Swiss Roll with Poppy Seeds and Lemon Curd Filling Recipe


Cakes River Cottage HandbookThe Americans call this type of cake a ‘jelly roll’, while the French know it as gâteau roulé. No one is quite sure why we call this feather-light, rolled-up sponge a Swiss roll. It doesn’t seem to have any particular link with Switzerland. In fact, this simple rolled cake – or something like it – is made the world over. You can easily alter the recipe by adding flavourings to the sponge or by tinkering with the all-important gluey filling. In this case, some delightfully sharp lemon curd sets off the sweet, nutty flavour of the poppy seeds in the sponge.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


For the Cake
  • 75 g plain flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
For the Filling
  • 1 quantity Lemon curd
To Finish and Equipment
  • Caster sugar, for dusting
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • 20 x 35 cm Swiss roll tin, base-lined with baking parchment, and sides and base lightly greased and dusted with flour
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5. Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using either a hand-held electric whisk or a free-standing electric mixer, whisk until the mixture has almost quadrupled in volume, is very light and fluffy, and holds its shape. This will take around 7–8 minutes with a hand-held whisk and 4–5 minutes in a free-standing electric mixer.
  3. Add 1 tbsp warm water and fold in carefully. Sift half of the flour over the mixture and sprinkle in 1 tbsp of the poppy seeds. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold them in before adding the remaining flour and poppy seeds in the same way. Scrape down the sides of the bowl well with a spatula.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out lightly and evenly, making sure it fills the corners of the tin.
  5. Bake in the oven for 12–14 minutes until the sponge feels firm to the touch in the centre.
  6. Have ready a piece of greaseproof paper 10 cm larger all round than the Swiss roll tin. Lay the paper on your work surface and dust lightly with caster sugar.
  7. As soon as the sponge comes out of the oven, turn it onto the sugared paper. Remove the tin and carefully peel away the baking parchment. Roll up the cake from the short side, rolling the sugared paper inside the cake as you go. Lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
  8. When you are ready to fill the sponge, carefully unroll it. Spread the lemon curd over the sponge, leaving a 1 cm margin free all around. Then, using the greaseproof paper as a guide, re-roll the cake. Place it, seam side down, on a wire rack or serving plate and dust with caster or icing sugar before serving.
  9. This will keep for 3 days in an airtight tin but it is best eaten within a day or two.

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