For the roulade:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 150 g caster / granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted

For the buttercream:

  • 200 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 200 g caster / granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • 1 x 250g tin sweetened chestnut purée

To serve:

  • chocolate shavings
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting

You will also need:

  • a 40 x 30cm swiss roll pan, greased and lined with baking parchment


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

  2. 2

    To make the roulade, put the eggs, sugar and

    vanilla into a large mixing bowl and whisk with

    a handheld electric whisk for about 5 minutes,

    until the mixture is pale and thick and has

    trebled in volume.

  3. 3

    Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder

    and salt into the bowl and gently fold into the

    egg mixture using a large metal spoon, taking

    care not to knock out too much air. Carefully

    pour the cooled, melted butter around the

    edge of the bowl and fold in until there are

    no traces of it.

  4. 4

    Spoon or pour the batter into the prepared

    pan and gently spread level with a palette

    knife. Bake on the middle shelf of the

    preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, or until

    well-risen with a light crust and the cake

    springs back when lightly pressed with your

    finger. Let the cake cool in the pan for a minute.

  5. 5

    Meanwhile, lay a large sheet of baking

    parchment on a clean work surface and scatter

    with 1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar.

    Carefully turn the roulade out of the pan onto

    the sugar-coated paper and peel off the paper

    lining. Lay a clean dish towel on top of the

    cake and, starting at one of the shorter edges,

    roll the cake into a tight spiral with the towel

    inside the roll. Set aside until completely cold.

  6. 6

    To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate

    in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan or pot

    of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth

    and set aside.

  7. 7

    To make the meringue, put the egg whites,

    sugar and salt in a separate heatproof bowl

    set over a saucepan or pot of simmering water.

    Add 2 tablespoons of water and whisk until the

    sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture

    is foamy. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes,

    until the mixture is warm to the touch, thickens,

    turns bright white and will hold a ribbon trail.

  8. 8

    Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl

    and beat for about 3 minutes with an electric

    handheld whisk, until it has doubled in volume

    is thick, stiff, glossy and the outside of the

    bowl feels cold to the touch.

  9. 9

    Gradually add the butter to the cold meringue

    mixture, beating constantly on low–medium

    speed, until the frosting is smooth. Using

    a large spoon or spatula fold in the melted

    chocolate and the chestnut purée/spread.

  10. 10

    To assemble the roulade, carefully unroll

    the cooled cake and remove the dish towel.

    Spoon 4 generous tablespoons of buttercream

    onto the cake and spread evenly using a

    palette knife. Scatter with the chopped marron

    glacé. Using the baking parchment to support

    the cake, roll the cake back into a tight spiral

    and transfer to a serving plate. Cover the

    whole cake with more buttercream, scatter

    with chocolate shavings and dust with cocoa

    powder to serve.

This recipe is taken from Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99)

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 2968kj 709kcal 35%
  • Fat 43.4g 62%
  • Saturates 24.8g 124%
  • Sugars 14.0g 16%
  • Salt 0.6g 10%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 1507kj/360kcal

Each serving provides

68.3g carbohydrate 4.0g fibre 9.3g protein

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