Thursday, April 6, 2017

Yam / Taro Swiss Roll

Have you been admiring the amazing delicious cakes that are selling in the shops and you ask yourself...

"Can I bake these?"

Me? Always! LOL!

This time, I ask myself... Can I bake a cottony soft Asian taro Swiss roll?

Me? YES! I can!!!

And I can confidently say that I can bake a very good one. So good that I reckon that it is better than those that I have tried in many Asian cake shops... keke

taro yam swiss roll cottony soft
Yam / Taro Swiss Roll

Why taro Swiss roll?

It was a yucky day that my son was feeling unwell. He wasn't eating anything and had reluctantly requested for a particular Asian-style bread. Hence, I had to make a quick dash to the nearest BreadTop εŒ…εΊ— (a popular Asian bakery chain in Australia).

At the shop when I was paying for my purchases, a guy came and asked the shop assistant for taro Swiss roll but she said it has been sold out!!! The disappointed guy didn't buy anything else and just walked away.

At the moment with a light bulb in my head, the crazy me started to talk to myself... taro Swiss roll? Hey... I can bake that! Or can I? ... LOL! Me and silly thoughts... Always like to make fun out of misery :p

After making sure that my sick son was well fed with bread and hydralyte drinks, I set myself a new mission to look for a good taro Swiss roll recipe.

How good is a good taro Swiss roll cake?

Most Asians especially the Taiwanese love enjoying our cakes and desserts that are made with taro (a starchy root vegetable which is also known as yam). About a year ago, I remember this very soft and moist taro chiffon layered cake that my brother's Taiwanese girlfriend that bought for us and she said that this taro cake is very popular in Taiwan. I had to try this lovely cake and had engraved its heavenly taste and texture into my brain...

So to me, the cake base of a good taro cake has to be light, soft and cottony. It must also contains a balanced amount of fragrance from yam and coconut milk. The filling must be creamy and SMOOTH but not too heavy!!! It should be a little sweet, a little salty, light in texture and fully packed with taste and fragrance.

Now knowing my mission inside out, I had a thorough look at a series of recipes that I found from my Google search and was shocked to learn that there is really a limited number of taro swiss roll recipes that I can find at internet and can't find anyone that I want!!!

Can't find any recipe? Hmmm... So I created one! Guess what? I'm happy and surprised that it works so perfectly! And the cake is exactly what I'm after! So heavenly yammy!!!

This is the famous taro chiffon cake that my brother's Taiwanese girlfriend bought for us from Taiwan.
Believe me. It is famous for a reason!
This is my 100% homemade Taro Swiss roll.
I can confidently say that mine can be as good as the above famous Taiwan taro cake.
And is even better than those that I have tried in many Asian cake shops in Melbourne :p

Believe me??? You can try to bake this cake and tell me if you like it :) Here's a one-minute video showing you how I baked this awesome cake.

I'm sorry that it was one of the earliest video that I took a while ago and I don't have time to edit it and write the recipe in my blog. Well, it's better late than never.

taro yam swiss roll cottony soft
Love love love this yammy cake :)

Here's my yummy yammy Swiss roll recipe.

Make one Swiss roll (unrolled size: 35 x 25 cm / 10 x 14 inches)
IMPORTANT: Please use the exact weight and volume of these ingredients as it will yield the most ideal cake taste and texture. Please do not make any reduction or alteration!

For the taro filling:
more than 250g taro, peeled, freshly steamed until soft
30g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
125ml (1/2 cup) light coconut milk with 13% fat

For the cake:
40g taro filling (see above)
2 tbsp (30ml) light coconut milk with 13% fat
2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil, preferably something that is neutral tasting
60g egg yolks (about 3-4 large)

80g self raising cake flour with 8% protein
(or the same amount of cake flour plus 3/4 tsp baking powder)
pinch of salt to taste

a few drops of purple colouring, if desired - I used the natural type of colouring and so it looks rather peachy than purple :p 

140g egg whites (about 4 large)
80g caster sugar

To make the filling:
Using a food processor, process warm freshly steamed taro until it is roughly mashy and it doesn't have to be smooth. It is important to process the taro while it is warm as the cooled taro will be stickier and harder to process. Weigh the processed taro and use only 250g to make the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, place the processed taro, sugar, salt and coconut milk and mix briefly until combine. For an ultimate smooth filling texture, place taro mixture into a sieve with medium coarse mesh and press mixture through the sieve. Collect the pressed through taro and discard all the coarse bits that are trapped on the sieve surfaces.

Transfer filling into a bowl and take 40g out to make the cake base. Cover the surface of the rest of the filling well with cling wrap - This will avoid the filling from drying out and form a layer of skin on its surface. Set aside at room temperature.

To bake the chiffon cake base:
Preheat oven to 180°C (No fan forced please).

Line one 35 x 25 cm baking tray with baking paper.

For A:
Add 40g taro filling, coconut milk and oil into a small bowl and mix until combined.

Add egg yolks and taro mixture into a large mixing bowl and use a hand whisk to mix until all are combined.

For B:
Combine all in B. Sift mixture B into mixture A and use a hand whisk to mix until all are just incorporated. It is ok that mixture will be sticky and difficult to whisk.

For C:
Add a few drops of purple colouring to colour your batter if desired. It is ok if the colour is not well mixed into the mixture as it will be sticky and difficult to whisk. Set aside.

For D:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in low speed for about 10 mins or until foamy. Increase beating speed to medium (not too high to avoid large bubbles forming). While beating, add sugar gradually and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Combine A+B and C:
Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the flour mixture in 3 portions. It is ok to mix the first batch of egg whites into the sticky flour mixture a little more vigorously but the mixing has to be gentle later. Making sure most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour batter into baking tray. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly and gentle tap the filled tray on the kitchen top to remove any large bubble. Bake for 15 mins or until the cake is well risen and fully cooked.

When done, remove cake (with its baking paper) from the tray immediately and transfer it onto a wire rack to cool. After 5-10 mins of cooling, flip the cake onto a clean baking paper and remove the used baking paper at its bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely.

To assemble:
Use a knife to trim off about 0.5 cm from both the shorter sides of the cake. Place cake with its top side (the top brown side of the cake) facing up on a large piece of cling wrap. 

Spread a layer of filling evenly on the cake. Roll the cake from the shorter end along the longer side to form a Swiss roll. Wrap in cling wrap and allow the cake to firm up into its shape for about 30 mins at room temperature.

Trim off both sides of the cake. Slice and serve.

Store any uneaten cake in an airtight container and also in the fridge for up to 3 days. Believe me that they will be still moist and delicious even on the 3rd day of bake.

Happy Baking
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  1. We only associate yam with savory, never knew it was used to make cakes! Wow, that is totally new information... The cake looks amazing, so soft and cottony...

  2. Hi Zoe

    Thank u for sharing this yummilicious recipe. Your cake is so beautifully rolled up with no crack!
    Can u share the trick? When did u roll it up, aft the cake is cooled down to room temp?

    Thanks lots n happy TGIF!

    1. Hi Grace, I have tried my best to describe all that I know at my blog post and demonstrated the whole baking process in my video. Hope that all in this post will help. Cheers!

  3. Don't quite understand how u got the peachy colour ? What ingredient/natural food did u add to get the peach colour?

    1. Hi Ivy, I'm using Queen Natural Purple Food Colours which is made of plant Extract from Gardenia and insect extract from cochineal. Cheers!

    2. I can also omit the colouring right?

    3. It's entirely up to you :) No worries!

  4. Love your yam swiss roll, Zoe! Up to today I am frightened to bake a swiss roll hah..hah...

  5. This looks so darn pretty and delicious! I just really want to make mini yam rings at home! I absolutely love them and it's actually super easy to make so I need to give it a try!

  6. My tray is 11x14, how to adjust the recipe?

    1. Hi, you will have to increase all the ingredients proportionally by 1.1 time.

  7. Good day Zoe, you mentioned for the filling:- to mix the processed taro, sugar, salt and coconut milk and mix briefly until combine and set aside covered at room temperature.

    Kindly advise is there NO NEED TO COOK the coconut milk before mixing with the rest of the ingredients to make the filling.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Hi Priscilla, The coconut milk that I used is canned coconut milk. It has been pasteurized and so it is not necessary to cook it. Besides, cooking coconut milk can cause it to split sometimes and so I prefer not to cook it if I don't have to. Cheers!

  8. Hi Zoe, do you think it is possible to use this recipe but present the cake as a layered cake instead (like the Taiwanese one in your photo)? Cos I am afraid of rolling!

    1. Hi Sharon, Yes you can layer the cake with fillings instead of rolling. Cheers!

  9. Hi Zoe! Thanks for sharing the recipe😊
    Finally, im successfully making my 1st swiss roll 😌😍