Get snug and cosy this Christmas with this festival swiss roll from Sainsburys Magazine.
Serves 8-10 | Preparation Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus cooling and chilling)
For the cake:
50g butter, plus extra to grease
50g black treacle
50g golden syrup
2 balls stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the syrup
4 large eggs
100g dark brown sugar
100g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
For the filling and decoration:
50g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
150g soft unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp stem ginger syrup from the jar
300g icing sugar, sifted, extra to dust
200g full-fat soft cheese
[Make the sponge the day before; store rolled in the paper. Assemble a few hours before serving and chill; remove from the fridge 45 minutes before serving. Leftovers keep for up to 2 days, chilled.]
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius, fan 170 degrees celsius, gas 5.
Grease and line a Swiss roll tine (about 25cm x 37cm) with baking paper. Place the butter, treacle, golden syrup, chopped stem ginger and syrup in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. Allow to melt and stir to combine, then pour into a bowl to cool slightly.
Toast the pecans for the filling in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Beat the eggs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl (for about 5 minutes with a stand mixer, or up to 10 minutes using a hand-held electric whisk), until the mixture is lighter in colour, thick and mousse-like. Test if it’s ready by lifting the whisk out of the mix; it should leave a trail in the mixture below.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt, then pour the melted butter mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Gently fold everything together with a large metal spoon until incorporated, trying to knock out as little air as possible. Pour into the prepared tin, tilting the tin to ease the mixture into the corners. Bake for 12-14 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.
Meanwhile, place a large sheet of baking paper on your work surface and dust with caster sugar. Flip the warm sponge out onto the sugared paper, cool for 5 minutes, then peel away the lining paper. Score a line 2cm in from one of the shorter ends, then roll up from this end, rolling the baking paper inside. Leave the roll to cool completely.
Roughly chop the toasted pecans and weigh out 25g for the praline. Line a plate with baking paper. Dissolve 50g sugar in 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over a low heat, without stirring. Increase the heat and bubble until it turns a golden caramel, swirling the pan every now and then. Quickly stir in the 25g pecans and pour onto the lined plate or tray. Snap into small shards when set.
For the filling, beat the soft butter and stem ginger syrup until smooth then gradually add the icing sugar. Add half the soft cheese and beat again, then add the rest, to avoid it splitting. Whisk for at least 5 minutes until fluffy, smooth and lighter in colour.
Carefully unroll the Swiss roll and spread two-thirds of the filling evenly over the sponge, leaving a 5cm gap at the far end. Scatter on the rest of the pecans then re-roll, finishing with the seam underneath. Trim the ends to neaten, then transfer to a serving plate. Spoon the remaining filling into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (about 15mm wide) and pipe fat round pearls down the centre of the Swiss roll. Dust with icing sugar then press praline shards into the pearls of the filling. Blitz any leftover praline to fine crumbs and scatter over. Chill for at least 30 minutes for easier slicing, but best enjoyed at room temperature.
Indulge and enjoy!