Chocolate & Strawberry Swiss Roll
with White Chocolate Whipped Buttercream
It’s hard to recall life before falling hard for the Great British Bake Off almost six years ago. While one might argue the early days with Mary Berry, Mel and Sue were the best–and one would not be wrong, even the current roster of hosts and Prue Leith as co-judge eventually grew on me. What really makes GBBO, after all, are the contestants and the camaraderie between them that I’m noticing some American cooking competitions trying to mimic, maybe realizing we don’t care about being cutthroat in the kitchen?
Before you think this is an infomercial for GBBO, I bring this up because for all my baking and cooking prowess, there are some recipes I never attempted simply because they seemed too complicated. Swiss rolls definitely fell into that category, and while there were some failures on GBBO, watching them being made over and over again gave me the courage to leap into the kitchen and try making them for myself.
What you realize after your first Swiss roll bake is that in actuality, they’re one of the easiest, and most forgiving cakes to make. So easy, in fact, one can be made in between zoom calls during the workday (true story).
The day I decided to make this cake, baking wasn’t even on my mind but I’d been inspired by an abundance of strawberries sitting in the fridge after buying a 2-pound package on sale at the health food store before local strawberries came into season here. As you might’ve guessed, they weren’t super sweet but I was now tasked with finding a solution to use them up that didn’t involve making jam, and so my mind wandered to cake.
I didn’t really have the time nor desire for a full-on strawberry shortcake. Then I remembered how easy a Swiss roll is to make, and in less than 30 minutes was back at my laptop while the baked, rolled cake was cooling, awaiting filling between the next round of zoom calls.
The berries needed some coaxing, so I marinated them in a smidge of sugar–honey, even maple syrup would be fine if you wanted. Hopefully you’ll be able to skip this step all together, and will be using perfectly sweet berries but it’s a good trick to know for the future.
Once strawberries are gone for the season, you can use this as a base recipe for making a Swiss roll cake with every other berry you come across this season–blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, even stone fruits like apricots and peaches would be delicious here.
Hope your week is filled with pockets of peace, as hard as that may feel to summon right now. Remember to be kind, both to others and to yourself. Take the necessary breaks to recharge your mind and body for this long road we have ahead of us. xo–j.
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