This is much easier to make than it looks.
This deliciously light roll is best made a day in advance, meaning it is perfect for the holiday season. It will easily feed 8 people as an appetiser or, if you are looking for a light lunch alternative, this would feed 4-6 depending on side dishes.
The spinach ‘sponge’ is really easy to make – the trick to any recipe like this is to pre-roll the sponge whilst it is still warm. If you wait until it is cool to roll it for the first time, the sponge will crack.
I used a combination of low fat cottage cheese and Philadelphia cream cheese to make the filling, but you could subsitute ricotta instead of the cottage cheese if you prefer.
I adapted this recipe from one I found in the November 2014 issue of Recipes+ magazine.
Ingredients – serves 4-8:
- approx 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
- 400g/14 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup self raising flour
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 150g/5 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 80g/3 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced
- Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F. Line a shallow rectangular ‘swiss roll’ pan with baking paper. (The pan needs to be approximately 30cm x 25cm, 12 inches x 10 inches.)
- Place another large piece of baking paper onto your work surface and scatter the finely grated parmesan over the paper in a rectangular shape about the same size as your pan. Set aside until you’ve cooked your sponge.
- Put the thawed spinach into a fine sieve and use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid. You’ll be surprised how much it contains. Place the drained spinach into a large bowl.
- Add the egg yolks, flour, garlic and a good seasoning of black pepper to the spinach and then mix until well combined.
- Put the egg whites into a separate large bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk until soft peaks form.
- Fold a third of the whipped egg whites into the spinach mixture until combined.
- Gently fold the remaining whipped egg whites into the spinach mixture until all the egg white is combined. This is your spinach sponge batter.
- Spread the sponge batter into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes, until the sponge is just turning lightly golden.
- Carefully turn out the warm sponge onto the baking paper which is covered with the parmesan. Remove the top piece of baking paper (the one that the sponge baked on) and discard.
- Use a small knife to carefully trim the edges of the sponge to make it a nice rectangle.
- Starting with one of the long edges, use the baking paper to roll the warm sponge into a log (tip: include the baking paper in the log as it will stop the sponge sticking to itself). Wrap the log in a clean tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and cottage cheese together until smooth.
- Once the sponge has cooled, un-roll and spread the cheese filling thinly over the sponge.
- Scatter small pieces of the smoked salmon over the cheese filling. (You don’t need to cover the filling with salmon, but space it out reasonably regularly.)
- Re-roll the sponge to form a tight log but this time make sure you exclude the baking paper (discard it).
- Tightly wrap the completed roll in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
- Remove the roll from the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to serve. Discard the cling wrap and cut the roll into slices and place on your serving platter. Let the slices sit at room temperature as they taste better than when served straight from the fridge.