This divine, light as air chocolate roulade was the alternative choice to Christmas pudding that my family served after Christmas lunch. It’s an almost flourless, fatless chocolate sponge that is so light it’s almost mousse like. To enhance its deep rich chocolate flavour the sponge is drizzled in a fruity blackcurrant liqueur before being filled with lightly whipped cream and rolled into a roulade. Yum!
Have you ever noticed how saying things in French makes them sound so sophisticated and exciting? The above named Roule au Chocolat avec Crème de Cassis literally means Chocolate Roulade with Crème de Cassis (Blackcurrant Liqueur). Saying it in English still makes it sound delicious but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. As the recipe was taken from The Roux Brothers Patisserie book (the father and uncle of the well known French restaurateur and Master Chef judge Michel Roux) I thought it deserved a French title.
We normally serve the roulade with berries and a fruity coulis but as it was Christmas, after rolling into a log, we used one of the end off cuts on top of the roulade to make it into more of a Yule Log and decorated it with holly and other assorted Christmassy things. This roulade is one of my mums signature desserts and one that my sister declares a ‘must have’ on Christmas day. It’s also completely flourless apart from two tiny teaspoons of cornflour, which is gluten free, meaning I could happily indulge with the rest of the family. If you are having a special occasion and in need of a show stopping dessert then look no further. It’s simple to make, yet people will think you have been slaving in the kitchen for hours!
Roule au Chocolat avec Crème de Cassis (GF)
(Recipe based on The Roux Brothers Patisserie)
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a 10x12 inch/26/30cm tin with greaseproof paper.
Beat together the egg yolks and 80g icing sugar for 3-5 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and moussy enough to form ‘ribbons’ when the beaters are lifted out of the mixture.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until beginning to form soft peaks. Add the 40g icing sugar and beat for a further minute until the egg whites become stiff.
Use a large metal spoon to fold one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, folding it in gently while turning the bowl.
Sift over the cocoa powder and cornflour and fold until well incorporated and no streaks remain.
Gently fold in the remaining two-thirds of the egg whites. Do not over mix as you want as much air left trapped inside as possible.
Pour the chocolate mix into the prepared pan and smooth to the edges.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When done it should feel springy when pressed gently in the centre.
Immediately place a layer of greaseproof paper over the top of the roulade and cover this with a damp – not wet – tea towel and leave to cool. (This keeps the sponge moist)
When the sponge is cool, remove the tea towel and greaseproof. Get a new sheet of greaseproof paper and dust with icing sugar. Invert the roulade out onto the paper and carefully peel off the base greaseproof layer.
Lightly whip the cream with the 30g icing sugar until just stiff enough to form peaks.
Brush the roulade with the Crème de Cassis and spread over the whipped cream, smoothing until nearly to the edges. Leave a small edge to allow for spreading when rolling.
Starting at the narrow edge, roll a 2cm strip into the sponge. Use the greaseproof paper base to help you roll up the remaining sponge into a roll, as tightly as you can. Don’t worry too much about any cracks – these add character.
When completed, use a large fish slice to transfer the roll onto a serving dish. Cut off the two ends, at a diagonal, so you can a clean finish.
If desired, use one of the cut off ends to place on top of the roll to form the knot of the log, if making a Yule Log.
Dust lightly with extra icing sugar and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve with berries and a fruit coulis if desired – but it’s so moist it really doesn’t need it!
Can be made 24hours in advance.