Saturday, June 23, 2012

Strawberry and Mascarpone Swiss Roll


For my latest baking adventure, I wanted to try something a little different, and preferably a little easier than a fruit pie. When I stumbled upon a picture of a delicious looking strawberry Swiss roll, however, I knew. It was love at first sight, I didn’t care whether or not it was simpler to make than a pie, I only knew I had to have it.

It called for a couple of ingredients I don’t typically keep on hand, however – mascarpone cheese and Marsala wine – so after a quick trip to the market, I set about the task of creating that glorious dessert you see above. It’s not especially difficult, but it definitely requires a bit of…finesse.

Recipe adapted from Apron and Sneakers

Difficulty: Medium
Active Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Total Prep Time: About 2 hours
Special Equipment: Food Processor, Handheld Electric Mixer

Strawberry Filling Ingredients:

  • About 1 cup strawberries, hulled + another 1/4 cup extra for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine

Sponge Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour

Mascarpone Cream Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


(Begin with strawberry filling)

1. Put 1 cup of the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons sugar and blend well. 

2. Transfer them to a bowl and add the Marsala. 

3. Stir in the remaining strawberries and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The flavor sets better the longer you leave them, so letting them sit for a few hours is best.


(Move on to sponge cake)

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and line a 9 x 13 inch Swiss roll tin or small roasting tin with parchment paper. (A glass pan works as well)

5. Beat the eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, vanilla, and salt in large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is very pale yellow, foamy and mousse-like. 

6. Pour the flour on one side of the bowl and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the water. Don't over mix – you want the mixture to retain air and turn out spongy. Mix just enough so that there are no clumps of flour left.

7. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin or pan and level it gently with a palette knife. Bake for 10 -15 minutes.

8. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully turn the cake out onto a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with confectioners sugar.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then gently peel the lining paper off the sponge and leave to cool completely.


(Prepare the mascarpone cream while the cake cools)

9. Mix mascarpone, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside until cake has cooled.


(Assembling the Swiss roll)

10. Trim off any rough edges of the cake with a sharp knife to make the sides nice and neat.

11. Spread the mascarpone cream over the sponge as evenly as possible, leaving just a small margin along the edges so that it doesn't squelch out when rolling. Leave about 2 tablespoons to fill up the ends of the roll when finished.

12. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the mascarpone cream and spread evenly.


13. With the shorter side facing you, roll the sponge (going forward, away from you) using the parchment paper to help.  Roll it as tightly as possible without the cake splitting. Fill up the ends with the remaining mascarpone cream when you finish rolling it. Make sure the end of the roll sits underneath so that it doesn’t open up.

14. Transfer to a serving plate carefully.

15. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and decorate with the extra strawberries and any strawberry sauce you have left.


16. Admire your handy work for a moment, slice, and devour!



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