Well, that was Christmas. Yup, lots of presents, people, music, kisses, hugs and wrapping paper. I created a mountain of food, I made buckets of custard and I talked too loudly after my second glass of sparkling wine. We ate too much turkey and ham with ALL the trimmings, but still managed to eat a slice of Christmas pudding and custard AND a slice of Chocolate Peppermint Roll. We told stories and laughed about "the old days", we watched the kids play, we drank the rest of the wine and we collapsed on the sofa and watched Christmas Vacation. We do it every year and I wouldn't change a thing.
I hope you had a fabulous Christmas. x
Chocolate Peppermint Roll
from Joy the Baker
Makes 1 roll cake, serves about 8
For the Cake:
115g dark chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the Whipped Filling:
300ml cream, cold
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract (start with one teaspoon and add more according to your taste)
For the Ganache:
100g cup dark chocolate
2/3 cups cream
Crushed candy canes for decorating
Make the Cake:
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a 28x38cm baking sheet with baking paper, then grease and sprinkle the paper with cocoa powder. The baking paper should overhang the sides of the pan by a couple of centimeters or so. Set the baking sheet aside.
It’s easiest to separate egg yolks from egg whites when they are cold. After separating, allow them about 20 minutes to come to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together egg yolks and 1/4 cup caster sugar. Beat the eggs until they are thick and pale in colour. This usually takes around 7 minutes at medium-high speed. The egg yolk mixture will pour in a thick ribbon from the beater when beaten enough.
While the eggs are beating, melt the chocolate in the microwave with 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Stir the chocolate until it is melted completely. Allow the chocolate to cool for just a few minutes.
Add the thickened egg yolk mixture to the chocolate mixture. Gently stir together until just incorporated. Stir in the vanilla. The addition of the chocolate to the egg yolk mixture will thicken the egg yolks further, and make the chocolate appear fluffy in texture. Set aside.
Clean the bowl and whisk attachment of your electric mixer well. Dry them to insure that no remaining egg yolk is present. Add the egg whites to the bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the pinch of salt, and gradually add the cream of tartar. Increase speed to medium-high until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar while beating. Allow the mixture to beat until stiff peaks form.
Place the chocolate egg yolk mixture in a large bowl. Place about 1/3 of the stiff egg whites in the bowl and gently fold. Use a light hand to sweep the egg whites through the center of the chocolate mixture, up and under. Fold until just incorporated, but large egg white and chocolate streaks remain. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and continue to fold. The batter will be glossy and fluffy. This fluff will create the desired sponge texture of the cake, so we want to deflate the egg whites as little as possible. Fold in the remaining egg whites and gently fold together until just about entirely incorporated.
Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared baking sheet. Carefully smooth into the pan creating an even thickness. Don’t mess with the batter too much. If you mess with it too much, you'll knock all of the air out of it. If the cake batter doesn’t easily each end to end, then just try to make a even rectangle.
Bake cake for 15 to 17 minutes. When done the cake will have a dry top and a spongy, bounce back feel.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
While the cake cools, prepare the whipped cream and ganache.
Make the Whipped Filling:
Place the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat to soft, whipped cream peaks. The whipped cream should hold its shape but still be velvety and spreadable. Allow to rest in the refrigerator.
Make the Ganache:
Place chocolate pieces in a medium bowl. Heat cream to almost boiling. The milk will be steaming hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces. Allow to stand for one minute before whisking into a smooth and glossy chocolate sauce. Allow to rest in the fridge until thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
Assemble the Cake:
Allow cake to cool completely. Remove the cake, using the overhang of baking paper, from the baking sheet. Spread with a thin layer of whipped cream filling. This doesn’t need to be a thick later. When the cake is rolled, there will be ample filling.
Place the cake so that the 28cm side is facing you. We’re going to roll from the short side.
Use the baking paper to help you. Don’t worry about creating a tight roll. Gently roll the cake, removing the baking paper as the cake is rolled. The first roll or two will probably crack as it’s being folded. Don’t let this stop you. This cracking is totally normal. As the cake roll gets larger, the cake will crack less.
Gently lift cake and place on a clean serving board or plate. Allow the cake to rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
Remove cake from the fridge and drizzle with chocolate ganache. Allow to chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, garnish the cake with crushed candy canes. Garnishing before will make the candy cane pieces ooze just a bit.
Cake will last, wrapped in the fridge, for up to 3 days.