Our good friend from work, John, was leaving the company. So I wanted to make a spectacular cake to say farewell to him. I saw this Chocolate Roulade (even the name sounds fancy already) in a book called Appetizers, Finger Food, Buffets and Parties by Bridget Jones. I adapted to suit my own taste as I don't much like chestnut so went with almond and marsala flavourings instead.
The cake definitely looks spectacular and tastes great too. The chocolate cake part is nice and rich while you can basically add anything to the cream. I went with Marsala and chocolate gratings and decorated the cake with chocolate grating, almond flakes and glace cherries.
I thought making it might be hard but it turned out quite easy. Rolling the cake was fairly simple, much like rolling sushi.
vegetable oil for greasing
175g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
6 eggs separated
6 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g almond flakes for decoration
glace cherries for decoration
For cream filling
300ml whipping cream
120g dark chocolate grated
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Oil the base and sides of a 38x25cm tin. Line with baking paper allowing a 2.5cm overhang.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Dissolve cocoa in coffee and stir to a smooth paste.
3. Beat egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and thick. Gradually beat in the melted chocolate and cocoa-coffee paste until just blended.
4. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Beat remaining sugar into egg whites until glossy and stiff. Then beat in the vanilla essence.
5. Stir a spoonful of the whisked whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in teh remainder.
6. Spoon the mixture intio the tin and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake is firm.
7. As soon as cake is cooked, turn it out into a dishtowel, gently peeling off the baking paper. Starting from the shorter side, roll the cake and towel together Swiss-rolll fashion. Leave cake to completely cool.
8. To make the filling, whip the cream and Marsala until stiff peaks form. Fold in most of the grated chocolate, leaving a bit for decorating.
9. To assemble the roulade, unroll the cake and spread the filling to within 2.5cm of the edges. Gently roll it up, using the towel for support.
10. Decorate the roulade with the remaining cream, almond flakes, grated chocolated and glace cherries.