Making Swiss Rolls have never been my forte. In fact, they were my nemesis among cakes. When I managed to get a pleasant looking matcha swiss roll with no cracks, I knew I have conquered them, at least for a moment.
The success in the making of this matcha swiss roll presents itself as a timely arrival for the yuletide season. Talking about Yuletide, Singapore doesn't experience winter. Well in fact, it is summer all year round here. That doesn't dampen our mood and excitement for the Chirstmas season however. We do have our fair share of countdowns and partying.
Log cakes are the choice of desserts when it comes to dining and wining in the month of December. Other sweet goods such as fruit cakes (slightly less preferred), panetonnes and puddings are less common in our culture.
Actually, log cakes are swiss rolls formed and decorated in the shape of logs. Normally, I would associate log cakes with chocolate. For a change, it might be good to have a matcha log cake. Now that I am successful with my matcha swiss roll, all that is left is to add some red beans, coat it with a layer of frosting and dress it up.
I am still contemplating on what log cake/s I should make. A chocolate log cake is definitely on the top of my to-do-list. Next up would be either a tiramisu, mocha or matcha red bean log cake if I can spare the time. I am quite ambitious this december, hoping to make at least 5 different kinds of cookies (definitely includes chocolate chip cookies) and at least one log cake. It is going to be loads of baking.....Wish me luck!
Matcha Swiss Roll (Sponge recipe adapted from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷)
Serving size: 8 to 10 slices
Taste and texture: Cake base is soft and moist. Matcha buttercream is buttery and velvety.
Equipment and materials:
1) 12 x 12 inch pan or 10 x 14 inch pan
2) Stand electric beater/ handheld electric beater
4) wire whisk/balloon whisk
5) Mixing bowls
6) Wire rack
7) Flour sieve
8) Parchment/baking paper
9) Brush for oiling pan
10) Weighing scale
210g whole eggs, room temperature (about four 55g eggs)
20g egg yolk (about 1 yolk)
80g caster sugar
2 tsp matcha powder
80g cake flour
60g butter, melted
Swiss Meringue Matcha Buttercream:
60g egg whites
55g granulated sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened but still cold
2-3tsp matcha powder (start with 1 tsp. add more if desired.)
Making Cake Base:
Pre-preparation: Line the swiss roll tin with baking/parchment paper. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Combine dry ingredients: Mix the flour and matcha powder together in a large bowl to ensure they are evenly distributed.
Beating whole eggs: In a mixing bowl, beat whole eggs and egg yolk with 80g caster sugar on medium speed untill eggs are well aerated and have expanded about 4-6 times in volume. The beaten eggs should be thick and fluffy. When the beater is lifted, the falling batter leaves a ribbon like trail that does not level with the rest of the batter immediately. This is know as the 'ribbon stage'. This will take about 5-8 minutes depending on the type of mixer used. Continue to beat the foamed eggs on low speed for abother 2-3 minutes. This is to stabilize the egg mixture.
Folding dry ingredients into beaten eggs: Sift one-third of the dry ingredients into beaten eggs. Fold using a balloon whisk, gently and gradually, untill the dry ingredients are incorporated. Repeat this twice for the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a flexible spatula every now and then to incorporate flour that is stuck to the sides and that which have sunk to the bottom. We want the beaten eggs to deflate as little as possible in the folding process.
Adding the butter: Scoop a small portion of the flour-egg batter and mix it with the melted butter in a medium bowl until smooth. This makes it easier to fold the butter into the main flour-egg batter. Add this butter mixture to the main bulk of the flour-egg batter. Fold gently to obtain a evenly mixed foamy batter.
Baking the sponge: Pour cake batter into lined tin and bake at 190 degrees C for 8 to 12 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted at the middle comes out clean. The top skin of the cake should be springy when pressed. Once done, remove cake tin from oven and place on a wire rack. Cover the surface with a sheet of aluminuim foil or baking paper or a piece of damp cloth to keep the sponge moist.
Preparing the Matcha Buttercream:
Dissolve sugar in egg whites: Place 60 egg whites and 55g granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl. Sit the heatproof bowl on a saucepan filled with water. The base of the bowl should not be in contact with the water. Bring the water in the saucepan to a slight simmer. Use a balloon whisk and stir the egg whites and sugar constantly until the sugar has fully dissolved (egg white mixture should not feel gritty) and the mixture is warm to the touch (test by inserting a finger). The egg white mixture should not feel gritty.
Beating egg whites: Remove the heatproof bowl and beat the warm egg white mixture on medium high speed to obtain stiff peaks using an electric beater. At stiff peaks, the beaten egg whites will not budge when bowl is overturned. When the beaters are lifted from the beaten egg whites, the surface of the egg whites should form stiff upright peaks (not drooping peaks). The beaten egg whites should be cool to the touch (room temperature), not warm like when it was removed from the saucepan.
Adding butter and matcha powder: Beat in 125g butter into the beaten egg whites in 3 batches, ensuring each batch is incoporated before adding the next. The mixture might turn watery when butter is added. Continue beating and the buttercream will firm up. Beat until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Lastly, sift in 2-3 tsp matcha powder and continue beating to obtain a smooth matcha buttercream. Add more matcha if desired.
Turning the cake out: Turn the baked sheet cake onto a piece of baking/parchment paper. Slowly peel off the attached baking/parchment paper from the cake. Place a new piece of baking/parchment paper over the sponge. Invert the sponge again, carefully. Now, peel of the top piece of baking/parchment paper. The skin would be stuck to the baking/parchment paper and would be removed.
Rolling the cake: Make a few slits across the breadth of the cake at the side nearest to you with a knife. Apply buttercream evenly over the surface of the sheet cake. With the shorter side/breadth facing you (if using 10 x 14 inch pan), roll the cake up tightly to form a swiss roll.
1) Add some sweetened red beans to the matcha buttercream before rolling to get a matcha red bean swiss roll. I omitted this because I could not find any canned red beans.