Giraffe Swiss Roll

by Barry Lewis


For the cake sponges

3 eggs, separated, plus an extra egg white

65 grams caster sugar, plus 1tbsp

2tbsp veg oil

70g plain flour, plus 1 tsp

15g cocoa powder

1tsp orange extract

For milk chocolate ganache

180g milk chocolate

60ml Double cream

1tsp orange extract (optional)

For white chocolate ganache

180g white chocolate

60ml Double cream

A double chocolate ganache filled swiss roll (similar to a jam roll or jelly roll) but with a fun giraffe skin themed outer layer. A fun baking project to make that truly does look like an actual giraffe neck, with a few tweaks of the colours you could make a panda, a World map etc play around with the recipe and have fun!

How to make a giraffe themed swiss roll

Alright first up you’ll need a swiss roll tin or another shallow baking tin about 20cmx30cm in size. Grease the pan with a bit of butter and line it with baking parchment, leave to one side.

Take 15 grams of the sugar, the vegetable oil and the egg yolks only, yep, just the yolks. Whisk together for 5 minutes. This makes the main batter for the cake, take 2tbsp of this batter and put it to one side in another bowl. With the remaining batter add the cocoa powder and orange extract and whisk through.

In another bowl with a clean electric whisk whip up just 1 egg white, once it is foamy add in the 1tbsp of caster sugar and keep whisking until you have still peaks. Add in the batter without the cocoa powder, plus the tsp of flour and fold through until combined gently with a spatula.

The video shows this step best, but put this mixture into a piping bag and pipe the outline of a giraffe print, sort of like a bad cobweb with islands, but do try to make a border too if you can, don’t worry if not, just make sure the lines are consistent in size (not too thin) and joined together / linked to form the pattern.

Bake this for 2 minutes in an oven pre-heated at 170c/150fan/325F/Gas3. This short bake helps to set the design in place. Allow it to cool to one side and keep the oven on after the 2 minutes is up,

You should have 3 egg whites left, whisk these again with a clean electric whisk until foamy, add in the 50g of sugar again gradually until stiff peaks form, fold this like before but into the cocoa orange batter along with the remaining flour with a spatula until just combined.

Carefully drop some of the chocolate batter mixture between the ‘islands’ (that’s what I’m calling them) you created on the baking tray, encouraging it to the sides of each patch, then carefully dollop patches of the batter all over and spread evenly with a spatula to cover the whole thing and encase the design. Bake this for just over 10 minutes until it’s firm but still sponge like to touch, leave to cool but only for 2 minutes.

Get a rolling pin (or a tin foil tube etc) and turn the cake out carefully with the pattern side down, carefully roll the cake around the tube gripping it tightly and rolling into spiral, resting it seam side down. You need to do this carefully and whilst it’s warm so that it is more maneuverable, if you do this when the cake is cold it will crack. Leave the sponge to cool fully rolled up sat seam side down.

Meanwhile make the ganache, you can do all milk chocolate if you wish, but the steps are the same. Grate your chocolate on a chopping board, warm your cream in a saucepan until just before it reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted, adding orange extract if you wish. Leave to cool to room temperature, then place in the freezer for 10minutes if you want a thicker consistency to firm up.

Unravel the cake and take off the baking parchment. Spread thin lines of the chocolate ganache on the inside, just a thin trace of it is enough or it will make it too full and either fall out or break the delicate sponge. Carefully roll it forward wrapping the ganache in the cake. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins to set the ganache, or slice up wedges and gobble up. Enjoy!