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 :(
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.
trillium_flower 23rd-Jun-2012 02:08 am (UTC)
THROW IT AWAY! Blaspheme!! That's the best part. You should put it in the freezer while you finish making your roll and then use it to clean up the leftover powdered sugar and or cocoa powder.
amaelamin_ 25th-Jun-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
THANK YOU. this really helps a lot! i thought i was doing something wrong but if it's normal then i just have to work with it. really appreciate your input!
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