matcha swiss roll with azuki red beans

My second swiss roll attempt. I’m happy to say I remembered to roll on the correct side this time. Haha.

This is the first recipe I tried from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷, directly translated as Teacher Meng’s Delicious Cake Rolls. She is from Taiwan and is a very good teacher. Just watching her DVDs has made me realize where I’ve gone wrong with my folding of the egg whites into the batter.

With all egg separation method cakes, the most delicate, crucial step to getting a fluffy spongy cake is the folding in of the egg white. In my previous attempts, sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.

Since watching 孟老师’s DVDs, I picked up the correct method of folding, particularly the folding of egg whites. So far, the results have been satisfactory. I adapted her egg separation sponge cake recipe for my 12 by 10 inches miserably small pan. That is the biggest size I can get for my tabletop oven. As a result, my swiss rolls do not have many folds. Sigh.

The azuki red beans paste is made by me 2 nights ago. I used 500g of organic azuki red beans, soaked them for about 6 hours and boiled them. To make the taste cleaner, the beans were boiled and washed twice, meaning, when the water boiled, remove from heat, drain the beans and wash under running water and repeat the entire process another time. After that, the beans were boiled for approximately 1.5 hours till they became soft. The scum floating on top of the water was removed from time to time during the 1.5 hours.

When the beans became soft, they were drained and replaced into the pot on medium low heat. 3/4 cups of caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of sea salt was added. I stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon until all the sugar was melted and the red beans had become a slightly thicker paste. The paste was allowed to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. This lasts for about a week. Freezing is not recommended.

Besides the red beans paste, I used italian meringue buttercream for the swiss roll filling. I spread the buttercream over the sponge cake before placing two 1.5 inch bands of red beans paste near the front and about 3/4 of the way down the roll.

The taste makes all that work worthwhile. The spongy fluffy cake with a subtle hint of matcha is complimented by buttery italian meringue that is not too sweet and enhanced by the addition of sweet red beans with just a bit of biting texture to make the swiss roll experience complete. Not too much, yet not so airy till you don’t feel like you’ve eaten anything. Want to try this recipe? 🙂

Matcha Swiss Roll (adapted from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷)

  • 32 grams (about 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 80 grams egg yolk (about 5 yolks from eggs weighing 60 grams each with shell)
  • 16 grams caster sugar (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 128 grams egg white (about 4 egg whites from eggs weighing 60 grams each with shell)
  • 60 grams caster sugar (4 tablespoons) I used only 28 grams (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 44 grams cake flour (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 15 grams matcha powder (1 tablespoon)
  1. Prepare a pan (12 x 10 x 1 inches) and line with baking paper, with at least 1 inch overlay. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (350 F).
  2. Melt unsalted butter over a pot of simmering water.
  3. When melted, remove butter from water but keep the pot of water simmering. Add in egg yolks and 16 grams caster sugar and start whisking energetically. As you are whisking, when the mixture becomes lukewarm, place it back on the pot of simmering water, still continuing to whisk non-stop, until the mixture becomes warm, then remove and keep whisking.
  4. When the color of the mixture turns a lighter yellow and becomes slightly thicker, the mixture is ready.
  5. Place egg whites and 28 grams of sugar in a medium bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer and start whisking at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. When stiff peaks are just formed, reduce speed of mixer to low for around 30 seconds before stopping.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, add in 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolks mixture and fold in.
  7. Add in remaining egg whites and fold in.
  8. Mix flour with matcha powder
  9. Sieve 1/3 of the flour mixture into batter and fold in lightly. Repeat another 2 times until all the flour mixture is folded in. (I sieved in all at one time and it worked okay.)
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and using a plastic scrapper, smoothen the batter. Try to make sure the batter is even distributed. Rap the pan on the table lightly for 2-3 times.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes.
  12. Holding onto the baking paper, pull the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack immediately. Peel down the sides of the baking paper carefully to let the heat dissipate.
  13. When cake has completely cooled down, flip over onto another piece of baking paper and peel off the used baking paper.
  14. Depending on which side of the cake you wish to be on the surface of the swiss roll, make sure that side is facing down on the baking paper. Smooth on the buttercream and add azuki red beans paste according to whichever pattern you fancy.

On hindsight, I think 1 tablespoons of matcha powder is not quite enough. If you love the taste of matcha, please add more. I think I’ll add 1.5 tablespoons next time. Besides all these, it is only now as I’m reading back the recipe in the book that I realize I’ve done a step wrongly. The above adaptation includes my wrong step. In the book, the melted butter is not mixed with the egg yolk and sugar, but rather is added after the folding of egg whites into the batter. A small portion of batter is scooped out and combined with the melted butter before folding back into the rest of the batter. I will have to try this step and see if it yields better result.

I still have some trouble with the egg white folding in. The recipes in the book do not use cream of tartar and it makes it harder to fold in the egg white. Much more practise is needed! 😛

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