Friday, May 14, 2010

Swiss Roll-Gourmet, April 1972

The recipe is from a James Beard article about tea-favourites. There's also a recipe for Queen Cakes that has become a favourite with Danny (small muffins with cherries and raisins). There's a seed cake recipe in the article as well, which is tempting (I adore seed cake) but I suspect I'd be the only one who enjoyed it, and after a small slice, I rarely want another.

So this cake-not the best Swiss roll I've tasted, but not bad either. I think I prefer the one from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens, but the Beard one is novel in the use of cornstarch for part of the flour. I mean, there simply isn't that much variation in spongecakes-a bit more or less sugar, some zest, or vanilla, cornstarch or cake flour. Once you slather it in homemade jam and coat it with chocolate ganache (not in the Beard recipe) you won't really care. Well, I won't care...because there's chocolate, and jam. Because the ganache recipe makes quite a bit, I ended up with a tray of truffles as well. I didn't know him, but James Beard looked like the sort of man that could enjoy a truffle, and while his recipe was for a rather plain, dusted with confectioner's sugar cake-I doubt he's somersaulting in the grave over the addition of some chocolate and heavy cream. I mean, have you ever made the cream biscuits in Beard On Bread? A cup of heavy cream AND you dunk the whole thing in melted butter before baking? No, I don't think Beard would object to the ganache. Not one bit.

For the cake:

In a bowl, beat 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until they ribbon when beaters are lifted. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold into the yolk mixture. Sift together 1/4 cup each flour and cornstarch. Sift them over the egg mixture and fold in carefully. Add 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla extract and grated lemon zest.

Butter a jelly roll pan, 11x16 and line with wax paper. Butter the wax paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the batter in the pan and bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen edges with a knife and turn cake out on a towel (he suggests a damp towel, I simply used a dry one dusted with confectioner's sugar). Because Beard does a different filling/topping with his, my treatment of the roll after baking varies a bit. Here's what I did:

Roll up cake in towel and let cool about ten minutes. Unroll carefully, spread with strawberry jam and re-roll. Chill. While cake chills (and it must be cold before you pour on the ganache or it will lose the gloss) make the ganache below. Place cooled cake on a rack over a pan and pour ganache spreading carefully to smooth. Chill, and decorate with fresh fruit.

For the ganache:

12 ounces (or as much as 16 for a heavier coating) chocolate. I used a combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet. Chop it as finely as you can stand dealing with (12 ounces is a lot of chopping).
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Combine cream and corn syrup in a pan and heat until steaming. Pour over chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla (or any other flavouring/booze you like). Pour over cake. Gather up excess from pan and chill in a bowl-when firm, roll in powdered cocoa and make truffles.

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