Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baking with Flavours - Lemon Swiss Rolls

Have you ever wondered, what is your favourite flavour when it comes to baking? For me, it would be durian, chocolate and lemon, in that order of preference. Ashamedly, I have yet to get my hands working on any durian bakes even though I consider myself a self-professed durian lover. Transporting durians poses a major challenge to me as the King of Fruits is not allowed on public transport over here due to its overpowering aroma which may be deemed pungent by some. Maybe I will work on a durian dream cake for my coming birthday, but that will take quite a few months to happen. 

On the other hand, chocolate is a staple in my pantry. Whenever I pass by baking supplies stores or supermarkets, I will always make a concious effort to stock up chocolate pistols, bars and cocoa powder (Valrhona especially, neat!). 

Lemon is highly versatile and probably the most widely used fruit when it comes to baking, I supposed. It brings out a pleasant, soothing, tangy fragrance when used for baking and I tend to incorporate it in a variety of bakes such as cookies, tarts, cakes and cheesecakes. The results never fail to amaze me.

Previously, I mentioned that my baking nemesis is Swiss Roll. After a couple of practice, I think I have gained some confidence and a better comprehension on how to handle this trouble maker. The key is to roll the sheet cake tightly. If the initial roll is good enough, there shouldn't be much problem later on. Even if the sponge breaks at the start, the cracks will be well concealed once the swiss roll comes together.

This time round, I tried using the chiffon method for the first time (for swiss rolls) to make this Lemon Swiss Roll. Where sponge cakes are concerned for me, chiffon cakes are preferred any time over genoise. To date, I have yet to try out the separated-eggs sponge method for swiss rolls or any bakes. It is said to yield a soft and fluffy sponge and is recommended by Grace and Bee Bee.

As compared to swiss rolls made via the genoise sponge method, this lemon swiss roll is soft, very moist, fine crumbed and fluffy to the bite, not forgetting that it has a nice citrusy touch imparted by one of my favourite baking ingredients.

Instead of using the lemon buttercream stated in the book, I used my leftover Honey Lemon Buttercream for the filling. Although it may require a little more effort to produce a swiss meringue buttercream, the results are worthed every effort put in. I am offically a Swiss Meringue Butttercream convert.

I will be submitting this entry for this month's Aspring Bakers #5: Fruity March  hosted by Jess from Bakericious.

Lemon 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, moist and fluffy. Honey Lemon Buttercream is buttery, tangy and velvety.
Equipment and materials:
1) 12 x 12 inch pan or 10 x 14 inch pan
2) Stand electric beater/ handheld electric beater
3) Spatula
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
11) Grater/zester

Lemon Chiffon Cake Ingredients:
80g egg yolks, room temperature
25g castor sugar
2tbs + 1 tsp corn oil
1 tbs lemon juice
2tbs water
zest of 1 lemon
70g cake flour
160g egg whites
65g castor sugar

Honey Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

65g sugar
60g egg whites
150g unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened but still cold
3 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice, strained
honey, add to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extact

Making the buttercream:
Dissolve sugar in egg whites - Place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl sitting over a pan of slightly simmering water without the base of the bowl in contact with the water (double-boiler). Whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Rub the egg white mixture with your fingers to check if it is still gritty to test if the sugar has fully dissolved. Egg white mixture should be warm to the touch. Remove bowl from the heat. Do not allow egg whites to scramble/coagulate.

Beating egg whites - Beat egg whites with an electric beater on medium high speed until whites are very stiff and glossy. Egg whites should form stiff upright peaks and will not budge when bowl is overturned. Egg whites should be cool to the touch at this point.

Incorporating butter - Add in butter to beaten egg whites in 3 additions and beat on medium speed. The mixture may become watery as butter is being incorporated. Just continue beating. After the third addition, beat the mixture until it becomes fluffy and firm, like creamed butter.

Flavouring the buttercream - Add lemon juice and vanilla extract to buttercream and beat well to mix. Add in honey by the tablespoon to taste.

Making the chiffon sponge:
Prepare Oven and line pan - Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line tin with baking/parchment paper.

Preparing the egg yolk mixture - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 25g castor sugar, vegetable oil, water, lemon juice and lemon zests until combined. Sift in cake flour to egg yolk mixture and mix until smooth and well combined. 

Beating egg whites - In a metal bowl, beat eggs whites starting with low speed. When the egg whites turn frothy, slowly increase the speed to high and beat until egg whites are soft peaks (egg whites form peak that is drooping). Add the sugar (65g) slowly at this point and continue beating until egg whites are nearly stiff but still moist and not dry. This is when the bowl is overturned, the egg whites would not budge. Egg whites will form shiny and creamy upright peaks when beater is withdrawn. Take care not to overbeat the egg whites as they will become dry or may water out.

Folding egg whites into egg yolk mixture - Fold one third of beaten egg whites with a balloon whisk into egg yolk mixture to lighten and mix well. Incorporate another one third of the whites. Lastlty, add the rest of the egg whites and fold gently to obtain a smooth uniformly coloured foamy batter. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula to ensure batter is well mixed.

Baking the cake - Pour batter into a 12 x 12 inch tin or 10 x 14 inch lined swiss roll tin and bake for 8- 11 minutes. Start checking for doneness at 8 mins. Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean

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 2/3 of 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. Use the remaining 1/3 buttercream to frost the exterior.
1) Apply the amount of buttercream desired for the swiss roll filling. The rest can be kept and chilled for frosting cupcakes etc.
2) Make the buttercream first before making the chiffon sponge cake.


  1. it look so lovely, neat and nicely rolled (: so yummy! i love lemon too! is like my ecstasy ;D

  2. I have also read that using the separate egg method will prevent the sponge layer from cracking when rolling. I an going to give this method a try. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Very neat & pretty swiss roll Bakertan! great job! :)

  4. I've only made 1 swiss roll so far, and the result was hedious.
    Yours look so well rolled.

  5. Even from the pictures itself the cake super moist and soft!

    I haven't tried a swiss buttercream before because I thought it's a bit mafan - why is it better than other types of buttercream? :)

  6. Wow! So pretty and looks so delicious
    Those kind which I will never have enough :P
    Thks for sharing!

  7. honey and lemon are a match made in heaven. i like how they boost each other's flavor. the swiss rolls looks really fluffy and you got me tempted to get this book from the bookstore

  8. Nice swiss roll you have there... looks light & fluffy!

  9. hey jasmine,

    thanks. Hi five man... lemons rock when it comes to baking =]


    hey doris,

    thank you =]


    hey HHB,

    I'm tempted to try the separated eggs method. Would like to see how it works out.


    hey cathy,

    thanks for the compliments, thats really nice of you =]


    hey Jess,



  10. hey wendy,

    my first few rolls were all disastrous. I then realised I have been using the wrong pan size. I must have taken close to 10 tries to get a good roll. I'm sure you will be able to do it. You're talented =]


    hey janine,

    yup its super moist and soft.

    swiss meringue buttercream doesn't require a thermometer unlike italian meringue. Its alot better than the usual 'american' buttercream where you just whip butter with icing sugar.

    the texture of american buttercream is gritty and can be overly sweet, especially if its chocolate buttercream. personally I prefer my frostings to be as low content in sugar as possible and velvety in texture and this are all the benefits of swiss meringue buttercream.

    do give it a try and you will know what I mean.


    hey alice,

    thank you =]


    hey jean,

    ya! honey and lemon are a couple made in heaven. you should get the book. once you get it, you will be itching to try out most recipes. I'm dying to try out yam swiss rolls, sweet potato swiss roll, coffee walnut and toffee. all looks uber good. I'm sure they taste superb too =]


    hey wendy,

    thanks! I still have a lot to learn. I love your durian swiss rolls, they're as good or even better than store bought ones.

  11. ZY, you passed with flying colours!

  12. You're becoming a master in swiss rolls! Love the lemon yellow colour. So nice and cheery. Hope to have a chance to sample your swiss rolls some time.

  13. hey bakertan,

    thanks for the quick reply! swiss buttercream sounds like a really good idea esp since i like low sugar frosting too! shall try it out soon :]

  14. Lemon makes any recipe taste refreshing. Those rolls look amazing. I have never tried

  15. hi,
    1. can i use this swiss buttercream to replace whipping cream in non-bake cheesecake recipe?

    2. do u use dairy or non dairy whipping cream for your cheesecake cos i was told that non dairy is easier to whip but not so healthy?

    3. other than for frosting cake, are there other ways of using swiss buttercream?
    thk u so much for your help.
    Belle :)

  16. hi rhubarb recipes,

    rolls are similar to frosted cakes except that it takes only one layer of sheet cake which needs to be rolled up. With some decorations and frosting on the exterior, swiss rolls can transfrom into log cakes easily..


    hi belle,

    1) nope you can't. non-bake cheesecakes are essentially mousse cakes that are much firmer (gelatinous), hence whipping cream is required.

    2) both dairy and non-dairy will work. I've only used dairy whip cream in my bakes. Dairy whip cream is harder to whip as I have heard from others, but taste wise it should be better (subjective, just like butter is compared to margarine). Cream itself isn't very healthy since it contains lots of fat.

    3) Swiss meringue buttercream can only be used purely for frosting/filling cakes, swiss rolls or cupcakes. The main purpose of buttercream is for frosting unlike whipping cream which can be used to make cake batter, frosting, ganache etc.

    hope the above helps =]

  17. Oh boy, I am salivating when I read about your description about your delicious looking lemon swiss roll ZY. :P LOL! Soft and fluffy, honey but hint of citrus..sound so good! Looks like I have to try out this recipe too, hahah! Hey, chiffon method is very good too, just look at your perfect roll! BTW, i gotta try out Swiss Meringue Buttercream too! Got problem I call you ah, since you are such a support and pro with it, heehee!

  18. thks alot ZY, i love your quick response n helpful tips :) belle

  19. ZY, your swiss roll looks nice and neat. I have promised to make chocolate swiss roll for my daughter but energy level still low :P. Thanks for the AB submission.

  20. Hi, I would like to ask how do u store un-used buttercream? After the buttercream is done, do u placed it in the fridge or leave it in room temperature? I put mine in the fridge and it became hard. When I was ready to spread it, it was quite hard and I had to leave it at room temperature for a while before it becomes spreadable. After that it's not as smooth and fluffy. Can u give me some advice on this? It'll be a great help.

  21. hey Jess,

    Hope you get back your energy soon!


    hey Duc,

    store unused buttercream refrigerated for up to one week or frozen up to one month.

    let chilled/frozen buttercream defrost/soften and beat until it is smooth and fluffy again before use. it should be as good as when it was freshly made.


Dear readers, thanks for visiting my humble little blog. Feel free to leave a message so that I can learn and be a better baker. Its a great feeling to share our culinary experience and adventures in the kitchen.

Thank you and have a nice day! Cheers =]

Related Posts with Thumbnails