Yikes! Well folks, here we are: Sunday the 12th of July, Men’s Finals Day and the last day of The Championships. Over the last fortnight Wimbledon has proved itself to be one of the classiest, most supportive, most entertaining sports events in the world. It didn’t really need proving to anyone who’s ever watched it, or stepped through the gates, but just in case it was ever in doubt they’ve rocked lockdown. I have had so much fun living and breathing Wimbledon, and so much fun with my personal baking challenge. We have reached the end, but what to end on? What recipe to test and share with you all for finals weekend. When I was researching and planning I had so many ideas, I could do this, or that… the list was huge. That is until I had a brainwave, and then the choice was entirely and completely obvious. So without further ado, here it is…
The Final – Chocolate Swiss Roll in honour of the legend and Wimbledon Champion that is Roger Federer.
For the Jam
250g of Caster Sugar
250g of Strawberries
The Zest and Juice of half a Lemon
For the Sponge
65g of Caster Sugar
65g of Soft Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
65g of Plain Flour
30g (three tablespoons) of Coco Powder
4g (1 teaspoon) of Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
For the Cream
300ml of Double Cream
Icing Sugar to taste (how much you use depends how sweet you like it. I didn’t add too much for this recipe because the jam and cake are both very sweet)
Vanilla Extract to taste, about 1 teaspoon
For the Chocolate Topping
150ml of Double Cream
100g of Dark Chocolate (Lindt for Roger!)
Dried Strawberries and edible gold dust
For the Jam
Cut the strawberries nice and small.
In a large pan (the bigger the better), add the strawberries, sugar, lemon and 1 and a ½ tablespoons of water.
Put a small plate in the freezer.
Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a roiling boil.
Boil for 15 minutes.
Place a drop of the jam onto the plate and put back in the freezer for a moment. When you take it out it will give you an idea of how set it is. Repeat this process until you have the thickness you want- not too runny or it will come out when cut, not to thick or it won’t spread.
When ready, put it in a bowl and place in the fridge to set. Once set remove as if it’s too cold it is hard to spread onto the sponge.
For the dried strawberries- see the quarter-finals recipe!
To make the sponge
Preheat your over to 180C (fan assisted)
Grease your baking tray with butter then line with a piece of greaseproof. The butter will make the greaseproof stick.
Cover the greaseproof paper and the edges of the tin in butter and a thin layer of flour. It is really important that the sponge doesn’t stick.
Ideally you want a tin that is 12×17 inches and very shallow. I didn’t have the right tin as mine is in the flat I was living in while working as a Foundry Fellow at Chelsea College of Art. I left it behind in London when I escaped to Devon days before lockdown was announced. The tin at my Mum’s (where I’ve been staying) is only 9x12inches. It worked but didn’t quite roll enough as you can see in the photos!
Separate the eggs.
Using a handheld electric whisk, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the caster sugar and whisk until thick, glossy and holding its shape.
In a separate bowl add the egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla essence. Whisk for two minutes or so until pale and thick.
Melt the butter.
In a bowl mix the flour, coco powder, baking powder and salt.
Sieve these dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture, then add the melted butter. Firmly but gently mix together until fully combined and smooth.
Add a large spoonful of the egg whites mixture to this and fold until fully combined. Add a second spoonful and fold in.
Add this to the egg white bowl and gently fold until fully combined. You really want to be gentle with this as you don’t want to flatten the egg whites.
I do it in these stages as it helps to loosen the mixture before adding it to the egg whites. If you simply add it all to the egg whites you are likely to knock out the air while trying to mix them together.
Spoon the cake mix into your prepared tin. You want a very thin layer, so if like me your pan is too small, don’t use it all. I make a mini sponge cake in a second tin with what was left.
Bake for 10 minutes or until it bounces back when pressed gently with a finger. Mine took 11 minutes. It is really important is doesn’t over cook.
While it is baking lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on the kitchen side and coat in coco powder. I sprinkled a teaspoon on and then gently moved it around on the surface of the paper.
Take the sponge out, and immediately (but gently) remove from the tin by lifting out the greaseproof paper.
Put it down on the side, place the prepared greaseproof (with the coco powder on it) on top, then gently flip them over. Remove the greaseproof you had in the baking tin.
Roll your sponge, making sure the greaseproof is between the sponge as you roll, this will stop It sticking to itself. Once rolled, place it in the fridge for about an hour, until cooled. You need to roll while it is still hot, so be careful of your fingers.
For the Cream
While the sponge cools whip the cream using the electric handheld whisk. When it has begun to thicken add the vanilla essence and the icing sugar. Whip until thick, you want it firm so it will stay in the roll.
Unroll the sponge carefully, teasing it away from the greaseproof paper. It will likely split a little, mine certainly did. Don’t worry too much, its easily coverable and remains perfectly delicious.
Spread with a layer of whipped cream, and then a layer of jam. Resist over filling as it as it will make it hard to roll. I failed with this entirely!
Re-roll your sponge, holding the sponge gently as you roll. Because mine was made in a tin that was too small, and I over filled it, I didn’t get as much of a spiral as I would have liked. Hopefully you will have better luck!
Put the roll back in the fridge while you make the chocolate coating.
Put a cooling rack over a baking tray, place the roll on top, and pour the chocolate over the top. The pan underneath will catch the chocolate that drips off and prevent it making a mess all over your sides.
Break your chocolate into small pieces into a bowl.
Pour your cream into a saucepan and heat over a medium flame until steaming but not boiling.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts. If it cools before the chocolate can melt you can add more heated cream or a little boiled water.
Grate some chocolate over the roll, then sprinkle with the dried strawberries. I had some edible gold power that I then prayed over the roll.
You can eat immediately, or place in the fridge ‘til ready. I hope you enjoy making this homage to Federer, and that you’ve enjoyed all the recipes I’ve shared. I’d love to see any photos of your bakes!
I’m thinking of continuing this recipe series with the US and French Opens? Any idea for what I could make are very welcome!