Monday, February 15
We're supposed to be on a healthy diet here, so naturally any excuse to step off the low fat low carb high fibre regime is eagerly embraced. Naturally Valentine's day is such an excuse. We decided to cook a meal on Saturday night, and when P said he'd do the main course I volunteered to do pudding. Then out of my mouth, as if from nowhere came the words 'Chocolate Roulade'.
Chocolate Roulade has been a stalwart of family celebrations since roughly the mid 1980's. It's something I have eaten hundreds of times, but never made. I had to ring my Mum for the recipe.
6oz plain chocolate (yeah baby)
5 eggs, separated
6oz caster sugar
3tbsp hot water
1/2 pint double cream
something nice to go in the cream (optional)
13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch shallow tin*
1.Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of slightly simmering water.
2.Separate the eggs. Put the whites into a glass before you pour them into a bowl, that way you might avoid having to use three extra eggs because you accidentally got yolk into the whites so had to throw it away, like I did. Actually later Mum told me it probably would have been OK with a bit of yolk in the white, but still.
3. Whisk the sugar into the egg yolks. It seems like a lot of sugar into not much egg yolk, but it's OK. Whip until the yolk/sugar mixture goes paler. (That's the air going into it which will help it rise, innit.)
4. Remove the melted chocolate from the healt and allow to cool a little. In this instance I decided 'a little' meant 'until you can dip your finger in and lick it without fear of burning'. Stir in the three tbsp of hot water, and marvel as the chocolate changes colour and thickens. Coo!
5. Stir the chocolate mixture into the yolks and sugar. At this point I had a major panic that the yolks were cooking, but later I realised that it went instantly much stiffer because the yolks were cooling the chocolate. Phew!
6. Whip the egg whites until stiff. I now have a food processor. It's bloody marvellous, it would have taken an age by hand.
7. Fold the egg whites gently into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon, then pour into a tin which has been oiled, lined with greasproof paper and oiled again. The oiling is key. Do not skimp on the oiling.
8. Put in the centre of the oven at gas mark 4 (350 degrees) and cook for 20 mins.
9. After 20 mins remove from the oven and allow to cool for a bit. In Emma patience terms this means 10 mins. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper over the top of the tins, and then cover with a damp tea towel. You are then supposed to leave this overnight. I left it for about four hours. It was fine. It basically needs to have got soggy enough that you can roll it up.
10. Whip the cream until it is stiff. At this point I added the zest of two oranges. I remember my Mum adding raspberries. My Dad said that sometimes they add Grand Marnier, or Creme de Menthe. You could add anything that goes with chocolate. You could even add more chocolate.
11. Turn out the chocolate sponge onto a sheet of greaseproof paper which has been dusted liberally with icing sugar. Do not panic if it breaks (mine did). Spread the cream over the sponge, mending any breaks.
12. Roll up the sponge and cream from the narrower end. I found the I could lift up the geasproof paper and get my hands under to help it roll and squish together.
13. Eat. It's very rich, so you will probably need a friend to help you. If you do not have a friend, this will almost certainly buy you one.
Thanks Mum! :)
*I do not have a tin of these dimensions. I used two smaller ones, so now I have a spare Chocolate Roulade in the freezer (yes, it freezes well too). It is available for parties, christenings and bar mitzvahs.