It was all about desserts on this week on the Great British Bake Off. As I have a stockpile of cake in my house after making the three-tired cake from Week 6 (my recipe and pictures are here if you're interested), I decided to only bake one of the challenges - the signature roulade. I took inspiration from a couple of the bakers in the tent - Salasi and Andrew :)
Using a decorative paste, I piped strawberries onto the base of the cake, and the roulade itself is filled with strawberry jam and soft cheese that has been marbled through with home-made lemon curd.
If you don't fancy the cheese element, you could use lightly whipped double cream instead - I'm just not a huge cream fan...
Makes one roulade
For the decorative paste:
- 40g butter, softened
- 40g icing sugar
- 40g egg whites (about 1 medium egg's worth)
- 45g plain flour
- Red food colouring (concentrated gel)
- Green food colouring (concentrated gel)
For the sponge:
- 4 eggs
- 120g caster sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 20g butter, melted
For the lemon curd:
- 175g caster sugar
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 2 eggs
- 110g butter, cubed
- 150g good quality strawberry jam (store-bought or home-made - my recipe is here)
- 200g soft cheese
- Icing sugar, to dust
1. Grease and line the base of a 30x24cm baking tray with baking parchment. Preheat your oven to 190c (170c fan)/ 375f/gas mark 5.
2. Make the decorative paste. Cream together the softened butter and icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the egg white and flour, and beat until the mixture is smooth. Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and place in a separate bowl.
3. Colour the majority of the paste a deep red colour. Colour the reserved tablespoon green. Place the red paste in a piping bag, and pipe strawberry shapes all over the baking parchment lining the tin. Leave space to add green leaves.
4. Place the green paste in a piping bag, and pipe on leaves. Place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes whilst you make the sponge.
5. Place a pan half-filled with simmering water on a medium heat, and place on top of it a heat-proof bowl. Make sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
6. Crack the eggs into the bowl and add the caster sugar. Use an electric whisk to beat the egg/sugar mixture for 3-4 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
7. Take the bowl off the heat and whisk for a further 5 minutes on a medium speed.
8. Carefully pour the melted butter around the side of the bowl, and sift in the plain flour. Use a large metal spoon to quickly but carefully fold in the flour. As soon as no large flour speckles are visible, stop folding.
9. Take the tray out of the freezer and pour over the sponge mixture. Spread carefully to the edges of the tray using a spatula.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched.
11. Carefully remove your sponge from the tray so that the greaseproof paper is touching the tabletop. Starting at the short end, roll up the sponge, leaving the greaseproof paper in place. Leave the sponge rolled up whilst it cools.
12. Make the filling. In a heat-proof bowl, add the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Beat in the eggs, then place the butter on top of the other ingredients.
13. As previously put the bowl on top of a pan half-filled with simmering water. Whisk continuously as the butter melts and the eggs begin to cook. Be careful to not let the mixture boil.
14. Keep stirring for 5-10 minutes, until the lemon curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Take off the heat and leave to cool - it will thicken as it cools down.
15. Marble the cooled lemon curd into the soft cheese, so that speckles of curd can still be seen.
16. To assemble, unroll the roulade carefully. Spread over the jam evenly, then top with the lemon soft cheese mixture.
17. Re-roll the roulade up, taking the baking parchment off the roulade as you roll. Dust with icing sugar.