mousse-like. Fold in the ground almonds, flour and the almond essence.
3. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold into the mixture. Turn into the prepared tin and smooth gently until even.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden and firm in the centre.
5. Remove from the oven and cover with a damp tea towel until cold- this will help with the rolling.
6. Turn out onto a sheet of non stick baking paper sprinkled generously with icing sugar. Spread the whipped cream leaving a border of about 2 cm on every side and scatter with raspberries.
7. To roll, place the roulade vertically, i.e. short side facing you. Place your thumbs underneath the short end until you have some of the roll to curl. Thumbs still underneath, hold the top of the roll with your fingers and tightly.
Mary Berry style-y
1. Leave to cool in the tin.
2. Lay a large piece of non-stick baking paper on the worktop and dust lightly with icing sugar. Turn the sponge onto the paper on the work surface with the tin foil facing up then carefully peel off the baking paper. Spread the cream leaving a clear edge. Using a sharp knife make a shallow cut on one of the short edges (there is no specific width but I would say around 2cm?).
3. Roll this edge over tightly to start. Use the sugar dusted paper to help continue the tight rolling by pulling it away from you as you roll. Finish with the join underneath, then lift the roulade onto a serving plate or board using a wide spatula.