Lemon and Ricotta Swiss Roll

Light, luscious and lovely, this is a super tea time treat, or how about a slice with your mid-morning coffee?

Makes: 10 – 12 slices

Time: 35 – 40 minutes hands on time + waiting/cooling time + 5 – 10 minutes decorating time, depending on what you decide to do.

Level: Reasonably easy

Equipment: A Swiss roll tin or shallow baking tray about 33cm x 23cm (13” x 9”)

Ingredients

  • 75g/3oz Plain flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75g/3oz white caster sugar + another 20g/0.75oz for dusting
  • ½ tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • A lemon (Zest from one half, leave the other half intact for decorating.)
  • About ½ a jar of lemon curd (about 200g/7oz)
  • 250g/9oz Ricotta cheese
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C / Fan 180 / 400F / Gas 6. Grease or butter the tin and line with baking parchment.

2. Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.

3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted.

4. Use a large metal spoon or sharp edged spatula to fold in the flour. Gently stir in the lemon extract (if using) and zest. Take care not to overmix.

5. Spoon or gently pour the mixture into the tin and level the surface.

6. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes, until well risen, golden brown and firm but springy to the touch.

7. While the roll is baking, place a large sheet of parchment on your work surface. (Dab a small spot of water under each corner to keep it in position.) Sprinkle over the remaining sugar. This will ensure the baked sponge will not stick.

8. Once baked turn the sponge out onto the sugared parchment and carefully ease off the paper it was baked with.

9. If necessary trim the edges with a sharp knife then make a light score mark about 2.5cm/1 inch in from one of the short sides. This will help when you roll it.

10. Use the sugar covered parchment paper to roll the sponge from the cut short end.  Leave it to cool.  

11. When it’s cool, open it out and remove the parchment. At this stage you can spoon on the lemon curd, followed by the Ricotta or you could combine them first and spoon them on together. (NB If the lemon curd is stiff, beat it with a fork for a minute so that it goes on smoothly.)

12. Re-roll the sponge and place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving or decorating.

13. To decorate, either simply dust with icing sugar just before serving, or cut thin slices of lemon from the intact half. (NB Only do this when ready to serve as the juice from the lemon will quickly soak into the sponge.)

14. If you do decide to put slices of lemon on top you could also sprinkle them with icing sugar then give them a blast with a cook’s torch to enhance their looks.

Variations that I haven’t tried yet, but probably will soon:

  • Replace the Ricotta with Mascarpone for an even richer filling.
  • Swap the lemon for lime to make it even zingier.
  • Put in some cocoa powder for a chocolate sponge and add some coffee into the Ricotta, with maybe a splash of brandy and …. sorry, getting a bit carried away there, but why not?