Cake of the Week: Swiss Roll – A revelation!

How have I gone 39 years without making a swiss roll? Even more to the point, how didn’t I know that they were so easy and so satisfying to make?

Last Sunday we were having a family getogether as we do every year around the time of our Dad’s anniversary and Mum’s birthday. As usual, I had been mad busy during the run up to the day. I had every intention of producing a masterpiece but thought it would end up being a Mr Kipling/Costco special.

On Sunday morning though, 4 of us did the Swimathon raising money for Marie Curie. Amazing how a swim can leave you feeling energised and utterly needing cake!

I came home and thought Swiss Roll like you do. A quick nosy round at old cookbooks and I came up with a recipe of my own. I was wanting to go for HUGE while we were expecting 13 of us.

Swiss Roll – A revelation!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 14 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: At least 8-10 generous pieces

Swiss Roll – A revelation!

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour
  • Plenty of strawberry jam
  • Punnet of strawberries
  • Tub of whipping cream - whipped until fairly thick
  • 4 tbsp extra caster sugar for decoration
  • Icing Sugar to sprinkle over finished cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Line an oven tray with baking parchment and sprinkle the caster sugar over it evenly.
  3. Whisk the sugar and the eggs for at least 10 minutes until really pale and visibly thickened. You should get a trail when the whisk has been removed from the mixture.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in the flour very gently and slowly.
  6. Spread evenly over the sugar sprinkled baking parchment and put in the oven to cook for 11 minutes. This was the biggest revelation for me, that the cake cooks in such a short time - If you get a move on, you could even have one ready for your afters (dessert if you are not northern ;-))
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  8. Before the cake is fully cooled, roll it so the cake is still malleable enough to shape - I also cut off the very ends to give a neat finish but I think that was a bit pretentious and actually wasted valuable cake.
  9. Unravel and allow to cool completely.
  10. Spread a generous layer of the jam and cream on the cake and spread thin slices of strawberries evenly over the cake.
  11. Roll up again, sprinkle with the icing sugar and put on a rectangle plate if you have one. You can even add a spare strawberry at the front if you really want to be poncey!
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I’ve not done a Cake of the Week post for ages – Feel free to join in if you’ve been producing masterpieces recently. I’ll do a round up at the end of next week if we get entries.

Casa Costello
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Cake of the Week – Extra Tall Rose Wedding Cake

Its been a while since we’ve had a Cake of the Week – The Costello clan are here, there and everywhere for a couple of weeks but I found these pics of one of the more unusual wedding cakes I have done and wanted to share.

The Cake was 3 deep tiers high. Doing the first covering was a challenge but as soon as I relaxed and got it through to my head that any cracks or imperfections would be covered by the folds, I was on a roll.

Looking at the pictures now, I reckon the cake could do with another band of roses around the outside – in fact, I’m trying to remember if I ended up actually adding some more roses after the shots were taken. What I do know, though, is that it took ages to make all the roses and used tons of ribbon to make the ribbon loops inbetween.

The folds of icing down the side of the cake are definitely made easier if you have help from someone. One person can be adding a layer and the other checking if it is being put on straight. The ends should all finish in the same place at the back of the cake. There are a few ways of disguising the joins – I added a heart to each fold but a bow or a button could work just as well.

The folds go from the top downwards. Find something to measure the width of each fold when cutting the icing so each fold (strip of icing) is the same depth. I’ve got a deep ruler which came in really handy.I just made sure I kept the edge of each strip quite thick to give the illusion of a piece of fabric (but not too thick or the icing will slip down the cake). I also made the sugar glue quite thick and tacky to help the icing stick better as I didn’t want to be putting my fingers onto the icing for too long.

 

The last Cake of the Week linky had 3 entries – all of which were quite lovely.

Kate from the Five F’s gave us a spooky Chocolate and Raspberry Cake complete with raspberry ‘blood’ (coulis)

 

 

And not forgetting this delicious looking Princess Carriage Cake from Sadaf, who was described by her daughter as ‘the best cake maker ever!’ Bless!

 

 

 

 

And so we move onto this week’s Cake of the Week – what have you been baking recently? Have you embarked on the Christmas baking yet? (Are you excited about the Christmas edition of Great British Bake Off?)
Join in and add your url to show us what you have been baking – doesn’t have to be decorated, recipes are more than welcome!

 

Ice Age Cake – Cake of the Week

I’ve got a confession – I’ve never seen Ice Age. In fact, there’s tons of children’s films I have never watched. I’ve never seen Shrek either but I can more or less repeat the script word for word thanks to my girls watching it on the iPad in the car behind my head.

Anyway, back to the cake. A joint cake for my niece, Phoebe (4) and nephew, Milo (1). Phoebe more than makes up for me not watching Ice Age – she loves it. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t approaching triple figures of the amount of times she’s watched them.

Phoebe and Milo have birthdays on 27th and 28th December so maybe consigned to a few more years of joint cakes. I will always stick by my promise never to get them joint birthday/Christmas presents though.

We had a busy week for Cake of the Week entries last week. Sadly Jackie who has been so loyal about posting pictures of her cakes isn’t able to join in for the time being – Changes to Facebook mean that she cannot share her pics (or we can’t look at them) We’ll miss you Jackie and hope you still visit often.

 

I have to draw your attention to some magnificent football cupcakes courtesy of ChouxChouxbedoo. Mr P, the creator reckons he isn’t creative! As an aside, does subbuteo remind anyone else of Joey from Friends?

 

Anyhoo, back to cakes. The lovely Jen from the Madhouse joined in for the first time this week with some delicious looking English summer cupcakes. I defy you to look at these and not fancy delving into some strawberries and buttercream!

And last but not least, I give you Angie from CakesPhotoLife with 2 amazing entries. I’ve had a passion for autumn cakes and autumnal colours for ages, so this cake is just up my street. Sadly, I can’t show a pic due to security settings but please hop on over there and look for yourself. Amazeballs! Angie’s other entry is just as tempting – a Millionaire Shortbread Chocolate Cake.

The link is now open for this week’s Cake of the Week. Fantastic to see so many new people joining in with us. Don’t know about you but the end of the Great British Bake Off has given me the urge to get my ovens on. I’m on holiday this week but look forward to seeing what you come up with and I’m raring to go as soon as I’m back!

Women’s Institute County Show – Cake of the Week

Its typical isn’t it? As soon as I stop making cakes, I win an award for them. They always say that you should be relaxed about doing any sort of art/craft (whoever ‘they’ are!)

I’ve mentioned on here loads of times that I am involved with our local WI. Well aswell as being in your own WI, you are attached to your nearest Federation. Our is Lancashire Federation of WI’s and covers a massive area from almost Cumbria down to Liverpool. Loads of opportunities to get to know other WI members and get involved with masses of events. Every year, Lancashire Federation host a County Show (if you ever watched Kirty Alsopp’s Handmade Home you will know exactly the sort of thing I’m on about).

We made a decision to really push the County Show in our own WI. Its an ideal opportunity to see what other WI’s are creating and there was no pressure to win – there was even a novice category for some crafts if you have never entered before. I have to admit, I was keen to enter but the timing wasn’t great – I had only finished last week’s wedding cake 4 days before my entries had to be in. Not one to be deterred though, I gave it everything I had on the Monday – cakes going in the oven as I set out on the school pick-up was slightly stressful but luck was on my side as they didn’t burn.

I entered 2 categories, 5 individual mini cakes (decoration only to be judged) and Own Choice of Sugarcraft – we were allowed 2 entries into each category so I entered twice into the individual cakes.
We had to deliver the cakes to Garstang (about an hour journey from my house) on Tuesday morning – yep, the day that it rained a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. What a pleasant journey that was on the M6. Luckily, I had Karen, a lovely fellow WI member to keep me company and provide Tara with a running buffet en route, as we were also dropping off her Victoria Sponge (which looked delicious by the way!) We also were charged with delivering Kim’s Jam as she was on holiday (the pressure!)

A few of our members had delivered their other craft items on the Friday before, so we were looking forward to visiting the show the day after and on the Thursday, to see what they had created. We were so pleased to be entering, we want to show that we are a true part of the Lancashire Federation and also to support the ladies who have been so kind in welcoming us to the WI this past year.

The amazing news is that we did REALLY well! We had some 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd in both cake and craft categories. You can see some of the other entries in the photos below – and yes, I’ve been playing with the photos again – normal service will resume soon where I just bung the picture up!

Before we went to the show, we weren’t exactly sure of the rules of some of the categories so it was a bit of a gamble entering. From visiting the show, we now know so much more – wouldn’t say we were experts but we are a lot more knowledgable. Here’s what I learnt from the County Show:

  • Not all entries are perfect – lovely to see some uneven scones, some ‘slightly’ overdone edges
  • Not every entry will get comments from the judges – none of the cushions did :-(
  • Moulds are allowed on shortbread
  • All cakes  are displayed on paper plates
  • There will be so many more entries than you expect – over 2500 this year!
  • WI members are creatures of habit and race to the restaurant at 12pm dead on.
  • Bead work basically means jewellery
  • Triangle shaped scones are fine – 2nd place this year!

The pictures (clockwise from top left)

  • The Painting Category
  • 2nd place embroidery section goes to … my Mum!
  • Fabric Postcard by Tilly Mint Boutique
  • 1st place handicraft goes to … Cara Freckles
  • The knitted food category
  • Knitted Prawns!
  • Silk Painting by Deb
  • A Bag made from Bin Bags
  • The cushions category
  • A recycled hedgehog made from pages of a book
  • A Table of scones
  • A Table of Lemon Curd

I am going to put the linky up for Cake of the Week – I will do a round up of last week’s and this week’s entries next weekend. Don’t be shy about entering – its not a competition, you don’t have to have done a fantastic job even – just show off what you’ve been baking this week!

Casa Costello

The final Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

Well, we are finally there. The final wedding cake went out this week. This was an order I have had since April (around the time I decided to put Aardvark Cakes to sleep for a while) I didn’t want to go out with a whimper and this was definitely the cake to go out on. A 5 tier monster with tons of sugar flowers. I knew that the lovely bride and her mum, (had never met the groom until the day they came to look at the cake, but he was lovely too) both wanted a showy cake but they were easy going about which order the flowers were in and the ratio of roses to lilies etc. There are no rules about how many flowers it takes to fill a cake like this, apart from that it needs far more than you first expect. I desperately didn’t want to get to the point of taping all the posies together though, to find I needed to make more so made plenty.

There were 5 separate posies in all that are going to be spread out between various family relatives after the wedding. I really like the thought that the wedding cake will still be appreciated by a number of people after all the actual cake has been eaten.

And so the relief begins, how nice it is to feel that any cakes I make from now on will have their flavour and design dictated to by just me – starting this week with my entries for the Garstang Women’s Institute County Show! What was I thinking, entering sugarcraft exhibits the week after such a whopper of a wedding cake?

 

 

 

Time now for a re-cap of the most recent entries to Cake of the Week.
Janine is a good friend of mine who is producing some wonderful specimens at the moment – Just last week I was lucky enough to sample a mini coffee and walnut cake which is hopefully going to be part of her range in her new coffee shop (which is due to open very soon!) Janine has convinced herself that decorated birthday cakes are not her forte – I beg to differ with this cake. Her other daughter was 11 today, so I’m hoping for another entry to this week’s Cake of the Week.

 

Just look at this work of art from Susan – Her fresh cream and fresh fruit genoise cake is shouting at me to be eaten with a cup of steaming tea! Just gorgeous!

 

 

If you head over to Mumsmoments you will find some delicious looking two tone cupcakes. There’s also the chance to join in with Jackie’s new linkup – Foodie Foto Friday.

Thanks to everyone who has entered Cake of the Week – it might be the final wedding cake for Aardvark Cakes but there’s plenty more cakes and baking coming. I look forward to seeing your entries for this week – remember its just a chance to show off! For everyone who has supported Aardvark Cakes, a massive thank you too – I won’t forget the people who made running my own business possible – its been an exciting ride!

Casa Costello

Red Gerbera Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

I love this cake and everything about the process of making it. A friend of mine, Christine contacted me earlier in the year to say she was getting married and would I make her cake. Her only requests were sponge cake and red gerberas to match the fantastic red shoes she was getting married in.

I have only recently perfected how I like to make gerberas. I use a massive daisy cutter and make most of them double depth. I roll a ball of flower paste and flatten it down, using a texture mat (or that stuff you can use to stop things slipping in the car – non slip matting?) to add texture to the middle part of the flower. If the flowers are not going to be eaten, I then add a sprinkling of glitter for added sparkle in the appropriate colour.

I’ve had a bit of trouble with the ole Cake of the Week linky this week – There was an entry from Julie at Mama Owl who showed off her fabulous Moshi Monster cupcakes but it has mysteriously disappeared. So here’s the link to them …aren’t they great? Julie was 30 at the weekend so a massive Happy Birthday to her!

Here’s hoping all the problems with the linky are fixed this week. Would be great to see some more entries, there are some amazing bakers out there. My next post will show that we all have our non-successful days!

Casa Costello

Tulip and Lily Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

Its been a while but Cake of the Week is back. I delivered this the morning that we were going on holiday but was strangely not stressed at all making it.

I had the pleasure of a really relaxed bride who genuinely wasn’t too concerned about what was on her cake. I found out that she was having tulips and arum lilies so went with ivory/creams all the way. I had never made tulips before so was really pleased with the final result.

I’m hoping that Cake of the Week will be back regularly every Sunday now that I’ve stopped gadding about so would love to see your creations on a regular basis too.

Just a bit of forward notice too though. From the first week in September, I will be hosting a feature called the ABC of Cakes. Every fortnight I will trawl the internet looking for cakes inspired by the letter of the fortnight. I will feature between 5-10 cakes that really stand out. If you have a cake with an A theme don’t forget to give me a shout – you never know it may be featured!

Anyway, back to Cake of the Week – I know there have been tons of Clandestine Cake meetings popping up all over the country. Lets see some of your CCC cakes appearing. And let us not forget the Great British Bake Off – are we all loving it and no doubt baking from the new book that we all HAD to buy?! (Which reminds me I haven’t actually got myself a copy yet :-()

Casa Costello

Rose Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week & The Gallery

It is an absolute miracle that this cake made it to the reception, never mind that it was fit to eat. This cake was a wedding last Friday, yep, the rainiest day ever and I had to deliver it to a reception where the car park is nowhere near the door. There may have been some running and a Peppa Pig umbrella involved.

We were actually guests at the wedding (and we were child free for most of it!!) – the dire weather didn’t spoil the day. It was lovely and relaxed. Laura and Mark are gorgeous and their 5 boys (!!! All 5 and under) looked and behaved beautifully.

Unusually both tiers were fruit with a polystyrene middle section on the cake to insert the flowers into. This was definitely one of those cakes where you think you need so many flowers but actually have to treble it. It tooks hundreds!!

My new favourite flower to make is a tulip type bud – they dust up wonderfully.

I’ve attached a photo of the new Mr & Mrs Molyneux (pinched from Laura’s facebook page) along with their 3 eldest boys – the 6 month old twins were asleep at this point.

The link is up for Cake of the Week if you would like to join in. Remember its not a competition, just for fun!

We had a lovely entry from Angie at Cakesphotolife last week – I suspect that this cake was another one of those that takes 3 x more flowers than you expect!

 

I love the story behind Sadaf‘s first fondant cake -Her eldest daughter had it for her graduation at 5!! If she has a cake that good then, what will she get for graduating from uni?

 

Jackie’s cakes are getting more impressive by the week – the covering on this cake is perfection and those butterflies must have taken some dedication!

 

I’m entering this week’s Cake of the Week into Tara Cain’s The Gallery link up – The theme for this week is Food. Always something that is on my mind but at the moment cakes are somewhat taking up every waking hour!

 

Numberjack 4 Cake – Cake of the Week

A bold coloured cake can either be a complete success or a complete disaster in my experience. I had major doubts about this cake before I made it. The shade of blue and the shape of the 4 had to be spot on to do the number 4 justice.

There is nothing like a client under the age of 8 to tell you if the cake isn’t right either so added pressure there. Luke, the recipient of this cake is one of my favourite 4 year olds in the world – he lives right next door to us and I foresee many years of him popping in to play and just say Hi. My girls think he is great too and quite often pop into next door before entering our house, just to say hello to Luke. Apart from being a generally nice 4 year old, Luke is amazing with numbers. His favourite programme is Numberjacks and his 2nd birthday cake was Numberjack themed too.

I just had to go for it when carving the cake – I first baked a 10″ square cake and used near enough all of it to make the 4 shape. I didn’t want to hire a number tin as I didn’t think the shape would be right.

Luke had requested some other numbers around the side (which I believe he had great fun eating!) but I forgot to add my favourite character, Spooky Spoon! I wanted to make the board a bit more exciting than just a plain one, so added the stripes – Every time I do stripes I am reminded how difficult it is to get them neat.

What a fantastic week we had last week for Cake of the Week – some of your creations are amazing and I’m loving finding new people.

Our first entry, Rachel presented us with such a neat Ice Lolly Cake (For Liverpool readers, a Lolly Ice Cake! ;-)) Rachel says that she wants to try a Fab Lolly Cake next – can’t wait to see the sprinkles!


The blog post that accompanies Susan’s magnificent cake was epic and must have took forever but I urge you to have a read – there’s a recipe, a cake and even a comp in there. I have completely fallen in love with the bunting (well, hasn’t the whole country fallen in love with bunting?) and will be purchasing some soon.


The expression on the couple’s face on Jackie’s 40th wedding anniversary cake is lovely and the man’s watch is delightful! I know how long those details will have taken but they are so worth it.


And last but not least, a brilliant way to get the kids involved with cake making and celebrate Father’s Day. This made me ashamed that we barely did anything to celebrate Father’s Day in our house – sorry Derm!Mama OWL tells a fantastic tale of what each child wrote on the cake – Oh Jennifer will have you howling!

Casa Costello

Don’t forget, you are welcome to add the Cake of the Week badge when you have taken part (or even if you are just thinking about it!)

Thanks everyone for joining in – looking forward to seeing next week’s creations – better get on with one myself!

Shades of Pink Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and messages following last week’s post about Aardvark Cakes. Happy to report that Cake of the Week will be continuing – at least for the time being. I have hundreds (no exaggeration ) of cake photos that I have never had time to post so I may get rid of some backlog. I have toyed with the idea about making cake of the week a bit more about other people’s cakes too – I know I really appreciate it when people publicise my work so would like to give a little back.

The cake for this week is a pink creation – A wedding cake for the sister of a friend that I used to work with in my distant days as a Council employee. I hadn’t spent much time with Jacqueline (the bride) prior to sorting out her cake last year but found she was just as lovely as her sister, Michelle. The wedding was Friday so the cake got collected on Thursday – I hope they had a wonderful day.

I had a new experience for this cake – making sugar flowers in public. By Wednesday night, the cake itself was near enough completed but there were hardly any roses finished. I had to take Millie to Stockport for a 4 hour round trip on Wednesday evening so knew that time was precious and decided to take my roses with me. Luckily, when I got to the pool Millie was training at, there was a bench and table in a quiet, not too hot area that was perfect for working on. I had to stop feeling embarrassed and keep telling myself I was saving myself a 3am bedtime! Have you ever had to work in an environment out of your comfort zone?

The famous roses!

I’m hoping to have a bit of a calmer week this week – I will tell you more about the weekend ahead in another post – but I’d like to concentrate on other people’s Cakes of the Week, so get your entries in.