Sunday, 28 February 2016

Chocolate and Raspberry Roulade

Being a teacher is a hard job.  It's all over the news these last few months that there is a shortage of teachers here in the UK.  That's because it's been getting more and more stressful with too much being expected of us.  Most people think it's easy taking care of about 30 kids from different backgrounds for 6 hours a day.  Most people tell us we're lucky 'cause of all those holidays we get.  Thing is, we work far beyond what we're paid for.  Planning, assessing and developing lessons for a wide range of abilities takes a lot of time.  And we fit all that around staff/cluster meetings, attending CPD training, running clubs, etc.  I love my job.  I do.  But I only work 3 days a week and am not tied down to a single class.  I don't have to do a lot of this extra stuff but I'm only paid for the hours I'm in school.  All the time I spend planning outside of school, I'm not paid for that.

What's the point of this mini rant?  Well, it was the starting point for this bake.  The mother-in-law is also a teacher and she's been feeling very down lately.  This is a big deal because she LOVES her job and this is the first time I've seen her so despondent because of it.  So on our weekly dinner at her house we were both ranting about our job and trying to cheer ourselves up.  The hubby bought us both some chocolate when he went out for bread, which was nice.  However, I was telling the mother-in-law about the brownies I made for the Hubby to take to his friends and she was quite disappointed that there weren't any leftover to be brought down for her.  So I decided I would bake her something just for her.  As long as there was chocolate, she would be happy.

I didn't want to do brownies again (I like having something new I can talk about) so I went hunting for a nice chocolate-y thing that I could bake.  Good old Pinterest is where I decided a roulade would be the way to go.  I always need more practise with those things, particularly getting a nice, tight swirl.  The recipe I found was also perfect, not just because it was simple and chocolate-y, but also because there is NO FLOUR in it at all.  Both the in-laws are trying to cut down on how much wheat they eat so this was fantastic.  An indulgent treat with no wheat in it.  Just sugar, eggs and lots of good quality chocolate.  And just for a bit of extra pizazz, I added raspberries into the cream.

I love this recipe.  You get a good amount of mixture to make a nice thick roulade with.  The number of times I've done a roulade recipe and the sponge is so so thin that I end up doubling the recipe up is ridiculous.  This filled the tray perfectly.  It rose well, and then sank slightly after it came out the oven but Mary Berry said to expect that.  She also said not to worry if it cracks, which it did, since that is part of the charm.  

Oh my goodness is the sponge on this delicious!  I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake but this was amazing.  SO LIGHT!  Seriously.  The Hubby compared it to eating a cloud.  The mother-in-law agrees.  And then the raspberry cream just melts in with it in your mouth and mmmmm!  It was loved and promptly demolished.  It was a perfect pick-me-up.

Recipe - adapted from Mary Berry via BBC Food
Makes 1 standard size roulade
  • 175g/6oz dark chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 300ml/10fl.oz double cream
  • 125g/4.5oz fresh raspberries
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 33x23cm / 13x9inch swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of just simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not touching the water.  Once melted, set aside to cool.
  3. Separate the eggs between two large bowls.  Whisk the whites until they are stiffed peaked but not dry.
  4. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk for a few minutes until it is thick, pale and creamy.
  5. Pour the cooled chocolate into the sugar and yolk mix and fold in gently until well combined.
  6. Add two spoonfuls of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and carefully stir in to loosen the mixture before folding in the remaining egg whites with a large metal spoon.  Be careful not to squash out the air.
  7. Sift the cocoa powder in and lightly fold.
  8. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and move the tin around gently until the mixture reaches all the corners and is level.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the roulade is risen and feels firm and slightly crisp to the touch.  Remove from the oven and leave in the tin until it has gone cold.
  10. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape.  Cut the raspberries into quarters and fold into the cream.
  11. Lay out a piece of greaseproof paper on a work surface and dust with icing sugar.  Turn the cooled roulade out onto the paper.  Its lining paper should be on top so you can peel it off.
  12. Leaving a border of about 2cm all the way around the edge, spread the whipped cream evenly over the roulade.
  13. Make a cut along one of the short edges that goes about halfway through the sponge.  Roll the cut edge over tightly to start the roll and then use the greaseproof paper to help continue a tight roll.  
  14. Finish with the join underneath and place on a plate.  Dust with icing sugar.  

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