Chocolate Roulade with Milk Chocolate Ganache Sounds Much Classier Than Huge Fat Log Of Cream Filled Chocolate Cake

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Have you ever tried to transport a delicate home-made cake by plane from Sydney to Melbourne? It’s a pain in the ass and filled with many moments of terror, such as when the airport guy suddenly decides to turn your cake box sideways as it goes through the x-ray machine. It was much easier in the old days when I’d just buy 2 dozen virtually indestructible Krispy Kreme donuts to take to Melbourne (back when only Sydney had Krispy Kremes). Although I haven’t had one in years, I could really go for some original glazed Krispy Kremes right now. Damn me and my food memories.

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I would carry this chocolate roulade with me to the ends of the earth if I had to. It’s so deliciously rich yet somehow as light as a cloud and will last for days if you keep it in a airtight container and force yourself and your family to ration it. You might need to stand guard in front of the fridge though. A very good reason not to eat all of it in one go is that it gets even better with age. I refuse to insert typical annoying joke about wine or George Clooney right here.

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For Christmas I turned the roulade into a Yule Log by creating a little stump off the side and covering it entirely in thick chocolate ganache, complete with hand-etched wood markings all over it. I’m no artist but I’m telling you that log looked like a real freaking log of fallen (or chopped down) wood. This was helped by a dusting of icing sugar snow and topped with tiny plastic reindeer because that’s what one does at Christmas, even though our Christmas was in 30 degree heat and the reindeer were definitely not in proportion to the log. No-one noticed but next time I will make little meringue mushrooms instead and look for proportionately sized animals.

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The hardest part about making the roulade is trying to keep the cream inside as you roll it up, despite my many years of food rolling practice with Vietnamese rice paper rolls. The trick is not to spread too much cream on the cake prior to rolling. It has a habit of oozing out and you end up with all the cream outside. And then your roulade just looks like a rolled up brown towel, which is not the look you’re aiming for. It’s bound to crack on top but you must accept that shit happens and also this is what the ganache is for (or dusting of cocoa, or blanket of berries – whatever floats your boat). It’s not the prettiest cake ever, but as someone who often has trouble cutting evenly proportioned slices of cake, this roulade doesn’t give me performance anxiety when someone hands me a knife.

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You can either enclose the entire roulade in a thick ganache which will also keep the cake from drying out, or just do a simple pornographic drenching of ganache as I have done here. Here’s my tip if you’re one of those people who gets panicky about making a cake look absolutely perfect – oozing, dripping desserts that makes you emit suspiciously sexual noises  - are always much more enticing. All the most delicious things usually are.

 

Chocolate Roulade with Milk Chocolate Ganache

 

300g dark chocolate 70% cocoa, broken into small pieces

1/3 cup strong coffee, room temperature

8 eggs, yolks and whites separated

200g caster sugar

300ml pouring cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar

 

Milk Chocolate Ganache:

200g milk chocolate, broken into small pieces

300ml pouring cream

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a swiss roll tin 29cm x 24cm x 4cm. Melt chocolate and coffee in a bowl by placing the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water – do not let the bowl touch the water. Stir until smooth and let it cool slightly.

Beat together egg yolks and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until the colour of the mixture has lightened and texture is fluffy. Stir in melted chocolate until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in thirds until just combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and leave for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the icing sugar and continue whipping until thick (do not overwhip). Remove the cake from the tin by lifting it out by the paper. Spread the entire cake with the whipped cream. Carefully roll the cake as tightly as possible using the paper to guide the roll. Don’t worry if the surface cracks. Remove the paper and roll onto serving plate with the end of the roll hidden at the bottom.

For the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan until hot. Place the pieces of milk chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Leave to sit for  a few minutes until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Pour the ganache over the cake. If preferred, (or if you are making a yule log) refrigerate the ganache until it is firmer and spread over the cake.

 

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  1. [...] No. 1 was the Chocolate Roulade which you can see here because it looked exactly like that. Cake No. 2 was this incredible Lemon [...]

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