Black Forest Swiss Roll

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A slightly different take on the classic black forest cake

Cherry season is almost over and I had to make at least one dessert with cherries. This Black Forest Swiss Roll is chocolaty, and fruity, but balanced with the lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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  1. Why do you whip the egg whites separately?

The whipped egg whites help to give the swiss roll its spongy texture, which helps to make the sponge flexible. This helps facilitate an easier roll, without the cake cracking or breaking.

2. How do I prevent the swiss roll from cracking?

The reality is that even if you do everything correctly, sometimes your swiss roll can crack. It is like macarons, sometimes the science of baking does not work. I have found that “training” the swiss roll however is useful in reducing the likelihood of cracks. This requires you to roll up the cake whilst still warm, so that when it cools, it has the flexibility to be coiled into a roll.


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 140g caster sugar, divided into two equal portions
  • 45g cake flour
  • 15g corn flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 45ml neutral tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared coffee
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line the base of a 23cm by 38cm swiss roll tin, with baking paper. Do not grease or line the sides.
  2. Sift the cornflour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside. (I emphasize “large” here, as you are going to add the whipped eggs to this bowl eventually, so want it to be large enough to hold the entire batter).
  3. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add in 70g of the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, and continue to whip. You should end up with a stiff and glossy meringue. This will take about 5 minutes. Set this whipped meringue aside.
  4. In another bowl, add the remaining 70g of the sugar to the egg yolks and beat until pale and lightened. This should take about 3 minutes. Then add in the oil, coffee and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the whipped egg yolk mixture, oil, vanilla essence and coffee to the sifted dry ingredients and give a few folds. The mixture will feel fairly “taut” at this point.
  6. Add one third of the egg white mixture to this, and mix in. You do not have to worry about being too gentle here, it is just to loosen the mixture.
  7. Then add the rest of the egg white mixture and gently fold, being careful not to knock out too much air.
  8. Pour into the Swiss Roll tin and bake for 15 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back, when pressed with a finger.
  9. In the meantime, dust a clean tea towel with cocoa. When the swiss roll comes out of the oven, let it cool for five minutes. Then run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the tin. Flip the cake onto the tea towel and peel away the baking paper. Beginning at the short end, roll the Swiss Roll in the tea towel and let stand until cool.


  • 120g pitted cherries in syrup
  • 250ml whipping cream, plus an extra 100ml to decorate
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • fresh cherries, to decorate
  • 60g chocolate, to decorate


  1. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the icing sugar and continue to whip.
  2. Unroll the Swiss Roll from the tea towel.
  3. Brush about two tablespoons of cherry syrup onto the roll.
  4. Spread the cream on the Swiss Roll. Set aside about a quarter cup to pipe on the top.
  5. Add the pitted cherries randomly around the sponge.
  6. Then re-roll the swiss roll, like you did previously, but without the tea towel.
  7. Use the remaining cream to pipe on top of the Swiss Roll.
  8. Finish off with cherries and chocolate shavings.

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