Sponge rolls, also known as swiss rolls, have long been a favorite cake of mine! It is very light in texture without being too overpoweringly heavy with sweetness. I’ve posted about the Chinese Sponge Cake a while back and even added fresh cream and strawberries to it. This time, I decided to switch things up and made a chocolate flavored one with a fresh cream filling.
To begin, you want to separate your yolks from your whites. You will have an extra egg white which you can save for another use.
Add the sugar to your yolks and whisk vigorously until the color has lightened and thickened. If you are smarter than I was, you would either use a hand or the stand mixer to use. Unfortunately I was too lazy to wash the bowl and whisk attachment and thus, painfully whisked it by hand.
Next, sift in the cake flour and cocoa powder. You want this mixture to be as lump free as possible!
Whisk, until the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is thick.
After your yolk mixture is complete, it’s time to work on the egg whites! Whip up your whites until it reaches a stiff peak. Don’t over mix them otherwise your cake will bake out to be very dry.
Add half of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate yolk mixture and whisk until it has lightened. Then, add in the rest of the egg whites and mix until smooth. Then, add in the milk and oil and whisk until combined. Towards the end, I switched to a rubber spatula to make sure the bottom of the bowl was also mixed in.
Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture out evenly and drop the pan onto the counter several times to release any air bubbles that may be trapped inside.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when a finger is gently pushed into it. Remove from the pan and allow it to slightly cool for about 5 minutes.
Take a new sheet of parchment paper, lay it on top of the cake, and flip it upside down so that the the top of the cake becomes the bottom. Slowly, peel off the old parchment paper.
There are different ways people roll their sponge rolls. Some people wait for them to cool completely before rolling, but I actually like to roll mine while it is still hot, as the cake is more flexible and less prone to cracking. To do so, take a tea towel and cover the cake, exposing only about an inch of cake.
Fold the exposed portion over the tea towel and begin to gently roll the cake and parchment paper into a log.
Once it is completely rolled, allow it to cool to room temperature.
As the cake is cooling, whip the cream. When the cake is completely cooled, gently unroll the cake from the towel and spread a thin layer of cream across the top. As you roll it back up, use the parchment paper to help keep it very tight and evenly round.
Refrigerate the entire roll for 10 minutes to allow it to set, then when ready to eat, remove the parchment paper, slice the cake up into one inch slices, and feast! Careful not to get too carried away! I told myself I would only “taste test” one slice but that quickly turned into two slices before I even cut the rest of the cake!
Chocolate Sponge Roll
4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 c cake flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa powder
3 egg whites
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp half and half
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp granualted sugar. You can either hand whisk it, use a stand mixer, or hand mixer. Mix until it has thickened and pales in color. Sift in the cake flour and cocoa powder and with a and held whisk, gently combine both mixtures until thoroughly incorporated and lump free. The mixture will be thick. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip up the egg whites and 3 Tbsp sugar using a hand mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks are reached. Add half into the chocolate yolk mixture and gently whisk together until the chocolate mixture has lightened and is not as thick. Add in the rest of the egg whites and whisk until it is a homogeneous mixture and no streaks of white or chocolate remain. Pour in the oil and half and half and whisk in completely. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to ensure every bit is mixed in. Pour into the prepared pan, spread it out evenly, then drop the pan onto the counter top to release any air bubbles. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cake springs back when it is gently pushed down with a finger.
Slide the cake out from the pan and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a new piece of parchment, cover the top of the cake and flip the cake upside down. The top of the cake is now the bottom, resting on the new parchment and the bottom is now the top, with the old parchment. Gently peel off the old parchment paper. To roll, place a tea towel on top where the old parchment was, exposing about one inch of cake on it’s long side. Fold the exposed portion of the cake over the tea towel, then begin to roll, using the parchment paper to help. Try to keep even pressure so it is evenly round throughout. Once completely rolled, allow it to cool to room temperature.
As it is cooling, whip the cream until it is stiff. Once the cake is cooled, you can gently unroll it out of the tea towel and parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream into a thin layer across the inside and tightly roll the cake back up. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow it to set and when ready to serve, slice into 1 inch slices and enjoy!