Swiss roll

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This feather-light cake should be eaten freshly baked.

Makes 1 Swiss roll

Preparation time: about 45 minutes

Baking time: 14 minutes

Oven temperature: 180°C

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 30ml white sugar
  • 50g (60ml) castor sugar
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • 70g (125ml) flour, sifted
  • 15ml cocoa, sifted


  • 200ml cream
  • 270g dark chocolate, coarsely grated
  • about 300g berries (we used raspberries and strawberries)

1. Preheat the oven. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks; add the white sugar and whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Now whisk the egg yolks, castor sugar, vanilla essence and salt in a separate bowl until light.

2. Fold the flour and egg whites into the egg yolks until just combined. Don’t mix too much – try to retain as much of the air as possible. Spoon out 300ml of the batter and mix with the cocoa. Spoon this chocolate batter into a piping bag.

3. Line a 28 x 36cm baking tray with a sheet of plain white paper and, using a pencil, draw a star on the paper (use a cookie cutter as a template). Cover with a sheet of transparent baking paper and spray with non-stick spray. Cut the piping bag open and ‘colour-in’ the stars with the chocolate batter, following the pattern on the bottom sheet.

4. Bake the stars for 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then spread the vanilla batter over the baked stars. Smooth it out evenly and bake for a further 12 minutes.

5. Turn the cooked Swiss roll out onto a clean chopping board while it is still warm and carefully remove the baking paper. Turn the cake over again and place it, star side down, on a new sheet of baking paper (or a clean tea towel) sprinkled with castor sugar. Using the paper to help you, roll it up carefully. Leave it to cool rolled up – this prevents the cake from cracking when you add the filling. Heat the cream for the filling to just below boiling point, pour over the grated chocolate in a mixing bowl and stir until melted. The filling should be thick, glossy and spreadable.

6. Carefully roll open the cake, spread a thick layer of chocolate on the inside and sprinkle a layer of berries over that (cut the strawberries and bigger berries smaller if necessary). Roll the cake up and serve on a pretty platter.

Other filling ideas
Classic Swiss roll fillings include jam and cream or caramel; but with all the Christmas ingredients available, you can get creative with crumbed fruit mince pies and chocolate, leftover tiramisu cream or even softened ice cream. Use your imagination!

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April 2023

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