11 March 2012

'Dinner In' with Friends...

...a big thanks to Jules and family for being the hosts with the most...

...last night was a great night...the 4 of us went to friends for 'dinner in'...it's a great way to get together, no restaurant to book, no children to keep amused (they do it themselves when doing 'dinner in'), and a nice relaxed atmosphere...But best of all, we share the cooking!! The hosts do mains, the guests the puds...and as we were the guests, I got to make the puds...which last night were...

...two types of chocolate roulade...
The first was The Ultimate Chocolate Roulade by Mary Berry, but with a Sew Appetising 'tweak'. 

Can you guess what it was from the picture? It's pretty obvious, and has to be one of two things really...

First of all though I baked the roulade 'base' (for want of a better word), made some ganache...see my 'Weekends Away' post for the recipe...let the ganache cool until spreadable...and then you've guessed it...spread it...all over the roulade base, remembering to leave that gap around the edges.

Then I whipped up about 200ml double cream, added a tiny bit of pink gel colouring and a punnet of fresh raspberries...mixed them up (making sure I managed to crush a few of the raspberries in the process...it adds to taste, texture and colour!!). That then got spread all over the ganache, and again, leave gaps!!
 ...then came the bit I dread...the rolling...what i haven't told you is that when I originally 'flipped' the roulade out of its tin and on to the parchment, I had forgotten the icing sugar!! So I carefully got it back into the tin, dusted the parchment and flipped it out of the tin a second time... unfortunately, this second flip resulted in a crack widthways across the roulade...so now the rolling became even more tricky than normal....but, it was ok...not great, but ok...I then stuck it in the fridge to firm up a bit before transporting it to Jules'.

The final product actually looked pretty good in the end (always trim the two ends to make it look nicer!!) and tasted fantastic!!! Next time I think I might make it an adult version with a drop (or three!!) of Framboise in the cream too...

The second roulade was a new recipe that I saw in the April issue of Essentials Magazine...the recipe isn't on the site...but may be there at some point...but I will tell you what I used and how I made it in the meantime...
Triple Chocolate & Almond Roulade...
(or as the smallish people called it Easter Roulade)
*30g caster sugar
*70g light muscovado sugar - they recommend it being pressed through a sieve to make sure there's no lumps
*3 medium eggs - I misread and used large!! Ooops!!
*40g plain flour
*15g cocoa - sieved
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*65g ground almonds
For the filling & decoration:
*200ml double cream
*75g milk chocolate melted
*1 tsp vanilla
*40g dark chocolate - melted
*40g white chocolate - melted
*some mini eggs

To make the roulade: 
You need to get your tin greased and lined, heat the oven to Gas 5/190c...then...
...get the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk with handheld electric whisk...or as I did, in the Kenwood...make sure it looks really pale and fluffy and leaves a trail on top as you  lift the whisk/beaters...add the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder and the almonds...fold in carefully - don't beat in or you'll lose the air you've just whisked in...pour into tin and pop in the oven for 12 minutes...no longer though...you don't want to dry it out by overcooking!
 When cooked, leave it to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then...(this is the cool bit) place a clean sheet of parchment on the counter and flip the roulade (carefully) onto it...then carefully roll it up and leave it like this to cool.
 My 8 year old male smallish person wanted to (in his words) "be famous and on your blog mummy" so here is his arm/hand helping to keep the roulade rolled and in place...In actual fact it stayed in place on its own...I just propped it up against the wall on the countertop! When it is cool you move on to the filling.

Melt the milk chocolate and then pour your double cream into a bowl and whip away until it is at the soft peaks stage...carefully stir in the vanilla...look how pretty the swirls of vanilla look :-)

Add the melted chocolate...I was a bit nervous about this, as I know that chocolate has a habit of seizing when added to cold things! But after a quick Google to check I just went for it (after all, a recipe wouldn't tell you to do something that could potentially ruin your end product would it?) and guess what it was perfect! The filling is like a creamy vanillary (yep think I just made up a word!), chocolatey mousse...yum!!

Now unroll the rolled up roulade (ooh a bit of alliteration on a Sunday morning!) and fill...then re-roll...It was very easy to do, as the almonds make this a moist 'sponge' base...I put mine in the fridge for about half an hour then to firm up..

I've decorated mine as the magazine did...with drizzles of melted white and dark chocolate and topped with mini eggs (hence the smallish people calling it an Easter Roulade) but you can decorate pretty much how you want with chocolate...
Here is the magazine picture...I'm quite pleased with my results...

Pop it in the fridge again to set the chocolate and until you need to serve...

Here they both are ready to go to Jules'. These disposable roasting dishes were a great to transport them!! 

The verdict last night was...the four smallish people devoured the mini egg one, and the adults preferred the other...although we only got 2 slices to share between the four of us of the egg one as it was so popular with the children!!! So, both have gone on the 'to make again' list...and one of the best compliments came from Jules' 7 year old, who, whilst eating her second piece of 'Easter Roulade' said to Jules.."Mummy, can you make us one of these?" I know the cynics out there will say, ahhhh, but a child is bound to love all things chocolatey, creamy and have mini eggs on...but children are the most fickle of monsters beings...the conversation could well have gone the other way, with roulade being spat back in the bowl!!! Yes disgusting I know, but those of you out there with kids of your own know I tell the truth!!!

As for the mains, Jules made us Spanish Chicken (I am after the recipe it was delicious), Beef Bourguingnon, Dauphinoise Potatoes, Crusty Bread (a must for those Spanish Chicken juices!) and green beans (well you do need some veggies!)....all was eaten, all was liked, definitely need the Spanish Chicken recipe to share with you...


  1. Both roulades were delish but my vote definitely goes to the raspberry one, raspberries and chocolate.....a fab combo xx

  2. Here here...but be warned, am coming after that Spanish Chicken recipe :-)


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