Two years ago I was lucky enough to get given the recipe from Joan’s on Third for the chocolate roulade – Joan wrote it for me on a napkin and then showed me how to make it – imagine a charade of how to roll a cake.
Since then I have made up many of these cakes for different occasions – but most of all around Christmas I can’t seem to keep up with the demand. Today Rémy asked me to make one for his class party – it’s the last day of school – but he wanted me to add lots of mini candy canes – I suspect it’s the candy canes he’s after, not the cake.
It’s the antithesis of the Christmas Cake I have made in a jar – which is dense and full of booze. Well actually this is very light and the booze is optional (but totally encouraged) in the whipped cream filling.
When rolling up the cake Joan advises to be firm but not afraid – “Rather like holding a baby.”
Flourless Chocolate Roulade – Buche de Noel Recipe
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate melted and then cooled to room temperature.
8 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Remy Martin cognac
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the over to 350 F. Line a large shallow baking pan with parchment paper, let paper hang over the ends.
2. Whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks. Add half the sugar and beat until you get stiff silky peaks. Set aside.
3. Beat the egg yolks with remaining half of the sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the melted chocolate and stir until incorporated.
5. Fold in one third of the beaten egg whites to lighten mixture then fold in the remaining two thirds being extremely gentle.
6. Spread cake batter into the baking pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cake has puffed up and the top is dry.
7. Transfer to a rack and cover with damp paper towels. Let stand for 5 minutes, remove towels and cool completely. Loosen edges with a knife.
8. Dust top of cake with cocoa powder and then cover with cloth. Invert onto cloth and removed parchment paper lining from the cake very gently.
9. Whisk cream with confectioners sugar, Remy Martin, and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks.
10. Spread cream over cake and using the cloth to help lift, roll the cake up. Transfer to a platter seam side down and dust generously with cocoa powder. The cake can then be decorated with ganache, chocolate ‘bark’ and birds (see below) or simply dusted with a little confectioners sugar for snow and whatever you feel in the mood for. Don’t you just love the deer in his boa for christmas topping the cake at the top of the post?