Sunday, 23 June 2013

Can I roll it like Fanny?

"Basics are the Golden Threads which link almost everything of any importance which we shall cook together. Without them we are all lost."


Strangely the Cradock Cookery Programme begins with a guide to making a perfect Featherweight Swiss Roll... Even stranger still, there is no recipe as such, instead Fanny treats us to a step-by-step photo guide showing us how to make a Swiss Roll which does NOT crack... Perhaps if she was still around it would be a blog-post or You Tube tutorial. The strangest thing is that although I have been cooking and baking for years, I have never, ever made a Swiss Roll. However, not wishing to be 'lost' I dive in and get myself prepared!


It all seems suddenly alien to me, I am reading about techniques I would never have thought would work and measurements to convert and get my head around - how much is 2 1/2 ounces of self raising flour? Fanny asks me, or rather tells me very sternly, to remember that without self raising flour I will not have enough raising agent to 'lift a single hair on poor old pussy's tail'... I'm not sure who pussy is, but I am not arguing.

Fanny tells me to scald my caster sugar in a very hot oven for 6 minutes and then beat it into my eggs. I fear scrambling instead of a featherweight Swiss Roll, but resisting every bit of knowledge, experience and gut feeling I have gained over the years, I do as I am told. Wow, it looks lovely and voluminous after a few minutes. Maybe Fanny knows a thing or two after all? Finally I add the flour, combine, and spread my mixture in my well prepared tin (of course), making sure to push it into the corners - Fanny warns me that I will have trouble rolling it if I don't. She's been right so far.


After a nerve wracking 8 whole minutes in the oven, I remove my PERFECT, pliable sponge just as Fanny said. Fanny recommends it should look like a golden feather bed and nearly as wrinkly as her husband Johnny. It seems to! The rolling was where I was sure to mess things up, right? So, I spread my jam, take a very, very deep breath and very carefully follow my picture instructions... And Voila! 


With Fanny's help I seem to have mastered a basic skill, and one which I have been without for many, many years. With this Golden Thread under my belt, Fanny assures me that I will have confidence to tackle anything that is to come in the subsequent part-works. This all began strangely, felt strange to do, but strangely I believe her!


6 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful, just goes to show that sometimes the tradtional techniques are the best. I haven't had much luck with Swiss rolls in the past, determined to master them one day :)

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    1. Thanks Jen! Obviously Fanny thought it important to start there! Hadn't heard of adding hot sugar to eggs before beating before, have you? It worked well though and is lovely and light :-)

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  2. Oh my goodness, how absolutely perfect.
    I'm a huge fan of Fanny (although not quite yet born when she was in her heyday), and I can't wait to see how you get on!
    Stumbled across your post via Edinburgh Bakers on twitter and your Swiss roll looks wonderful :)
    Love your blog idea, cant wait to see what's next
    Hillywilly

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    1. I hope I don't let you down! ;-) I am having a lot of fun so far, and it's great to get comments like yours, and to see all the other fab stuff people are up to! Thanks!

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  3. What a lovely website and the recipe for the famous Swiss Roll!! Thank you so much. I would love to get hold of those booklets. It's so funny when I watch the old programmes and she said: It's all in the booklet! :o)

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm having a lot of fun, the booklets are all hilarious, so do track them down - it's all in there! Hope you continue to enjoy my adventures...

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