Swiss rolls aren’t from Switzerland! And matcha green tea isn’t either but this amazingly light roll cake is international, delicious and pretty healthy! The soufflé sponge can be made with standard sugar and flour as in my earlier prototypes or glutenfree and sugarfree using xylitol. The easy raspberry chia jam and cream are sweetened with a little maple syrup. You can also use shop-bought raspberry jam or red bean paste. And don’t be scared of rolling because cracks are avoided by letting the sponge cool flat in a large plastic bag (yes, really!). The final product is a moist and flufffy matcha swiss roll cake filled with raspberry jam and a deliciously light ricotta cream. Tada! A delightful euro-asian fusion cake with a lovely balance of flavours and not too sweet! Rolling, rolling, rolling. Roll up for a slice of green cloud-like heaven. 🙂
The soufflé sponge always has a lovely texture but my first prototype was pale beige because I used everyday green tea – you need matcha to get the green colour! I also found the sponge needs to cool completely in its plastic bag, at least 2 hours. After 1 hour it seemed cool but probably wasn’t so started cracking when rolled. It’s also important not to overbake the sponge, which makes it dry and prone to cracks.
You can see three earlier prototypes in the photo below. The red bean and cream one is made with green tea (thus its beigeness). It had a subtle flavour and more of a roll because of the wider baking tray (2cm/3/4in high and 38cm x 28cm/15in x 11in). Also the red bean was spread in a line at one end of the sponge and there was just cream (100ml). The other prototype was darker with more matcha (6g) and a rather soft cashew cream mixture. The prototype with the flowery background had a nice roll but too much heavy cream cheese frosting with a dominating flavour.
The finalised recipe (phew!) has that East Asian lightness and very subtle sweetness. But you can make it sweeter. Feel free to adapt. Maybe go more Asian and replace the jam with sweetened red bean paste or more European with vanilla instead of matcha! I love my final prototype but it’s nice to experiment. 🙂
The soufflé sponge is based on a recipe in Keiko Ishida’s Okashi book and adapted to be sugarfree and glutenfree. For the filling some whipped cream is replaced by lighter ricotta and sweetened with unrefined healthier sugar: pure maple syrup. The chia jam is super healthy and inspired by recipes found online and in many superfood books.
Previous day or early morning: make chia jam and prepare ricotta (5-8 mins); 3 hours before assembly: make soufflé matcha sponge (20-25 mins work; 11-13 mins baking; 2 hours cooling); make ricotta cream (5-10 mins); assemble (5 mins, 30-40 mins chilling). So around 35-50 mins total work and start making at least 4-5 hours before serving.
Raspberry chia jam
Or shop-bought jam (about 130-150g/half a cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons if needed)
- 150g/1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons (approximately) defrosted raspberries (initially 3/4 cup/170g frozen raspberries), or similar quantity of fresh raspberries
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp chia seeds, about 15-16g (add more later if needed) mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp warm water
- 14 – 20g (2 tsp to 1 tbsp) maple syrup or honey, to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice, optional
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
Combine all the ingredients in a blender for a few minutes. Taste and add more maple syrup if needed. Store in the fridge in a jar (like a mason jar or hermetic sealing jar) to thicken a few hours or overnight.
Preparing the ricotta
- 90g/3.2oz (quarter cup + 2 tbsp) fresh ricotta
Early morning or the previous night place the ricotta in a sieve over a bowl to drain any liquid. Around 4 hours before assembly press it with a metal spoon through the sieve into a clean bowl (scrape the sieve’s underside really well to obtain scant 1/4 cup or 75g). This gives you creamier ricotta, as favoured by Italians in their desserts.
Soufflé matcha sponge
At first it’s strangely like making choux pastry or white sauce! But you get an amazing sponge. Have little bowls with each ingredient weighed out, ready to add quickly. Be careful when separating your eggs: whites must be completely yolk-free and in an extremely clean bowl or they won’t whisk up well.
Equipment and preparation
- Line a baking tray (about 2.5cm/1in high and 28cm x 23cm/11in x 9in wide, or wider for rolling a thinner layer) with greaseproof baking paper.
- Find a big plastic bag that easily contains the baking tray (on top of your wire rack) and some clothes pegs or tape to seal it.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (static, non-convection oven) or 160°C/320°F (fan-assisted, convection oven)
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl (flour, xylitol, matcha, salt) – not the sugar
Ingredients (use free-range eggs)
- 40g/1/4 cup + 1 tbsp + 3/4 tsp glutenfree self-raising flour (I used Doves Farm) – if using plain gf try adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp xantham gum and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Or use standard cake flour or all-purpose plain flour.
- 1 and 3/4 tsp (4g) matcha green tea powder, to taste
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 44g beaten egg (about 2/3 of a medium-sized egg)
- 35-40g egg yolks (from 2 medium-sized eggs)
- 2/3 tsp (2-3g) pure vanilla extract
- 23g/5 teaspoons good quality unsalted butter
- 40g/ml whole milk
- 72g egg whites (from 2 medium-sized eggs)
- 55g/1/4 cup + 2 tsp ground xylitol. Or use caster/superfine sugar.
Follow the illustrated recipe for the cupcake version (go around in a snail from top left to centre) but use the quantities above and a baking tray.
Spread the mixture gently in the baking tray with a large offset spatula, going diagonally from the centre to each corner then along the sides. Use the minimum amount of movements necessary or you’ll overflatten the mixture.
Bake 11 to 13 minutes (don’t open the oven door the first 10 minutes). The sponge is ready when it’s just starting to brown a little and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
When out of the oven immediately slip the sponge off the baking tray (so it doesn’t continue baking and drying) and place on a wire rack. Carefully put the sponge and rack in the plastic bag and seal. The bag should be loose and not touch or stick to the top of the sponge. Wait 2 hours so it cools completely.
- 75g/scant 1/4 cup drained and sieved ricotta (from the original 90g)
- 20g/1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 100ml/g whipping cream (35%)
Whisk the ricotta, maple syrup and vanilla together in a small bowl until combined. Whisk the cream to stiff peak in a medium-sized bowl. Fold the ricotta mixture gently into the cream with a rubber spatula until combined but still light and fluffy (don’t overfold).
- 1 or 2 handfuls fresh raspberries for decoration and serving
- Carefully take the sponge out of the bag, turn upside-down and peel off the baking paper from the underside. This should be smooth and will be the outside of your cake.
- Place a clean sheet of baking paper on top and flip the cake around again so you have the rough top side facing up and the sponge is lying on the clean sheet of paper.
- Spoon small amounts of the jam all over the surface (except the ends) and delicately smooth with a small offset spatula or back of a metal tablespoon.
- Place the ricotta cream in a piping bag (or plastic freezer bag), cut a small hole and pipe thin lines over the jam.
- Delicately smooth with your cleaned offset spatula or tablespoon. Try not to combine the jam and cream but it’s okay if it swirls in a little.
- Hold the baking paper and use it to help you roll the cake away from you, not pushing too hard or lots of cream will squeeze out. You should finish with the joint seam underneath (and a little cream). Gently press with your hands to help shape the roll cake and pull on the paper a little so it wraps close around the cake and helps keep its shape. This can be a delicate operation so stay gentle.
- Place carefully on a baking tray and place in the freezer 30-40 minutes so the roll stiffens and is easier to cut.
- After 30-40 mins take out, use a serrated bread knife to trim off the ends and cut slices. Leave 20 minutes at room temperature and eat! Nom nom. Also delicious served with fresh raspberries…
Eating and storing
Store in the fridge and eat within 3 days (it’s at its best the first 2 days). To store in the freezer you can first freeze individual slices laid out on a baking tray then wrap the hardened slices tightly with plastic film. Eat within 2 weeks or up to 2 months.
Well that’s my very light and yummy matcha, raspberry and ricotta cream swiss roll cake. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! I suspect there’ll be more in the future – not prototypes but ‘spin-offs’ with different flavours and fillings! I wouldn’t mind some red bean paste again … any ideas for different fillings? In the meantime, there are a few slices still going! 🙂
Farewell again dear reader! Wishing you a jolly roly-poly sort of a week, with some happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x