Showpiece Xmas dessert

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

This delicious roulade was the star recipe cooked up at the Scratch Cookery Class at Carrickfergus Cookery School, Carrick YMCA, last Tuesday night. Filled with a chestnut cream and morello cherry compote, it will make a show piece dessert for Christmas.

Chocolate roulade with Morello cherry cream

Serves 8

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

5 large eggs, separated

150g caster sugar

Cocoa powder for dusting

For the filling:

200ml double cream

2tbsp sweetened chestnut puree (optional)

1 x 400g jar morello cherry compote, drained

6 cherries from compote to decorate

1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then set aside.

2. Meanwhile lightly grease a 30 x 23cm swiss roll tin with baking paper. Heat the oven to 160C, fan 140C, gas 3.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy. In a separate bowl, using clean whisks, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Whisk the cooled chocolate into the egg yolk mix, then fold in the egg whites in stages until combined. Spread evenly into the tin.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and firm to touch. Turn the roulade out onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with cocoa in one swift movement. Remove the tin and cover with another layer of baking paper and a clean damp tea towel. Leave to cool.

5. Whisk the cream until thick and whisk in the chestnut puree if using. Remove the tea towel and baking paper and spread the cream over the roulade, leaving a 2cm border all the way round.

Reserve 6 cherries for decoration and spoon over the cherry compote.

6. Roll up as tightly as you can onto a rectangular serving plate or board, using the baking paper underneath to help. Decorate with cherries and serve, in thick slices drizzled with drained syrup from the drained compote.

COOKS TIPS: Try flavouring the cream with 1-2 tablespoons kirsch instead of chestnut puree. Suitable to freeze in tin at end of stage 4.