What is a Swiss roll you may ask? Call it a jelly roll, jam roll, cream roll, roulade whatever! It’s a fluffy chiffon cake rolled in a pretty swirl of fresh cream. I took it a step further and made a coffee vanilla swiss roll with chiffon, coffee cream and covered in toasted almonds – magic!
What do I gotta know?
There are four traps that possibly await you when you make a swiss roll cake, and I refuse to let you slip in any of them! Make sure to read the notes below to get an easy smooth Coffee Vanilla Swiss roll.
How to make a meringue
Making a perfect meringue is crucial for a fluffy chiffon and therefore for our coffee vanilla swiss roll cake. But you’re in your head – it’s easier than you think!
- Clean mixing bowl: Any residual oil or yolk can prevent your egg whites from ever whipping up.
- Cream of tartar or 1/2 tsp lemon juice for every egg white will stabilize the egg whites. I promise that keeping cream of tartar in your pantry will be something you’ll be thanking yourself for!
- Take your time, don’t rush adding the sugar. In fact, the slower you add, the better it will dissolve into the egg whites.
- Check for stiff peaks: Lift the whisks and watch that the meringue stands at attention, instead of drooping! Also the egg whites shouldn’t slide if you tilt the bowl, and finally zero bubbles in sight.
Can I make my own cake flour?
Cake flour is ap flour sifted with a bit of cornstarch, so why the big deal? The addition of cornstarch achieves a lighter and more tender crumb. On the other hand, ap flour has a higher gluten content, which is great when you want a chewy texture. But for our coffee vanilla swiss roll, we want a light heavenly bite!
Here is how you how can make your own cake flour:
1 cup of ap flour, remove 2 tbs of ap flour and replace with 2 tbs cornstarch.
Why is my swiss roll rubbery?
Mixing is the name of the game. While you make this coffee vanilla swiss roll, think gentle, elegant and smooth moves. Especially words to remember when you make the flour mixture. Overmixing the cake batter will result in a chewy and rubbery cake layer.
Why is my swiss roll sticky?
This is nothing to worry about! Your cake is moist and fluffy and when you roll the cake, all the moisture will make the cake sweat. At this stage, I would make sure to roll using a tea towel or parchment paper, but never plastic wrap. Dusting in powdered sugar before rolling also helps with the stickiness.
Why did my swiss roll crack?
A cracked swiss roll is more likely to happen if the cake has been overbaked or if it was rolled after the cake is cold. Is this really an issue? Nah, its cosmetic at best and easily hidden with the cream. You will still have a delicious coffee vanilla swiss roll despite the cracks!
Make a vanilla coffee swiss roll with me!
Coffee Vanilla Swiss Roll
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar (25g)
- 5½ tbsp cake flour (45g)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar (its a powder not a sauce!)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 3¼ tbsp milk (50ml)
- 2¾ tbsp neutral oil (40ml)
- 3 egg yolks (set egg whites aside)
- 4 egg whites
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar (50g)
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Coffee Cream & Final Touches
- 2½ tsp powdered gelatin (vegan folks this is optional!)
- 10 tsp water
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp instant coffe (more to taste)
- 1-2 tsp coffee liquer (optional, add to taste)
- 2 cups toasted almonds, finely ground
- Line an 8x12” rectangle cake pan with parchment paper, cut a slit down the corners so that it fits in neatly.
- Preheat the oven to 325°
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and ½ tsp cream of tartar.
- Add the yolks (set aside the egg whites) oil, vanilla extract, and milk. Stir only to combine, don’t over mix.
- In a clean metal/glass mixing bowl, whip egg whites on slow speed till large bubbles start foaming at the edges, add the ¼ tsp of cream of tartar.
- Now increase speed to medium, and whip until the bubbles have become smaller and tighter, the egg whites should be frothy. Slowly add the sugar, bit by bit.
- Increase speed to high, until you have stiff peaks. The egg whites should be completely homogenous - zero bubbles and they should appear glossy like satin. You will know its stiff peaks when you lift up the beater and the peak at the whisk stands straight and does not droop!
- Gently fold ⅓ of the meringue into the flour mixture, once incorporated well, you can incorporate the rest. Never stir! Use the spatula with wide and smooth gestures to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl into the top.
- Pour batter into your lined cake pan into the middle, you can use an angled spatula to spread the batter evenly.
- Tap the pan on the counter once, to release any large air pockets if any.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes at 325° until the skewer comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then dust with powdered sugar on top and flip cake over a cooling rack and remove the paper.
- Let cool on the cooling rack for 5 minutes.
- Dust the top with powdered sugar and place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cake - with edges hanging off the corners.
- Flip the cake over and from the long side, fold the parchment edge over the cake -should be about 2-3 inches. You will use this to tuck the edge in to start rolling. The parchment paper will be between all the folds. Make sure to roll the cake before it cools entirely to avoid cracks. Refer to video!
- Grap a kitchen towel to create a nook for the roll to sit while it cools and you prep the coffee cream. I like to do this so I’m not left with a totally flat bottom on my roll.
- Fill a heatproof cup with 10 tsp water and stir the gelatin. Heat the mixture in the microwave set at defrost, we want the water to be warm and not hot!
- While the gelatin mixture cools, grab a cold mixing bowl and start beating the cream, sugar, instant coffee and coffee liqueir(if using).
- Once the cream starts coming together (the whisk will leave visible tracks) pour the runny gelatin slowly between the whisk and the bowl.
- Stop beating once you have stiff peaks and use it immediately to assemble the swiss roll.
- Unroll the cake and spread an even 1cm layer of cream on it, avoiding an inch around the edges. Roll up again from the long edge using the parchment paper to push the cake into itself.
- Cover with a towel and refrigerate for a minimum 15 min to set before slicing or decorating.
- Toast two cups of finely crushed almonds in a pan set at low-medium heat. Flip repeatedly so as not to burn the almonds, and remove once it’s golden in color.
- Either with a spoon or a sifter, cover the roll in the toasted almonds and decorate with the reserved whipped cream. Cutt off the sides with a serrated knife for a cleaner presentation.
- Voila! Now go enjoy the thing!