This month’s We Should Cocoa challenge is a technique rather than a special ingredient. The challenge is being hosted by Chele at Chocolate Teapot, and she has specified that we should make a “roulade/Swiss roll.” I’ve never made a roulade before, chocolate or otherwise, which meant I had no idea what I was doing, but I was quite excited to try it out.
Trust me to happen across a recipe involving kirsch-soaked cherries. I was obviously going to have to try it out, but was suddenly faced with a major dilemma – whilst I do have a precious jar of Griottines (brought back specially from where I’m from in France), I realised I’d rather keep them just for eating on their own, or with whipped cream (which also happens to be an excellent back-up dessert if one’s dinner party dessert doesn’t quite go to plan…). I was suddenly torn – to use the Griottines or not? Next to my jar of Griottines, I have a jar of raisins soaking in rum on permanent stand-by. Dilemma solved: time for a bit of recipe adaptation…
Having found a solution to the Griottines dilemma, time to attempt a chocolate and rum-raisin roulade. What I quite liked about this particular roulade recipe (and several others that I came across, too) was that there are two stages which don’t take too long, with a good break between, which means that you can go off and do something between the two stages. Case in point: I had originally planned on trying this recipe out yesterday, and was going to wander off on a little trip to the driving range followed up by lunch (I might live in St Andrews, and 10 mins walk from the driving range at that, but I can’t actually play golf to save my life. Details, details.) whilst waiting for the chocolate sponge to cool. However, my general lack of organisation got in the way of the cake-making bit of the plan, so that happened today instead, interspersed by a trip to the gym and the marine labs. I feel like this recipe was remarkably unstressful to follow, and easily fitted around the rest of my day. Having said that, although the recipe itself was easy to follow, I did a dreadful job of actually rolling the sponge, and it ended up breaking in three places, resulting in possibly the world’s least presentable roulade. Woops! Oh well, at least it tasted good…
Chocolate & rum-raisin roulade
Adapted from Waitrose
If you don’t happen to have any rum-soaked raisins, weigh out about 150g of raisins, cover them in spiced rum and leave them to soak for overnight, or longer if you are organised enough. I found the trickiest part of the recipe to be the stage that involved rolling the sponge up, possibly because my sponge was quite dry. Imbibing the sponge with rum would possibly make it more pliable and easier to work with.
150g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
100g caster sugar
50g self-raising flour
150g rum-soaked raisins (reserve about 1tbsp of rum)
300ml whipping cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 32.5 x 23 cm swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
2. Melt 100g of the chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. Stir in the melted chocolate and sifted flour.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whites into the chocolate mixture using a metal spoon. Once well combined, pour into the swiss roll tin, and shake to level the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly risen and just firm to the touch.
5. Place a tea towel on the countertop, and place a sheet of baking parchment over the top. Turn the baked sponge out onto the baking parchment, remove the baking parchment from the bottom of the sponge and carefully roll it up from the short end (be careful – this is the stage where mine decided to break into several pieces), wrapping it in the tea towel so that it stays in place. Allow to cool fully.
6. Drain the rum-soaked raising through a sieve, reserving about 1 tbsp of rum. Whisk the cream with the reserved rum until starting to thicken. Gently fold in the raisins. Carefully unroll the cooled roulade, and spread the whipped cream across it, before re-rolling the roulade (don’t worry if it cracks). Transfer to a serving plate.
7. Melt the remaining 50g of chocolate, drizzle it across the roulade, dust with some icing sugar and serve immediately.