Friday, September 6, 2013

Matcha Swiss Roll

Alright, you got me.

I'm obsessed with matcha.


Maybe it's the mossy green color. Maybe it's the deep, musky flavor. Whatever it is, it's got me permanently hooked--and for good reason too. Matcha is a wonderful addition to any dessert you wish to make. It adds a great depth to everything and anything. What I have chosen to use with it this time is a matcha Swiss roll. 

Ah, good 'ol Swiss roll. I honestly never thought this day would come, where I would attempt to make a swiss roll. But alas, the day has finally arrived. And to my surprise, I made a wonderful discovery: SWISS ROLLS ARE REALLY NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE! :D So why I have always been so afraid to make them, I really do not know. It's probably the actually rolling of the cake; the fear that every inch of the delicate cake with crack and tear. However, if done properly, the cake will turn out just beautifully. 

As I was rolling the cake, my lungs almost collapsed from holding my breath in fear and anticipation. Please please please please please please PLEASE let this come out well. Please don't let this whole cake crumble into nothingness. Oh my.....oh my gosh.....did it work? It actually worked! Yes! I made a Swiss roll!!!!!!!

I made a swiss roll. Successfully.

What more can I say? I finally achieved something I've strayed away from for so long. None of the filling spilled out, the cake stayed in place, it had a nice shape, and it tasted absolutely delicious. A cake this good could only originate from a recipe that I borrowed from Keiko. Her recipes are flawless and so easy to follow. I will forever trust her expertise. 

She calls her recipe a Souffle Swiss Roll, which makes perfect sense because the end result is a cake that is so fluffy like a souffle. However, what makes this recipe extremely unique from those I've seen before is that this recipe includes a choux pastry. The overall process for the cake batter consists of three elements: choux pastry, meringue, and an egg yolk mixture. 

As usual, I've added a few of my own personal touches to the recipe. In this cake, I added matcha powder and toasted walnuts to the whipped cream filling. Who would've thought that walnuts pair so well with matcha? Looks like it's time for another recipe review. 

Recipe Review:

Taste: This cake is perfect for those of you who want dessert but don't have the biggest sweet tooth. The cake itself is just sweet enough to be called a dessert and the filling has enough sugar to make it taste more than just whipped up cream. The matcha is subtle, which doesn't make it taste bitter or dry.
Texture: So spongy and fluffy. The whipping of the egg whites really increase the fluffiness and sponginess of this cake. It is very moist and the walnuts add a nice crunchy texture to the dessert.
Level of difficulty: Although I previously said that Swiss roll really isn't that difficult to make, I wouldn't recommend a beginner make this cake. It can be a little hard to roll and can easily be over-baked which results in a dry and brittle cake. However, if baked the appropriate amount of time, it will be very easy to roll and assemble. Also, this recipe has many steps, which can be somewhat confusing.
Appearance: It's beautiful! A nice, tight roll with walnuts and whipped cream peaking out in every slice. This could easily be served in the most elegant of bakeries.

Matcha Swiss Roll
adapted from Keikos Cake 
makes 1 cake

Matcha Cake
a) 120g milk
    35g butter
    40g flour, sifted 
    70g egg, beaten

b) 70g egg yolk
    35g sugar

c) 120g egg white
    75g sugar

1 cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted 
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Matcha cake:
Prepare a 12x12 inch pan. (I used a Drommar 15x10 inch pan.) Coat the bottom of the pan with butter and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.  
a) Combine 80g milk with butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the milk begins to boil, add the sifted flour all at once. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir the mixture until all the flour is incorporated. Mix until the batter has thickened slightly and has formed into a ball shape. If a thin film appears on the bottom of the pan, don't be alarmed. That is completely normal. 
Put the mixture into a separate bowl and gradually add the remaining 40g of milk, making sure to incorporate all the milk thoroughly. Once all the milk is incorporated, begin the same process with the beaten egg. Set the choux pastry aside.

b) In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites. Gradually add the sugar once the whites become foamy. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

c) In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and the sugar. Beat the mixture until it becomes pale and thick. This might take a few minutes. 
Now that all three elements are done, it's time to combine them. First, preheat your oven to 325°F. Combine the choux pastry and the egg yolk mixture. Once that is thoroughly combined, add the meringue in thirds, making sure to fold in the meringue and not to deflate it. 
Spread the batter onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. After baking, immediately remove the cake from the pan but don't remove the parchment paper. Let cool completely. 
In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip the mixture on high until stiff peaks are formed. Be careful not to over beat or you will make butter. Once stiff peaks are reached, fold in the chopped walnuts. 

Remove the parchment paper from the cake and place the cake on a new sheet of parchment. Spread the filling over the cake. Now it's time to roll the cake. With the short end facing you, make a small roll. Then, holding the tips of the parchment paper, slowly roll up the rest of the cake. The parchment paper should be used to push the cake and roll it. Wrap the cake with the parchment and 'tie' up the ends, like a hard candy. Place it in the fridge to set for about 45 minutes.

So as you can see, a Swiss roll really isn't that complicated to make. Although there may be a few steps to take, it generally is a pretty easy cake to make. If you're afraid to come face-to-face with a Swiss roll like I used to be, well my best advice for that is, don't be. One day, you'll have to overcome your fear and conquer the Swiss roll! If things don't go as planned, don't be discouraged. Just keep trying, like I did with macarons. So I hope you do try this recipe out and I hope all goes well.

As always, 
Happy Baking!

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