Anyway, it felt wrong to make something so decadent and sinful without sharing it with you, so here it is! I apologise for the really awful photos, I made this in the late afternoon on an overcast day and my kitchen is not exactly bathed in sunlight at the best of times. But still, you get the gist.
You will need…
A swiss roll tin (mine is 33x23cm)
Butter, for greasing
175g dark chocolate
6 large free range eggs
175g caster sugar (not pictured, because I am an idiot)
2tbsp cocoa powder
300ml double cream
5tbsp Irish cream liqueur
50g icing sugar, plus more for dusting
First off, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 for fan ovens, or gas mark 4). Grease the swiss roll tin with butter and line with baking parchment.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it using your preferred method. If you can be bothered, melt it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. If you’re lazy, like me, microwave it (Mary would be horrified, I’m sure). Once melted, set the chocolate aside and leave to cool slightly while you get on with the eggs.
Separate the eggs into two large bowls. The whites need to be whisked until fluffy and stiff – which, let me tell you, is really knackering on the arms. Mary’s recipe calls for an electric hand whisk; I don’t have one but never have I wished I did as much as while whisking these whites…
In the other bowl, add the caster sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until pale, thick and creamy. Not nearly as tiring as the whites, thank goodness.
Now, stir in the cooled melted chocolate…
…and start incorporating the whites. Add two spoonfuls of the whites to the chocolatey yolk-and-sugar mixture and mix in gently, then carefully fold in the rest of the whites a couple of spoonfuls at a time. Then, sift in the cocoa powder and fold that in, too.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, level the surface and pop into the centre of the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and firm on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin until it’s completely down to room temperature.
Once cooled, lay out a sheet of baking parchment and dust it with icing sugar.
Carefully turn the cake out from the tin and onto the dusted parchment. Just as carefully, peel the first sheet of parchment away from the bottom.
Now, place the cream into a large bowl, reserving 2tbsp. The recipe actually calls for 300ml here but since double cream is usually sold in either 150 or 300ml tubs it seems ridiculous to buy another just for the 2tbsp you’ll need later. Anyway, add 4 tbsp of Baileys in with the cream, and whip quickly until it’s just about thick enough to hold its shape. Under-whipping the cream will cause it to run out of the roulade, but over-whipping means it will be too thick to spread evenly.
Spread the cream onto the cake, leaving a bit of space around the edges and a slightly larger gap of about 2cm on one of the short sides. Score a line along that short side with a sharp knife, and cut about halfway through the depth of the cake. This will make your life an awful lot easier when rolling it up, which is what comes next.
Roll the cut edge over tightly (I’ve turned my parchment 90 degrees here, by the way), then continue to roll the whole thing. Use the parchment to help, lifting it up and over as you go along. If you’ve ever rolled sushi before, it’s not too dissimilar to that motion. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to crack on the surface – it all adds to the rustic charm of roulade! Ensure you finish with the join underneath to keep the roulade together.
Now, very carefully (roulade is a bit of a fragile dessert), transfer from the parchment to a pretty platter or board. Rustle up a quick icing using the reserved 2tbsp cream, 1tbsp Baileys and 50g icing sugar to a smooth consistency. Drizzle this over the roulade, allowing the excess to pool around the edges of the board for maximum Pinterest-worthy pretentiousness, and serve.
This will keep for a couple of days covered in the fridge – although I would be surprised if it lasts that long! – but take it out shortly before serving so it isn’t too cold. Enjoy!