lunedì 25 agosto 2014

Summer swiss roll cake :)

So, here we are again.

I can't even describe how weird is coming back here (and at home as well). It was a very long time I didn't visit the blog anymore. For once again, I disappeared somewhere in the world looking for new things and ideas. ;)
Joking apart, many things have changed in these three months of stillness. It is always the same: when changes take place in my life I explain and show them after a while. I think it is mainly a matter of understanding what's going on. And I have to do it by myself, alone. Far away from my normality.

I missed the blog-routine. I missed writing above all, and cooking. That's what I was thinking about most of the time. The desire to bake a yummy chocolate cake or an unlimited tower of pancakes was so strong. With some new fabulous cookbooks in my hands, I thought I could get crazy at all. Thanks God I had my camera with (actually almost new camera. Yes, finally it turned into a 5d Mark II!!) and my lovely chubby Fuji as well, with which I took tons of pictures. I think it was a silent way to express my feelings in completely (or almost) unknown places of a huge metropolitan city. I really felt I lost words sometimes and pictures could say them better than me. And I learned it, with this experience. A camera was all what I needed. The rest was unnecessary.

I still have to realize so many things about what happened. I'd like to understand the meaning it had for me and who I am now thanks to it. Here I said that you would have understood one day, but actually I think it is not the right moment yet.
Patience and time. These the two things I still have to learn about life.
I will introduce news once at time, calmly. I need to stop and breathe. For a little only.
Tidy up all the mess around and inside me and keep going with this new chapter.

New things will happen here too. I promise I'll tell you everything. But not now. I think we have time, don't we?

The swirly swiss roll cake you see is the one I baked some days ago for my dad's birthday party. It was such a lovely family party my sister and I organized in one of our fav places located in our valley. It was a pic-nic party with tons of good and healthy food, great beer and sun which my place hasn't seen for a long time during the Summer (and which seems totally disappeared even now).

I was thinking of this pic-nic since the whole Summer and I was happy we could enjoy it together. The menu was pretty off topic (I mean, I decided to prepare falafel and cous cous for a pic-nic at 2040 m of altitude!) and definitely far away from the traditional dishes in my area, but in the end it turned into the perfect choice for the occasion. Summery and fresh flavors for one of the unique sunny day of this crazy italian Summer (I was told about this by family, of course).

The cake was my very first attempt with the genre (yep, I like making my life complicated ;) ). The idea of baking a swiss roll cake has always scared me, mainly because I heard about the delicate dough you have to work with and that it could easily go broken when you are rolling it. Actually, I can say I was very lucky with the crucial passage (and you will say it's the beginner's luck. And I will say “yes it is”, 'cause I basically followed the wrong order of steps all the recipe long but this didn't compromise the result, don't ask why since I really don't know the answer!) and I think the final result can prove it was the first time. It is a bit flattened/pressed and not very round or swirl, but it was incredibly delicious so that I decided to post it anyway. The base was moist and fluffy and the filling so yummy. I avoided cream since I don't like very creamy (I mean with tons of whipped cream) sweets and I used ricotta instead. I found out it is a super valid substitute, healthier and lighter. I simply added a homemade blackberry compote a friend gave me and the cake was done.
You can put every ingredient you prefer, such as fresh fruit pieces with the sugared ricotta. It would work for sure! And if you want to overdo, let's put a (moderate) layer of chilled Nutella or chocolate cream. And with a swipe of icing sugar heaven is almost there.

It is so great being back here, folks.
I really missed this place.

Enjoy :)

Summer swiss roll cake (with ricotta and blackberry compote)


for the swiss roll cake base:

120 g sugar
60 g plain flour
2 eggs
butter for the baking tray

for the filling:

250 g ricotta
some tbs sugar
blackberry compote or any other pretty liquid jam

to serve:
icing sugar

Whip the egg yolks with 60 g of sugar until you get a very whipped and fluffy mixture. Beat the white eggs with the left sugar until stiff. Mix the two mixtures lightly with delicate movements (keeping a whipped texture). Add the flour slowly, sifting it in the dough and keep mixing.
Grease a baking tray with butter and cover it with waxed paper and roll out the pastry until you have a thickness of 1.5 cm. Bake it to 180° for around 10 minutes.

Take the base off the oven and turn it upside down on a kitchen cloth (with the waxed paper upwards). Remove the paper quickly from the base. Roll the pastry tight to the cloth and let the base completely cool. Unroll carefully the cake.

Mix ricotta with sugar until in order to have a soft cream. Spread a first layer with the sugared ricotta and then add some spoons of compote swirling the two stuffings. Roll the cake again.

For a top result: at this point, put the swiss roll cake inside a piece of waxed paper and roll it tight. Close the edges of the paper as a candy packaging. Leave it in a cool place for one hour.

When you serve: sift some icing sugar on the top of the cake. It is undoubtedly better with it.

  • if you are in a hurry (as I was ;) ), you can skip the hour of rest at the end of the preparation. Simply sift some icing sugar and serve. It goes without saying that in this case the result won't be perfect at all (you will have the flattened cake I had ;) ) but the taste won't suffer for it. It is an aesthetic matter which is important to consider. Doubtless if you follow every right step you will get a top swiss roll cake. Which is better! :)