huge disaster

suju-m
Posted on 06/22/2012 by helen_bakes
I recently tried to make a swiss roll, but it came out more like a swiss fold than anything because it kept breaking and refused to be a roll-like thing. The real problem here though is that the top of it [which was supposed to be the outer part of the swiss roll] came out really sticky - if touched, bits of it would easily come away stuck to my fingers or a utensil. It was so sticky that it was impossible to turn out onto a sheet to be rolled - it stuck to the sheet so that big patches came off. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me - other baked goods also come out with varying degrees of stickiness.

WHY?

Please help :(
ladycelia 22nd-Jun-2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
Really need more information---what recipe did you use? Have you checked the temperature of your oven? When did you roll the cake (i.e., warm or cold)?
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:43 am (UTC)
i left the cake to cool too long, which is why it broke, but the stickiness of the cake and other things i've baked is the main problem here. another comment says that stickiness is normal, which makes me feel a lot better. thanks for commenting :)
oncelikeshari 22nd-Jun-2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
The only thing I remember about Swiss rolls is that they say to roll it when it's first out of the oven but still on the greaseproof paper, then let it cool and unroll it. Put in your jam or curd and then re roll it while peeling the paper off.
kamaliitaru 22nd-Jun-2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
This. Roll it when it's warm between two sheets of parchment. If it's sticky still, dust it with powdered sugar, and that controls the stickiness.
sushidog 22nd-Jun-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Maybe cook for just slightly longer, to allow the top to dry? Is your kitchen, or the weather, particularly damp? That might cause problems, I guess.
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:47 am (UTC)
it was already burning at the bottom! i suppose the humidity of the weather could be a problem, you have a point. another commenter said that sticky tops are normal though, so i will just have to work around the stickiness. thanks!
pashte_chan 22nd-Jun-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
The recipe I used said to grease and four the pan, line it with parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with confectioners sugar and invert onto a clean dish towel, removing the parchment very carefully. Sprinkle the other side with more confectioners sugar. Roll the cake up in the towel until ready to fill.

It worked like a charm. I used the sponge cake recipe from JoyOfBaking.com
twittermenot 22nd-Jun-2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
This is exactly what I was going to post!!

I make pumpkin rolls in the fall and this is how I do it without a problem.
omniscient_fool 22nd-Jun-2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
If all else fails, ice it. Buttercream works just like spackle/polyfiller.

doubletake 22nd-Jun-2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
Many cakes have a sometimes sticky or tacky, somewhat shiny, thin "skin" on the top. It will peel off easily and transfer to anything that touches it--your hands, parchment, cooling grid, or icing (this is the main culprit in cakes requiring a crumb coat). This is very common and is not considered a fault--it's just something that cake does as it bakes.

I usually just remove it all, rather than trying to keep it intact (especially if it will impact presentation). It makes crumb coating much easier, and looks much nicer. Always remove it if you are lining a cake ring with a genoise strip to make a European-style mousse based cake--I find it turns rather gummy when in contact with mousses. Bleh.

You didn't mention what sort of cake you are using for your roll, but there are really only two methods I've ever used: one for genoise, and one for everything else. Genoise is a sponge cake that doesn't use any chemical leaveners (like baking soda or powder) and is proportionally very high in eggs. It can be cooled flat and will still roll up pretty tidily because the eggs make it flexible but strong, but it is quite lean (very little fat content) and many people find it too dry and bland to be the main player in a rolled cake.

If you're using genoise, allow the cake to cool completely, then rub the top gently with a clean hand and it will begin to pill, eventually clumping together like a sticky globby snowball. Discard or eat. Roll at room temperature--chilled genoise is not as flexible.

If you're making a non-genoise cake, you should pre-roll the cake before it cools. Make sure to line your pan with greased and floured parchment. When the cake comes out of the oven, wait a moment or two, then rub a sheet of paper, foil, or a clean towel over the top. Most of the sticky skin will stick and the remaining bits can usually be removed by hand or with another pass. Powder the top of the cake liberally with sugar or cocoa powder, cover with a clean dishtowel, and invert the pan to transfer the cake onto the towel. If your edges got hard or crispy, quickly trim them off. Remove the parchment, and liberally dust again. LOOSELY roll the cake up WITH THE TOWEL while it is still warm. Don't roll it too tightly--remember, you're going to be filling in between the rolls with lots of filling, so leave some space, especially at the very beginning of your roll. When the cake has COMPLETELY cooled, you can slowly and gently unroll it, remove the towel, and fill.
cougars_catnip 22nd-Jun-2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
You can always try using a silicon mat to do your roll. Nothing sticks to that. :)

CC
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
but it sticks to my fingers :(( next time i'll just peel it off like the above commenter said.
shiro_hikari_13 22nd-Jun-2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
The best kind of cake to use for a roll cake is sponge cake it's easier to mold hence it's name, the way to prevent sticking after it's properly baked it to sprinkle powder sugar on it, (the really fine sugar). The stickiness may be because your oven is different from the ones used in the recipe each oven has it's different tricks some take longer to bake others less, the way to check is a roll cake is done is to see the top become golden brown and to press lightly on it, if it come back up your cake is ready. You should also use parchment paper to line your pan and use one that's an inch high it will come out easier. It's best to roll when warm. Good luck!
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
yeah next time i'll roll it when warm, not wait till it's cool. will also do the sugar dusting! thank you :)
xtricks 22nd-Jun-2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Well, there's plenty of posts above regarding how to make a new cake (sponge cake recipies are one of the commonly used cakes and box mixes work badly). For the cake you have you can do a couple of things; roll (or fold) it up with the filling then cover with a layer of whipped cream/other thick stuff that will hide the imperfections b: cut into rectangles, stack on top of each other (with a filling of choice inbetween) and cover as above, or - my frequent favorite - don't worry about the looks, the taste is the important thing!

Or you can make cake balls.
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:56 am (UTC)
i tried cutting it out with cookie cutters to make little sandwiches but it refused to be cut neatly. this was one stubborn swiss roll. next time i'll just disguise the ugly parts. thanks!
jordanzwei 23rd-Jun-2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Make sure your pan is big enough to bake it thinly enough.

And like others have said, dust with 10x sugar to combat the stickies and roll. I use a clean dishtowel, heavily dusted with 10x sugar. The bulkiness of the towel allows me to roll it, while still accomodating for whatever filling I will eventually put it, and mine never break.
Also, make sure you're not letting it cool for too long before attempting to roll, otherwise it'll certainly break. I'd say 10 minutes is the sweet spot.
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:55 am (UTC)
this comment answers every question i had, thank you so much!
sermanya 23rd-Jun-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
I usually use a wet dishcloth, place the still-hot-still-sticking-to-the-baking-paper with the paper side on the cloth and spread on filler. Then, while rolling it, I carefully remove the now wet paper together with the wet cloth. That's how my mum thaugt me. She's from Austria, not from Switzerland, but it works :)
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
oh, i must try this. so you don't invert the cake? since the darker side will then be on the outside when you roll it if you fill the 'top' of the cake.
amaelamin_ Re: Case of the crumbly roll25th-Jun-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
i think i left it to cool too long while it was flat, and i should have wrapped it in a towel as you said. other commenters have said the stickiness is normal, which is also what the sugar coat is for. thanks for helping :)
groovewoman Missed something?25th-Jun-2012 12:56 am (UTC)
Maybe you have skipped a step or had a wrong measurement on an ingredient? What's tough with baking is that unlike cooking meals wherein you can adjust everything according to taste, in baking you have to be perfectly precise.
amaelamin_ Re: Missed something?25th-Jun-2012 01:51 am (UTC)
no, i followed the measurements carefully. it's more a matter of not knowing why it turned out sticky initially, but thanks :)
lezi 25th-Jun-2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
When you bake it, are you using a parchment-lined baking sheet? And as far as rocking the roll--pardon the pun, haha--my old baking teacher always told us to sprinkle our work surfaces with plenty of granulated sugar before flipping the cake over. the sugar keeps everything from sticking and makes it easier to transition from sheet to roll.

Let me know if this works, or if you have anymore questions! I've made a couple Swiss rolls in my time at a bakery.
amaelamin_ 26th-Jun-2012 12:17 am (UTC)
yeah i left out the sugar, which is what caused all the problems. i didn't realise it was to help with the stickiness and rolling. thanks very much!
kentucka 25th-Jun-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I know by now you probably have enough ideas on how to try this next time, but I'll explain how I always do my swiss rolls as well and give you yet another ;)

I make a sponge cake on some parchment paper, and prepare either a dish towel or a silicon mat by sprinkling it really well with powdered sugar. also, I make my secret weapon: a bit of sugar water. heat up some water in a small bowl on the stove, and dissolve sugar in it.

once the cake is out of the oven, I brush the sugar water on the darker top, particularly the edges. that keeps it all moist and bendy. Then I put the sponge "face down" on the sugar towel, maybe sprinkle some water on the parchment paper but that's not absolutely necessary, and let it cool off just a little so I won't burn my fingers. then I pull off the paper at an almost 180° angle so that the cake has no chance at sticking to it.

if the filling's jam or something else that won't melt, I put it on immediately. I use my fingers for the very first tight turn, and then the towel to roll the rest more loosely.

if the filling would melt, I roll at least half of the cake still empty and let it cool off a bit more. if you let it cool flat it will surely break too easily. then I carefully unroll it again, just enough to put the filling in, and roll it back up all the way.


... thank you, you reminded me that I need to make plans for a swiss roll for my stepdad's birthday :D
amaelamin_ 26th-Jun-2012 12:18 am (UTC)
thank you! i will keep all this in mind :) and i hope your stepdad has a lovely birthday.
maeths 25th-Jun-2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
(Didn't check to see if this was already suggested)

line the baking dish with parchment paper. It will help you lift and roll the cake.
amaelamin_ 26th-Jun-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
yup, did that. thanks :)
slideshowplu ladygaga26th-Jun-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
Oh, my ladygaga,I misunderstood your meaning, I never tried to do swiss roll. so can not help you
Bobbi Colucci Pumpkin Roll Dilemma 24th-Nov-2013 07:36 pm (UTC)
Ok so I've read your post about stickiness and I cannot tell you how many times that's happened to me. When baking, forget about all that greasing and flouring! Just put some parchment paper in the jelly roll pan and spray it with PAM and when you flip it it'll come right out and the paper will peel off the back. You do have to roll it immediately while it's hot. When rolling, flip the cooked roll onto a new piece of parchment paper sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. I have thrown several towels away because the roll stuck to it so forget about the towel. You can put another piece of parchment on top and roll. So basically you have parchment paper, the roll and parchment paper again. You must let it cool all the way before unrolling; if you don't you will have problems. By the way, wax paper is not recommended because the wax gets hot and actually melts into the roll. Some people say let cool 20 minutes, but that's not enough unless you put it in the refrigerator, which is an option if you have room. The other thing you could do is to spray the parchment paper before flipping the roll on it then roll, it won't stick then. If it still feels wet when cooking time is up, let it cook a little longer.
What I've done in order not to waste the roll after it's broken is to cut it into square pieces. Take one of the squares and spread the filling on it then take another square and put it on top to make individually wrapped pumpkin sandwiches! No sense in wasting food or time and these are a delicious treat if you're on the go and you don't have to worry about unwrapping then re-wrapping the saran wrap every time you want a slice of the roll. Hope this has helped.
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