I found this recipe in a cook book called Sweet Treats that my brother got me for my last birthday. Next to the recipe was a series of pictures depicting a woman spreading tempered chocolate on a flat marble surface and then, when the chocolate has hardened, proceeding to make tree-bark-like chocolate swirls with the edge of her knife. I was intrigued and thought that I should give it a shot.
I didn't really temper the chocolate but I found that by flattening the chocolate on a flat marble surface, allowing it to sit for 20 minutes in room temperature and then putting it in the fridge for about 15 minutes; I could handle the chocolate fairly well and create swirls out of it. You could skip this entire step and buy ready tempered chocolate, of course ;) Just hold a sharp knife at a 45° angle (or however you like, really. There's no need to get too technical!) and shave along the surface of the chocolate. It's a lot of fun and you'll get the hang of it once you've tried it a few times. Allow the curls to rest on parchment paper so that they have the chance to set.
|I'll never get sick of how gorgeous melted chocolate looks|
Now the hard part: rolling up the cake. I've never made any type of cake like this before in terms of technique. It was my first try, which I would say was pretty unsuccessful. I couldn't roll up the cake properly without having it break. It ended up looking quite messy and sort of like very long rectangles stacked on top of each other. I wasn't too disappointed though, the cake did turn out tasting great! There's a first time for everything, huh? ;)
The filling of the cake was my favorite part. I sort of adapted it from another recipe I found since I didn't want to make your usual buttercream for this cake. It's perfect for people who are not die-hard chocolate fans; the chocolate in it is subtle and balanced nicely with the vanilla extract.
So, maybe it was a little bit of intimidation from the Frenchiness (yeah, I just made up a word) that got me to mess this cake up a little bit. But my trusty tasters at home were pleased with the end result and I guess that's all that matters anyway!
Try this recipe out for yourself. It doesn't contain any flour so it's quite light in texture and feels more like a mousse than a cake. And even if you don't get that perfect swirly, rolled up, log shaped cake, you're still going to love the crumbly cake partnered with the creamy chocolate filling that truly melts in your mouth.
For the cake:
Butter, for greasing
225g plain chocolate
2 eggs, seperated
100g caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23x33cm (9x13in) Swiss roll tin with greased greaseproof paper. Break up 50g of the chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of hot, not boiling, water. Stir until melted.
- Pour melted chocolate in a thin layer on a marble slab or cold upturned baking tray and leave to set. Holding a sharp knife at an angle of about 45 degrees, shave off the surface of the chocolate to form curls. Place on greaseproof paper to set.
- Melt the remaining chocolate as above. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar for 5 minutes until pale and thick, then stir in the chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Spread out in the prepared Swiss roll tin ad bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and firm.
- Sprinkle a piece of greaseproof paper with caster sugar. When the roulade is cooked, turn it out on to the paper and carefully peel off the lining paper. Cover the roulade with a warm, damp tea towel and leave to cool.
- Make the filling.
- Spread the filling over the roulade to within 1cm of the edges. From one short end, roll it up, using the paper to help. Swirl cream on top of the cake and scatter chocolate curls on top.
300ml whipping cream (or double cream if you desire)
150g plain chocolate (or however much chocolate you like!)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the cream and whip until well combined (should hold well but not too stiff)