Recicember Day 1: Chocolate Roulade

Let’s start off with something that you’d normally have for dessert – any arguments? No? Good.

Day 1 of #recicember (I’m going to make this a thing) features a recipe from Mary Berry, and doesn’t involve any flour. The original recipe can be found here.

Things we have to consider before starting – the recipe claims that it will feed 8 people. This is of course a BBC estimate, and should not be considered accurate for the real world. Especially if you like eating chocolate roulade.

Second thing to consider – Mary Berry is not the boss of me. She can tell me what to do, but I don’t have to listen. Like, when she says, use 175g/6oz good-quality dark chocolate, she’s getting Morrisons Saver dark chocolate. It’s 30p a bar. This is a challenge for December, not an attack on my bank account.


Right! Let’s get crack-a-lacking. Turn the oven on, do a bit of origami with some greaseproof paper in a Swiss roll tin, an then…what the heck is a Swiss roll tin? Nobody in their right mind has a tin specifically for making Swiss rolls. I mean, how often do you actually make a Swiss roll? Does it depend on how often you stand near the top of a hill next to a person of Swiss origin?

So, Mary Berry, I’m using a roasting tin. It’s approximately the same dimensions as you specified, so it will have to do. I’m not buying a Swiss roll tin, because a) I don’t know what they are, and 2) it’s still not an attack on my bank account.

Back to the recipe. Bend some greaseproof paper into the Swiss roll roasting tin, snip the corners so it fits better, then ignore it for a while.

Put the chocolate in a bowl, something about simmering water, don’t touch it, I don’t know. I put the chocolate in a bowl and stuck it in the microwave for 5 minutes on low power. It melted and nobody drowned.

Spend several minutes separating eggs into two separate bowls. Wallop the whites with an electric mixer until they go thick. If you turn the bowl upside down, says Mary, the whites should be stiff enough not to fall out. Brilliant plan, Mary. What if I tip it upside down and the whole lot falls out on my head? Then what? Do I have to start again? I’m working on the principle that if the whites go thick and quite firm, they’re good. I don’t need to know if they can defy gravity.

Chuck some sugar in with the yolks and using the same whisk, wallop them until they also go thick. I used a different whisk, on the basis that in order to use the same one I’d need to clean out the bowl because it’s the only one that fits on the electric mixer. She said something about ribbons, but it went gloopy so it’s all good.

Throw in the melted chocolate and fold it. Fold the chocolate. It’s melted chocolate, not a sheet…

Lob in the egg whites, fold it again and don’t squish out all the air. Sprinkle artistically with cocoa powder. Mix that in too.

Pour the whole kit and kaboodle in the origami Swiss roll roasting tin, tilt it until it spreads all around the bottom. Gently place in the oven and leave it for about 20 minutes.

When it’s done, take it out and leave it to cool. It’s worth noting at this point that my oven is apparently not level, as one side seemed to have more roulade than the other. Meh. It all tastes the same.

Next up, throw the cream in the bowl, swoosh it with the electric mixer, but try and stop yourself before you turn it into butter.

Chuck icing sugar on some greaseproof paper, and flip the Swiss roll roasting tin over so the chocolate cake thing flops out. Gently peel off the greasproof paper, leaving great big holes where it stuck.


Smear the whole thing with cream, and roll it up like a Swiss roll roast. No, actually, Swiss roll was right that time. Throw icing sugar everywhere, hopefully some other mug will tidy up later.

If it cracks, it’s all good, it’s part of the charm. No Mary, the charm is it’s chocolate cake with cream in it.

Move around your home with a couple of fish slices, or slice the thing up and stuff it down your throat.

TL;DR: Made chocolate roulade from Mary Berry recipe. Kitchen is on a tilt. Tastes delicious.

Here’s a gallery of the entire process:

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