Chocolate and cherry roulade
To celebrate Chocolate Week here's one of my favourite recipes for a chocolate and cherry roulade which comes from my book An Appetite for Ale. Unusually it contains two different types of beer! You can obviously leave one of them out though a cherry beer is the perfect pairing with it.
Making a roulade might sound daunting but is actually no more difficult than making a chocolate mousse providing you have the right kit (see below)
For the roulade
175g Belgian dark luxury chocolate*
2 tbsp stout, porter or black coffee
5 large eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
For the filling
350g pitted morello cherries or stoned fresh, black cherries
2 tbsp Kriek or other cherry beer or cherry juice
1 tbsp kirsch (optional)
284ml carton double cream
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
You will need a 33cm x 23cm shallow rectangular ‘swiss roll’ tin, some non-stick baking parchment, several large bowls and an electric hand whisk
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Lightly grease the baking tin and line with a piece of non-stick baking parchment.
Break up the chocolate and put it in a bowl with the stout, porter or coffee. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the pan doesn’t touch the water. Leave to melt, stir once to amalgamate and take off the heat.
Put the eggs and sugar in another bowl and whisk together for a couple of minutes until light and moussey. Fold in the chocolate mixture with a large spoon.
In another bowl - and a clean whisk - whisk the egg whites until they just hold their shape. Add a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it then fold in the rest of the egg whites lightly without overmixing.
Tip the chocolate mixture gently into the baking tin and lightly and evenly spread it over the base of the tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is risen and firm to the touch.
Leave the roulade in the tin, cover with another sheet of baking parchment and lay a damp teatowel over the top. Leave for at least 3 hours. Meanwhile drain the cherries, if bottled or stone them if fresh, halving or quartering them if they’re particularly large. Put them in a bowl, with the kriek and a few drops of kirsch and refrigerate.
To assemble the roulade lay a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface and dust it with sifted icing sugar. Carefully tip the roulade onto the paper. Peel away the baking parchment off the base of the roulade and trim the edges.
Strain the cherries, reserving the juice. Lightly whip the cream until just holding its shape, fold in the kriek or cherry juice and sweeten to taste. Spread the cream over the roulade leaving a space round the edges and scatter the cherries on top. Using the paper roll the roulade up like a Swiss roll (don’t worry if it cracks), carefully transfer to a serving plate and sift over a little extra icing sugar.
* you don’t want chocolate that is too high in cocoa solids for this recipe. Choose one of about 55-60% cocoa solids (available in the baking section of supermarkets)
What to drink: As I said this was originally intended to go with cherry beer but a chocolate stout or a sweet red wine like a Recioto della Valpolicella would work well too. Serve the cherry beer in a champagne flute - it looks amazing!
Photos © Vanessa Courtier
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