Preparation timeOver 30 min
90 gplain flour
1 tspbaking powder
3 tbspdutch processed cocoa powder
120 gcaster sugar
1 tspvanilla paste
170 mldouble cream
1 tbspicing sugar
1small orange for the zest
200 gcherries in Kirsch
30 gfinely chopped 70% chocolate
220 gicing sugar
1 tspvanilla paste
100 g70% chocolate
1small pinch of salt
You will need a swiss roll tin as close to 25cm x 35cm. No smaller than 23cm x 33cm.
Preheat your oven to 170c Fan or 190c convection oven
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
- Take another two large bowls and make sure they are very clean and dry. Separate the eggs so that the yolks are in one bowl and the whites are in another.
- Firstly, whisk the whites until they are at a stiff peak stage.
- Add the caster sugar and vanilla to the yolks and with the same whisk (no need to clean), beat for a few minutes until pale and doubled in volume.
- Add the flour and cocoa mix into the yolks and whisk a little. It’ll be stiff and so add a couple of large spoonfuls of the whites to loosen, and whisk briefly.
- Scape around the bottom of the bowl with a large spoon and then gradually and gently, fold in the rest of the egg whites being careful not to knock too much air out.
- Line the swiss roll tin with non stick baking paper and fold tightly into the corners. You could spray with a little cake spray if you’re worried about the paper sticking. If the paper is too high up the sides of the tin, they could fall into the cake so keep it only 2 cm above the mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the tin, gently coax it into the corners and flatten the top with a spatula.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes or until springy to the touch.
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave for exactly 1 minute.
- Now sprinkle a light dusting of icing sugar on the top of the cake, place a sheet of baking paper that is 1.5 inches larger than the cake on all sides, on the top and then gently rest a chopping board on the top and turn the whole cake over and place on the counter.
- Whilst the cake is still slightly warm, score a line, 2cm in, from the length of the cake about 5mm deep.
- Tuck the border of the baking paper over the edge of the scored line and begin loosely rolling the cake up from one long side to the other. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack with the seam on the bottom and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Carefully unroll the cooled cake and with a pastry brush, brush the surface of the cake with some of the kirsch the cherries are soaking in.
- Whisk the double cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks, and leaving a 2cm border all around the edges, spread 1cm thick across the surface.
- Dot around the cherries, sprinkle with chopped chocolate and zest over the orange.
- Start rolling the sponge from the scored edge, and pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours to set. You could leave it overnight at this stage.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate and leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Whisk the Benecol spread and the icing sugar with an electric whisk until smooth. Now add the cooled chocolate and a small pinch of salt and whisk until all incorporated.
- Slice an inch of cake off one end at a slight angle and then use a little buttercream to attach this to the main log to make it look like a branch. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Using a pallet knife or spatula, spread the icing all over the cake and the ends and then drag the tip of the knife over the surface to create a texture that looks like bark.
- Sift a little icing sugar on top of the cake for a snowy effect and add holly or as I have done here, fresh bay leaves and red currants, for decoration.
Products used in this recipe