Happy mistakes are always welcome (thanks Bob Ross).
It is my birthday today, so I decided to make a cake for my coworkers. This cake started out with plans of becoming a layer cake. But the Universe said that a layer cake was too passe’, and I needed to turn my attempt at cake decorating into a swiss roll.
I had every intention of making a chocolate Genoise cake. I was mixing along with the recipe, and then forgot to add 2 components that would have made this the perfect cake.
There isn’t much to a genoise cake: 6 large eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 cup of flour. For this swiss roll, I substituted 1/4 cup of flour with cocoa powder.
I love making this cake because of the chemical reactions in eggs. To get the proper texture in the sponge, the eggs have to be whisked over a double boiler, for making cakes, that is usually a large bowl on top of a simmering pot of water.
The eggs and sugar are whisked over the heat until they are foamy, and warm to the touch. Then the vigorous whisking starts. All recipes I have found suggest an electric mixer for this, because it takes a while even with modern conveniences. It has to be whisked until the eggs have tripled in volume. This is where I lose my patience and rush things along. DON’T DO THAT! Do not make this cake to this example, a future one, yes, but not this time.
The flour and the coco powder go in the mix next, but before that happens they have to be sifted. I had the forethought to sift them together before I started, so I had tan flour to work with. It was pretty. The flour mix has to be added slowly so the air isn’t taken out of the eggs, so mix slowly with a big rubber spatula if you have one.
I wanted to just cut a sheet sponge into the shape of a square cake, so I used my biggest sheet pan I have. I poured the cake batter into the sheet pan, and put it to bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Sheets cakes are thinner, and don’t take as long to bake as long as cake rounds.
The cake was in the over for about 2 minutes when I saw the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and vanilla that I was supposed to add in the batter with the flour.
DAG NABBIT! I ruined my genoise! but wait, I told myself, I can just turn this into a Swiss Roll. The filling is simply whipped cream, made with powdered sugar instead of granular, it disperses differently, and I feel it makes a lighter whipped cream. I spread it out evenly and gently rolled it up. Of course, a bunch squirted out the end, but I expected that. Rolls always squirt out like that.
With encouragement from my room mate, and reminders f what we have learned from watching Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood on the Great British Bake Off, I was able to create a perfectly rolled, not cracked Swiss Roll.
To all that have a birthday! Happy Birthday! For everyone else who is eternally 29, Happy 29 again.