Swiss Roll (1852, United States)


There are few more beloved desserts in Britain than the strawberry jam filled sponge Swiss Roll, and probably for good reason. It’s a really simple recipe and requires few ingredients.

And, something you may not know, it’s one of the first recipes to be of an Anglo-American origin, (not Swiss), marking the beginning of American influence hitting British kitchens.

This recipe comes from a December 1852 edition of the Northern Farmer Journal, from Utica, New York under the name Jelly Cake.
(vol. 1 no. 12, page 188 Dec. 1852)

Ingredients: (Serves four)

Four eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of sifted flour
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 tsp of baking powder
Jam (most commonly strawberry or raspberry)

  1. Separate four egg yolks and whites into separate bowls. Whisk the yolks until bubbly, following up by adding a 1/4 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Fold gently the whisked egg yolks in with the whites, taking care not to agitate the fluffy white peaks.
  3. Gradually add the sifted flour and baking powder whilst mixing. At this point, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Spread evenly the mixture into a wide pan lined with greaseproof paper. Make sure the pan has enough space for you to roll up the cake once puffed up, (unlike us in the video).
  4. Bake for ten minutes, and take out when golden. While it's hot and pliable, lay the cake out a towel lined generously with icing sugar, this helps keep the sponge from sticking to the towel.
  5. Remove the crusty edges and roll up in the towel, then let to cool. Once cool, unroll, spread with jam, and roll one last time to finish. Serve!

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