An indulgently chocolatey dessert – and yet one that is not too sweet – with the addition of caramelised oranges to the filling and for decoration.
This recipe is a tweak on many chocolate roulades that are “out there”.
Some of the intensely orangey syrup that is produced while the oranges cook is poured over the sponge and a little is folded into the cream.
The oranges have a lovely flavour when cooked in this way: a sweet, slightly bitter tang with a nice chewiness and a very gentle crunch to the rind. They need to be made a day before, though. The amount of oranges below will be somewhat more than is needed for the roulade but they keep well in airtight containers for several weeks, arranged on sheets of non-stick greaseproof parchment for easy removal although the level of crunch decreases over time. That said, the chewiness remains and is quite marvellous.
Black Forest variation!
For a Black Forest-esque roulade you can also add about 100g dried sour cherries macerated overnight in Amaretto liqueur to the chocolate filling – the bursts of sharp, juicy cherry that you get is heavenly!
Recipe for Caramelised Orange Chocolate Roulade (serves 6-8)
For the oranges:
- 2 small oranges, sliced very thinly (a couple of millimetres thick)
- 100ml water
- 100ml caster sugar
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 85g plain flour
- 20g cocoa powder
For the chocolate filling:
- 120g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher)
- 100ml double cream
- 4 or 5 slices caramelised oranges, chopped.
- pinch of sea salt
For the cream filling:
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon reserved orange syrup
- Make the oranges up the day before: bring the sugar and the water to a gentle boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange slices, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool in the syrup. Remove the orange slices from the syrup, shaking off excess syrup. Reserve this syrup. Place the orange slices onto parchment or silicon sheets, and put in a very low oven – about 80C (fan) – for about three hours. Remove from oven and leave to cool on parchment or silicon sheets.
- Make the chocolate ganache filling: chop chocolate roughly and place in a small bowl. Heat cream in a small pan until just simmering. Pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the orange pieces and leave in the fridge until set – it should have a fairly soft, spreadable consistency.
- Grease and line a swiss-roll tin – approx. 25cm by 40cm – with greaseproof paper and preheat oven to 170°C (fan).
- In a large bowl whisk eggs and sugar until they become very light in colour and soft peaks form – when you lift the whisk out of the bowl the mixture leaves a trail on the surface (as in picture below).
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and gently fold in until there are no bits of flour/cocoa visible. Pour into the tin and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cake is well risen and is just pulling away from the edges of the tin.
- Leave cake to cool in tin and then turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper that has been dusted with icing sugar. Remove the paper from the cake. You can trim the edges (the off-cuts are great to eat) or leave it as it is.
- For the cream filling, whisk the cream, orange syrup and vanilla together until thick.
- Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the reserved orange syrup over the cake and gently spread a thin layer of the chocolate ganache over the cake, going about 1cm away from the shortest edges. Then spread a layer cream over the top.
- With longest side of cake facing you, roll up the cake to form the roulade and transfer to a plate. It will probably crack but that is absolutely fine, and adds to the appeal.
- Pipe a few rosettes of cream along the top and stick in some halved caramelised orange slices. Refrigerate until needed.