Chocolate Roulade

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Chocolate Roulade

Christmas cake is an old favourite, but chocoholics may prefer to tuck into a luxurious Chocolate roulade on Christmas day. This recipe includes tips on how to turn your roulade into a festive Yule log and what to do if your sponge cracks. All is not lost!


Serves 4 - 6

250g good quality dark chocolate, about 60 % cocoa solids
90ml water
1 tsp instant coffee granules
5 eggs
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to dust
200ml double cream


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Line a shallow roasting tin or deep baking tray, 25 x 30 cm, with a piece of non-stick baking parchment, 3–4 cm bigger on all sides than the tin. Fold the parchment in half and cut diagonally through the corners, about 4–5 cm deep. Press into the roasting tin; the cuts in the corners allow it to sit neatly in the tin.
  2. Put the chocolate, water and coffee in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
  3. Separate the eggs into 2 medium bowls. Using an electric whisk, beat the yolks with all but 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar until pale and mousse-like.
  4. With clean beaters, whisk the whites to medium-stiff peaks, then whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of caster sugar quickly, to stabilise the whites.
  5. Stir the melted, cooled chocolate mixture into the yolk and sugar mixture, just until the mixture is marbled. Stir in one large spoonful of the whites to loosen the mixture, then add the remaining whites and carefully fold in.
  6. Spread the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the upper half of the oven for about 15–20 minutes, or until a crust has formed and it is set in the middle. It will still be spongy when pressed with your fingertips.
  7. Remove from the oven, carefully slide the sponge on its baking parchment onto a wire rack and immediately cover with lightly dampened kitchen paper or a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Leave it to cool completely.
  8. Place a piece of greaseproof paper, just bigger than the sponge, on the work surface and sift a fine layer of icing sugar onto it. Turn the sponge onto the icing sugar, using the wire rack and baking parchment to support the sponge, then peel off the parchment.
  9. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the cream with the icing sugar, to taste, until it is just holding its shape; it should not be too stiff. Spread it over the cooled sponge, leaving a 1–2 cm border around the edge.
  10. Make an indentation across the width of the sponge 1 cm in from the edge, using a palette knife, then using the greaseproof paper to support the sponge, roll it up like a Swiss roll, removing the greaseproof paper as you do so.
  11. Wrap the roulade in the greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for about 15–20 minutes to firm up slightly.
  12. When ready to serve, carefully unwrap the roulade on a board, removing the greaseproof paper. Trim the ends with a large knife, then carefully place the roulade on a large rectangular or oval plate. Sift over a little additional icing sugar and serve with orange segments, fresh raspberries or a fruit compote.


You can flavour the cream in the roulade with cooled coffee or melted chocolate, or you can fold through fresh berries, pitted cherries, orange segments or finely chopped preserved stem ginger. You can also add 1–2 tablespoons liqueur, to taste, such as Cointreau, Amaretto or Kahlua, before whisking the cream.


Learn how to make chocolate ganache by reading our 'How to' guide, here. Once made, put the ganache into the fridge to firm up. 

Put the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe long thick lines along the cake, covering the cake completely. Cover each end with icing or, if you wish to see the cream, leave un-iced. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread on the icing and create rough bark texture with a fork.


Our chocolate roulade recipe actually embraces the odd crack here and there, as it provides an excellent texture for a Yule log during the festive season. However if you would like to reduce the cracking, then place a damp tea towel over it whilst it cools, which should prevent the cake from drying out thus making it a neater roll. 

Lily Grouse

Author: Lily Grouse


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