What to do with left-over buttercream frosting? I’ve yet to finish frosting cakes and cupcakes with just the right amount of frosting. I always have some left over. Usually the amount left over is too small to frost an entire two-layer cake, so I have to come up with some other way to use it. I often dream of sitting down and fulfilling my oh-so-strong sweet tooth desire to take a spoon to the remaining buttercream and eating it so that using it is no longer a challenge. Alas, I cannot bring myself to follow through with that indulgent frosting fantasy. Instead, depending upon the flavor of the buttercream, I bake either an 8 x 8 inch pan of brownies or cake to frost with unused buttercream.
Recently, however, I decided to use some unused frosting left over from the cake I baked for my mother on Mother’s Day to fill a swiss roll. I’ve been practicing baking gluten-free swiss rolls for quite a while now, and I’m joyful to announce that the only one that hasn’t turned out is the first one I tried. The problem with that swiss roll is that I used a dish towel generously sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar to roll the sponge after I removed it from the oven. The sponge stuck horribly to the towel; I had to peel it off in sections. The Swiss roll quickly turned into individual deconstructed swiss roll cakes with amaretto whipped cream between layers and served in ramekins. That mishap taught me to ignore instructions for Swiss roll sponge recipes that direct the baker to invert the finished sponge from the pan onto a sugar-dusted dish towel, opting to invert the finished sponge onto a piece of parchment paper instead. This method works every time.
To use my cocoa buttercream (along with some blackberry jam I had on hand) as a filling, I deglutenized Mary Berry’s Swiss roll recipe (from her cookbook Baking Bible). Her’s is a simple recipe, calling only for three ingredients: 100 grams self-rising flour, four eggs, and 100 grams of caster sugar. Incidentally, Mary Berry’s recipe does direct bakers to invert the finished sponge onto a piece of parchment paper. Where was England’s national treasure when I tried my first Swiss roll? Just a note about self-rising flour and caster sugar: self-rising flour merely flour that contains salt and baking powder. All one needs to do to use gluten-free flour in a recipe that requires self-rising all purpose flour is to add the proper amount of salt and baking powder to the gluten-free flour blend she wants to use in the recipe. Caster sugar has a super fine texture that helps it to dissolve faster and more completely into batters and liquids. It really does make a nice textured sponge. If you don’t have caster sugar, process the sugar you do have in a blender or a coffee grinder to make it a more fine texture. I find that food processors don’t work as well for grinding sugar; the sugar just seems to spin around and doesn’t seem to become as fine. Sometimes I splurge and pay for the convenience of commercial superfine sugar, which I find is more fine a texture than I can manage to get with my blender. If you can’t find caster, or superfine, sugar in your local grocery, you can find it here.*
Swiss roll sponges are simple to make, but look elegant and difficult. If you want to wow your family and friends, bake one today and let them think you slaved over the dessert to get it to work!
*This link is an affiliate link, which means that at no additional cost to you I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Gluten-Free Swiss Roll with Cocoa Buttercream and Blackberry Filling
This Swiss roll recipe, adapted from Mary's Berry's Swiss roll recipe (as it appears in her cookbook Baking Bible (2009, pg 45), is so easy to make, yet looks to elegant. Fill it with any filling that suits your palate!
- 4 large eggs
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 50 grams superfine brown rice flour
- 25 grams sweet (glutenous) rice flour
- 25 grams arrowroot flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch Swiss roll pan with parchment paper.
Using a mixer or whisk, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is frothy and the whisk or beaters leave a trail when lifted out.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the egg / sugar mixture.
Pour the batter into the parchment paper-lined Swiss roll pan. Tap the pan on the counter to even out the batter so that it evenly fills the entire pan.
Bake the sponge in a 375 degree oven until it begins to shrink away from edges of the pan and begins to turn golden brown, about 8 - 10 minutes.
While the sponge is baking, place a piece of parchment paper a little larger than the Swiss roll pan on a counter and sprinkle it with caster sugar. Immediately invert the finished sponge onto the parchment paper after removing it from the oven.
Using a sharp knife, make a cut across one of the short ends of the sponge, about an 1/2 - 1 inch from the end. Cut only half-way through the depth of the sponge, being careful not to cut all the way through.
Beginning with the short end with the cut, carefully roll the sponge in the parchment paper and leave to cool completely.
When the sponge is cooled, unroll is and spread with a filling of your choice, leaving space between the filling and the edges of the sponge. Be careful not to over-fill; 1/4 - 1/2 cup of filling.
After spreading the filling over the surface of the sponge, carefully roll the sponge beginning with the short end with the cut in it. Generously sprinkle the roll with confectioner's sugar.