Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll

Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Yes!!  A Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll!

No no, don’t back away, come back!  

I know!  These are intimidating!  Holy heck, right?!  And scary!  Well, not scary to eat, scary because we’re always afraid the cake will crack and split as we roll it up. 

And hey, even if it happens split a little, just close your eyes, who cares, it’s deeelicious. 

Honestly, I think the cracking and splitting is most potentially caused by an incorrect cake formulation.  Bold statement; I’m not trying to diss anyone.

So many workarounds have been invented to account for the possibility of an un-rollable cake when if you have the right one, it’s actually a non-issue. 

Oddly I thought I’d attempt this Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll as my birthday cake.  I say oddly because my goal for the Week of Becky this year was to take it easy, minimize stress

So what do I do?  Pick a recipe I stressed the heck out over.  I know, makes no sense.

Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll plated
But, turns out, there was nothing to stress about and bonus, the feeling of immense accomplishment bolstered my Week of Becky-ness in the end.  Win, win, win. 

This Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake is deh-licious.  I want to highlight and note that everything about this cake is light as air.  The cake is light and fluffy, the chocolate flavor is light, the creamy filling is light…Light and delicate, the whole thing. 

Point being, don’t be expecting a Little Debbie Swiss Roll Cake or deep rich chocolate flavor or dense and heavy. 

While I love me some well-balanced rich deep chocolate or on occasion, dense and/or heavy, if you will, sometimes it’s nice to go the light, fluffy, delicate route.  Elegance is what this is.

Variety is the spice of life. 

Yes, a rolled cake, it’s a bit more involved than say, a mix and bake or a one bowl wonder.  Again, the sense of accomplishment as that first forkful hits your mouth is so uplifting which makes taking on a slightly bigger baking project intensely worth it. 

I know, this probably still seems quite scary.  You can do this.  I know you can.  Trust me.

Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
There are a lot of things I love about baking, a lot.  Some are hard to quantify or put in words but one thing I love is the learning, expanding my skill set with the added bonus of something tasty at the end.  It’s like two rewards in one. 

And if there’s one thing working in theater taught me, and oh it taught me a lot…   …People say everyone should wait tables or work retail once in their life; I think they should work in theater for a stint as well. 

If there’s one thing theater taught me is you just have to get it done.  Don’t know how to do xyz?  Figure it out.  Deadline?  Meet it.  Can’t find xyz?  Create it. 

Theater teaches you, not to be cheeseball here, a can-do attitude.  Dive in and get ‘er done. 

That’s what I did with this Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll.  After pacing around in nervousness, cursing for tormenting myself during Birthday Week, I dove in and got ‘er done. 

So let’s do this.  Come on, you’ve got this, stay close, I’ve gotcha.

working with egg whites
To start, you'll whip up egg whites in your stand mixer* or with an electric mixer,* either or.  Very easy, whip to stiff peaks then set that aside.  The cream of tartar in there gives the whites extra support.

egg yolks and sugar in a bowl
Working with the yolks next, whisk* them up with some sugar in a large mixing bowl* then whisk in the cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed* for a bigger chocolate flavor or you could probably use black* for more of an Oreo bent), oil, water, and vanilla.  Simple, right?

adding cocoa powder and more ingredients to yolks
Ok.  Next we sift in the small amount of flour and baking powder.  The flour is minimal, feels not right, but it is.  Use a fine mesh strainer* to make the job a piece of cake.  Ah ha, cake pun.

sifting flour into yolk mixture
Grab a nonstick spatula* and the whipped whites, scoop out a quarter of the whites, dollop it into the yolk bowl, and fold them in completely.  Gently but mix well.

folding egg whites into cocoa mix
Counter clockwise from top left:  quarter one whites; quarter two whites; last batch of whites to mix in.
You'll repeat the quarter scoops of whites but this time, leave some streaks of whites behind each time to avoid that dreaded over-mixing thing.

finished Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll batter
Batter done!
Into a parchment paper* lined rimmed baking sheet,* spread out that batter nice and level either with the spatula or an offset* one.  Pop it in the oven and yeah!  Pat yourself on the back.

Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll batter in baking pan
When it's ready, give it a light poke with a finger and if it springs back a bit, it's done.  The cake might peel from the sides a bit too, another indicator.  Let that cool on the counter.

baked Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Ok, filling time!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy, whip everything together in your mixer. 

Yes, weird ingredient moment:  instant vanilla pudding.  You can't really taste it; its purpose is to stabilize the cream.  It keeps the cream from weeping and melting away so it is very key to success here.  Do not leave it out.  Gelatin is an option instead but I haven't tried it.

prepping filling ingredients
Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll assembly time!

If need be, use a knife or offset spatula to release the cake edges from the parchment, set a large cooling rack* over top, and holding both the pan and rack, flip it. 

flipping cake with cooling rack
Getting ready for flip one here.
Next, peel the parchment off very carefully.  It helps to start from a long end and peel low, close to the cake.

peeling parchment paper from cake
Grab another piece of parchment or reuse the same one, set it atop the cake, and same deal, flip it back over.
Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll cake final flip
Spread the filling out evenly all the way to every edge, lick the spatula, time to roll.

spreading filling across cake
Spin the cake around so the short edge is to you and gently start the roll.  Use both hands.  Tuck the end in semi-tightly but not too tight and keep on keepin' on with the roll.

rolling Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Yes, I did get a split here on the right side but it's buried inside the cake, no one will know.
Wow, you did it!  See?!

finished and sliced Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Set the cake on a plate and pop it in the fridge and anxiously await your impressive dessert.  Dust the top with powdered sugar or if you want, you even can mix up a ganache to spoon over.

To cut, I used a serrated knife* that I warmed with hot water to get nice clean slices.

Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll sliced side view
Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll.  Glorious.  Delicious.  Light.  Airy.  Fluffy.  Decadent. 

side view of sliced Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll
Truly a treat worthy of Birthday Week.  Or anytime, I mean, c'mon.

close up of sliced Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll

*The stand mixers, electric mixers, whisks, mixing bowls, Dutch-process cocoa, Black cocoa, fine mesh strainers, nonstick spatulas, parchment paper, rimmed baking pans, offset spatulas, cooling racks, and serrated knives are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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