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Party week

Technical Challenge - Chocolate Caterpillar Cake

Technical Challenge

Paul Hollywood said "We want the bakers to make a chocolate caterpillar cake. The caterpillar should be made of a chocolate swiss roll sponge filled with a chocolate meringue buttercream and then coated in a silky-smooth ganache. The caterpillar should feature decorations to bring it to life."

The bakers were given 2.5 hours to complete the task.


Paul Hollywood "The trick is getting the bake of the swiss roll sponge just right. Overbaking it by just a minute will make it bone dry. Also, it's important to create the ridges and if the bakers follow the recipe, it steps them through the process. Inside there is a Swiss meringue buttercream and then a silky chocolate ganache on top.


Scroll down to find a link to Paul Hollywood's recipe. 

What we heard from the bakers ...


Making the Sponge

"I've whipped my eggs and sugar and now I'm folding in the cocoa powder and flour - being careful not to knock the air out" (Cristy)

"I don't want any lumps in the sponge batter ... and at the same time I don't want to knock the air out" (Josh)

"Overmix the sponge and the results will be dense" (Alison)


Chocolate Ganache

"I need to heat the cream to the point where it melts the chocolate" (Matty)

"I spread the ganache with my palette knife instead of pouring - I prefer the extra control." (Tasha)


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

"I've not made a swiss meringue in forever" (Dan)

"When you're making a swiss meringue, you are whisking sugar and egg whites together over a double boiler" (Matty)

"I think it's done when there is no sign of sugar crystals" (Cristy)

"Once the swiss meringue is made, I just add the butter and tip in the melted chocolate" (Tasha)



"My sponge cake cracked - bummer." (Dan)

"It's important to roll the sponge really slowly, just a little at a time" (Josh)

"I had to take a second go at the sponge, so I'm rolling while it's still warm!" (Cristy)


Cooking Times

Paul Hollywood's recipe stipulates that the swiss roll sponge needs 10 - 12 minutes.


"Swiss roll sponges bake very quickly, so I'm not giving it very long" (Tasha)


"I'm trying 10 minutes" (Matty)


"I'm putting it in for 12 minutes" (Dan)



Matty - Too much buttercream and over-cooked sponge

Cristy - Antenna missing! Soft sponge and good buttercream. Lovely ganache, but all messy.

Tasha (Winner) - Sponge wonderfully light. Good decoration. Delicious. A delight for a kid's party.

Josh - Some legs missing. Looks messy. Cake is a little dry.

Dan - Looks a mess. No ridges. Terribly thin. Too much buttercream. Sponge overbaked.

Also in Desserts Week

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