Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Roulade for the 'We Should Cocoa' Challenge for May

Hazelnut Meringue Roulade with Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse Filling

My first thought on seeing the May challenge for 'We Should Cocoa',  set by Chele at Chocolate Teapot, was "No way!". Instead of asking us to bake with a specific ingredient, Chele wanted us to make a specific chocolate product - a roulade! I can't remember the last time I made a swiss roll, and I don't think I've ever made the more modern sounding roulade!

However, the point of joining in with a 'challenge' is to be challenged at times - it would hardly do to drop out this month because it was too difficult! Another challenge ahead for me is hosting a lunch for friends, including one guest who is both gluten- and dairy-free. It's always difficult to provide a dessert which she can eat alongside everyone else, particularly as she doesn't like acidic fresh fruit either. This seemed a chance to kill two birds with one stone - create a roulade which was dairy and gluten free.

Meringue fitted the criteria of being gluten free, but the filling was a little more problematic, especially if I wanted it to be a chocolate one - most recipes use ganache, or include dairy products such as butter or milk. As I'm getting used to using olive oil, instead of butter, in a lot of my baking, I decided to see if there were any recipes around to make chocolate mousse with olive oil. Of course there were!

I eventually decided to use Delia Smith's recipe for a Hazelnut Meringue Roulade, and fill it with chocolate olive oil moussse, made using this recipe.  As I was using hazelnuts in the meringue, but didn't have the hazelnut liqueur specified in the recipe, I replaced three tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil with hazelnut oil.

The recipe for the roulade was fairly straightforward to follow, but I was a little alarmed to see how the meringue puffed up and buckled as it cooked, although this could have been because I used the fan oven. The meringue seemd to settle down as it cooled, although it was a little flaky on the surface.

The chocolate mouse was easy to make too, with none of the danger of seizing that you get when making a traditional mousse with just chocolate, eggs and butter (see footnote). The only difficulty was deciding when to add it to the roulade - too set and it would be difficult to spread, while using it too soon might mean it just oozed everywhere. In the event, I think I should have waited a little longer - it was still a little too runny.

Fortunately, I managed to roll up the meringue without cracking it too much! Most of the cracks you can see are just on the surface, and don't go deep into the meringue.The hardest part was over!

I decorated the top of the roulade with drizzles of melted chocolate and chopped toasted hazelnuts. I only used half the quantity of mousse for the filling, so the rest was spooned into small glasses and decorated with more chopped toasted hazelnuts.

The chocolate mousse was surprisingly rich tasting, but lighter than a mousse made with butter. It blended well with the meringue, which was still chewy inside, to produce a rich dessert, which didn't seem too sweet, despite the large quantity of sugar in both the meringue and mousse.

Although I'm pleased that I have tackled something which I've avoided up to now, I found the rolling stage of the roulade a bit too nerve wracking, so I'm going to chicken out of it and produce a layered meringue and mousse dessert for my guests next week. Although the process worked this time, it seems the sort of thing which you can't guarantee to work every time, and I can't afford a failure in front of others.

Note (added 15th May) - when I made the Chocolate Mousse the second time, the chocolate/oil mixture was a still little too hot when I added it to the egg yolks and sugar, so that it started to seize. I remedied this by quickly beating in a couple of tablespoons of the whisked egg white, before folding in the remainder, but I'm adding this as a note to remember - cool the chocolate a little, if necessary, before adding to the egg yolks.

17 comments:

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

looks damn fine if you ask me!... love that roullade... can't wait to make mine, this is the most exciting challenge!!!

Suelle said...

Thanks, Dom! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's results!

Foodycat said...

It looks gorgeous! I am so impressed.

Suelle said...

Thank you, Foodycat - I quite impressed myself too, but I'm still doubtful about being able to repeat it! ;)

celia said...

Well done, Suelle! I agree - rolling the roulades is the scariest time, and I've only ever made them with sponge! Rolling meringue...whew..that's about ten times more daunting! :)

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Couldn't agree more about the scary nature of the rolling up bit. Looks great, though.

katescakesandbakes said...

That looks absolutely brilliant- I'm deciding this weekend which roulade/swiss roll to go for and you've inspired me! I'm really impressed- the rolling of the meringue must have been blommin' terrifying!

Suelle said...

Rolling the meringue was scary, but in a way it was easier than a sponge cake - you don't have to roll it while still warm then unroll and re-roll it when you fill it. The cold meringue is still sticky and soft inside.

Chele said...

Wow that is an impressive looking roulade, it one that has ticked so many boxes too. I'm well impressed. Thanks for taking part and challenging your comfort zone ;0)

snowy said...

That looks so good Suelle. Not sure if I have enough courage to roll up meringue!

sniffandsnort said...

That looks absolutely scrumptious. I know what you mean about how nerve wracking it is rolling the roulade. I was waiting for mine to crack half an hour after rolling it. This is the first time I've dne something for We Should Cocoa o d appreciate it if you can have a looksie when you have time.
http://sniffandsnort.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/we-should-cocoa/

Choclette said...

Suelle, what a superb roulade and a meringue one at that. It looks as though you rolled it quite beautifully. My heart sank when I found out roulade was this month's challenge. i find the rolling most scary indeed and with good reason - I always, always mess it up. For We Should Cocoa, I messed it up quite spectacularly!

Aveen said...

Looks fantastic! I love the idea of the olive oil in the mousse and I adore hazelnut so I'd love a slice of this :)

MissCakeBaker said...

This looks great. I love the sound of the mousse filling.

Baking Addict said...

Wow this looks amazing. I'm not sure I could roll meringue. Love the gluten free chocolate mousse too.

Nic@daydreamaboutfood said...

Love the roulade and the chocolate olive oil mousse sounds great:)

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