The challenge was actually supposed to be a decorated Swiss roll, which is all the rage on Japanese sites and are pretty amazing. You create a design, freeze it on parchment paper, then bake the cake over it. Voila, it transfers to the cake. But, uh, here’s mine without the decoration:
Looks pretty good, huh? Well, this is actually how it looked at the beginning:
Funny thing…when you write letters on parchment paper to be transferred to the cake, they end up backwards after lifting out of the pan. Duh! Bret recommended I use the flip utility on the editing software and Bob’s-your-uncle. One problem, though. It ended up pretty ugly. I had plenty of the luscious, buttery chocolate buttercream frosting and ended up covering the whole thing. Kind of looks like one of those Christmas Yule Log cakes I’ve always wanted to make. So, now I’ve made it.
The cake was soft and fluffy and the buttercream complemented it wonderfully. You have to keep it in the refrigerator because it will almost immediately melt if it’s warm in the room.
I’m definitely going to try this again and next time it’ll be right. The transfer of design was fascinating – you just color some of the batter, draw your design on parchment paper in the pan you’ll cook the cake in, freeze the design for about 30 minutes, then pour the remaining batter over it and bake. Look at Korena’s and you’ll see how beautiful they can be.
Chocolate Buttercream Swiss Roll
****Tasted wonderful even if it wasn’t pretty! Cake recipe by Manali and frosting adapted from another source.
2 sticks (1 cup) softened, room temp butter
1 tbsp. cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 C. unsweetened sifted cocoa powder
2 1/4 C. powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
Cream butter till fluffy. Add the cream and mix till fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Pour the melted chocolate chips into the butter mixture and combine. Lightly stir the cocoa powder into the powdered sugar and add 1/3 of it at a time into the butter mixture. Mix until light, fluffy and almost whipped in texture. Stir in the salt. Store in the refrigerator while putting the cake together.
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. water
3 tbsp. oil
1/2 C. plug 2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Separate the eggs by yolks and whites into two bowls. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, water, and oil, and 1/4 C. plus 2 tbsp. of the sugar till the mixture turns pale. Will take 4-5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and once they start foaming, add the cream of tartar. When it starts foaming again (10 seconds or so), add the remaining 1/4 C. of sugar. Beat till the white are at medium peaks (fairly firm with a slight bend). With a spoon, fold the flour mixture slowly into the yolk mixture till you have a fairly smooth batter. Fold in the beaten egg whites, one-third at a time, to the batter with slow, gentle strokes. You will still see some egg whites after folded – that’s OK.
Place parchment paper in jelly roll pan (15×11-ish). Draw the design you want transferred onto the cake and flip the parchment paper over (or you can do it freehand later). Remove about 1 C. (or however much needed for your design) and put into a separate bowl (or bowls if different colors). Color as desired. Put the colored batter into a piping bag and create your design on the parchment paper. Remember, letters will come out backwards onto the cake! Important: freeze the design for about 30 minutes, till firm. At this point, you can preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake and Roll:
Pour the remaining batter onto the designed parchment paper, tap the pan on the counter top to get out bubbles and bake for 8-9 minutes (watch it carefully until just brown around the edges). Meanwhile, generously sift powdered sugar onto a clean tea towel. After the cake is done, flip it out onto the tea towel (run a knife around edges before flipping if needed). Immediately remove the parchment paper (awww, look at your pretty design) and flip the cake again onto parchment paper (this way, when you roll, the design will show up on the outside of the cake). Gently roll up the cake and let cool down for about 30 minutes. Unroll the cake, gently and slowly, and fill with the buttercream frosting (if it has firmed way up in the refrigerator, add a tbsp. of cream and beat till fluffy). Gently roll up the cake again and chill for 2-3 hours before cutting into slices. Keep leftovers refrigerated!
Tips and Tricks
About that design – trace one from an already existing design (leaves for fall, pumpkins for Halloween, etc.) or if you’re totally talented, draw it freehand. You saw what mine looked like freehand, though. Ouch.
Be very slow and patient when rolling and unrolling the cake so it won’t stick to the parchment paper.
This is one of the best buttercream recipes I’ve found!