I made an attempt at a roulade a good few years ago, without the greatest success in the looks department! So every year since, I've been on a mission to perfect the 'roll'. With a few tweaks and experiments with ingredients, methods and flavours I'm pretty happy with the results year on year now :)
sifting is so important so don't skip that bit or you'll have endless lumps in the cocoa/icing sugar!
So the actual roulade sponge, light as a feather, is taken from a Hairy Bikers recipe in which you separate you whites & yolks, create a mousse like mix before folding in fluffy egg whites....so that's no flour or butter either, egg power! I like to roll the sponge while still warm as it seems to have a memory foam quality, so you can unroll again to add your filling and it'll happily go back into rolled position without too much fuss and best of all, no cracks!
The ganache is simply a basic mix of dark Greene & Black chocolate with double cream. You can add a number of flavours to both the ganache and filling. For mine I made a raspberry, chocolate & rum filling (mmmmmmm!) I add a good glug of dark rum to the cooled ganache, well it is for Christmas afterall! Needless to say this is a boozy adult cake but you can make it alcohol free with anything you fancy inside, i.e nutella, jam, fruit, chopped nuts etc etc
Tip: chop up the chocolate into small and even pieces to help melting process / heat cream then add then chocolate, this should eliminate chances of splitting
Basic spreadable ganahce:
200g good quality dark chocolate (e.g Greene & Black)
250ml carton double cream (pouring type)
extra: 1-2 tbsp dark rum
50g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Milk (to loosen)
punnet of raspberries
1 tbsp dark rum
Soft butter for greasing
6 large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, grease with a little butter and set aside.
Separate eggs into 2 bowls. With squeaky clean beaters, whisk up the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks
Then whisk yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder over the mixture and whisk in thoroughly.
Fold a third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture to loosen, then gently fold in the rest until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread gently with a spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges with a round-bladed knife and leave to stand for a few minutes. Place a piece of baking parchment on the work surface, turn the cake onto the parchment and leave it to cool for 5 mins, then gentkly and loosly roll up and leave cool completely – 30–40 minutes.
Meanwhile make your ganahce & filling of choice.
When the cake is cool, trim off the crusty edges. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the filling over the cake, taking it right to the edges. Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the sponge, keeping the first roll fairly tight so it forms a good spiral shape. Spread the icing evenly over the cake and drag a fork (or I like to use a toothpick for more control) through it to resemble the ridges on the bark of a tree.
Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the icing to set. Decorate with sifted icing sugar.
Read more at http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/506004/hairy-bikers-chocolate-yule-log#KKcQtQLeFrCgL2Tj.99
The finished article! Complete with the all important plastic decorations! (It really wouldn't be the same without a little Santa on top!) It was a hit & certainly kept everyone round the table very happy.
Tip: You can make this a good week in advance, just keep in a very cool dark spot and it'll be just fine