Tuesday 1 December 2015

Baking Christmas Cake: Chocolate Swiss Roll 巧克力瑞士卷

Who doesn't love chocolates? Today, I am giving you a double dose - Chocolate Swiss Roll plus whipped chocolate ganache. Are you jumping with joy yet? Admittedly, I am not trained in ways of baking. I consider myself a rookie. There is good in this though, for I do not have to conform to learned rules and techniques. And this has worked wonderfully for me. Just look at this beautiful roll!

In this recipe, I used my all time favourite (and popular post), the "tang mian" method again. This method requires the flour to cook in oil so that it has little chance of contact with water, resulting in lesser gluten activated. This method produces a soft and moist sponge that, in my opinion, is most suitable for a Swiss roll. I did not have any cracks ever, even on my first try. I adore this method so much I am following this method like the bible.

Today marks three new milestones. This is my first Chocolate Swiss Roll; and this is also my first Chocolate Swiss roll using the "tang mian" recipe (tweaked from my previous vanilla sponge recipe).  I just subtly changed the amount of flour versus cocoa powder. In addition, I borrowed the Japanese roll cake method to add a Christmas artwork on the cake. Just wondering if I could still call it a Swiss roll since it has been mixed with various Asian methods....haha!

As for the filling, I used a simple recipe of whipped ganache. This ganache acted to provide the necessary sweetness and richness as the cake itself was not too sweet. This is an easy to apply recipe that also keeps well. Perhaps, for the next round I would explore with chantilly cream and compare both of these.

What I absolutely love about making a Swiss roll is its short baking time, requiring only 1/3 of the time of baking a cake. Because it is just a thin layer, you almost always get an even, smooth sponge. Try this fool-proof Chocolate Swiss Roll recipe to see for yourself. You wouldn't be left disappointed. You have my assurance.

 And...if your Chocolate Swiss Roll really, really, have to turn out cracked and ugly, cover it with chocolate frosting and make a buche de noel out of it. Either way, you would succeed in baking a Christmas cake.

Baking Christmas Cake: Chocolate Swiss Roll 巧克力瑞士卷


For Pattern/Artwork

1 egg white
30 g granulated sugar
40 g flour
20 g butter
Your choice of food colouring

For Cake

40 g butter
45 g cake flour (I used superfine flour)
15 g dutch processed cocoa powder
3 large egg yolks
55 g milk
1 tbsp condense milk
2 drops coffee emulco (optional)

3 large egg white
40 g castor sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Cooking Instruction

1. Prepare batter for artwork. Mix egg white, sugar and flour into a bowl until combined. Add in softened butter and mix well. Separate batter according to the quantity needed and add in colouring. For mine, I used only the original batter. Put batter in piping bags. Pipe the outline first and the fill up the rest. Put into freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and pipe in subsequent colours. Repeat process until all patterns are filled with colours. Put into freezer until needed.

2. Preheat oven to 170C. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Sift flour together with cocoa powder. Put butter into saucepan and cook in small fire until bubbly. Switch off fire and add sifted flour with cocoa powder, whisking to combine mixture. Add in milk and stir thoroughly followed by egg yolks one at a time. Lastly, add in vanilla extract and set aside.

3. Prepare meringue. Whisk egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and continue to whisk on medium speed until soft peak forms. Whisk in sugar in 3 instalments. Whisk until meringue just reached stiff peak. The meringue should form a pointy peak with a slight hook when lifted.

4. Add 1/3 of meringue to chocolate egg yolk mixture and combine gently using the whisk. Repeat until finish. Change to a spatula and fold mixture from below to top. You will see chocolate mixture being lifted. Fold until all is combined.

5. Pour batter into a 7.5 X 11 inch baking pan. Use the spatula to level the batter. Lightly drop the baking sheet a few times to release air bubble. Put into preheated oven at 170C and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until cake becomes springy when pressed.

6. Remove from oven, cover with parchment paper and flip cake. Gently remove the baking paper with pattern. Cool for a a couple of minutes. Cover the top (the side with pattern) with a fresh baking paper and flip over again. Roll cake together with parchment paper and let cool completely.

7. When cake is cooled, open up the roll and slather generously with filling (recipe below). Re-roll the cake and wrap it up again, with pattern facing up. Refrigerate to firm up the cake and serve.

For Whipped Chocolate Ganache (to be prepared in advance)

100 ml whipping cream
50 g baking chocolate, chopped

1. Boil cream in slow fire until just starting to bubble. Pour hot cream into chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted. Alternatively, put both into microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval until chocolate is completely melted.
2. Cover ganache top with cling wrap and set aside to cool completely. Put into mixing bowl and whisk in high speed until ganache hardens and fluff up. Be careful not to over whisk or it will become grainy.

Prepare your choice of pattern/artwork the size of 2/3 of your baking sheet in advance. I would suggest an easy silhouette that is easy to fill up for beginner. 

Also check out my Christmas Surprise Cake here:

Or Christmas butter cookies here:


  1. What a beautiful Swiss Roll! You are a very talented baker.

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