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Chocolate Roulade

ingredients

serves 10
175 g (6 oz) good quality plain dark chocolate, in pieces
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt water
6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup + 2 Tbls (175 g) caster sugar (superfine granulated)

for the filling

1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml whipping cream
1 tsp (5 ml) caster sugar (superfine granulated)
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence

to decorate

cocoa powder, for dusting
chocolate curls

method

1. Lightly oil and line a 38x 28 cm (15 x 11 inch) Swiss roll tin with nonstick baking parchment.

2. Melt the chocolate with the water in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir until smooth; set aside.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, using an electric whisk, until pale and thick.

4. Beat in the melted chocolate.

5. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they just hold a soft peak. Stir a quarter of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the remainder, using a large metal spoon; do not overmix.

6. Immediately pour into the prepared tin and spread into the corners.

7. Bake at 180°C (350°F/gas 4) for 20-25 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch.

8. Cover the roulade with a damp tea towel and leave in the tin until cold.

9. Once cold, cover the cloth with clingfilm, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

10. For the filling, whip the cream in a bowl until it starts to thicken. Add the caster sugar and vanilla essence and continue to whip the mixture until it just holds its shape.

12. Lightly dust a large sheet of greaseproof paper with caster sugar. Uncover the roulade, then carefully turn it out on to the greaseproof paper.

13. Cut 5 mm (1/4 inch) off the two short sides to neaten.

14. Spread the cream over the roulade. Roll up tightly from a long side, using the paper to help.

15. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with cocoa and serve it decorated with chocolate curls.

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