Black Forest Chocolate Roulade

Matilda was one month old yesterday. I've been a Mother for a month. I have to write that down because it still feels strange. When I look back over the last month I'm able to be incredibly reflective, which is something I was never very good at before. I think it's because it's much easier to see how far we've come in such a short amount of time. At one month I understand her behaviour a lot more. I know what can be achieved during a nap and how to prioritize my need to sleep over the need to tackle the ironing. I know she hates getting ready for bath time but is pretty happy once she's in the bath. She does not enjoy tummy time or putting her arms in sleeves. She loves being held though and she even knows when I've come back into the room. Also, Ewan the Dream Sheep is my best friend when it comes to settling her down. 

I really feel like she is ready to smile any day now...and I know it seems soon at 4 weeks but I can sense a smile is coming. I really thought she had smiled yesterday but I convinced myself it must have been gas because it's still a little early for smiling. She loves music, of any kind really, so I've played her everything from Disney to Alt-J (seeing as they wrote the song 'Matilda'). 

I have written this post in two halves because nap time didn't quite go on long enough for me to get everything done I wanted to. One thing I have learn't from Motherhood so far is how to do things in half the time I used to. There is no time for dawdling and some days will always be more productive than others. It's always a good day if I manage to shower and wear anything other than pyjamas.

Anyway, I'm so pleased I managed to get round to making this. I'd been wanting to make a roulade for such a long time and never got round to it but today, during nap time, I managed to nail the chocolate roulade. I have to say it's a struggle not to eat the whole thing. I was sent a jar of black cherries in Kirsch from Opies and I knew they had to go in this. I love black cherries soaked in kirsch and for me, anything with them in is the ultimate celebration dessert. When I need to come up with a recipe for a party or event I always think of black cherries.

Finally I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope you have an amazing day filled with food and family.

Black Forest Chocolate Roulade

175g dark chocolate, broken up
6 eggs, separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
300ml double cream
150g mascarpone
1x 390g jar black cherries in kirsch, drained (reserve the juice for some Christmas cocktails)
dark chocolate, for grating
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Lightly grease a swiss roll tin and line with greaseproof paper. Mary Berry has a great tip which involves snipping the paper in the corners to get it to fit neatly. 
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff (hold the bowl over your head to test). Set aside and, in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together for 2-3 minutes until pale and thick.
  3. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk and sugar mix. Add two spoonfuls over the egg whites to the mix to loosen up, then add the remaining egg whites and fold in completely.
  4. Sift in the two tablespoons of cocoa powder and fold in.
  5. Pour the mixture into the swiss roll tin from a low height - so as not to knock all the air out of the mix. Move the batter around the tin so it is evenly distributed into all corners.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is firm. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  7. Lay a large piece of greaseproof paper on your worktop and sift cocoa powder over the top. Turn the roulade out on to the paper so its lining paper is on top, then carefully peel off the paper.
  8. Whisk the double cream until thick and mix in the mascarpone. Using a palette knife spread the cream over the roulade, leaving a 2cm gap on all the edges.
  9. Scatter the cherries on top and finely grate the dark chocolate all over.
  10. Turn the roulade round so one of the short edges is facing you, cut along the edge - about halfway through the sponge - and use this to start rolling the roulade. Use the greaseproof paper to tightly roll the roulade away from you until you finish with the join underneath. 
  11. Slide off the paper onto a plate ready to serve.