This is one of those killer dinner party deserts that you hope no one asks for seconds. That way you can tuck a slice away for yourself the next day! It’s a chocolate roulade recipe passed down from my Mom which makes it all the more special and definitely tried and tested.

You can put your own signature to this in terms of fillings. We’ve gone for crushed raspberry and grand mariner flavoured cream filling which is mouth wateringly tast. But you could try any kind of berry or apricot jam depending on your taste buds. Serve alongside some delicious seasonal berries.

Before you get started, set the oven to 180degrees (160 fan) and line a shallow swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper.

Ingredients

110g dark chocolate (Bournville or Green & Blacks are good)
100g caster sugar
Approx 1 desert spoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs (separated- room temperature)
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier orange liquer (optional)

Filling

Double cream whipped with zest of half an orange

Lightly mashed raspberry filling (optional)

Selection of mixed berries to serve

 

Step by step

First off melt the chocolate in a pyrex bowl over a shallow saucepan of simmering water taking care that the water doesn’t touch the pan.

In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they turn pale yellow and thick in consistency (a minute or two).

Add the melted chocolate, orange juice, vanilla essence and grand marnier to the egg yolk mixture and mix.

In a smaller (totally squeaky clean) bowl whisk the egg whites until they are thick – you should be able to turn it upside down over your head – if you get egg white running down your hair they need a bit more whisking!

Add the egg white bit by bit to the chocolate mixture with a spatula by folding it in gently (don’t stir). To get a light roulade avoid over mixing this.

Tip the mixture into the tin and lightly tap the tin on the counter to disperse it and to get rid of any air pockets.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 mins.

Don’t worry if you get a couple of little cracks on the roulade once it comes out, thats normal.

This is not a swiss roll so you must leave the roulade to cool before rolling it, (3 hours minimum) or leave for the day / overnight with a t-towel over it. If you try to roll it straight away it will fall to pieces – said with experience!

TO ROLL & SERVE: Turn the roulade upside down on a clean tea-towel and carefully prise away the greaseproof paper.  If you are going for a raspberry filling use a knife to spread a thin layer across the whole roulade. Next up spread whipped cream on top. Be careful not to over spread it as it will all ooze out when you roll it.

Roll it from the smaller end ie. width wise. Using your tea-towel pull the top of the roulade over itself to help you make as tight a first crease as you can and then  holding the t-towel roll in a slightly upward position push the roulade away from you to complete the roll. The tea-towel does the work but use your hands if that’s easier! Expect to see a few cracks on the surface – this adds to the rustic effect. You can sieve a little icing sugar over it for decoration.

Using a serated knife trim off either end to make it look neat – gobble up trimmings before anyone sees – just to check your baking skills of course!

Pop in the fridge until you are ready to serve – this chocolate roulade tastes devine accompanied by a handful of mixed berries.