A Very British Swiss Roll!
                 A Very British Swiss Roll!

Ok, so the British and the Americans speak the same language? Hah! I learned the difference when my Welsh husband came in from work one day and said he was “shattered.” Thinking his soul had been destroyed, I asked in a very conciliatory voice: “What’s wrong, darling? What happened?” Looking at me with that curious look on his face that I instantly recognized as a “language barrier” situation, he said: “Nothing’s wrong. I’m just tired after a long day!” Lesson one.

The same lesson was learned when a stock-man at a roadside Marks and Spencer’s on the M4 from London to Cardiff said: “Oh, the shrimp sandwiches are in the cold case, but it’s so higgledy-piggledy that you probably can’t find them.” Huh? What’s a higgledy-piggledy?

And the stories, too many to recount, go on. Yes, basically, we DO speak the same language, but then again, we don’t. And that’s what makes some of the differences between Great Britain and America so entertaining.

Case in point: I dove into my “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” cookbook, looking for her recipe for jelly roll. (Mary Berry, for those not familiar with her, is the doyenne of British baking!) Not there. I then searched “roly-poly.” — my husband’s word for the cake.  Not there. Giving up, I headed for Google and searched “Mary Berry’s Jelly Roll.” Aha! The words “Swiss Roll” popped up! Of course, how dumb of me! Swiss Roll!  I reopened my cookbook, looked up Swiss Roll, and I was in business! Same language? Hah!!

Now that that’s off my chest, here’s Mary’s recipe, with a dose of Jann:

Sweetex or grease for a 13 x 9 inch baking tin
4 large eggs
100 grams fine sugar plus extra for bench
100 grams self-raising flour
4 tablespoons jam (no seeds)– raspberry or strawberry work best


Preheat the oven to 425F

Sweetex or Grease.
Grease the baking tin and then line it with parchment.

Eggs. Sugar.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. If using a powerful mixer, whisk for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs are light, frothy, somewhat thick, and when you lift the whisk, you can draw a figure eight with the trailing mixture.

Sift the flour as you add it to the egg mixture. Add 1/3 at a time, then fold it in. Continue until all the flour is in the bowl and mixed in. Pour the batter into the baking tray, making sure all the corners are filled with the batter.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the top is golden and the cake is shrinking away from the edges.

Perfectly Golden!

Place a piece of parchment that’s larger than the cake onto the bench and sprinkle it with fine sugar.

Remove the cake from the oven and tip it over onto the sugared parchment. Peel off the parchment that baked with the cake.


Fresh out of the oven
Fresh out of the oven

Dampen a  tea towel and lay it over the cake as it cools. This prevents the cake from drying out.

Stir the jam until it’s fluid.

Remove the tea towel. Gently score a line across the short end nearer to you, being careful not to cut through completely. This is merely a guideline.

Spread the jam on top of the cake. Keep it thin or else the jam will ooze out the sides. Do not go to the edge, but stay about 1 inch in from the edges.


With the shorter side nearer you, start to roll the cake away from you, using the parchment to push it along. Tuck the cake in tightly with your fingers. Roll until almost complete. Lift the parchment and cake and place your “Swiss” Roll onto a serving platter, and then completely remove the parchment.

Make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy your very British “Swiss” Roll!



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