Some days call for lavish teatime treats, especially when it’s Sunday and I’m in the mood to spoil myself with some tasty calories. The 7th day of the week should be dedicated to rest and calm, but in my life it’s also dedicated to baking. I take advantage of the fact that there are no duties and tasks waiting to be taken care of, so I can give my full attention to a quiet kitchen instead. I’m willing to share my baked treats with my loved ones, it’s my kitchen credo after all, which led to my blog and my book’s subtitle: To cook, to bake, to eat, and to treat. Cake always tastes better when you share it, but the process of baking it gives me some time just for myself.
So this week I got hooked on the idea of combining a swiss roll with New York cheesecake – without the cookie base obviously. I was after a spongy roll, fluffy but structured, and I know that my beloved swiss roll recipe manages to satisfy this demand with ease. It’s been with me for two decades, I trust this roll. My usual filling would be whipped cream, as in my Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll recipe. But it seemed too light for my current mood, I wanted creamy richness, a denser filling, with cream cheese and mascarpone – and a few plump blackberries – for my cheesecake swiss roll. My body’s ready for the next season and it doesn’t care that I’ll be in Malta again in a few weeks, sitting on the beach in a bikini under the burning sun. I’m set for autumn and my Maltese boyfriend deeply disapproves of my decision – I think every Mediterranean man or woman suffers when summer comes to an end. But for a northern girl, the next season promises coziness and hearty treats, lonely walks in golden forests, and a chilled breeze whistling through the streets.
Cheesecake Swiss Roll with Mascarpone and Blackberries
Makes a 15cm / 6″ long swiss roll
For the swiss roll
organic eggs, separated, 2
a pinch of salt
granulated sugar 40g/ 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons the sprinkling
plain flour 35g / 1/4 cup
cornstarch 15g / 2 tablespoons
For the filling
mascarpone 110g / 4 ounces
cream cheese 110g / 4 ounces
granulated sugar 2 tablespoon
lemon zest 1 teaspoon, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
blackberries 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
Set the oven to 220°C / 425°F (conventional setting) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt for a few seconds before adding half the sugar, continue beating until stiff.
In a second large bowl, mix the egg yolks and the remaining sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Using a wooden spoon, fold the egg white into the egg yolks. Sieve and combine the flour and cornstarch and fold gently into the egg mixture. Spread the dough on the lined baking sheet, covering a rectangle of roughly 15 x 30cm / 6 x 12″ and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 6 minutes or until golden and spongy.
Sprinkle a kitchen towel with 2 tablespoons of sugar and flip the warm sponge onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully roll the sponge with the towel, the roll should be 15cm / 6″ long. Leave it rolled up until cool.
For the filling, in a medium bowl, whip the mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice until creamy.
When the sponge is cool, unwind the sponge roll and spread the filling on top, leave a small rim (see picture below). Cover with the blackberries and roll it up tightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and a little lemon zest. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge before serving.