For the last couple of days, I have been cold to the bone. 15 minutes waiting for a train last night on a freezing platform did not help matters. Nor, frankly, does my inability to work the timer on the boiler. And the fact that we need to turn the heating off if we want hot water.
It's the kind of cold where you need to sleep in a jumper. Or maybe two. And definitely a pair of socks. I can tell you, my bedroom attire is pretty darn attractive at the moment. Even so, I went to sleep cold and I woke up cold.
It's times like this that I wish I was in some mid-Victorian novel and could just retire to my bed until Spring. Except I'd probably end up dying of consumption so maybe I'll just eat cake instead?
This is probably not the prettiest cake in the world. It has a very obvious crack in it for a start (mainly, I have to confess, as a result of my inability to understand basic directions) but there's something so delightfully nostalgic about a swiss roll (otherwise known as a jelly roll if you're on the other side of the pond).
Rather than the traditional whipped cream or jam, my swiss roll is filled with a burnt orange buttercream from a cupcake book I received for Christmas. There's a syrupy sweetness from the orange, a warmth from the brown butter and a freshness from the zest that all combine to make this far superior to any orange buttercream you might have had before. As a note, the quantity of buttercream below will generously frost eight cupcakes and the recipe can be easily scaled up.
The buttercream does make for a rich dessert. The chocolate sponge may be fat free but don't let that fool you into thinking that this is a healthy treat or that a small slice won't suffice. In hindsight, a layer of tart marmalade might also have been nice to cut through some of the richness of the buttercream but, to be honest, I was't really complaining about it.
Chocolate and burnt orange roll
Sponge adapted from Mary Berry's Baking Bible
Buttercream adapted from Sensational Cupcakes
Yield: Serves 8-10
- 4 eggs
- 100g + 25g caster/granulated sugar
- 65g plain/AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 40g cocoa powder
- 10g + 75g unsalted butter
- Zest of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 250g icing sugar
- 20ml double/heavy cream
- For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 13 x 9 inch swiss roll tin (or any rectangular tin) with baking paper.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and foamy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted (about 10 minutes).
- Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes until it comes away from the sides of the pan.
- While the cake is baking, place a piece of baking paper bigger than the cake on a work surface and sprinkle generously with caster sugar.
- Turn the cake out onto the paper and peel away the piece of paper from the bottom of the cake (i.e. the piece that was in the baking tin in the oven).
- Trim away any rough edges and score about an inch from one of the short ends with a sharp knife making sure not to cut right through.
- Roll the cake up with the parchment paper on the bottom and allow to cool like that.
- To make the buttercream, put 10g of butter, the orange zest and juice and the tablespoon of sugar into a small pan and cook over a low heat until golden brown and syrupy. Remove from the heat.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a big bowl) beat 75g of butter for about a minute and then add the orange mixture and cream and beat for about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the icing sugar, continuing to beat until the buttercream has a smooth consistency.
- When the cake is cool, carefully unroll it, spread with buttercream and roll up again (without the paper this time!).
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.