Daring Bakers July: Swiss Roll

I have to admit there was a sharp intake of breath as I checked out the Daring Bakers’ challenge for July.  A “Swiss Swirl Icecream Cake” inspired by this:

(photo courtesy of the Taste of Home website)

I was kind of half expecting there to be a Jello layer in there somewhere! And weirdly, it reminded me of a wig.

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.


1. You must make the Swiss rolls, a filling for them, two ice creams and a fudge sauce, from scratch.
2. You must set the dessert in a bowl/pan etc in the order given in the recipe-Swiss roll, first ice-cream, the fudge topping and, finally, the second ice cream.

Ok, you probably know already that I am all about the challenge. The challenge of learning new techniques, that is, and for me, the technique I decided to focus on out of this five-part challenge was the actual swiss roll.

A Swiss Roll? Never made that and always wanted to = perfect.  I searched high and low for a “no fail” sponge cake and finally settled on a recipe from Gourmet (January 2001). My notes in red below.

Ahem, yes, there are no step-by-step pics of this one because it was SO hot when I was baking it and I was in a bit of a fluster wondering whether I was doing it right. Thanks Jen for being there on Twitter for me throughout the process!  And yes, my cake cracked – only a little but enough to mean that I needed a quick fix – ganache to the rescue!

I found this easy glaze at the Food and Wine website.

This was delicious but I had to coat the roll three times (each time letting the glaze harden slightly in the fridge) before I got a shiny solid surface all over the cake. This also makes A LOT of glaze. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.

But then I still thought it looked a little, shall we say, naked so I went ahead and made some candied orange peel that I thought I would decorate it with in some way. The recipe is from Bon Appétit (December 2008).

I got into a HUGE mess making this (again, no pics!) – how are you supposed to drain the peel from the boiling sugar syrup without it all hardening on the spoon or the strainer.  In any case, I ended up with some lovely long strips of candied peel and also some big lumps of it. I decided to grind the big lumps up in the spice/ coffee grinder and sprinkle it on top of the roll for some added colour.

Finally, I was satisfied. I might not have made the 5 part proper challenge recipe but I had my own multi-part challenge of my own. I learned three techniques that I have never tried before (the cake, the peel and the glaze to coat a cake) so I would say it was a successful personal challenge!  Very happy with the result – tasted SO good – as were our friends who got to taste the fruits of my labour on the weekend!

(yes, it’s nearly the same picture as the one above. I was playing with light and dark backgrounds!)

74 thoughts on “Daring Bakers July: Swiss Roll”

  1. Amazing Mardi !!!! Definitely a time consuming challenge but the finished product looks delicious !

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  3. Well done Mardi. Great take on the challenge. For a minute I thought the dome fm Taste of Home was yours… Love your scribblings and commentary through the post…fun and a beautifully set platter. Love the pairings…

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  5. Yes, this was yummy — though certainly seemed to be too much work.

    As a side note, “we” [ahem] used Filfar as a sub for Grand Marnier. (Translation: Mr. Neil supplied bottle from drinks cabinet, and replaced after Mardi had finished. No other credit can be taken in the creation of this dessert.)

  6. It looks very pretty Mardi. The cake was thin and you managed to get alot of “rolls” as well! GOod job 🙂

  7. Great job on the swiss roll! It almost looks like it is glowing with the way you photographed it with the grated candied orange peel on top. Looks lovely! Nice job on your challenge.

  8. That looks amazing! I must try making a swiss roll sometime – the icecream bombe part looks a bit… too much, if you know what I mean. I am confused about the swiss roll recipe to melt the chocolate WITH the 3 tbsp water, though – isn’t that exactly what you try to avoid when you’re using a double-boiler? If any water drops into chocolate while it’s melting, it’ll seize! So you made the right decision to leave it out.

    • I was confused too and should have just followed my instincts which told me NOT to put the water in. Then I wouldn’t have had to resort to using a chocolate Inukshuk because I already used all my real chocolate!

  9. I have never been brave enough to even think about candying citrus peel…! Well done! While there is no ice cream in your challenge, you certainly did challenge yourself, and I think that is the whole point of the Daring Kitchen. Congratulations on a job VERY well done!

  10. Wow, this looks amazing Mardi! Swiss Rolls scare me to death, I have yet to try one but something tells me mine will never turn out as good as yours has. I am a huge chocolate lover and this recipe is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Really loved your Swiss roll. It seems delicious.
    Your idea of grinding the big lumps of candied peel and use it as a decoration was great.
    Btw, you wrote the swiss roll picture at Taste of Home website reminded you a wig. For me it looks like a turtle! LOL

  13. It does look a little like a wig…too funny 🙂 I love the orange you added to your take on the recipe. Looks delicious!

  14. I love the orange and chocolate combination, especially with the marmalade.
    Had to make mine vanilla and chocolate (not that that wasn’t good) because my daughter wanted it that way. 🙂

  15. oh that taste of home cake is something else, isn’t it? are those slices of hostess ding-dongs covering it? and wig-like? um, yes.
    yours, now, on the other hand, yours looks lovely and delicious and like something i need to remember to come back to your archives to find come december 20th. with a few sugared cranberries, this should be on my holiday dinner table.

  16. First of all: too funny about the dessert looking like a wig. Second of all: I made a flourless chocolate roll, too! Not the same recipe as yours (although I have also made the leontine roll before and it really is fab).
    Nice job with the swiss roll. I also was too hot and rushed to bother with step by step pics. But your final result speaks for itself.

  17. This whole situation is just too funny. A wigish swiss roll mound. It is BEGGING for jello. And some of those paper things you stick on racks of lamb (not sure where they’d go but they somehow seem to fit with the theme).

    Your roll looks lovely. Not at all wigish.

  18. Grand Marnier whipped cream!!! That sounds fantastic! I’d ask for a slice, but it was probably all gobbled up within the first 10minutes of presentation. Congrats on a great DB challenge 🙂

  19. Wow. Just…Wow. I am so in awe by the time and effort and skill you put into making this cake, when I can’t even make a simple swiss roll without it cracking in 20 places.

    I bow to your prowess!


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