Friday, August 21, 2009

Swiss (Roll) Bliss

The swiss roll is no more swiss than an english muffin is english. In Austria, its called biskuitroulade. In France, the gâteau roulé and in Italy, biscotto arrotolato. In Spain, it bears the name brazo de gitano, meaning gypsy's arm, while closer to home in the Philippines, the pianono. In Switzerland, oddly enough, it isn't widely consumed.

The origins of the term swiss roll is unclear. But this much we know, the provenance of this light, fluffy cake hails from Central Europe and features as a traditional German, Hungarian and probably Austrian type of cake.

Most versions of the swiss roll are filled with either jam, buttercream or, as is most commonly found in asia, whipping cream. In Chile however, the swiss roll is slathered with a generous portion of manjar, a South American variant of dulce de leche.

I filled mine with homemade lemon curd.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do You Like Waffles?

Couple of months back I picked out for myself a kenwood multi-snacker. It comes with 3 different interchangeable plates - a sandwich toaster (one of those which seal the edges of your sandwich), a waffle iron and a raised-ribbed grill. It also opens flat, serving as a griddle. I must admit, it wasn't as much a purchase of necessity than one of indulgence. Insomuch as, it's been sitting in my store in passivity.

Today, roused by a waft of fresh waffles from the neighbour below, I finally decided to make my own. Boy, it could not have been any easier. All you need is flour, some salt and baking powder, butter, milk and eggs. Mix the dry ingredients first, followed by the wet ones, let the batter sit for a tad (while say you wash the dishes) and voila, the batter is ready.

Quite frankly, you don't need to a waffle iron, just use a frying pan and you'll get pancakes instead. Of course, the proponents will tell you that waffles have a much airier texture than pancakes as in waffle batter, the egg yolks are whipped separately from the whites. But seriously, does one need that much detail?