blog, cake, Chichester, children, chocolate, cream, homemade, Pinkness, raspberry, roulade, swiss roll, The Royal Wedding, vanilla extract, We Should Cocoa

We Should Cocoa, or the Sound of Silence

We should. Cos it is a frikking loco world out there.

So far, this weekend I have missed The Royal Wedding only to be drip fed 2nd hand tidbits about it via Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know why I avoided it, I think we just decided that we weren’t going to bother cranking up the tellybox for it (I assure you that despite the many, many children, we do own a television and that it is not all back in the boonies of Bondook here).

It’s not that I have much against the monarchy. At least you guys have just the one royal family. Back where I came from (and no, Mary B, you’re right, I don’t mean Chichester), we have 11. Maybe 12. The point it, they’re bloody everywhere. Each state would have their own Bring a Royalty to Show & Tell day Sultan’s birthday holiday and it’s no rarity to arrive at a neighbouring state to discover that the shops are closed and you’re out of petrol.

I think I avoided it out of envy. I never had a proper wedding. It must be an age thing. The past year or so, I’ve been mentally planning my fantasy wedding. If I had it my way, I’d have a Carnival themed wedding. I’d have a big top marquee. The best man would be dressed as the LizardBoy. I’d be the Painted Lady. I’ve shared this description to many – most people physically shifted uncomfortably at the visual imagery of Slaveboy as the Ironman, moustache waxed, his lily white skin glimmering a gold lame unitard.

It would have been fabulous.

Then there was Doctor Who. A great family tradition. The second episode confuddled us more than ever, leaving us speculating and Slaveboy drawing flow charts (uh huh, he loves his lists).

Til today. To many, it has been very much a fairy tale weekend. A prince married a ‘commoner’. We all regaled about how marvellous it all had been. To top it, a baddie was killed. It was almost Disney-esque really. In that surreal white picket fence and milk & cookies kind of way.

And for my children, it was certainly a ‘the end of the innocence’ moment.

I had this project planned around midnight last night. I couldn’t sleep and I was browsing my Twitter friend, Dom’s blog, The Belleau Kitchen. I got to meet Dom briefly when we both turned up for the Great British Bake Off‘s audition in London.

We Should Cocoa is a monthly blog challenge which only prerequisite is chocolate.

The challenge this month, hosted by Chele requires participants to attempt a Swiss roll or roulade. And it must include chocolate. Always. Hence We Should Cocoa.

In that late night breastfeeding haze, I decided that I was going to attempt a roulade comprising of a chocolate devil’s food cake, dark chocolate ganache with raspberries, light brown sugar meringue and raspberry infused whipped cream. I call it

The Nebula

(not sure if it’s apt, will check later what that really means in the dictionary). For those who think this is a mammoth undertaking, please don’t let it stump you. It really is not that hard. It involves several processes, which is great because if you mess up one process, you haven’t ruined the whole thing.

Because it is a roulade, the cake you need does not need to be high and puffy. And because it is chocolate cake, it is actually acceptable to slightly, very slightly undercook it. In fact, this is the sort of cake you do not want to overcook. Overcook it and it’ll break when you go to roll it.

And yes, it involves baking a meringue. And before you reach for the cream of tartar, yecch, just stop yourself. You don’t need it. Follow that recipe as is. This would be a good introduction to baking meringue because the recipe doesn’t require the meringue to have risen lots. Because we’re gonna end up crushing it.

Two things I do ask though. Use English raspberries and use real cream, none of that Elmlea stuff. My favourite go to cream which is easily accessible is Marks & Spencer‘s West Country double cream.

M&S also currently stocking English raspberries at the moment and they are at a special offer. I’m rather fond of our local M&S, their carpark is perfect for skating in.

Chocolate Cake (pre heat oven at 175c
112g Plain flour
96g Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
200g Caster sugar
1/4 cup vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 room temperature Egg
1/2 cup of Freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2tsp Vanilla extract

– Take the sugar, flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt and mix well in a large bowl.
– Blend together the oil, buttermilk, coffee, vanilla extract and egg.
– Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and using a paddle beater, mix on medium for about 2 minutes.
– Pour into a lined rectangular lipped baking tray and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes.
– Leave to cool.
Light brown sugar meringue (pre heat oven 150c)
2 room temperature egg whites
110g light brown sugar

Whisk the egg whites til stiff peaks.
Add sugar in small increments. Allowing each addition to be well assimilated.
Spread the meringue into a lined lipped baking tray.
Bake for 20-25 mins until the top is crisp.
Leave to cool.

Dark chocolate ganache
100g 70% chocolate
100ml double cream
150g raspberries (this is for when you spread the ganache)

Place small chunks of chocolate in a bowl. Gently heat the cream. Pour warm cream onto the chocolate. Stir until melted or you can just wait.

Raspberry whipped double cream
300ml double cream
150g raspberries
1tbsp icing sugar

-Puree the raspberries and push it through the sieve, separating the pips. Set aside.
-Whip cream to firm peaks
-Fold in the raspberry puree


When the chocolate cake has cooled down, you want to gently spread the chocolate ganache evenly all over the top. Tear up the 150g of raspberries (saving 3 for later) and scatter them on top of the ganache.

Take the cooled brown sugar meringue and just invert the top so it meets the raspberry scattered chocolate ganache. Don’t worry if cracks form, just tuck in any stray broken bits. Lightly pat it down without squishing it too much.

Take the set aside raspberry cream and spread it smoothly on the meringue, leaving a perimeter around the edges. You will need this for when you go to roll it. The cream will spread anyways and having a perimeter around it will decrease the squelch factor.

The whole assembly should still be on the baking parchment that the chocolate cake was baked on. Carefully lift one narrow end of the baking parchment with one hand and using the other hand to tuck the edge of the cake in, just roll it.

When you get to the end, make sure you roll it over so the seam in at the bottom. It will be all squidgy. Do nothing with it. Just make sure you are happy with the shape and pop it in the fridge to firm up a little, but don’t keeps it in there for hours on end as the meringue will go soft.

When it’s firmed up, dust it with icing sugar and pop the 3 raspberries for decoration and watch people fight for them.

NOTE: If you plan to do this ahead and want to chill it, just reverse it. Lay the meringue down, then the chocolate cake, followed by the ganache and cream. If you plan to do this, make sure your meringue mixture is a 3 egg quantity.


16 thoughts on “We Should Cocoa, or the Sound of Silence

  1. I’ve died and gone to Chocolate Raspberry Heaven – can you beam me over to Chichester please and I’ll fight my corner for my slice with your brood…..mmmmmmmm delish because you’re So worth it. BTW I like your wedding idea – perhaps you should do it in your garden, hire a marquee, fire eater the works – Have camel will travel xx

  2. Mags, how did I ever forget the camels??? I’d also have crazy swans. Dyed pink. I don’t have a big enough garden but maybe if we infiltrate Priory Park a la guerilla style?

    • I could dye you a couple of sausage dogs to add to the display. Name your colour. One was my bridesmaid, I got married in jeans and t shirt and we went to the Wimpy for our sit down meal. Weddings Schmeddings, we are just as married as if we had a big do and were still struggling to pay the loan for it πŸ˜‰ Love the idea of the gold lamΓ©, how about a mankini rather than a unitard?

      • As long as we have a ceremonial rubbing of gold lustre onto Slaveboy and all cat-befriending old spinsters have to pat his belly a la good luck prosperity cat.

  3. Lesley says:

    this sounds like an ideal birthday ‘cake’ for grown ups :o) Will have to try it soon – thank you so much for sharing recipe :o))

  4. Wow, this looks super amazing and my mouth is watering. Chocolate, raspberries and meringue are three of my absolute favourite things and all together in one fantastic roulade is just mind blowing. Just checked to see if we got your e-mail and both of them are there. Thank you for entering and with such a fantastic one to boot. Mine went completely pear shaped!

  5. Your roulade looks delicious! I love chocolate and raspberries together, and the brown sugar meringue sounds divine. Great job with this month’s challenge!

  6. Just saw your roulade in the roundup and had to come over here and say how fab it looks. I am drooling at the thought of it. Right, now I have found you I am off for a browse around πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: We Should Cocoa: Banana Peanut Butter Cake « Sniff & Snort

  8. Pingback: We Should Cocoa: Raspberry & Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Almond Meringue « Sniff & Snort

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