Introduction: Gluten-Free Chocolate Roulade Sponge With Chocolate Ganache
This is a sponge I first made years ago on a school exchange visit to the Loire. I remember the teacher provided us with lashings of cream, rich dark chocolate and Gran Marnier, which from our English educational establishment perspective, tutored in bread and butter pudding and rock buns seemed incredibly exotic and wonderfully liberating. There has always been tremendous tension over this cake/dessert, which in the UK and US has respectively transmogrified into Swiss and Jelly roll. Both, with their pale sponge and meagre filling of jam, are but wraithlike shadows of their luscious Gallic counterpart. In fact, at one time, the Swiss wanted the British to rename their version, as they didn't wish their country to be associated with it!
FOR THE ROULADE SPONGE
(makes around twenty triple stack)
6 eggs separated
150g (5¼oz) blond raw cane sugar
Vanilla bean/pod (I have a vanilla pod in my cooking sugar, so it is already infused and is a great way of getting a permanent supply of delicious organic vanilla sugar!)
50g (2oz) cocoa
Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 350ºF
Whisk egg yolks and sugar until creamy, fold in the cocoa.
Whisk the egg whites until the form soft peaks and fold into the egg and sugar mixture.
Pour into a baking tray lined with unbleached baking paper and spread gently into the corners (in France they often use a flat baking tray and the paper is twisted at each corner to hold in the batter.
Cook for 20 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch but still springy. If you over cook it, it may crack when you come to cut it (but you can always hide that with ganache)!
Turn out upside down onto cooking paper powdered with sugar.
When cool cut into small rounds.
FOR THE GANACHE
Use equal amounts of chocolate and (I'm using raw) cream. This will make a ganache that holds it shape. I would use 100g (4oz) of quality cooking chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa.
Heat the cream gently on a low heat, do not boil or simmer, it just needs to be hot enough to melt the chocolate.
Whilst the cream is warming, grate the chocolate.
Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate.
Leave to stand for a few minutes.
Beat mixture with a wooden spoon until it is smooth.
Leave to cool.
Whisk the ganache for a couple of minutes to obtain a thicker, fluffier frosting.
Stack the cakes in layers, alternating fillings. My choice is a fruit purée of apricots and ganache with a physalis atop.
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