My friend hosted a Super Bowl party this past Sunday, which I took as the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a brand new recipe – a roulade (or a Swiss Roll if you’re less fancy). This recipe was a pretty standard chocolate Swiss Roll (courtesy of Love & Olive Oil), but I put my own twist on the glaze by making it a Mexican Chocolate Swiss Roll. I’ve learned plenty about roulades through The Great British Baking Show – anyone else excited about the potential reunion of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in The Great American Baking Show? – so I figured this was a good place to start the blog up.
Anyways, I thought that a Super Bowl party was a good place to bring a giant cake. With which you need forks. And plates. And preferably a separate plate from your wings and beer cheese. So really, I was the worst. But let me tell you. This cake, turned out pretty dang well, and was so worth spending $20 on baking ingredients that I needed to restock on.
Speaking of which, let’s go ahead and get into my first mistake of February 4th, the Day of the Swiss Roll. I go to the store, I grab my ingredients (the cheapest I can buy, which must make for the best cake) and come back home. As I start measuring out ingredients, I open the baking powder and, well, it doesn’t quite look as I remember baking powder looking. Upon further investigation, I discover that I’ve bought two different brands of baking soda…
BUT let’s turn that lemon into lemonade, shall we? I discovered a neat little trick. If you ever find yourself sans baking powder, but still have the small container of cream of tartar you bought for meringue two years ago and enough baking soda for a science fair volcano, you’ve got yourself some baking powder in the making! You can fashion yourself some homemade baking powder by mixing in 2 parts cream of tartar for every 1 part baking soda. And let me tell you, life changing.
So let’s roulade-ing on my process for this Swiss Roll. (I am so sorry.)
First, I sifted all of my dry ingredients. I’ll be the first to admit that I never sifted ingredients in the past. Who has time for it? Well, turns out that it sure does make a difference. But also made me realize that I may need a slight upgrade in my equipment if I plan on ever sifting again. Look at this poor little guy, bent out of shape and stumpy, just like me.
Next, I used my $15 mixer from HEB – which got the job done just fine, okay? I DON’T NEED A KITCHENAID MIXER AS BADLY AS I WANT ONE – and mixed my wet and dry ingredients together. After the butter and chocolate popped in the microwave (after I completely forgot I was supposed to stir it after the first 30 seconds), I poured that in and mixed it up. From there, I cut up my parchment paper (which looked like a 3rd grader’s scrap paper for their art project) and set it on the buttered jelly roll pan.
Now, I think we’re ready for Mistake #2. I poured my batter into the 11″x17″ pan, thinking to myself, “This seems like such little batter for such a big pan…” Sure enough, the instructions said 10″x15″, not 11″x17″. So here I am, with all of the batter poured into a pan much too large for my batter and the lack of ingredients and patience to put together another batch. So, I picked up my parchment paper from the 11″x17″ and proceeded to dump that mixture into the greased and parchment-paper’d 10″x15″ pan.
I baked until the cake was springy to the touch and let it cool down juuuuuuuuust enough so that I could roll the cake and give it that muscle memory that people always love from their desserts. So as I roll the cake, I pray to any god and every god that there are no cracks. That I wouldn’t be a failure in my first blog post.
Well, welcome to Mistake #3. Apparently I didn’t pray enough because there was a single crack right down the middle:
But damnit, I put the right amount of frosting in so it didn’t burst at the seams and the crack wasn’t deep enough to see the frosting on the inside, so I’m calling it a success! After cooling it in the fridge for a half hour (AKA 20 minutes, tops), I took it out, and went to work on my chocolate glaze. I heated up the cream in a ceramic bowl that we usually use for cereal and soup, begged the universe not to crack one of my last remaining Ikea ceramic bowls, and gently stirred in the chocolate. Luckily, the universe was very kind to me. The bowl didn’t crack and the chocolate was beautifully silky. The last thing to do was give my chocolate the signature Mexican Chocolate touch. I gradually added cayenne and cinnamon until it got to a flavor I was comfortable with. For the 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and 3/4 cup of heavy cream, I used 1.5 tsp of cinnamon and .75 tsp of cayenne. The spiciness of the cayenne and cinnamon played perfectly off that chocolate and offset the pure sweetness of the marshmallow filling on the inside.
And last, but not least, we cannot forget Mistake #4. Since it had marshmallow filling on the inside and reminded me of a Mexican Hot Chocolate on the outside, I decided to try and toast some marshmallows under the broiler to put on the top of the cake as a decoration of sorts. Well, when it comes to keeping marshmallows under a broiler, you better keep an eye on them:
And no, those aren’t mini flan. Or those Popsockets that you put on the back of your phone to make sure you can hold on to it. Those are my poor, poor marshmallows. I tried a total of 3 times before I gave up and settled on a decoration-less Swiss Roll.
In any case, I’m proud to say that I feel like I did a pretty damn good job for my first time making a Swiss Roll. So much so, that a couple of my friends refused to believe that I made it and thought I bought it from a grocery store. And that must have been the first time I was excited to be called a liar.