Mary’s Chocolate Roulade – cracking good

Roulade, swiss roll, jelly roll, and cake roll.  Before this challenge, I was under the impression these terms were interchangeable.  Boy, was I wrong?  It turns out, as with everything I have made on here, there is a lot to learn. Let the googling begin…

I quickly fell down a rabbit hole of definitions and explanations that didn’t do much to clarify the situation until I found this nugget of information on Asian Recipe Blog . 

Swiss rolls are made from a light sponge mixture that contains flour. Roulades are based on a whisked egg mixture and contain very little or no flour, and are moister and softer than Swiss rolls. To prevent a Swiss roll cracking when rolled, trim off its crusty edges then, while it is still warm, put it on greaseproof paper dusted with caster sugar. Roll it up loosely, rolling the paper with it, and leave it to cool in its wrapping. Then gently open up the roll slightly, remove the paper and spread the interior with jam, lemon or lime curd or cream.

Roulades are easier to roll, so can be filled before rolling up. They do usually crack when being rolled, but look attractive when dredged with icing sugar and decorated.

I also found a video of Mary Berry making her chocolate roulade, jackpot!  During the video, Mary repeatedly points out the cracks on a roulade are A-ok.  This was music to my ears.  So armed with my new found knowledge and a confidence boost from Mary Berry herself I got to baking.

This recipe really was great because it didn’t require any unusual ingredients or pans. Phew, no stalking the aisles of grocery stores for me.  Just weighing sugar and chocolate and eggs.  Lots of eggs!
Thankfully eggs have been on sale at our grocery store for the last couple of weeks because we have used a lot!  I’m talking about 24 eggs in 4 days.  Once I got my eggs separated I started melting my chocolate.  No problem.  just a double boiler and me, turning hard chocolate into shiny silky heaven.
After the chocolate was melted and cooling I went back to my old friends the eggs.  I beat the yolks are sugar together and got the predicted ribbon effect after a  few minutes. Next I whipped up my whites.  As I am known to do I got distracted by dishes and might have let my whites whip a little too long.  Oops.
Combining all the ingredients is usually one of the easier parts of baking but for me mixing the roulade batter together was not a simple task.  What thus far had been a breezy happy baking experience soon descended into an emotional roller coaster.  First off mixing the chocolate into the eggs was ok.  Even enjoyable, look how pretty it was…
Things went downhill after that.  I quickly realised how over whipped my whites were as I started to mix them into the yolk mixture.  And I was convinced that I could see the batter deflating before my eyes.  Then I realised I had forgotten to measure out my cocoa powder and I was yelling about being a disorganised baker while trying to sift in two tablespoons of cocoa.  Long story short I got my batter in the pan and into the oven.  On the bright side, my family assured me that my drama would make me a shoe-in for reality television if I ever to get to audition for the Canadian bake off.
With the cake in the oven, I had a brief respite from my hysterical self-doubt.  Until it was time to determine the doneness of the cake.  The recipe says the cake will be done when it feels firm and crisp.  This was a challenge.  The cake felt crisp but not firm at all after 15 minutes.  Despite the fear of burning, I left it in for another 5 minutes and it seemed to firm up.  Feeling back on track I left the cake to cool.
Now I must confess another recipe deviation.  I know, I know, I haven’t been very authentic for the last few bakes, but I have a good reason.  I was serving this roulade to my family and my Mom doesn’t like whipped cream.  So I came up with a plan.  I made some toasted marshmallow ice cream with some failed homemade marshmallows and hoped Mary Berry would forgive me.
Time to assemble.  I got to use my favourite baking hack for this part.  I use an extra tea infuser to dust icing sugar over the parchment.  It works great every time, not too much sugar and keeps your hands clean!
The paper peeled off easily and I topped it off with my ice cream.  I made a cut at the end of the roll and used the parchment to roll everything together.  There was some gushing and it didn’t seem like too tight a roll but I just kept it wrapped and put it back into the freezer until it was time to serve.
When I finally got to unveil my roulade I was pretty happy with it.  The spiral was kind of there, although broken in the middle, and the cracks really were pretty.
The improvised filling was delicious and altogether I think invented a new rolled cake to add to the list – a s’more roulade.  Dare I say I improved on a Mary Berry recipe?

7 thoughts on “Mary’s Chocolate Roulade – cracking good

  1. What a great idea to use the tea strainer to sift icing sugar over your creations, I will be using that idea from now on! Love the photos, especially the eggs reflected in the mixing bowl, very artistic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes this was so delicious! I was happy that this was the first bake I got to sample. Your tweaks, including the s’mores ice cream definitely improved on the original. The ice cream made the cake taste like a chewy frozen brownie – yum!


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