A few weeks ago I was watching a wonderful TV program called “Doco Chef”, on the documentary channel. One of the episodes, Willie’s Chocolate Factory, really got to me. It was a two part movie, documenting the story of Willie, an English man who lived with his family for many years in Venezuela, on cacao farms. He grew cacao beans and decided one day that he wanted to bring to England the best chocolate in the world. The movie documents the building and development of his factory and all of the hardships he faced on the way. The movie is wonderfully made, to the point where I really felt that I was experiencing Willie’s journey alongside with him.
When a friend of mine told me that she was going to London for the weekend, I immediately asked her to bring me a pack of his chocolate along with his second cookbook, “The Chocolate Bible”.
The book brought a huge smile to my face; it is not only photographed beautifully, but the recipes look delicious, in a way that only chocolate can. The book is sexy and dirty in a good way. This is not a book for bakers, but for foodies that love chocolate.
I chose this recipe because it brings me back about 20 years, to the old-school chocolate roulade with whipped cream. I had a feeling the chocolate roulade from the book would be a bit different from the ones I remember from my childhood.
Like I always do, I made the recipe exactly according to what was written, and truthfully, I wasn’t very pleased with the result. The roulade was just too chocolaty (if there is such a thing) and bitter. I know a lot of people prefer dark chocolate (72% cacao), but for cakes I prefer a little less bitter.
I made a few changes and it was perfect! And there is no flour in this recipe!
You can order Willie’s chocolate through his website , although it’s pretty pricy.
Chocolate Roulade with Whipped Cream and Strawberries
Ingredients for 8-10 servings
9 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I prefer 60% cacoa)
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ cup ground almonds
1 cup + 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream
10 large strawberries, sliced
- Preheat oven to 340ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan filled with simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs yolks until they turn a light yellow color and are creamy in texture. He Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate until smooth. Add the ground almonds and sugar and continue to mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft white peaks from. Add a heaping tablespoon of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Fold in the remaining egg whites, until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread it out until a rectangle is formed. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack, and cover with a damp kitchen towel, until the cake is completely cool.
- In the meantime, whisk the heavy cream until firm, whipped cream is formed.
- Assembling the roulade: place a sheet of parchment paper on your workspace and sprinkle on powdered sugar. Place the cake (face down) on the parchment paper and peel of the parchment paper that cake was baked on. Evenly spread a layer of whipped cream on the cake, leaving ¾ inch border on each side. Place the sliced strawberries onto the whipped cream.
- Gently begin to roll the cake, lengthwise, until it is completely rolled. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.