What says Fall, Christmas and Winter, all at the same time? Gingerbread, of course. So take a look at this chocolate and gingerbread roulade cake, that brings them all together at once. A moist, light chocolate roll cake, filled with a gingerbread liqueur spiced creamy filling gives a delicious twist on a traditional yule log.
Always time for festive baking!
Happy Christmas! Well I know it's over now, but we've not quite made 2019 yet so there's still chance to say it. I hope that you all had a wonderful time with family, friends, loved ones and all that food too. I know we did!
Now I know I'm a little late and that just before Christmas I promised you one last bake, but family life took over as it sometimes can do, and I've only just got round to baking again. In fact, I've made two of these gingerbread chocolate logs in the last week; one for a second Christmas dinner with my in-laws and one just for you guys. And here it is...
It was a close call though whether I'd be baking a chocolate and gingerbread roulade cake or Christmas Tree brownies. I asked you all over on the Facebook page and on my Instagram stories to cast your vote and you did.
You took it right down to the wire and in the last hour, the chocolate log inched ahead with 60% of the vote. If you voted for Christmas Tree brownies, don't worry I've got a little some up my sleeve for Valentines Day.
Right then, back to the gingerbread roulade...
Level up your gingerbread roll cake
So then, you should really know me by now and a traditional chocolate yule log wasn't going to my thing; it was going to be something a little different, and I toyed with the idea of a Black Forest style log, roulade, roll cake or whatever you'd like to call it. I'll stick to log. However, tracking down decent black cherries in that black hole period between Christmas and New Year seemed a bit of a wild goose chase.
If I'm honest, I didn't feel like battling the supermarket crowds who'd stocked up on enough food and drink to see them through the next 6 months but decided on the 27th that the cupboards were bare and they needed to do a full shop again. The limit of my flavour ideas went as far as opening the pantry and seeing what was in there. Luckily, I'd also done that 'pre-Christmas' shop so there was quite a selection to choose from, including a jar of Biscoff spread, mini gingerbread men and my latest obsession Gingerbread Liqueur from Aldi.
Fat-free roulade cake?
Chocolate logs, roulades, roll cakes or whatever you'd like to call them are perhaps the quickest and simplest cakes that you can make. A simple mix of ingredients, no fats, butter or oils, and with this recipe it's pretty easy to switch the self-raising flour out and make it gluten-free. In fact, I'm reasonably sure that if you wanted to make a vegan version of this it wouldn't be that difficult to do. Let me just make a note to give that a try...
I did make a little school-girl error and used baking parchment that really stuck to my sponge so when I peeled it back I lost some of the outer layer, or if I'm being really honest I probably peeled it off too quickly. Cracks, when you are rolling up the cake, are typical, especially if your sponge is very delicate. A more sturdy sponge will roll nice and neatly with minimal cracking, but for me when I'm making a gingerbread chocolate log for Christmas the cracks remind me of tree bark.
Top tips for an awesome roulade cake
For that perfect or near-perfect chocolate and gingerbread roulade cake, here are a few tips that I've learnt along the way, so you don't have to go through the heartache of a roulade that falls to pieces. I'd like to think that they'll help you from falling to pieces over a dessert too. Ready...
- Really whisk the eggs and sugar together... and I mean really. Give them plenty of time, about 8-10 minutes. The mixture should be thick and creamy, and at least tripled in volume.
- Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder. Don't be tempted to beat it in, you don't want to knock all the air out, that you've just whipped into the eggs.
- Make sure you sift the flour and cocoa powder. A fine sieve is perfect to make sure there are no lumps and it's nicely aerated.
This one's really important...
- Line a baking tray, it must have a lip, a swiss roll tray works perfect, with a good quality baking parchment. Don't be tempted to spray with cake release or grease the parchment, just make sure it's a good one, or one that you use regularly and you're happy with.
- Just lay the baking parchment over the tray, when you pour the mixture out onto it, it will settle and fit into the baking tray perfectly. There's no need to cut and fold to size.
- With a large palette knife or spatula, gently spread and level out the mixture. You don't need to be spot on, it will find it's own way when in the oven. I love my Mary Berry palette knife!
- I've been reliably informed over on Twitter that Aldi are now out of the gingerbread liqueur, but I used to love this Pain d'Epices liqueur for baking when I had the shop.
How to roll the perfect roulade
And then the bit everyone has their own methods of doing... just going for it, damp tea towels (clean, obviously), the baking parchment you baked on... rolling the log
- Roll from the shorter, narrower side - you'll get more of a swirl when you cut into the log than if you roll lengthways; that and it's easier to handle.
- Just take it gently. Yes, you might get some cracking as you roll but like I said, it adds to that log look, and so long as you're gentle when rolling it won't crack all the way through.
- Finally, roll it tightly, but not too tight the roll will crack if you do that; and if you need to unroll it, do so but keep it supported with the parchment or tea towel you are using to roll with.
Looking for more festive inspiration?
Head on over and check out these other chocolate recipes:
- Decadent Raspberry Chocolate Roulade
- Scrumptious Gingerbread Latte Layer Cake
- Perfect Pairing Coffee and Doughnut Cupcakes
Pin gingerbread roulade cake
There you have it, squeezed in before the Holiday period is over chocolate and gingerbread roulade cake, that if I'm honest, you can make any time of year and tweak the flavours around. Perhaps you'll leave out the Biscoff and Gingerbread liqueur and add a layer of raspberry jam and a drop of Raspberry liqueur into the cream instead, or you can give a Black Forest version a try with black cherries and Kirsch.
If you do switch around the flavours, give me a shout out or comment below with a star rating. Better still, if you stick it up on Instagram don't forget to tag @crumbcorkscrews and use the hashtag #crumbscorkscrews.
Chcocolate & Gingerbread Roulade Cake
- To make the roulade cake: Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F and line a long baking tray or swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, muscovado and caster sugars, until thick and creamy, or tripled in volume. Alternatively, you can make the batter, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder together, and add to the mixture. Gently fold together until the cake batter is soft and smooth.
- Pour the mixture onto the baking parchment, and gently level out with a palette knife.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cake is spongy and springs back. Lift the roulade out of the tin, on the baking parchment and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To assemble the roulade: Whilst the cake is cooling, make the cream filling. Beat together the double cream and gingerbread liqueur until the cream just starts to form stiff peaks. Don’t overbeat the cream otherwise, it won’t spread as easily.
- Turn the cooled cake out onto another piece of baking parchment, sprinkled with caster sugar. Gently peel the top layer of parchment off the cake.
- Smooth a layer of Biscoff spread over the topped of the cake, being careful not to tear the sponge. Add a generous layer of the double cream on top, and smooth across the cake.
- Crush mini gingerbread men and scatter over the top of the cream layer.
- Use the parchment paper to roll the sponge as tightly as possible so you get a good swirl. Place the roll on a plate and set it on the seam. Dust with icing sugar.
- Leave for an hour or overnight to set before serving.
- You can make the sponge ahead of time and freeze for up to one month. Remember to fully defrost before assembling the roll.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Copyright © 2020 Crumbs and Corkscrews. Unauthorised use and/ or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/ or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Crumbs and Corkscrews with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.