Swiss rolls remind me of my little girl self, nose and hands pressed against the looking glass of some Asian bakery looking in, yearning hungrily for a log of sugar-sprinkled swiss roll tightly wound with fluffy whipped cream. Strawberry-coloured, chocolate, green pandan or butter sponge—the flavours hardly mattered since I adored them all. I remember wishing my mother would bake a swiss roll rather than pandan chiffon cakes but she never seemed to grow a desire for them like her daughter did. We did however, purchase truckloads of swiss rolls from the Katong bakeries or from the Parkway Parade mall whenever we did a local lunch (yes…lip-smacking laksa and Dou Gan Pau…mm) and shop over the weekend or after visiting the now defunct Marine Parade Library. Other times we bought our swiss rolls off the refrigerated cake displays of the similarly now-defunct Cold Storage Katong. The bliss of a well-fed weekend with a bag of Nancy Drew mysteries or Roald Dahl classics like Matilda or Charlie & The Chocolate Factory was made complete by those unforgettable swiss rolls. Even back then, I secretly had the makings of a lifelong book worm, baker and foodie.
Little Me: “Mum why won’t you bake swiss roll?”
Mum: “Too much trouble lah”
Little Me: “’Tis not” (disappointed)…
Mum: “Next time you grow up you make for me, yah?”
Little Me: “I will. When I grow up I will make you the best swiss roll ever. Better than the one from Cold Storage.”
This one’s for mum, and for my husband who will eat a a hard wood log if you put matcha powder on it sprinkled with some sugar.
You may also like Green Tea Ice-cream
Note: Please read the instructions carefully before you embark on this recipe. You’ll want to pay more attention to my last four final paragraphs as these are important tips and techniques pertinent to the success of this recipe.
Matcha Swiss Roll Ingredients:
4 large eggs (yolks and whites separated) + 1 tsp cream of tar tar
4 TB sugar
50g self-raising flour
1 + 1/2 TB matcha (green tea) powder mixed with 2 TB warm water
2 TB melted butter or 30g corn oil
200ml thickened (whipping) cream
2 TB caster sugar
2 TB icing sugar
120g red bean paste or cooked sweetened red beans
2 TB Icing Sugar + 1 tsp matcha (green tea) powder to dust on top
P.S. Start With Making The Cream FIRST!
Directions for Whipped Red Bean Cream:
Using electric beaters, beat whipping cream till it doubles and takes on a creamy consistency.
Add the icing sugar and caster sugar and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes. If you prefer a strong red bean flavour, beat the red bean paste or red beans into the whipped cream together with the sugar. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Otherwise, you could spread it over the whipped cream later.
Directions for Matcha Swiss Roll with Red Bean Cream:
Grease and line a swiss roll cake tin with greaseproof paper ensuring all the edges are well lined. Heat oven to 180 degrees.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites in a large mixing bowl. Put the whites into a stand mixer bowl. In the egg yolk mixing bowl, sieve in cream of tar tar. Using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons sifted pure icing sugar and 2 TB caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the self-raising flour and beat again for about another minute.
Add green tea paste (green tea powder mixed with 2 TB warm water and mixed to thick paste) into the flour-yolk mixture and stir in to mix well.
In the separate mixer stand bowl, with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites at high speed for at least 3 to 4 minutes or more until stiff peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and continue to whisk on high speed for another minute.
Using a folding spoon, incorporate and fold the stiffened egg whites into the green tea cake batter, taking care to ensure it is well mixed. Add the melted butter (or oil) and fold in again. Transfer the batter into the baking tin and using a scraper, flatten the surface as best as you can to minimise any air bubbles.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once done, remove from oven but do not let cake completely cool in tin.
Instead, have a large piece of greaseproof paper on your work top. Flip the swiss roll out onto the paper and carefully flip it again so that it looks exactly like how you took it out of the oven, but now it is on your work top instead of in the swiss roll tin.
P.S. Ignore the following at your own peril!
Now lay a piece of tea towel next to swiss roll then lift it up carefully using the greaseproof paper and transfer it on top of the tea towel. Working quickly, make a shallow slit across the bottom of the swiss roll about an inch above the edge. Start rolling the greaseproof paper like a giant sushi, as tightly as you can all the way to the end of the roll, lifting the paper as you roll so that your hands are not contacting the swiss roll. Now that the swiss roll is a log shape, wrap it with the greaseproof paper again, then wrap it with the tea towel.Leave it for 3-5 minutes to cool.
Unroll the tea towel and greaseproof paper so that your swiss roll is now almost flat again.
Start spreading the whipped cream ,then the red bean paste or red beans onto the top of the whipped cream, smoothing it out evenly with a palette knife as you go.
Roll the swiss roll again like you have done earlier, taking care to keep it as tight as you can. Twist the edges so it looks like a giant candy. Wrap it with the tea towel and refrigerate the swiss roll for at least overnight or up to a day or two before serving.
Before serving, slice off the ends to reveal the cross section of the swiss roll.
Dust the top of the log with icing sugar and a tsp of matcha powder. Just look at that…your very own Matcha Swiss Roll with Red Bean Cream.