A Bake in the Life: Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll

After watching the first episode in the new series of the Great British Bake Off, I was inspired to make my own version of a Swiss Roll! I decided to use a basic chocolate swiss roll recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book and adapt it with the addition of orange. Using 4 eggs gives the chocolate sponge a really light texture, and the filling can be changed depending on your favourite flavours or on what ever you have in the cupboard. I decided on using orange extract for a good flavour, mandarin oranges for sweetness and candied peel for decoration 🙂

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Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll

You will need:

4 Eggs

4 oz/100g Caster Sugar

2½ oz/65g Self Raising Flour

1½ oz/40g Cocoa Powder

2 Tbsp Orange Marmalade

10 fl oz/300ml Double Cream

1 Tsp Orange Extract

1 Tin Mandarin Orange

A few pieces of candied orange peel and icing sugar to decorate

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 7/220ºC/425ºF, grease and line a 13 x 9 in (33 x 23 cm) swiss roll tin with grease proof/baking paper.
  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and frothy.

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  • Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture and carefully fold until fully combined.

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  • Turn the mixture out into the prepared tin, ensuring it’s level before baking for about 10 minutes until the sponge springs back when touched.

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  • While the cake is cooking, place a piece of non-stick baking paper a little bigger than the size of the tin on the work surface and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Turn the cake onto the sugared paper and peel the paper off the bottom of the cake.
  • Roll the cake firmly from one end, with the paper inside and leave to cool.

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  • While the cake is cooling, warm the marmalade gently to make it easier to spread, drain the mandarins and pat dry on kitchen paper.
  • Whip the double cream until light and fluffy, then add the orange extract.

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  • Carefully unroll the cooled cake, remove the paper and spread with the warmed marmalade and whipped cream.

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  • Lay the mandarins over the whipped cream, then gently re roll in the paper and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.

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  • When ready to serve remove from the paper, sieve over some icing sugar and top with a few pieces of candied orange peel.
  • You are all done 🙂

I really like how the slightly bitter flavour of the cocoa powder and marmalade is well balanced with the sweet orange cream and juicy mandarins. I decided to top the finished swiss roll with a dusting of icing sugar and thin pieces of candied orange peel. It is easy to change this recipe to suit your own tastes, whether that’s a vanilla sponge instead of chocolate, raspberries instead of mandarins or jam over marmalade!

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Rolling the swiss roll is definitely the most difficult part, as if you let the sponge cool too much before rolling it into shape it may not hold it’s roll or it may crack. Roll slowly, while the sponge is still warm and with the grease proof paper underneath to ensure a good shape, and make sure the roll is fully cooled before adding the filling. I also found that chilling the swiss roll after filling it helps it to hold it’s shape! If you do have problems just sieve over some icing sugar to hide the cracks or cover with some buttercream icing – nobody will mind as long as it tastes delicious (Unless it’s Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood of course!) 🙂

A Bake in the Life…

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A Bake in the Life: Sticky Buns

I love watching the Food Network. It never fails to give me new ideas of things to cook, make and bake. My most recent inspiration comes from an episode of Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa series, where Ina recreates recipes she originally produced while running her gourmet food store – Barefoot Contessa. As soon as I saw her make these sticky buns I knew I had to have a go at making them!

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Sticky Buns

You will need:

For the sticky bun sauce:

6oz/180g Softened Butter

1½oz/40g Light Brown Sugar

2oz/50g Chopped Walnuts/Pecans

For the pastry filling:

2 sheets of Puff Pastry

1oz/30g Melted and Cooled Butter

3oz/80g Light Brown Sugar

3 tsp Mixed Spice/Cinnamon

9oz/250g Sultanas

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Let’s get started!

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/392ºC/Gas Mark 6.
  • Grease/line a 12 cup muffin/bun tin.

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  • Cream together the softened butter and light brown sugar.

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  • Place a tbsp of the butter/sugar mixture in the bottom of each of the cups.

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  • Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly among the cups, on top of the butter/sugar mixture.

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  • On a lightly floured chopping board/surface, unroll the puff pastry sheet out flat.

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  • Brush the sheet with half the melted butter, leaving a 2½cm border around the pastry.

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  • Sprinkle the sheet with half of the light brown sugar, sultanas and mixed spice/cinnamon.
  • Roll the pastry up snugly like a Swiss roll.

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  • Trim the ends down by around 1cm and discard.
  • Slice into 6 equal pieces and place spiral side up on top of the butter/sugar inside the tin.

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  • Repeat using the other sheet of puff pastry, to make 12 sticky buns.

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  • Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes, as the caramel produced at the bottom of the cups will be very hot!
  • You are all done! 🙂

I really enjoyed making these sticky buns! The recipe is simple to follow and the nuts, sultanas and spices can be changed to suit your personal tastes. When you tip the buns out of the muffin tin, the caramel underneath soaks the puff pastry. The puff pastry is flaky and filled with crunchy nuts and soft sultanas which are complimented well by the spice. They taste amazing warm, so after they cooled I heated them up in the microwave to remelt the caramel. I would recommend trying them with ice cream. Definitely have a go at making them!

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A Bake in the Life…