This year we went to France for Christmas which was excellent but I really missed having a traditional English Christmas dinner. Foie gras and Pain d’épices served with Crémant d’Alsace is lovely but it’s not sausages in bacon, bread sauce and as many sprouts as your stomach can handle! So my lovely Mum agreed to cook her second Christmas meal in the space of a week for New Year’s Eve. I originally said that I would buy a dessert – I’d had a busy week! But after much whinging by my hubby I agreed to make something.
Trifle was suggested, crumble was considered but I thought I go for it and make a roulade – in a nod towards the French traditions we had sampled a week earlier. The original recipe idea was for dark chocolate and raspberries – but thanks to Sainsbury’s inability to keep their shelves fully stocked on New Year’s Eve (am I asking for too much?) I had to use blackberries – and they made a really nice change to the traditional mix of chocolate and raspberries.
We enjoyed this with a glass of my favourite wine of 2011 – Skillogalee Liqueur Muscat – a warming, luscious, fruity dessert wine made in the same way as Tawny port.
- 50g cocoa powder – I use Green & Black’s
- 75g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 large eggs
- 100g caster sugar
For the filling
- 500g mascarpone
- 250g blackberries
- 2 tbsp blackberry jelly or jam – depending on which you can find
For the frosting
- 200g good quality dark chocolate
- 175g unsalted butter – softened
- 60g icing sugar – sifted
Preheat the oven to 190°c/170°c fan. Line a 30x40cm Swiss roll tin with parchment paper, lightly butter the paper and dust with some additional cocoa powder.
Sift together the baking powder, cocoa powder and flour.
Using an electric whisk mix together the eggs and sugar until they become pale, thick and treble in size – this will take between 6-8 minutes so stick with it.
Using a large metal spoon fold the flour mix into the eggs and sugar. Be quick but gentle with this as you want to keep as much air in the mix as possible.
Tip the mix on to the lined tin; gently tip the tray to even out the mix. Cook for 15 minutes until the sponge is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool for 2-3 minutes.
Here comes the fun bit – scatter some caster sugar over the top of the sponge, cover with a piece of parchment paper that is longer than the sponge, flip the sponge onto the new piece of paper and carefully remove the old one. Using the parchment paper roll up the sponge and leave to cool completely.
For the filling – lightly beat the mascarpone just to loosen it up a bit. Swirl the blackberry jelly/jam into the mascarpone to give it a marbled effect. Unroll the sponge and spread the mascarpone evenly onto it, leaving a 2cm edge. Place the blackberries on top in three lines, a couple of centimetres apart. Again roll the sponge up, if it cracks a bit don’t panic (or swear!)
For the topping – in a bain marie melt the chocolate, then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Beat together the butter and icing sugar then mix in the chocolate. Using a palette knife spread the mix over the roulade – if like me you are making this for Christmas use the knife to create little peaks similar to a Yule log. Decorate the roulade with the remaining blackberries.
Serve with vanilla ice-cream, chocolate custard or extra thick double cream.