In the past I have always covered the baked roulade with a damp tea towel and left it overnight. Now I find there is no need to do this. Simple, but indulgent and luxurious, and pleasantly alcoholic!
COOK TIME 20 minutes, plus cooling
butter, for greasing
175g (6oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
175g (6oz) caster sugar
6 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
icing sugar, for dusting
FOR THE TOPPING
100g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g (2oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
cocoa powder, for dusting
FOR THE FILLING
300ml (10fl oz) double cream
3 tbsp whisky cream liqueur such as Baileys or Kahlua
1. You will need a 23cm x 33cm (9in x 13 in) Swiss roll tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, then lightly grease the tin with butter and line with baking paper, pushing it right into the corners.
2. First, make the sponge. Place the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water or the chocolate may overheat. Allow to melt over the heat, then remove from the heat, stir and leave to cool.
3. Place the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until light and creamy. Add the cooled chocolate and stir until evenly blended.
4. In a separate, spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites into firm peaks but not too stiff. Stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to help loosen it. Mix gently, then fold in the remaining egg whites, followed by the sifted cocoa powder. Try not to knock out too much air from the egg whites while making sure they are evenly blended.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until firm to the touch. Remove the cooked sponge from the oven and leave in the tin until cold.
6. While the sponge is cooking, prepare the topping. Place the dark and white chocolate in separate bowls, each set over a pan of gently simmering water, and allow to melt. Pour the dark chocolate on to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Zigzag the white chocolate over the dark chocolate in a random pattern, then leave to set until cold and firm.
7. To make the filling, pour the cream into a bowl and whisk into soft peaks. Stir in the whisky cream.
8. Dust a large sheet of baking paper with icing sugar, then turn the cooled sponge out on to it and peel off the lining paper (see tips). Spread the sponge with the cream, leaving a clear border of around 2cm (3/4 in) on all sides, as the cream will spread out as the sponge is rolled up. Roll up as tightly as possible, like a Swiss roll, starting from one of the long edges and using the paper to help. Leave the rolled-up sponge wrapped in the paper for a while to help it to hold together. Don’t worry if it cracks though – it adds to the appeal!
9. To finish assembling the roulade, sit the rolled sponge on a long plate with the join underneath, break the sheet of chocolate into large pieces and stick these into the top of the roulade. Dust with cocoa powder and more icing sugar, if you like.
The roulade can be assembled (without the chocolate topping) up to 8 hours ahead. The chocolate topping can be made up to a day ahead and left somewhere cool to set.
The filled roulade freezes well. Defrost and then decorate with the chocolate topping.
MARY’S CLASSIC TIPS
Lay the baking paper on a clean tea towel to help give extra grip while rolling up the sponge.
Trim the edges of the sponge before rolling for a neater finish, if you prefer; cut-offs are cook’s perks!
SAVE 20 PER CENT ON MARY’S NEW BOOK
Classic, published by BBC Books on 25th January, price £26. As well as Mary’s introduction the book contains more than 100 all-new recipes, with Mary’s crucial tips for each one. Chapters include canapés and first courses, fish, poultry and game, pork, lamb and beef, vegetarian, puddings and desserts, and teatime. To order a copy for £20.80 until 4th February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.