Hi! I just experimented with making 'decorated Swiss rolls', a Japanese way of cake decorating, that I wanted to share it with you straightaway!
I wish I can make fine, dense yet soft texture Swiss rolls like commercial bakeries but I will not feed people with chemicals that look like orange hair gel. The point of baking my own cakes is to avoid the additives that commercial cakes can't do without. So in my search for the perfect Swiss roll recipe, I came across decorated rolls (I prefer to call them 'stencilled rolls'; in Japan they make stencils for this method of decorating) here and here. I don't know where I was in 2010--under a boulder I suppose--but that was when decorated rolls made the rounds of baking blogs everywhere.
The design possibilities are limitless. Olympic rings, Prada bags, the whole Jolie-Pitt army. It takes effort and imagination, but you save on decoration time and costs. Try it, it's fun!
Color a small amount of the batter and pipe the patterns onto a greased tray covered with baking paper. You can then either chill the piped designs or bake them. I chose to bake because 1) the oven was on 2) figured that in our hot weather baking was better than chilling 3) baking is faster. I baked the cherries for 3 minutes and the stems for 1 minute. The idea is to set the designs so that they won't melt and meld with the plain batter during baking. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, make sure the paper is pressed flat with no air bubbles/tunnels.
Spread the remaining plain batter evenly over the baked designs. Bake as required.
Reminds me of sakura Swiss rolls. Make sure the baking paper is very flat or you'll get wrinkles on the roll like I did.
Let roll cool completely before filling with buttercream or whipped cream. I used whipped cream (faster) and blackberry jam made by a friend.
Isn't that pretty?