It's time for a beautiful cake! This is one of my most loved desserts to bake and to eat. If you have never made a roulade cake, what are you waiting for? A fantastic summer dessert filled with fresh berries and cold chocolate cream. A crowd pleaser and one to keep in mind for all the summer holidays ahead.
What do you do when you hear the words "Don't panic."? Panic, of course. Am I not wrong? It is our initial gut reaction to panic when we feel we shouldn't but somehow can't control that overwhelming feeling of, yes, panic.
Before the cake today, I just am taking a minute to talk about just that. Skip to the bottom if you are just looking for the cake.
I'm not often too serious here on the blog. A bit of life here and there, a bit of humour, but mostly food. But sometimes, just occasionally, there is something to say.
Last weekend I experienced a overwhelming feeling of panic. To the point where I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. No lie. Full blown heart attack is where I was headed, or at least that is what my mind was telling me. Clearly, I'm fine or I probably wouldn't be here writing this today. But heart attack is where I thought I was last Sunday amidst all the vacationers at the mini market down the road.
How did I end up there.
Okay, several weeks back I started experiencing some tightness in my chest, the left hand side I would like to point out just to make it a tad on the heart side of things. I thought nothing of it to be honest. Like zero. I do some light weight training, so I figured I pulled a muscle with some weighs and just left it at that. I wasn't the slightest bit worried. Well, until I was worried of course. We've all been there, and a little worry goes a long way. It's a bit like that darn energizer bunny, it just never ever stops.
So time was passing along and I was continuing with this tightness and was sometimes painful and sometimes not. I would wake up with it and then find myself trying to catch my breath and I couldn't and I would panic more and then panic even more. Then telling myself it was nothing. Telling myself I was dying. Telling myself just about everything you can imagine. I kept on going like this day in and day out for a few days short of a few weeks.
Like everything in life, it comes to a head. My head happened to be after a brief 10 minute walk in the melting sun to the overcrowded mini market down the road last Sunday.
We had a friend coming for dinner and I was short of a few things, like always. I try my best to be prepared in advance and have everything in the house but there is always something missing. Or I have a change of food plans at last minute. The latter is quite often the case.
Since we had a late night the evening before celebrating the start of summer with Noche de San Juan, I thought the little walk would do me good despite being pressed for time. I do always walk when I can, just because I can. Apparently, walking is good for lowering stress. The irony. So I grabbed some money, a reusable bag, put on some flip flops and out the door I went. Into the blazing sun of the midday heat. No worries, I'm a total veteran of being on the parched side of dehydration and sitting it out under that big ol' firey ball in the sky. Easy.
I got to the little beach side mini market and quickly braved the crowds and stepped inside to get some tomatoes, onions and cheese. Yes, just three things. Do we ever leave with just what's on our list? Never.
Anyway, I made my way to the back of the shop and stood in line and the produce counter to get 2 tomatoes and an onion. Twenty minutes later and after being pushed and shoved in every direction, on the melting side of hot flashes, and dizzy on a level that would make any roller coaster proud, it was my turn. I quickly got my two items and then pushed my way through the hoards of beach bound vacationers to get some cheese. The cooler section was refreshing. Maybe I'll stay here, that's a good plan. No I have to get home, clean the house, get the guest room ready (aka...my office dressed up for over night guests), clean the patio, set the table, make dessert, appetizers, and so much more. I'm exhausted after writing that. Never mind.
And just like that I went to reach for some sparkling water when I just couldn't catch my breath, the room was closing in on me, I was sweating like crazy, my heart was almost pounding out of my chest and everything seemed a blur. This is it, I thought, I'm going to collapse in here amongst all the Madrileños (people from Madrid), and that's it, lights out. I knew I couldn't get to my phone in time so I thought of grabbing onto the unknown man next to me. But I couldn't, I just couldn't reach him. It was as if he were in another galaxy. All I could do was stand there in sheer panic and try to breathe. Which felt like a loosing battle.
I stood there frozen for a lifetime, but in reality it was probably only 30 seconds or so. I managed to catch my breath and I could see clearer, my heart was slowing and I was grasping the bottle of sparkling water. Oh, I was still alive.
I walked to the back of the line up, put my basket on the floor and basically cried. Nobody noticed. That's the thing with folks on vacation, they are on vacation. Checked out of all the boxes. I was thankful that promises of beach waves and lazy days overshadowed my near death experience. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. The near death experience not the preoccupied holiday makers.
The line up was long and I was thankful to still be standing and waiting 20 more minutes to get checked out.
I made it home, cleaned my house, made the dinner, entertained my friend and survived.
Turns out, according to my doctor, I had a panic attack and I'm not dying. Thankfully. Apparently I'm stressed out and am suffering from long term stress. Well, join the club as they say. Aren't we all stressed out? So, I have to take it easy, do less, rest more, read more, look after myself more and all of that. How? Well, I am taking baby steps to doing just that right now. I kind of like the slow lane anyway.
Writing is relaxing, stress free and therapeutic, so full on blog mode here I come. And today, with a cake.
Finally, the cake!
I personally love making roulade or roll cakes. I find them relatively quick and easy to make and they really are not as dreaded as they are made out to be. I find myself making them more often than not as everyone seems to enjoy them and they make a really lovely dessert. You can fill them with anything imaginable and they don't take up much space in your fridge. Bonus!
Take a look here at the notes if you are planning on making one yourself.
First and foremost, always use eggs at room temperature. You only get full volume from eggs this way. So, if you keep your eggs in the fridge, get them out about 30 minutes before you plan on using them.
Always fold the batter slowly and don't over mix. This will deflate the batter and you won't end up with a light and airy result.
After my cake is baked, I turn it out on a damp tea towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Do this to help prevent the cake from cracking and also sticking to the tea towel. It works every single time.
For the whipped cream, I recommend always using a cold bowl and cold beaters before whisking the whipped cream. The room temperature can easily affect the fluffiness you get in your whipped cream. I have curdled cream enough times in the past to know that having cold utensils and ingredients will prevent this every time.
That probably sums up the most important notes on the cake. Everything is pretty well explained in the recipe below.
It's a great cake, like a really great cake.
Happy baking friends and stay stress free!
Chocolate Raspberry Roulade
Serves 8 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Bake time: 15 minutes
For the cake:
6 Large eggs, separated
4 ounces/120 grams of chopped dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon of vinegar
1/4 Cup/50 grams plus an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the filling and topping
1 Cup/240 ml heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 Cup/125 grams of fresh raspberries
1/2 Cup/55 grams slivered almonds, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a 12 x 17 inch sheet pan. Make sure you also grease the parchment paper with butter as well. Set aside
Separate the eggs while they are still cold, as it is easier to do it this way. Place the yolks in a large mixing bowl and the whites in a medium sized mixing bowl. It is now best to let them come to room temperature before whisking as it will give you the most volume. Usually half an hour is enough.
While the eggs are sitting, get your chocolate ready. Place the chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water. Let it melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when melted and let cool.
In the bowl with your egg yolks, add 1/4 cup/50 grams of sugar. Mix on a high speed for about 5 minutes. You are looking for a pale yellow and thick batter. It will be about triple in volume. Once you batter is like this, add the vanilla extract and cooled chocolate. Mix to combine.
With a clean whisk attachment, beat on high speed your egg whites until foamy. Add the vinegar and mix until soft peaks form then add the sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form and it is shiny.
Take a few tablespoons of the whisked egg whites and add them to your chocolate mixture. Gently fold in until combined just enough to lighten the batter. Add in the rest of the egg whites and carefully fold them into the batter. Do not over mix or you will deflate the batter.
Evenly pour the mixture onto your sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until when touched it lightly bounces back. Remove from oven and turnout on a damp tea towel set over a cooling rack. Remove pan and gently peel away the parchment paper. Next, start rolling up your cake in the tea towel. Leave it on the wire rack to cool completely. This will take a few hours.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the whipped cream, cocoa powder and sugar. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Remove from fridge and whisk until light and fluffy.
Roughly cut up the raspberries (reserving a few for the top). Fold the raspberries into the whipped cream mixture.
Unroll your cake and evenly spread out the whipped cream mixture. Evenly sprinkle over slivered almonds, reserving a few for the top. Fold back up and top with the remaining fresh raspberries and slivered almonds. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour to let the cake set.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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