I was inspired a few months ago by the great French chef Michel Roux and his wonderful dessert ‘Marquis Roulade’; essentially a light cake-like biscuit filled with Chantilly cream, raspberries and raspberry coulis. Here in this antipodean land, known to most as Australia, cherries are in season and fruit and vegetable purveyors a stone’s throw from my humble abode have been displaying them in regal splendour. Unfortunately, inclement weather has led to a shortage this year and thus the price is marginally less than a Branson intergalactic flight, but nonetheless my resistance was low and I bought ½ a kilo of some slightly under ripe glistening beauties. After leaving them for a few days to darken and sweeten the idea of a black forest type roulade came to mind and I began work.
Delving through some cooking archives I discovered that Black Forest gâteau, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is made during the summer months in Bavaria. It became famous in the mid-late 20th century as a rich cake dessert that has graced many a table table and wowed a plethora of guests, especially in Europe. In its original form it consists of a dark chocolate sponge layered with sweetened cream and cherries lightly cooked and macerated in kirsch (cherry liqueur). In recent years the dessert has somewhat been debased by ready-made frozen versions.
My version of this classic does not involve macerating the cherries in Kirsch but instead covering the biscuit sponge with a cherry coulis.
After finishing my dish I discovered that Delia Smith already has a version of a cherry roulade, so, so much for an original idea. However, I must hasten to add that this version is a very classy affair – great ingredients, delightfully airy and a great balance of sweet/ tart cherry, bitter cocoa and sweet fresh cream ( as I am sure Delia’s must be).
Black Forest RouladePrint
- ■ 400g stoned cherries | About 500g of cherries yields 400g when stoned.
- For the Coulis:
- ■ 250g stoned cherries | From the 400g of stoned cherries above.
- ■ 20g icing sugar | Also known as confectioners’ sugar.
- For the Cream:
- ■ 250ml single cream | At least 38% milk solids.
- ■ 50g icing sugar |
- For the Roulade (Biscuit):
- ■ 4 egg whites | From large eggs.
- ■ 3 egg Yolks | From large eggs.
- ■ 125g icing sugar |
- ■ 50g unsweetened cocoa | Essential that an unsweetened one is used. Sieve to ensure that no bitter lumps of cocoa persist in the final biscuit.
- ■ 15g arrowroot | Also known as tapioca flour. Potato flour can be used.
- ■ 150g stoned cherries | From the 400g of stoned cherries above.
- Icing sugar for decoration.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg C (390 deg F.)
First off make the coulis and cream so that they can be cooling in the fridge while the biscuit (cake) is being made.
For the coulis take the 250g of stoned cherries and add to a blender with 20g of icing sugar. Blend until very smooth and then filter the coulis through a fine sieve to remove the skins and unwanted pulp. Set aside in the fridge.
For the cream, whip the single cream until just before peaky. Add 50g of icing sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks show. Do not over whisk or you will end up with butter! Set aside in the fridge.
Line a baking sheet (I use a 35cm*25cm sheet) with baking parchment that has been greased with butter and lightly sprinkled with flour – to ensure the biscuit does not stick.
Sieve the cocoa and arrowroot into a clean bowl. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks and 80g of icing sugar until the mixture has a ribbon like consistency.
In another bowl whisk the egg whites to just before peaky. Add the remaining 45g of icing sugar and continue whisking until firm peaks form.
Add ⅓ of the beaten egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and whisk; this will loosen the egg yolks. Using a large metal spoon, incorporate the rest of the egg whites into the yolk mixture by using a folding action – the key is to keep the air within the mixture. Now, gradually add the cocoa and arrowroot whilst continually folding the mixture, ensuring to keep it light and airy. When the mixture is consistent pour it on to the baking sheet and using a palette knife spread it until it has an even thickness.
Put it in the over for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When the centre is soft and slightly springy it is done. I usually need to give it the full 10 minutes. Remove the biscuit from the oven and leave it to cool for a minute.
Now for the fun part: place a piece of baking parchment and then another baking sheet on top of the biscuit. Carefully flip the biscuit so that the baking sheet it was cooked in is on top. Remove the baking sheet. Now carefully peel away the baking parchment.
Now leave the biscuit to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully remove the edges of the biscuit (which will be slightly overcooked) using a serrated knife so that you have a neat rectangle. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the biscuit with the cherry coulis. Now spread the sweet whipped cream over the biscuit leaving room around the edges for when the cream spreads during rolling. Take the 150g of stoned cherries and halve them. Scatter over the whipped cream. Position the roulade length-side closest to you. Now gently roll it using the baking parchment as a guide. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow the roulade to set.
To serve cut on an angle into slices. Serve with a little cherry coulis, a sprinkling of icing sugar and your desired red fruit – raspberries and blueberries are great.