Great British Bake Off was back this week with new faces and new challenges. That can only mean that the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014 is GO as well. Swiss Rolls, miniature British cakes and Cherry Cake were all put to the test this week. I have to say I didn’t think the cherry cake looked very scrummy (sorry Mary), and last year I made mini Victoria Sponges so a Swiss Roll it was.
I remember my granny making a honey roll that I loved when I was a kid. It was an Aussie cake that crossed pain d’epice with a swiss roll, warm with mixed spice and sweet with honey. I haven’t seen a honey roll since the 1980’s so I thought it was time to bring it back and add a little twist.
We’ve got loads of lavender hanging in the kitchen thanks to the lavender farm nearby and so I thought I’d have a go at infusing some honey and making my own lavender honey. It was really easy to do, the tough bit I think is getting the balance right. My honey is a bit on the strong side so I didn’t use it in the swiss roll sponge, I just used it to flavour the cream filling. If you buy some or make some that’s mellow in flavour then try using it in the sponge instead of clear honey.
300g Light clear honey
1 Tbsp Dried lavender
Heat the honey in a bowl over a saucepan steamer until hot, add the lavender and stir well. Stir frequently over a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool and infuse. Taste it when it’s cooled down a little and if it’s already to your taste strain it, or leave it to infuse for a couple of hours if you’d like it stronger. Strain through a muslin cloth, when you’re happy with the flavour, into a sterilised jar.
Use the honey to flavour herbal tea, drizzled over greek yoghurt for a healthy dessert or in this bad boy below, my Lavender Honey Swiss Roll.
Lavender Honey Swiss Roll
100g Caster sugar
2 Tbsp Plain flour
1 Tsp Mixed spice
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp Honey
300ml Double cream
Lavender honey to taste (approx 1-2 Tsp depending on how strong your honey is)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 160C Fan Force, or 180C. Line a 26cm x 32cm swiss roll tin or baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease.
Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks, add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time until glossy. Mix in the egg yolks until just combined. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the egg mix with the honey very gently so as not to knock out all the air. Carefully pour into the tray and roll slightly until it’s evenly distributed.
Bake for 20 minutes or just until it springs back lightly when pressed. It will get darker than a normal sponge but that’s due to the mixed spice so don’t worry too much if it’s looking brown.
Remove from the oven and tip onto a large sheet of baking paper lightly dusted with caster sugar. Trim away any bits to make a nice rectangle. Score the cake about 1 inch from one of the short sides and use the paper to help you roll it tightly in on itself into a roll with the paper inside. Set aside, rolled up, to cool completely.
When it’s cool, beat the double cream until thickened and fold through the vanilla and honey to taste. You want to taste the lavender but don’t want it to overpower the light sponge. Carefully unroll the sponge and spread the filling evenly over the cake. Again, using the paper to help you begin, roll the cake onto itself again, gently pulling it towards you to get a nice tight roll. Transfer to a serving plate and decorate with a drizzle of honey and some toasted flaked almonds if you like.
Do you want to bake along with the Great Bloggers Bake Off? Check out the rules over with Mummy Mishap, the artist otherwise known as Jenny Berry.
Also joining in with #CookBlogShare party over at supergoldenbakes.