Look Ma, No Cracks!

Nope, I’m not back in the kitchen, not properly or full-time-ish anyway, but I’m picking out the pictures and recipes that have been collecting dust in my drafts (bin) since… alphatime. So just this January (aka, yonks ago), I bought myself a Kate. No, not Kate Spade – that’s an old joke (for non-Singaporeans, just google Kate Spade and elections, then go figure…). No, it’s not Kate Middleton either – that’s much too posh (say it with you mouth in a perfect O) and I certainly can’t afford the ring that comes with her. But this, oh this cranberry sexy thing is what I’m talking about. This blushing new bride was admired for right about less than a day, and then, as Madonna coos, ‘like a virgin, touched for the very first time’, she was no longer. Ahem.

Kate lost it, *coughsiamtooembarrassedtosayitoutloudcoughs*, to the most perfectly bronzed Swiss dude that stepped out of my kitchen. Hairless, poreless, smelling like the tropics (think coconut!), and with skin that puts most people to shame, I’d say he was the perfect thing to hook up with Kate. Yes I am the dreamcatcher dream matchmaker, thank you very much.

Anyway, getting these two hotties together could have gone either way for me – ego-boosting or soul-destroying. I’m glad it was the former because I’ve always had a fear of Swiss dudes, and to me, it’s just so darn hard to get the skin right. Too much tanning, and one winds up looking like cracked dirty feet; too little and one looks like erm, alabaster me or the equivalent of a pink baby pig. But Kate seemed to bring a little bit of lady luck with her, for I have conquered the Swiss that had long refused to tame in my hands, and now he’s just…..perfect. Poreless, scrumptious, soft and so delicious with all that toasted coconut whipped cream within. Oops, did I just say whipped cream? Sorry, Kate, everyone seems to know your ‘preferences’ now…

Here’s how to get YOUR Swiss dude that smells and tastes like a beach holiday:

Pandan soufflé Swiss roll with toasted coconut whipped cream
(adapted from Okashi by Keiko Ishida)

For the roll:

1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
35g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
10g corn flour
60g coconut milk
3 egg whites
85g caster sugar
1 teaspoon pandan extract
1 tablespoon pandan juice (6-7 pandan leaves, finely chopped and pounded with 1 tablespoon water, squeeze juice out and pass through sieve to remove any debris)
1/2 teaspoon green liquid colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 12 inch by 9 inch cake pan with baking parchment, making sure the edges high enough to peek out from the tray as you’ll be using these to handle the sponge later.
2. Combine 1 egg, 3 egg yolks, vanilla, pandan extract, pandan juice, green colouring in a small bowl and lightly beat to incorporate. Set this mixture aside.
3. Sift flours together twice, and set aside.
4. Heat butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Add sifted flour to melted butter and cook till you get a dough that comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove this dough to a bowl, and add the egg mixture from Step 2 in small amounts. Gradually mix the dough and egg mixture into a smooth batter with each addition. Add coconut milk to the batter and combine well. Strain the batter through a sieve and set the batter aside.
5. In a clean bowl, whip up egg whites till foamy. Add half of the sugar and beat for a few minutes, then add the remaining sugar and beat till stiff and glossy peaks are formed.
6. Gently fold one-third of this meringue mixture from Step 5 to the batter from Step 4 till roughly incorporated. Fold in the remaining meringue until just incorporated. Pour this batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface out with a scraper. Bake the sponge for 18 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven, loosely cover the cake with a piece of aluminium foil and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely. Remember to keep the foil on, so the moisture won’t be lost from the cake. This will prevent the sponge from cracking when you try to roll it.

For the sponge filling:

200g whipping cream, cold
2 tablespoons caster sugar
25g dessicated coconut
5g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt

1. Melt unsalted butter in a shallow pan, add a pinch of salt and lightly toast the dessicated coconut in it. The coconut flakes should turn golden brown.
2. Beat whipping cream and sugar till just about stiff. Do not overbeat this as the cream will split. Gently mix in the toasted coconut, and set aside.
3. Peel the baking parchment off the sponge, and carefully turn the sponge over such that brown skin is in contact with the peeled parchment (or use a new parchment if it’s easier to lay that out). Lift the cooled sponge (using edges of the baking parchment) onto a clean tea towel. Gently roll the sponge up using the tea towel as a guide and hold it loosely for a minute or two. Unroll the sponge again, remove the baking parchment, and leave the sponge on the tea towel. Spread the cream evenly across the green surface of the sponge (I like to have the browned skin outside the roll) with a spatula. Using the tea towel as guide, roll the sponge up again, carefully re-positioning the towel as the cake comes into contact with the cream. You don’t want the cream to get on the towel! Cut the edges of the roll to make it pretty and neat, and there you have it, your very own Swiss stud!

If you like pandan and coconut flavours, don’t forget to check out my pandan chiffon cake here!

*Updated: This post has been featured on Foodgawker and Tastespotting. Check out my profiles on Foodgawker and Tastespotting to see my other featured posts!

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59 Responses to “Look Ma, No Cracks!”

  1. 1 Su-yin May 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Pandan swiss roll is the ultimate swiss roll, to me anyway! Yours looks gorgeous, and as you say – no cracks!

    • 2 The Pleasure Monger May 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Su-yin: Thank you! I rolled it as I held my breath, because I’ve made Swiss roll a few times with other recipes, and they cracked! With this recipe, everything works well, in fact, I may make some soon….

  2. 3 heavenwildfleur May 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    you need to tell me how you get the skin sooooo perfect. this looks SUPER soft and yummy!!! and i lurveeee your anthropomorphism hahahha…

  3. 5 itsybitsybrianna May 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Your blog is simply amazing and so full of color, which I LOVE!
    Please stop by and say hi

  4. 7 lisamichele May 23, 2011 at 12:13 am

    That’s simply the most beautiful cake roll I’ve ever seen. Just, wow!

  5. 9 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets May 23, 2011 at 1:18 am

    This looks delicious! I made a cake roll too recently. It was yummy but I couldn’t avoid the cracks. Congrats on being crack-free ;p.

  6. 11 Aimei May 23, 2011 at 2:29 am

    This looked simply delish and very jap-Singapore creations!

  7. 13 sylvia May 23, 2011 at 2:37 am

    this looks AMAZING!!!!! i’m going to ahve to try it sometime! though i still haven’t found pandan leaves in canada yet.. boo hoo..

  8. 15 FreeEats May 23, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Ok, you definitely get an A+ for this one. Absolutely gorgeous! I would hang out with this Swiss dude any day of the week.

  9. 17 imp May 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What a delightful piece of writing about Kate! Even though I don’t bake and can only pass on your recipes to friends who do, I love your words. :)

  10. 19 Jun May 24, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Your Swiss roll looks so rich and smooth!!!

  11. 21 agi May 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm


    i just bought some pandan sugar!!! how much do u think i should use, because i can`t be bothered to make the juice and also how much sugar should i omit??

    • 22 The Pleasure Monger June 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      agi: I’m not sure if pandan sugar would be the best to use when you don’t have pandan juice. I would really suggest using pandan essence or pandan paste if you don’t want to make the juice. I have never had pandan sugar before, so I don’t know what it tastes like. Besides, if you change the sugar levels, the cake structure and taste will change quite a bit.

  12. 23 Doris June 14, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Hi, so glad to stumble upon your site… Your pandan roll looks yummy! I followed your pandan chiffon recipe and it turned out great :) not sure if you notice but you left out the step on mixing the flour to the yolk mixture.

    can I just check if 60g of coconut milk is the same as 60ml?

    • 24 The Pleasure Monger June 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Hi Doris,

      I’m glad the chiffon recipe turned out great! Thanks for the heads up on the missing step, I’ve added it in. I haven’t tried to see if 60ml of coconut milk weighs 60g but I don’t think so as I reckon the density of coconut milk is different from water. It’s best to weigh it out for accuracy.

  13. 25 doris June 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I did weigh the coconut milk after all. I tried out the recipe and was glad it turned out good. Just wanna check… is the sponge supposed to be like the usual swiss roll or is it supposed to be more ‘moist’? I didn’t get the bright cheery green colour roll like yours cos I couldn’t find pandan extract here (yet). Would have to get hold of a bottle ASAP :)

    • 26 The Pleasure Monger June 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      doris: Glad the recipe turned out food! This is a souffle roll, so it will be more moist than usual swiss rolls. You can add some liquid green food colouring to get the colour, but pandan extract works too!

  14. 27 doris June 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, just need some advice on rolling the souffle roll. After it’s been cooled on the wire rack, do you remove the parchment from the souffle roll and turn the cake onto a new piece of parchment? Or do you turn it on the tea towel? I’m a little confused on this bit here. Thanks!

    • 28 The Pleasure Monger June 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      doris: Hello! I’ve updated the steps to make it a little clearer, you can turn the sponge onto the same piece of parchment or new one (I used the old one to save on parchment, but having a new one laid out on the table, would probably be easier if you’re flipping the sponge onto it). And then with the sponge on the parchment, move everything up to the tea towel, such that sponge is on parchment, which is in turn in contact with the tea towel. I hope I’m making sense? If not, please drop me a line again. =)

  15. 29 Doris June 29, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Oh thank you so much for updating the instructions! Now I understood what you meant! I did turned the spongevon the new parchmentvonce but the ‘brown skin’ got a bit stuck to the parchment….not sure if it’s because it was still warm and damp. Do you need to completely cool it before you turn it over?

    • 30 The Pleasure Monger July 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Doris: No problem! I’m not sure if the brown skin was stuck because it was still warm and damp, but for me, I cool it down first before I do anything to the sponge. Do have a look at my recipe, I’ve specified this in one of the steps. =)

  16. 31 baker in training July 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    i finally got a chance to make this, and still had some cracks but most surprisingly when i went to cut it, the sponge roll didn’t look like a sponge but rather a dense, almost looking uncooked roll-which i knew it couldn’t be as it tasted cooked??! not sure where i went wrong, possibly when i put the flour into the butter and stirred….it only took perhaps a minute for it to come away from the sides…should it have been cooked more or less??? i’ve made pandan chiffon cakes before and it has never come out looking uncooked like this?? i am keen to give it another go…..

    • 32 The Pleasure Monger July 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      baker in training: That’s so strange! For me, I cooked the flour and butter for more than a minute definitely, although I’m not sure if that is the key step that makes the sponge look cooked. I would have thought that in your case, it would be the opposite i.e. if we undercook the butter and flour, it would taste uncooked, rather than look uncooked. This sponge is actually different from the chiffon cakes – chiffon cakes are much lighter and fluffier, whereas the sponge would be more dense, but it still shouldn’t look uncooked. When you say uncooked, what do you mean? Does the cake look wet etc? Also when you mix the dough and egg together, did you get a homogenous batter?

  17. 33 baker in training July 15, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    it did look a little wet but I actually cooked it for 20mins as my pan was around 12inch by 8inch so I took that into account. It looked really dense-and yes almost a wet look, but it did hold ( I wish I could send you a pic-although my sister still loved the taste and she took it with her). I used this premium coconut milk which is on the thicker side, I am going to try doing this again with a thinner coconut milk just to rule this out. When i mixed the dough and egg together it came together beautifully…so I don’t know where I went wrong! I used a whisk to mix everything to combine and folded the egg white with a spatula-I did put it in a pan which was too big and had to move it to another pan (lesson learnt there!) maybe I knocked all the air out at that stage? hmmm..also is there a reason why you don’t use cream of tartar when whisking the egg white?
    this is doing my head in-I have to make it again to satisfy myself!!!!

    • 34 The Pleasure Monger July 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

      baker in training: The coconut milk that I used was thinner, so perhaps that affected the texture. Also perhaps you could bake it for 2 more minutes to see if it makes a difference. I didn’t use cream of tartar as the recipe didn’t call for it…also the thing is we don’t really need the sponge to be super fluffy like a chiffon, as you still want enough stretch-iness in the sponge to be able to roll it. Do let me know how the tweaking goes! I know how you feel about this, I used to make swiss rolls over and over again as I couldn’t get them crack-free and perfect, until this recipe came through for me! Good luck!

  18. 35 baker in training July 18, 2011 at 1:21 am

    well I tried it again and again it came out very dense in the middle….so on my 3rd attempt (after a sleepless night) I decided not to cook the butter and flour but instead added it after I whisked the egg yolk and it came out much better……still not as light as a chiffon cake mostly I think it is due to the butter but I agree with you it does need the stretchiness….
    I assume it was a big hit as there was a little argument who would get the last piece! just out of curiosity though, has anyone else had this problem?

  19. 37 lovefood August 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    What kind of measurement do you use for the unsalted butter – 35 grams?

  20. 39 amylu7 December 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    This looks dangerously delicious. I still haven’t tried making a rolled cake before, but I’ve been meaning to for a while now. Love your blog!

  21. 41 bakingtime February 7, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hello, Can you please give me the weigh measurement for caster sugar in the roll?

  22. 43 Sick of Being a Fatty April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Let me just say – I just joined your blog – and it’s the best one ever!!! I am amazed!!!! Thank you for a beautiful blog and inspired recipes!

  23. 45 Carmen Lee April 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Your recipe looks delicious; pandan flavored cake has been on my to-do list for a while. I have a few questions though. Can I substitute corn flour with something else? Can I use all extract? If so, how much would I use? Thanks for the help! (PS – just saw your lychee chiffon cake recipe.. mmmm)

    • 46 The Pleasure Monger April 26, 2012 at 5:27 am

      Carmen: You can substitute the combination of plain flour + corn flour with cake flour, which is a low-gluten flour. The only reason why I used corn flour in addition to plain flour was because I didn’t have access to cake flour. Yes you may use extract to the same amount, just make sure you have good quality extract.

  24. 47 Mike November 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Hi – I just read online that there are 2 types of dessicated coconut – sweetened and unsweetened. What type are you using here? Thanks.

  25. 49 Nhung February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I’ve been searching for ‘the’ recipe for swiss roll and this is the winner. Just made it earlier. My hubby and I finished the cake as soon as it cooled off. I just can’t wait to bake another one tomorrow. That was for the taste and texture; for appearances, mine did not have the flawless skin like yours, all was actually still green ^_^
    You made me want to buy the book Okashi… too but it’s so overpriced on amazon ($400). Please introduce more recipes from this book.
    Thank you so much.

  26. 51 Evenstar March 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Look so nice, i will defintely try this recipe. But may I ask u one question, how can u manage in order to make the skin didn’t peel off when you put upside down, put the filling and rolling it ?

  27. 53 Phyllis June 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Hi, thank you for the wonderful recipe! It is definitely the best recipe sonfar after having tried so many swill roll recipes.. Tried it today and had 1 problem and a question though, #1 the brown side looks smooth before I open the oven door and seconds after the oven door was opened, the brown side became wrinkled! #2 most other recipes requires the assembled product to be chilled for at least 1 hour before serving. How about this? Thanks!

    • 54 The Pleasure Monger June 6, 2013 at 2:41 am

      Hi there. Perhaps try leaving it to cool in the oven for a short period of time before taking it out of the oven? For me, I didn’t have this problem. I simply took the sponge out from the oven, covered it loosely with foil and let it cool completely at room temperature.

  28. 55 Joaquim November 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Hi Rachel,

    After 3 tries, I finally managed to get a nice brown intact skin! Yayness. I can’t see to get similar consistency like yours in the pic for the cream though. Is there any specific details I should take note of? After the cream thickens, I will add the dessicated coconut, which makes the whole cream really lumpy. I tried decreasing the amount of coconut but it still becomes lumpy.


  29. 57 Desiree April 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Hello: Can you please tellme how to convert grams into cups? I’m from the US. I will try this out :) I’m a new baker ….

    • 58 The Pleasure Monger April 16, 2014 at 3:14 am

      Hi Desiree, I would ask that you google for the conversion of specific items. For example, one cup caster sugar would differ from one cup plain flour in terms of weight. It’s best the do this in grams though as some of the quantities are too small to be quantified by cups. Good luck!

  1. 1 Coconut Swiss Roll with Chocolate coconut mousse filling and white chocolate cream cheese icing. (As used in Surf’s Up cake) | scramtucker Trackback on November 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

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About The Author
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Read about my food-gasmic adventures in San Sebastian here! Also please come by and check out the prettiest cake I've made over here!
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Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cookies
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M's birthday cake - Japanese Cheesecake with Rose Whipped Cream
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Pandan Chiffon Cake
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Bailey's & Coffee Macarons

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