Hojicha and Strawberry Roll Cake

Roll cake, or more commonly known as Swiss roll, is a type of cake rolled up into a log with a wide array of fillings, such as whipped cream, pastry cream, buttercream; and sometimes fresh fruits and nuts may be included as well. As you may have known, roll cake is the fundamental of Christmas log cake. Most of the time, the sponge cake for Swiss roll is made using a Genoise sponge or a chiffon sponge. However, this time I am going to do it differently.

A step-by-step tutorial to make the Hojicha & Strawberry Rollcake:

The Hojicha roll cake is made of “biscuit” sponge. No, no, I am not referring to the hard crunchy biscuit or cookies here. As a matter of fact, it is a type of sponge, known as biscuit (pronounced as bees-kwee) or ladyfinger. Biscuit sponge basically consists of eggs, sugar and flour only. You’re right! There is no fat, butter or oil added to the sponge; hence it tends to be drier than Genoise or chiffon sponge. But why do I choose to use biscuit sponge? The reason is because biscuit is a meringue based sponge, and it can be piped into beautiful lines. After baking, the Hojicha infused biscuit sponge will have a rustic and woody touch, which resembles a wood log, a perfect idea for Christmas log cake.

I hope this Hojicha & Strawberry Roll Cake will inspire you to try making roll cake at home, and perhaps this cake will be a dessert on your next Christmas dinner menu.

Ingredients:

(A) Ladyfinger Biscuit

  • Egg white 120g
  • Brown sugar 85g
  • Egg yolk 3 no.
  • Cake flour 65g
  • Hojicha powder 10g

(B) Filling & decoration

  • Whipping cream 200g
  • Sugar 20g
  • Fresh strawberries 1 punnet

Method:

  1. To make ladyfinger biscuit: Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Prepare a baking tray of 10″ X 12″ in size, and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a clean and grease-free mixing bowl, put in egg white. Beat egg white until foamy, and add 1/3 of the brown sugar. Whip for 10 seconds.
  3. Then, add another 1/3 of the brown sugar and whip for 10 seconds.
  4. Add the remaining brown sugar and whip the meringue to stiff peak.
  5. Add egg yolk to the meringue and beat to mix well.
  6. Sift dry ingredients, i.e. cake flour and Hojicha powder, directly to the egg mixture.
  7. Using a spatula, fold in dry ingredient. Stop when you do not see another lumps of flour. Be careful not to over-mix.
  8. Transfer cake batter to a piping bag fitted with round piping tip.
  9. Pipe straight lines of batter on baking tray. (Refer to the video for demonstration)
  10. Bake immediately at 200C for 12 minutes.
  11. Remove biscuit sponge from the baking tray immediately, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the filling. To do so, beat the whipping cream and sugar until very stiff peak, firm and spreadable. Cut strawberries into medium cubes.
  13. To assemble the cake: Peel off parchment paper from the bottom of ladyfinger biscuit. Transfer biscuit to a clean sheet of paper.
  14. Spread whipped cream evenly on the smooth side of the biscuit. (Note: I spread about 120g – 150g of whipped cream, refrigerate the remaining cream for decoration later.) Spread slightly less amount of cream toward the last 1/3 of the cake, as the cream will pile up toward the end when rolling up. Put chopped strawberries on the cream.
  15. Gently roll the cake up, starting from the shorter edge of the ladyfinger biscuit. Ensure the seam side is facing down.
  16. Tighten roll cake with the help of a ruler, with one hand pushing the ruler towards you and the cake, while the other hand pulls the parchment paper.
  17. Refrigerate the cake for about 2 hours to firm up the cream.
  18. Trim off about 1cm on both ends of the roll cake. Decorate roll cake with whipped cream and more fresh strawberries. Dust with icing sugar or snow powder.
  19. Slice and serve chilled.

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