Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

I’m looking forward to Christmas more than usual this year as it is looking quite likely that I’ll be celebrating it in our very own home! And hopefully with a slice of this Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log! I’ve been renting since I left my parents at 18 and more years later than I’d like to count, I’m finally buying my own home with my boyfriend. I can’t wait to put the Christmas tree up, make the place our own and most of all get baking in our new kitchen! All going well, we will be in there in 2 weeks time, keep your fingers crossed for us!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I recently received the first issue of Baking Heaven, which is a monthly magazine subcription from Magazine.co.uk. It is packed full of sweet and savoury recipes and it certainly lives up to it’s name! When I flicked through the magazine to decide what to make I was immediately drawn to this Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log. With it’s combination of salted caramel, chocolate and chestnuts it sounded like festive perfection. It is taken from Gizzi Erskine’s new book Season’s Eatings and is something a bit different from the traditional Yule Log.

I started by greasing a lining a lipped baking tray, the recipe recommends using a 33x23cm tin, but as mine was larger I increased the sponge recipe by a third to make up for this. I’ll only put the ingredients for the recipe as stated though.

I whisked up eggs with caster sugar in my food mixer for 8 minutes until it had trebled in size.

I sieved out plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and then folded it into the egg mixture.

Then I poured the batter into the tin and tipped it to spread the mixture out into each corner.

It baked on 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 3 for 12 minutes. I immediately tipped it out onto another sheet of baking paper and rolled it up, rolling the fresh sheet of baking paper with it. The recipe didn’t suggest to do this, but having made many swiss rolls in the past, I thought this was the best thing to do and I do recommend it! Then I left it to cool fully on a cooling rack.

I then made the chocolate icing by putting double cream, butter and dark chocolate in a pan and gently heating it until it all melted together. I put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling I started by making a caramel, I put caster sugar into a frying pan and left it without stirring it until it was golden and bubbling.

I added butter, double cream, vanilla extract and salt and quickly mixed them in.

I then poured the caramel into a bowl, added chestnuts and whizzed it up into a smooth paste using a hand blender. Let it cool to room temperature.

I whipped up double cream with icing sugar, then folded it into the cooled caramel and chestnut mixture.

I unrolled the sponger and spread the caramel filling all over it evenly.

Then I rolled the sponge back up carefully.

I took the icing out of the fridge and spread it all over the roll. I did it quite roughly as the roll was meant to look like a log.

Then I bashed up 1 flake bar and sprinkled it all over the wet icing. I put it back in the fridge to set.

I finished the Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log by adding some redcurrants and dusting it with icing sugar. I’ve never actually eaten redcurrants before, they look very pretty and taste very inoffensive, however they are quite full of seeds despite their small size. You can choose to decorate the roll with anything you like, I suggest a sprig of holly, edible gold glitter or a liberal dusting of icing sugar!

This Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log was the perfect taster of Christmas treats to come, the filling had a salty caramel flavour, the sponge was light and soft, and the dark chocolate icing was melt in the mouth divine. I really enjoyed every bite!

      

I’m linking this recipe up with We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & MotivationCook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg, and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.


Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Eggs large
  • 75 g Caster sugar
  • 50 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder

For the chocolate icing

  • 30 g Butter
  • 150 ml Double cream
  • 150 g Dark chocolate

For the filling

  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 80 g Butter
  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 200 g Chestnuts
  • 3 tbsp + more for dusting Icing sugar

For decoration

  • 1 Cadburys Flake Bar
  • 3 sprigs of Redcurrants

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a lipped 33x23cm baking tray

  2. Whisk up the eggs with the caster sugar in an electric food mixer for 8 minutes until it has trebled in size

  3. Sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and then fold it into the egg mixture

  4. Poured the batter into the lined tray and tip it to spread the mixture out into each corner

  5. Bake it on 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 3 for 12 minutes. Immediately tip it out onto a clean sheet of baking paper and roll it up, rolling the clean sheet of baking paper with it. Leave it to cool fully

  6. Make the chocolate icing by putting the double cream, butter and dark chocolate in a pan and gently heating it until it all melts together. Put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes

  7. For the filling start by making a caramel. Put the caster sugar into a frying pan and leave it without stirring until it is golden and bubbling

  8. Then add the butter, 50ml of the double cream, the vanilla extract and the salt and quickly mix them in using a whisk

  9. Pour the caramel into a bowl, added the chestnuts and whiz it up into a smooth paste using a hand blender. Let it cool to room temperature

  10. Whip up 150ml of the double cream with the icing sugar, then folded it into the cooled caramel and chestnut mixture

  11. Unroll the sponger and spread the caramel filling all over it evenly, then roll the sponge back up carefully

  12. Take the chocolate icing out of the fridge and spread it all over the roll. You want this to be quite rough as the roll is meant to look like a log

  13. Bash up 1 flake bar and sprinkled it all over the wet icing. Put it back in the fridge to set

  14. Finish the Yule Log by adding some redcurrants and dusting it with icing sugar

NB. I have received the subscription to Baking Heaven free of charge, all opinions are my own.

You can find more of my Swiss Roll recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

An Evening at John Whaite’s Kitchen

An Evening at John Whaite’s Kitchen

John Whaite is the winner of the third series of The Great British Bake Off, which aired back in 2012. Since then he’s released three cookery books, trained at Le Cordon Bleu, was a resident chef on Lorraine, a guest chef on Sunday Brunch, presented Chopping Block with Rosemary Shrager, and opened a cookery school. Suffice to say, he’s been busy! I’ve been lucky enough to meet him briefly a couple of times at events like The Cake & Bake Show, and I cooked with him at a Neff & ao.com event a couple of years ago.

I was invited by ao.com to attend a baking class at John’s cookery school – John Whaite’s Kitchen – which is located in Wrightington, just north of Wigan and about a 40 minute drive from central Manchester. I found it easily and parked up. I was greeted by John and the AO team and handed a warm cup of mulled cider which was desperately needed as it was a very chilly evening! John was chatty and friendly and I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered meeting me at the Neff event back in 2014. After all, he must meet so many new people all the time.

The cookery school was beautifully decorated and the shelves lined with mixers, cake tins and ingredients were a baker’s dream!

Once everyone arrived we set about making a Gingerbread Latte Swiss Roll under John’s instruction. He certainly knew his stuff when it came to the technical aspects of baking, he explained all about the protein structures of egg and how they change when they are whisked up. The roll was made using a genoise sponge which involved whisking eggs and sugar in a Kitchen Aid mixer on a high speed for around 7 minutes to create volume, as the sponge contains no raising agent.

The filling of the sponge was supposed to be whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and coffee extract. As I’m not a coffee fan, John suggested adding a couple of tablespoons of Biscoff spread instead, which was a fantastic idea!

I felt quite confident baking the roll as I’ve made things like it several times before, but several of the other bloggers were not as confident and John made sure that everyone had his time to ask questions, check on their mixture and make sure they were following the steps correctly. Even if you are not a confident baker, you’d have no problems producing a gorgeous bake with John’s assistance.

We stopped for a break and ate some delicious butternut squash soup, while John gave us a demonstration on tempering chocolate. It was very memorising to watch!

We then tucked into this awesome cheeseboard!

To decorate the rolls John helped each of us pour over a mirror glaze, then we added chocolate shards, chocolate coffee beans, cacao nibs and some gold shimmer spray. They looked absolutely gorgeous! Everyone put their own spin on the decoration and each roll looked slightly different. We were also very kindly provided with swiss roll carriers by the AO team to take our goodies home with us.

And this was the finished product! It looked stunning and had such a professional finish. Of course I had to get a photo with me and my creation in front of the logo!

I had a brilliant time at John Whaite’s Kitchen Cookery School, I loved every moment. Baking is one of my favourite things to do, and learning from someone so accomplished as John was a great opportunity. He is also such an entertaining presence and cracked lots of genuinely funny jokes throughout the session. The AO team did an amazing job by organising the whole event and they are such a friendly bunch. It was also great to meet some fellow bloggers, and see some again that I’ve met before.

John also kindly had photos with us all and we were all given a new copy of his book – Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients – which he signed for me, as well as some Joseph Joseph baking tools. I’m really looking forward to making some recipes from his book as many of them look divine. With only 5 ingredients each, they will no doubt be fuss free and easy to make too. John also has a new range of crockery out (the navy bowls and jug with gold trim in the photo at the top) which looks absolutely gorgeous and is going on my Christmas list!

When I cut into the swiss roll I was very pleased to see such a fab swirl! I loved the whole thing, it was very delicious and this would be an amazing centrepiece for a Christmas meal or party. I’ve included the recipe below if you’d like to make this at home.

Gingerbread Latte Swiss Roll

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • 100 g Dark brown muscavado sugar
  • 30 g Golden syrup
  • 110 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 125 g Double cream
  • 125 g Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbsp Coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp Icing sugar
  • Mirror glaze warmed to 34C
  • Tempered chocolate shards
  • Gold leaf
  • Chocolate coffee beans
  • Cacao nibs
  • Edible gold glitter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a large baking tray (43x28cm)

  2. For the cake, put the eggs, caster sugar and golden syrup into a KitchenAid fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture triples in volume and reaches the ribbon stage

  3. Sift the dry ingredients together onto a piece of baking paper, then add to the mixing bowl and whisk briefly until incorporated

  4.  Pour the batter onto the greased and lined tray, smooth out with a small crank handled palette knife and tap the tray on the worktop three or four times to expel any large air bubbles

  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the sponge springs back when gently prodded

  6. Prepare a clean, damp tea towel on the worktop and place onto that a piece of baking paper. As soon as the sponge is baked, invert it onto the baking paper. Roll the sponge up tightly inside the paper, starting from one of the shorter ends. Then roll that up inside the towel. Allow to cool completely

  7. For the filling, whisk the cream with the icing sugar to soft, floppy peaks. Whisk in the marscapone and coffee extract until combined and thick

  8. Unroll the cooled cake and spread the filling over it as evenly as possible. Re-roll the cake and freeze until almost solid

  9. Set the frozen cake onto a wired rack and pour over the warmed mirror glaze. Allow the glaze to set then decorate with the chocolate shards, gold leaf, edible glitter, cacao nibs and chocolate coffee beans

Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!

Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll: GBBO Season Five Begins!
The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens this week with a new slot on BBC One and a new tent location at Welford Park in Berkshire. This year we are back to the standard 12 bakers (there were 13 last year), and their first challenge was to make a Swiss Roll. Fairly simple you might think, but the bakers went all out to impress with patterned sponges, unusual flavours and decorations.

Jump straight to the Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll recipe!

There was a great variety of characters and styles this year. Diana, who has been baking for 60 years made a traditional Lemon Curd Swiss Roll. Chetna used her Indian influences to make a Cardamom, Pistachio & Coffee Swiss Roll. Youngest baker Martha, who is 17 years old, made a Tirimasu Swiss Roll.

Most of the bakers did very well and there was some amazing creativity including floral patterned sponge, a homemade Swiss Roll presentation plate, and Chetna’s beautiful chocolate decorations, pictured above.

Nancy and Richard did very well and got great feedback from Paul and Mary. Kate was praised for having the best swirl of the day, but her sponge was dry. Unfortunately some mistakes were made including Iain’s ‘Swiss Fold’ and Enwezor’s under baked sponge.

The first technical challenge of the season was Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake. The cherries had to be suspended throughout the cake, and not sink to the bottom. Again I thought this sounded fairly simple, but as always with GBBO, the bakers over think every detail and of course have half a recipe to work with!

There were a few mistakes including runny icing, dry sponge, burnt almonds, sunken cherry and disappearing cherries! Nancy won the challenge, with Martha and Chetna in second and third place. The bottom three were Norman, Richard and Jordan – who all did very well with their Swiss Rolls so it was all topsy turvy!

The final showstopper challenge was to make 36 miniature British cakes. Chetna and Kate both made mini tired Victoria sponge cakes. Luis and Jordan both made genoise sponges, and both flavoured them with lemon. Lemon was a very popular flavour for this challenge as Iain and Martha used it too, with different levels of success. Martha got a fantastic result from Paul Hollywood, however Iain’s cakes were too big and unevenly baked.

Nancy’s Jaffa Orange cakes were perfectly uniform and looked very professional. I thought Norman’s Almond & Rapsberry cakes looked extremely British, and very attractive. I loved when he asked the judges what they thought of the jam! Richard and Enwezor both used coffee and walnut as their flavours, which are a favourite of Mary’s and they received good feedback from her.

Claire was the first baker to leave the series. She did not perform well in all three rounds, and I didn’t warm to her at all so I was satisfied with the result. Nancy won this week’s star baker and it was easy to see why, she exudes perfection and copes well with things going wrong. I think she is going to do very well in the coming weeks!

After seeing all the patterned Swiss Rolls I just had to try it out for myself and I chose to make a Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll. I’ve made a simple Swiss Roll before filled with jam, and also a Buche De Noel (Yule Log) so the method was not new to me, but I got quite nervous about the filling and getting the stripes neat!

I started with the mixture for the pattern. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it. Mine weighed 43g. So I mixed together 43g icing sugar and 43g butter. I then added the egg white to the mixture and combined well. I added 43g plain flour and mixed well. Finally I put some green food colouring in, until it was the shade I wanted. I used Sugarflair Mint Green and also a little bit of Sugarflair Melon.

I put the mixture into a piping bag and snipped the end of the bag off with some scissors. Onto a lined baking tray I piped diagonal lines. Of course you can do any pattern you like, but this is what I chose. Then I put the tray into the freezer for one hour.

When the hour was nearly up, I started on the main sponge. I separated eggs. Into the bowl of whites I added caster sugar and cream of tartar and used my mixer to create stiff peaks.

Into the bowl of eggs I put caster sugar and whisked together.

I folded the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots.

Then I melted butter and measured out plain flour and cocoa powder. I added the butter and flour/cocoa powder to the egg mixture in two batches, folding in gently between each batch. I took the frozen pattern tray out of the freezer and poured the mixture over it, giving the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there were no gaps.

It baked for approx 7 – 8 minutes. When it was done, I immediately flipped it out onto some baking paper and peeled off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern!

I flipped it back over again and rolled it up, taking the baking paper with it. I then left it to cool completely.

To make the cream cheese filling I mixed together butter, cream cheese, lime juice, the zest of one lime and icing sugar. Admittedly, this is not the best filling for a Swiss roll as it is quite runny, but damn does it taste good!

I unrolled the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-rolled it. And it was ready to eat!

I took my Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll into work and everyone was very impressed with the stripey pattern! It got eaten up extremely quickly too, one of my fastest disappearing bakes by far! Despite my reservations about the runny filling, the flavour of it made it completely worthwhile and the Chocolate & Lime Swiss Roll retained it’s shape and structure throughout.

I also made a red zig zag striped which I filled with my raspberry jam and some fresh cream. The recipe is the same, I just used red food colouring instead of green for the first mix, then omitted the cocoa powder and replaced it with plain flour for the sponge. Next week on The Great British Bake Off – Biscuits!

Lucy from Supergolden Bakes is also baking along to GBBO and is collecting bake along links from other bloggers, head over to her blog to check out the collection!


Chocolate Swiss Roll with Lime Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients

For the pattern

  • 1 Egg large
  • 43 g approx Icing Sugar
  • 43 g approx Butter
  • 43 g approx Plain flour
  • Green food colouring

For the sponge

  • 4 Eggs large
  • 110 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 60 g Butter
  • 75 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder

For the filling

  • 20 g Butter
  • 100 g Cream cheese
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
  • 300 g Icing Sugar

Instructions

  1. Start with the mixture for the pattern
  2. Separate one egg and weigh the white of it
  3. Mix together the same weight of icing sugar and butter.
  4. Add the egg white to the mixture and combine well
  5. Then add the same weight of plain flour and mix well
  6. Add green food colouring until it reaches the shade you want
  7. Put the mixture into a piping bag and snip the end of the bag off with some scissors
  8. Onto a lined baking tray, pipe diagonal lines, or a pattern of your choice
  9. Put the tray into the freezer for one hour
  10. To make the chocolate sponge start by separating 4 eggs
  11. Into the egg whites, add the caster sugar and cream of tartar and mix with a food mixer or electric hand whisk to create stiff peaks
  12. Into the egg yolks, add the other half of caster sugar and whisk together
  13. Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three lots
  14. Melt the butter and add it to the egg mixture along with the plain flour and cocoa powder in two batches, folding in gently between each batch
  15. Take the frozen 'pattern' tray out of the freezer and pour the mixture over it, give the tray a couple of bangs on the work surface to make sure there are no gaps.
  16. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 5 for approx 7 - 8 minutes. When it is done, immediately flip it out onto some baking paper and peel off the paper on the top to reveal the pattern
  17. Flipped it back over again onto some fresh baking paper and roll it up, taking the baking paper with it. Leave it to cool completely
  18. To make the cream cheese filling mix together butter, cream cheese, lime juice and lime zest, and icing sugar
  19. Unroll the sponge, spread the filling over it, then re-roll it

Recipe slightly adapted from HowToCookThat.

You can find more of my Swiss Roll recipes by clicking here!

“Zombie Brain” Charlotte Royale: GBBO Week #9

Can you believe it was the semi finals of The Great British Bake Off on Tuesday?! That means next week is the final! And then it’s all over for another year. The episode began with the first challenge – to make savoury canapes. Three types were requested, one to be made with choux, one with pastry, and the third was baker’s choice. Beca knew already what the judges wanted, for the canapes to taste good and look amazing!
 

Mary warned that so much can go wrong when making canapes and the baker’s must pace themselves to get everything done. She wanted the finish of the canapes to be absolute perfect. Paul was also after precision, uniform size, and flavours that pack a big punch in small space. I loved Frances’ theming of her canapes (pictured above), and they really did look great. Paul was blown away by the taste and even shook her hand!

Kimberley also did very well, with great flavour and originality, and the judges were very happy to eat up all of her food! Ruby had mixed results, but it was overall quite pleasant. Beca did not fair so well and received the most negative comments.

The technical challenge was to make a Charlotte Royale, which I have never heard of, but Sue helpfully told the bakers that it looked like a brain! This dessert involves slices of swiss roll filled with jam, that form a dome around a set fruit custard, also called a bavarois. It involves several techniques that you must perfect to make it turn out right. The custard must not seep through the swiss rolls, which must be packed tightly in the bowl whilst retaining their shape.

In typical style, everyone except Kimberley looked a bit concerned about this challenge. I love how Kimberley approaches everything so positively! It worked for her too as her Charlotte Royale came out beautifully and she won the challenge, Frances came in second and Beca in third, both with decent looking Charlotte’s. Unfortunately Ruby’s was a bit of a disaster and she was last.

For the final challenge, an Opera Cake was requested. This is an elaborate French dessert made from seven even layers, which primarily involve a sponge called Joconde made from egg whites and ground almonds. The layers of sponge are sandwiched together with buttercream, syrup, ganache and finally covered in a chocolate glaze. It’s purpose is to represent the four acts of opera.

 

The judges wanted to layers to be clearly defined and of an even size. Although an Opera Cake is traditionally make with coffee, the baker’s could choose their own flavours. Mary wanted sheer perfection, and Paul said that this is one of hardest cakes to do properly.

Frances’ White Chocolate, Lavender and Lemon Opera Cake (pictures above) was the most good looking, although sadly it let down on flavour. Kimberley’s modern looking Passion Fruit & Lime Opera Cake (pictured top) looked great with tuilles and truffles as decorations, but was let down also on flavour. Ruby’s Opera Cake (pictured middle) suffered issues with a collapsed side, but Paul and Mary liked the flavours and textures. They didn’t like Beca’s Banoffee Opera Cake, as the banana flavour came from an artificial essence.

Sadly it was Beca that left us this week. Ruby was once again saved by flavours, but Frances and Kimberley both really shone this week, with Kimberley claiming star baker. Beca was very upset at leaving so close to the final, but said it had been an amazing experience. Next week it’s the final!! And I saw what looked like basket pies and three tired cakes in the preview.

Although a Charlotte Royale looked and sounded unappealing to me, I was discussing it with my colleague and mentioned how Sue had called it a ‘brain’. He suggested that I make a Zombie Brain Charlotte Royale for Halloween. I thought this would be brilliant! Suddenly a Charlotte Royale seemed very appealing! I changed a few elements, such as making a chocolate sponge, using bright green buttercream, and making the custard bloody red. I also omitted the fruit.

I started with the chocolate swiss roll. I followed the same recipe I used to make a Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) last year, which is a Mary Berry recipe. I started by whisking up 4 eggs and 100g caster sugar in my food mixer until it was frothy.

Then sifted in 65g self-raising flour and 40g cocoa powder and folded it into the egg mixture gently so as not to lose the frothiness.

 

I put it into a lined baking tray (I don’t have a swiss roll tin, but this works just as well) and baked on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 8-10 minutes. It sprang back up when I pressed it with a fingertip.

I prepared a sheet of baking paper dusted generously with icing sugar, I tipped the sponge out onto this while it was still hot, peeled off the baking paper it was baked in, and used a knife to make a grove along one end about 2cm from the end. Then I rolled the sponge up as tight as I could, taking the paper with it. I left it to cool fully still wrapped in the paper. This gives the sponge a ‘muscle memory’ so to speak, so it will not crack.

Once it was cool I prepared a buttercream filling using 100g butter, 200g icing sugar and Sugarflair Mint Green food colouring. If you have a neon green this would be even better. I gently unrolled the sponge, smoothed on the buttercream, then rolled back up again this time removing the baking paper.

I lined my bowl with cling film. I used a Pyrex 2L bowl from Tesco. I cut the swiss roll into slices and lined the bowl. There were a lot of gaps so I cheated by using some of the roll to fill in the gaps! I held the bowl up to the light to help me see where the gaps were. I didn’t want any filling seeping through!

For the bavarois, which is the custard mousse filling of a Charlotte Royale. I used an Anna Olsen recipe. First I made custard by simmering 225ml whole milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a pan. In a bowl I whisked up 4 egg yolks and 135g caster sugar until smooth. I slowly poured the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. I then returned it to the pan and turned up to a medium heat. I stirred it constantly for about 6 minutes until it had thickened. I then added a good blob of Sugarflair Extra Red food colouring, and 4 pre-soaked leave of gelatine (follow the instructions on the packet) and left it to cool to room temperature.

Once the custard was cool, I popped it into the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile I whipped up 345ml double cream (you can also use whipping cream) until soft peaks formed. You want it to hold it’s shape but still be quite soft.

I folded the cream into the custard using a whisk. At this point I had to add a lot more food colouring as the whiteness of the cream dulled the red down a lot. Eventually I got a fantastic blood red!

I poured the mixture into my swiss roll lined bowl. I did not have enough swiss roll to cover the bottom, I quickly made 4 chocolate cupcakes, cooled them quickly by an open window, sliced them into discs and placed them on the bottom. I put it into the fridge overnight to set.

 

Turning it out was very easy thanks to the cling film. I came out straight away and retained it’s shape very well.

I made the glaze as suggested in Mary Berry’s Charlotte Royale recipe by boiling 75g caster sugar in 125ml water, and then adding 1 tbsp arrowroot powder that had been dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water. I let it cool, then brushed over my “Zombie Brain” Charlotte Royale. It didn’t give as much of a sheen as I expected and I’m not sure if it’s a necessary addition for my Halloween version.

My only decorations around the Charlotte Royale was some Halloween confetti in the shape of skulls, spiders and pumpkins! It was difficult to cut into as too much force on the swiss rolls just pushes them into the filling. The best approach is to cut slowly and gently. The filling was a shocking bright red inside!

 

Despite it’s spooky looks, this “Zombie Brain” Charlotte Royale was delicious! The custard mousse filling is to die for, so tasty! It went down really well with everyone and the Halloween theme was a big hit. It was fun to make such an unusual recipe that I had never heard of before, and this is my second time of making custard from scratch – I love how GBBO encourages me to learn new techniques! Have you tried anything new thanks to GBBO?

“Zombie Brain” Charlotte Royale
 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 Eggs
  • 370g Caster sugar
  • 125g Self raising flour
  • 40g Cocoa powder
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • Green food colouring
  • 160g Butter
  • 225ml Whole milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 4 Gelatine leaves
  • Red food colouring
  • 345ml Double cream
  • 125ml Water
  • 1 tbsp Arrowroot powder
  • 2 tbsp Cold water
 
Instructions
Start with the chocolate swiss roll. Whisk up 4 of the eggs and 100g of the caster sugar in a food mixer until frothy
Then sift in 65g of the self-raising flour and cocoa powder and fold it into the egg mixture gently
Pour it into a lined baking tray or swiss roll tin, and bake on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 8-10 minutes
Make 4 chocolate cupcakes for the base. Cream together 60g of the butter and 60g of the caster sugar. Add 1 of the eggs and whisked in. Fold in 60g of the self raising flour. Fill 4 cupcake cases and bake on 18C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes. Leave to cool then slice into discs
Dust a sheet of baking paper generously with icing sugar, tip the swiss roll sponge out onto it while it is still hot. Peel off the baking paper it was baked on and used a knife to make a grove along one end about 2cm from the end. Roll the sponge up as tight as you can, taking the paper with it. Leave it to cool fully still wrapped in the paper
Prepare a buttercream filling by mixing 100g of the butter, the icing sugar and green food colouring. Gently unroll the sponge, smooth on the buttercream, then roll back up again, this time removing the baking paper
Line a 2 litre glass bowl with cling film. Cut the swiss roll into slices and line the bowl. Use more of the roll to fill in any gaps
For the filling start by simmering the whole milk and vanilla extract in a pan. In a bowl whisk up the egg yolks and 135g of the caster sugar until smooth. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then return it to the pan and turn up to a medium heat. Stir it constantly for about 6 minutes until it thickens. Then add the pre-soaked leaves of gelatine (follow the instructions on the packet) and leave it to cool to room temperature
Once the custard is cool, pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes. Whip up the double cream until soft peaks form
Fold the cream into the custard using a whisk. Add enough red food colouring to get a bright red
Pour the mixture into the swiss roll lined bowl. Use the discs of chocolate cupcakes to lined the bottom. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set
Turn it out and make the glaze by boiling 75g of the caster sugar in the 125ml water, then dissolve the arrowroot powder in the 2 tbsp of cold water and add to the sugar mixture. Let it cool, then brush it over the Charlotte Royale
 

Swiss Roll

Swiss Roll

Swiss Roll is the first thing I ever remember baking from scratch! I was probably about 13 years old when I first made it in high school. Back then we filled it with just jam, but I love jam and cream together to I had to put both in this Swiss Roll to make it extra yummy! I’ve made so many Swiss Rolls now I’ve lost count, I absolutely love the light sponge paired with the tasty filling, it’s one of my favourite things to make.

Jump straight to the recipe!

To start I lined a tray with baking paper, the neater you can do this the better the sponge will look.

Using an electric food mixer I whisked the eggs and sugar together until the mixture reached ‘ribbon stage’. Then I mixed in vanilla extract and folded in flour. I poured the mixture into the tray, then titlted the tray so the mixture spread evenly.

Then I baked it for 12 minutes until it was golden. I tipped it out onto a fresh piece of baking paper and immediately rolled it up then left it to cool.

Once the sponge was cool I unrolled it and spread jam on it, then a layer of whipped cream.

Then I firmly, but gently, rolled up the sponge. I put it on a serving plate and cut off the ends to give it a neater, more presentable look. I added some extra whipped cream on top for decoration with a sprinkle of freeze dried raspberries.

Swiss Roll

The vanilla sponge of the Swiss Roll is so lovely and light! And who can resist a filling of jam cream?! You can use your favourite jam flavour to make it perfect for you!

My tips for getting the perfect Swiss Roll!

  • Don’t overfill it. Being overly generous with the filling means you won’t get a nice tight roll.
  • Don’t cut or score it to “start the roll off”, this can too easily go wrong and the whole section will break off
  • Start the roll off as tight as you can and the rest will follow
  • When folding the flour in, be gentle and go slowly to avoid losing volume
  • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect!

Swiss Roll

Servings 8

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Eggs large
  • 75 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 75 g Plain flour

For the filling and decoration

  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 100 g Strawberry or Raspberry jam
  • Freeze dried raspberries optional

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/400F/Gas Mark 6, line a swiss roll tin or a baking tray with a lip, with baking paper. The one I used was a Wilton tray that is 33.7 x 29.5 cm

  2. For the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk or in a food mixer for 8 minutes until it reaches 'ribbon stage' - this is when you can drizzle the mixture in a figure 8 and it takes at least 3 seconds to sink back in

  3. Add the vanilla and whisk a little to mix it in

  4. Gently fold in the flour, trying not to lose the volume

  5. Pour into the tin, and tip the tin to spread the mixture around. Bake for 12 minutes

  6. Remove from the oven and tip onto a clean sheet of baking paper

  7. Remove the baking paper the sponge was baked with, then roll up the sponge, taking the clean baking paper with it, then leave to cool completely

  8. Whip up the double cream for the filling

  9. Gently unroll the sponge and spread a layer of jam all over it, then all a layer of the whipped cream

  10. Re-roll the sponge and place onto a serving plate

  11. If you like, pipe some extra whipped cream on top and sprinkle over some freeze dried raspberries

  12. Serve immediately, store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Swiss Roll

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