Chocolate Swiss Rolls

This cake received so many great comments from my neighborhood taste testers!

“A heavenly light, decadently chocolate, perfectly proportioned roll that was devilishly enjoyed!”

“Wowza!! That dessert was delicious!!! I would love that recipe!”

“And I thought your eclairs were my favorite… this one just zoomed to the top!”

Chocolate Swiss Rolls

  • Servings: 10-12 slices
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Chocolate Cake
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar, split equally into two small bowls
1 T (15 ml) strong brewed coffee OR 1 tsp espresso powder (Texturally, the coffee works best)
1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (62 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 T (15 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 2 T (10 g) for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Before You Make the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F. Use an oven thermometer to make sure you have the correct temperature. (My oven always runs 20° hotter so I adjust accordingly).

Spray a 12×17 baking sheet with nonstick spray (or grease with butter). Line it with parchment paper cut to fit and then spray the parchment paper too (don’t overspray though). You want an extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll.

Egg Yolk Mixture:
In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks, remaining sugar (1/3 cup or 67 g) and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy, about two minutes.

Your yolks will be dark when you start mixing
They’re ready when they turn light yellow and thicken up

Dry Ingredients
Sift the flour, 3 T cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl.

Pour the melted butter, coffee and Egg Yolk Mixture over the Dry Ingredients. Beat everything together on medium speed until completely combined. You now have a Chocolate Mixture.

Egg White Mixture (Meringue):
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar (1/3 cup or 67 g) together in a medium bowl on high speed for five minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Mix 1/4 of the Meringue into the Chocolate Mixture. No need to be gentle yet, you’re “lightening up the Chocolate Mixture with this part.”

Fold the remaining meringue GENTLY into the chocolate mixture until completely combined. Don’t overmix or you will deflate it. The batter will be very light.

Spread the chocolate batter evenly into your prepared sheet pan. Shimmy the pan on the counter to smooth out the top. Bake for 10-11 minutes until the top of the cake gently springs back when touched with your finger. DO NOT over bake!

Smooth out the cake batter as much as you can before baking
Cocoa powder is optional here

Prepare to Roll
While the cake is baking, get a second piece of parchment paper ready. If desired, using a fine mesh sieve, dust the parchment/towel with 2 T of cocoa powder.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, quickly run a knife around the edges to loosen it.

IMMEDIATELY invert the onto the new parchment. Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked. Starting at the narrow end, begin tightly rolling the hot cake up with the parchment. Do this slowly and gently. The cake will be warm. Once rolled, leave the seam side down and allow it to cool completely (about an hour). After 30 minutes or so, you can pop it in the refrigerator to accelerate the cooling process.

It’s important to roll it tightly (and be gentle at the same time)
To keep it from unrolling as it cools, tuck the seam on bottom

Chantilly Whipped Cream
1 cup (240 g) cold heavy whipping cream
3 T (38 g) confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T marshmallow crème (fluff) (optional, but it adds a nice textural component)

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract on medium high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the marshmallow crème, if using.

Slowly and gently unroll the cake. Spread the whipped cream evenly on the top, leaving a half inch border around the edge. Gently roll the cake back up, without the parchment this time.

It’s easier to spread if you glob a bunch on first
Don’t go all the way to the edge with the cream

Place the rolled cake, seam-side down, on a wire rack that’s been set inside a baking sheet (You want a system where you can catch the extra ganache after you pour it). Set it aside on the counter or in the fridge as you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache Topping
1/2 cup (122 g) heavy whipping cream
4 oz (113 g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp light corn syrup (gives it the glossy shine)

Place chopped chocolate and corn syrup (if using) in a medium bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to gently simmer. (Don’t let it come to a rapid boil, that’s too hot). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate so it’s completely covered and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and the chocolate has melted.

Pour the ganache over the cake roll, spooning up any drips to spoon over the cake again.

The genache will be thick; use a knife to help spread it out
Don’t slice it until it’s spent a hour in the fridge!

Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes before slicing and serving. Each roll yields 10-12 slices, depending upon how thick you like it.

This cake can be stored (covered) in the fridge for up to three days.

Adapted from a delightful recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction

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