Usually I start a post with a story or an explanation of how I decided to try making the recipes covered in the post. But this time there's nothing special about it: I just googled recipes that use matcha (green tea). I was in the mood for baking something that was matcha flavored, found a recipe for a green tea Swiss roll, and liked the look of it. Nothing fancy.
Swiss rolls apparently aren't Swiss at all. They come in a variety of flavors and the filling (usually whipped cream) can also have pieces of fresh fruit in it. It turns out that I spent my childhood eating the "Hong Kong" style of Swiss rolls from the Chinese bakeries in San Francisco without realizing that the European versions are much sweeter. I prefer the less sweet style, especially when it lets the taste of any fruit in the filling come through more (mango!!! yum).
The green tea Swiss roll recipe I found by googling comes from KitchenTigress's blog, and she is from Singapore. I got lucky and happened to find a recipe that is in the Hong Kong style without knowing it. I tried three different cake variations (vanilla, matcha, and chocolate), and two different filling variations (flavored whipped cream only or whipped cream with fruit).
While looking up Swiss roll facts for this blog post, I also found out that most people have trouble with the cake cracking and splitting when they roll it. I did not have any of these problems when using KitchenTigress's recipe as the base for my experiments. This is because Kitchen Tigress designed her recipe to produce a cake that is 1) moist and 2) stretchy and flexible.
The Pioneer Woman's post on Swiss rolls shows an excellent example of the cake cracking. This is not a criticism of the Pioneer Woman, it's just the reality that most people face when making Swiss rolls.
The other major difference I found while googling is that people recommend rolling the cake while it's hot and letting it cool down, then unrolling it to fill it and then re-rolling it back up again. I let the cake cool down completely before spreading on the filling and rolling and didn't have to rush through any steps.
This was the result of my first attempt at a Swiss roll using Kitchen Tigress's Vanilla Swiss roll recipe:
|Vanilla Swiss roll with whipped cream filling and mandarin orange slices|
The little black square is where a piece was when I dusted with powdered sugar but I ate the piece before I took this picture.
It was great.
The hardest part of the green tea recipe was remembering to double the ingredient quantities after converting from metric to imperial units.