I bought myself the "Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook" for my 50th birthday with the various vouchers I received having watched Series 2 and thoroughly enjoyed the BBC baking competition. Loafing on the sofa this morning uninspired about Sunday pudding, I saw the bakers battling through the task of making Mary Berry's chocolate roulade. Game on! I fetched the book and made it.
Some hints and tips though:
a. If you are an empty nester, then halve the recipe and do not panic with the density of the egg yolk, sugar and chocolate mixture. I was worried initially but it rose and sank obediently. I halved this recipe and it worked beautifully.
b. When baking this, do NOT use wax wrap - use baking parchment otherwise you will end up with a less than perfect edge!
c. When beating egg whites or making meringue - clean out the bowl of your mixer - if it is metal, great. If it is plastic or nylon, then use some lemon juice or white vinegar to ensure there is not a trace of grease - this is what stops your egg whites from beating stiffly! I have finally realised after all these years why my mother's meringues were hit and miss and mine never miss the mark.
BIGGEST tip of the week - if you upgrade or replace your Kenwood - make sure you have a metal bowl!
d. When cooling the roulade, leave it in the tin as Mary Berry says, but cover with a spotlessly clean tea towel - this will ensure you have a roulade that will roll and crack marginally as it should, but will still look like a roulade.
We enjoyed ours just filled with cream, with fresh strawberries on the side. The roulade is quite dense and fudgy - not too sweet provided you use good black chocolate and bitter cocoa powder so we managed two pieces fairly easily!
I have a bottle of sour cherries that may well be meeting their match this holiday. I am also thinking of the making a caramel ice cream and rolling this into the roulade, then re-freezing and serving as dessert. Loosen your belts friends and family!