Dark chocolate & cranberry roulade

Dark chocolate & cranberry roulade

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 20 mins Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling

More effort

Serves 10
This is a fantastic cake to serve as a dessert or at teatime over the festive season and can be made up to a day in advance

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal691
  • fat52g
  • saturates29g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre2g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.45g
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    For the sponge

    • 1 tbsp plain flour, for dusting
    • 50g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 25g good-quality cocoa powder (we used Green & Black's)
    • 50g ground almonds


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    • 5 large eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for turning the cake out

    For the filling

    • 2x 250g tubs mascarpone
    • grated zest 1 orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 300g jar good-quality cranberry sauce (or use homemade)


      A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

    For the frosting

    • 200g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

      Chocolate ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

    • 175g unsalted butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 50g icing sugar, sifted

    To decorate

    • cranberry and bay leaves, optional


      A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

    • icing sugar, to dust


    1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter a large (approx 30cm x 40cm) Swiss roll tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Lightly butter the parchment, dust with the plain flour and tip out any excess.

    2. Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and mix in the ground almonds. Put the eggs and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat, using an electric hand-whisk or tabletop mixer, for 5-10 mins until pale, thick and trebled in volume. The mixture should leave a trail when the beaters are lifted out.

    3. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture using a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin, then tip the tin from side to side until it is covered in an even layer of batter and the corners are filled. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 12-15 mins or until firm to the touch. Meanwhile, lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface and sprinkle with caster sugar.

    4. Allow the sponge to cool for 1 min before turning out onto the sugared paper. Peel away the backing paper and, with the short side facing you, roll the sponge away from you so that the sugary parchment is rolled inside the roulade. This will help you to fill and roll it later. Set aside until completely cold.

    5. To make the filling, beat the mascarpone with the orange zest. Unroll the sponge, discard the inside paper and evenly spread the mascarpone over, leaving a finger-width border around the edges. Cover with the cranberry sauce. Using the outside baking paper to help, roll the sponge away from you as tightly as possible. Transfer to a serving platter, cover loosely and chill while you prepare the frosting.

    6. For the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, or microwave on High for 2 mins, stirring halfway through. Set aside for about 10 mins until cooled, but still soft.

    7. Meanwhile, beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and smooth. Pour in the chocolate and stir thoroughly to combine. Set aside for 20 mins to firm up slightly before using a palette knife to cover the roulade in frosting. Mark with a fork to create a log effect. To decorate, arrange the cranberries and bay leaves along the length of the log. Dust with a little icing sugar just before serving. Cut into slices, removing cranberries and bay leaves to serve. The roulade can be made up to a day ahead. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 mins before you want to serve it, to allow the filling and icing to soften.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    15th Dec, 2014
    Forgot to rate it. Sorry but there are much better recipes out there.
    13th Nov, 2014
    This is more like a swiss roll than a roulade. I was very disappointed with this recipe. A good roulade is moist and verging on mousse like. This had a definite swiss roll texture - a light but fairly dry sponge. However, I had no problems at all with cracking. Rolling is easy. After inverting the hot sponge onto sugared grease proof paper and rolling up leaving the paper inside. leave to cool covered by a clean tea towel, this holds in moisture too making for a better sponge. There should be no problems with cracking when you fill it.
    17th Jun, 2014
    16th Mar, 2012
    I sprinkled kirsch over the cranberries. A delicious cake!!!
    4th Feb, 2011
    This recipie was brilliant! I loved coioking and rolling it. afew cracks appeared in the cake but that was probablymy fault as i put the wrong sugar into the mix in the wrong quantity. all in all though a great recipie enjoyed by the whole family :D
    27th Dec, 2010
    This was absolutely delicious. I used cherry conserve instead of cranberry sauce, omitted the orange rind and served with cherries in kirsch.
    17th Jun, 2014
    I did the exact same thing, thought I would be a dare devil yolo
    30th Jun, 2009
    Whenever I have made this it has always cracked but I think it is more to do with the size of the tin I am using. This does not spoil the taste and my neighbour often asks me to make this when we get together.
    donna_wowee's picture
    28th May, 2008
    Everyone loved it!!!!!!!! The 'sponge' did crack but was easily pieced back together with the frosting which tasted absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!! However it did seem to consume much more than 1hr as i was so concentrated on getting it absolutely right. I even used this recipe as a basis to make cupcake versions - they went down very well indeed!
    2nd May, 2008
    The cake is great but it got even better when I used ganache as frosting instead of the greasy tasting frosting suggested here.


    30th Nov, 2016
    I cant find it now, but I'm sure I read you can prepare this a month in advance and freeze it, then just leave it on the side to defrost on Christmas day. Has anyone had any luck with this or is it better to make it fresh?
    Michelle Arduino's picture
    Michelle Arduino
    17th Dec, 2017
    i was looking for that also ,i read that you can open freeze and then wrap ,and leave it out on the day to defrost ,so i have made it and will keep fingers crossed ,nothing in it to kill you anyway and xmas a pud and mince pies will be enough if it does'nt work .MERRY CHRISTMAS
    2nd Dec, 2015
    Has anyone tried this with gluten free flour?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    14th Dec, 2015
    We haven't tried this with gluten free flour, but we can't see why it wouldn't work, as it only uses a small proportion with the ground almonds and cocoa.
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