Sponsored post in collaboration with Bake Box.
Not so very long back I reviewed the Spots & Stripes Bake Box, which is billed as “the brand new subscription box designed for blossoming bakers to build up a brilliant repertoire of new skills as well as a collection of great baking equipment.” So far I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the items included but up until the weekend I had yet to try any of the recipes included in the box.
This weekend I finally plucked up the courage and baked the Polka Dot Swiss Roll. You see as much as I love baking and consider myself quite au fait with different techniques and the science behind baking but when it comes to cake decorating, fancy icing and anything to do with piping bags in general, well it’s a different story all together. In fact the very notion of having to do anything remotely artistic has me breaking out into a cold sweat. I’m sure this comes from an old, particularly grumpy at best, art teacher of mine writing in a school report that “Georgina tries hard but lacks any natural talent”. Nice eh? I’m not sure teachers could get away with comments like that these days.
Happen Bake Box could help alleviate my fears? Oh indeed it could! Clear concise recipe instructions guided me through the surprisingly simple process and no kitchen melt downs were had. It felt, in a way, as if I had a kindly assistant in the kitchen with me, guiding me small step, by small step towards Polka Dot Swiss Roll success.
Swiss Roll is a light sponge cake with a filling such as jam, cream, or lemon curd. It is rolled into a log shape, and has a spiral pattern when sliced. The origin of Swiss Roll is not as you may have thought, Switzerland, but its beginning is still a mystery. Some think it is an old English recipe, some think it is possibly inspired from the Austrians. Historians believe it was invented around the 19th century.
Wherever the origin, Swiss Roll have a long history of being particularly popular in the UK and as a result, the cake was well-known among countries that were influenced by the British Empire such as Hong Kong and India. So inspired by Chetna Makan of Great British Bake Off fame I give my Polka Dot Swiss Roll a flavour of the East by filling mine with some sweet and sultry rose petal preserve along with the traditional plentiful whipped cream.
Bake Box’s Polka Dot Swiss Roll is based upon the idea of the Japanese Deco Rolls. Deco rolls are rolled up sponges with bright patterns adorned on the side, which are usually filled with fruits and cream. Typically the top of the sponge is left plain so that the sponge pattern can be seen. The Bake Box recipe suggested piping whipped cream on top of the swiss roll and decorating with raspberries and chocolate discs, but inspired by the tradition of leaving deco rolls unadulterated (and partly because the idea of getting the piping bag out again gave me the shivers) I decided to go for a simpler effect - drizzles of molten white chocolate scattered with freeze dried raspberries and rose petals to draw upon the rose petal jam hiding within. I also scattered with a little edible glitter for a little glitz and glam.
You’d think making a polka dot sponge would be complicated wouldn’t you? In reality it isn’t complicated at all but way the polka dots are constructed is so clever - basically you create a meringue/sponge hybrid which you then colour and then pipe that directly onto your silicone spotty mat which came in the box, you then set the polka dots in the freezer for a few minutes while you whip up the plain Swiss Roll sponge, and very gently spread the plain sponge over the pink spots before baking for 10-12 minutes. Eh voila perfectly round pink spots. I’m not going to lie, I did shriek with joy when I saw them; I might even have done a little happy dance too.
Yes, it’s only one recipe but I feel inspired to try some more decorative bakes out now. Maybe I do have some “natural [artistic] talent” hiding within me after all and it just needs a little gentle coaxing to come out.
Would you like Bake Box to help you bake like a pro? Why not enter this giveaway competition to win yourselves a Spots & Stripes Bake Box?
For the Polka Dots
Oil for greasing
75g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g Icing sugar, sieved
2 Medium egg whites
75g Plain flour, sieved
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 drop Rainbow Dust ProGel® in pink
For the Sponge
3 Medium eggs
125g Caster sugar
125g Self raising flour
For the Filling
300ml Double cream
2 tablespoons Icing sugar
250g Rose petal jam
For the Topping
100g White chocolate
2 tablespoons Rose petals (edible)
2 tablespoons Dried raspberries
pinch Edible glitter
For the Polka Dots
1. Place the polka dot silicone mat in a greased 24cm x 39cm Swiss roll tin and brush lightly with oil.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Gradually beat in the egg whites until mixed in.
4. Add in the vanilla and pink colouring and stir in until the batter is evenly tinted.
5. Finally fold in the flour.
6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm plain nozzle and pipe it onto the circles on the silicone mat.
7. Chill in the freezer while you make the plain sponge mixture.
For the Plain Sponge
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC or the equivalent.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale-coloured.
3. Sieve in the flour and gently fold in.
4. Remove the tin from the freezer.
5. Carefully pour the mixture into the tin, pushing it into the corners with a spatula so it is evenly spread over the polka dots and giving the tin a little shake so the mixture finds its own level.
6. Firmly tap the tin on the work surface to burst any air bubbles in the mixture.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
8. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin then roll up in a tight spiral while still warm with the silicone mat inside.
9. Carefully unroll the sponge again and leave it to cool completely whilst it is still on the mat.
For the Filling
1. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until holding its shape.
2. Spread the cream over the sponge using a palette knife, leaving a 2cm margin at one end.
3. Spoon the jam over the cream, and roll up the sponge, carefully peeling it off the silicone base as you do so.
4. Trim the ends neatly with a sharp knife and lift the roll onto a serving plate.
For the Topping
1. Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie then drizzle it over the Swiss roll.
2. Scatter with the rose petals and dried raspberries.
3. Scatter over the edible glitter, if using.