When Amy announced this week's challenge for the Weekly Bake Off, I felt conflicted. Great - it contained chocolate. Not so great - it was the roulade! Featuring on last year's Great British Bake Off as one of the technical challenges, it's utterly delicious, but can be tricky to make the sponge and then roll it to form the roulade shape. And I've never made one before!
There was another reason I had nerves though. The recipe (which can be found here on the BBC Food website) calls for the separation of 6 eggs, and the beating of yolks and sugar until light and creamy. You then add melted chocolate to this mix, before folding in the egg whites which you have whisked to stiff peaks. Now this never goes quite right for me, whatever recipe this step is in (eg chocolate mousse). Its the adding chocolate to the egg yolks and sugar - it always seems to just congeal in a grainy mess. I then panic as I'm folding the egg whites in, as the mix never seems smooth and I fear that in trying to make it so, I am loosing the air from the whites.
I also wish I had checked my copy of the second British Bake Off Book, How to Bake, before embarking on this, as it has the recipe and a more detailed step by step tutorial, than is in 100 Cakes and Bakes, which the Weekly Bake Off is based on. It would have been helpful to read through beforehand, and when I found it afterwards, it was a real 'D'Oh' moment. The tutorial includes the tip to make a shallow cut along one of the short edges before rolling - presumably this helps you get a nice tight roll in the centre of your roulade. Not much use after you've rolled it!
|Let's get ready to roll!
But do you know what? It is indeed utterly delicious and well worth it. The sponge is so chocolatey and moist, it is the perfect foil for the whipped cream (which I sweetened slightly with icing sugar) and the tart, juicy rasperries. I'll just have to practise a bit more ...