Friday, 15 November 2013

Maple Spice Chocolate Roll Cake with Caramelised Nuts

Possibly the best recipe ever to be posted on Delicious Delicious Delicious...

So, several weeks ago, our friends Lucy and Rich asked us over for dinner. They have a toddler and I never know how they manage to get him bathed and in bed, cook a three course meal and host dinner in a lovely clean house for all of us on a Wednesday evening, but somehow they consistently manage. I suppose it's possible that they lock the little one up in a cage upstairs, tired and dirty, but if that is what they do, they won't be able to get away with it for much longer because he's going to start talking soon. Therefore, new tactics might prove necessary in coming months.

I confess that I ate quite a lot of these and had to caramalise more. Sue me.

Anyway, last time we went round, the pudding was hands down the best thing we've eaten for ages - a spiced pumpkin and caramelised pecan pie, with maple syrup whipped cream. I am going to say that last part again, in case you missed it, and also because it gives me great pleasure: maple syrup whipped cream.

I haven't been the same person since, and knew without a doubt last week that I had to come up with some kind of cake (I'm no pie guy) that would make this maple and spice combination the star of the show. I am quite excited to present this bad boy, the result of my efforts, to you all for your approval.

I have rather lazily simplified the whole spice fandango, unlike the pie Rich made: there'll be no fine grating of nutmegs for this beauty. I noticed in Miami that lots of shops were selling 'pumpkin pie spice'; we don't get that here, so I opted for Schwartz's  'mixed spice', which has a little bit of everything you want in it. This made me feel really nostalgic, because my Mum's spice rack was always full of those cute little spice bottles, with their distinctive shape and lids.


I also seem to remember she always had celery salt in plentiful supply. I'm wondering as I type this if she was a secret Bloody Mary drinker the whole time? It would explain a great deal.

Anyway, I hope you try this. The spiced chocolate and nuts go so well with the maple whipped cream that it would be a pity if you never found it in you to whisk a few egg whites. If you can't be bothered with the rolling, simply bake the mixture in a 20cm greased and lined deep-sided tin for around 25 minutes, and when cool, frost with the whipped cream and top with the nuts. For me, it's the Swiss roll, every time.

Maple Spice Chocolate Roll Cake with Caramelised Nuts

You will need:

35g cocoa plus a little extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp Schwartz mixed spice
30g unsalte
d butter
60ml boiling water
135g sugar
6 eggs, separated
  

A generous handful of pecans and walnuts
50ml maple syrup

250ml double cream
125ml maple syrup

  1. Pre-heat the oven to (you guessed it!) 180°C. Cut a generous piece of baking parchment (you want some overhang at the edges, to assist in rolling later), grease it well and lay it on a regular sized shallow sided baking tray. Mine measures 45cm by 30cm, so that's what I mean by 'regular'. You can make this as a round cake too - see above.
  2. Put the cocoa, vanilla, mixed spice, butter and boiling water into a small bowl and stir until the butter has melted and you have a thick, brown cream. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and around half the sugar until creamy, pale and thick. This will take around three to five minutes with a regular hand whisk, a little less if you use machinery. It's your choice, and we're all friends here, so don't think I'll judge you for pulling out the stand mixer.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in another, large bowl. When they start to froth, start adding the remaining sugar gradually, continuing to whisk until they reach the stiff peaks stage.
  5. Now, we amalgamate. Add the cocoa slurry to the yolk mixture; stir until well mixed. Then fold the egg whites into the chocolatey egg yolks. Fold gently and keep at it until there are no streaks of white left and all is chocolate brown in colour. Pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined tray, spread it out using a spatula, and bake for just under twenty minutes. It will be light and springy when done.
  6. Wet a clean tea towel and ring it out well. Take the cake out of the oven and, leaving it in the pan, place it on a cooling rack to cool. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder evenly all over the cake and cover with the damp dish towel. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a dry pan, over a low flame. Just warm them through, stirring often. When nicely toasted (don't let them burn!), add the 50ml maple syrup and stir to coat them as it heats up. Turn them out to cool onto a piece of baking parchment and then chop them into small chunks.
  8. Whip the cream until softly peaking; add the syrup and whip just a little more. Then, remove the tea towel from the cake and spread the cocoa dusted sponge with the maple cream. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. 
  9. Gently roll up the cake, using the parchment to lift, peeling it away as you go. This is much easier than it sounds so do not be scared as the cake is very flexible. This will keep in the fridge for at least three days. Serve generously in thick slices.Yum!

8 comments:

  1. maple syrup whipped cream... that's music to my ear and definitely something I want to put in my mouth. This looks absolutely beautiful... I look forward to trying this :)

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    Replies
    1. I could do with a slice right now myself to be honest, Michael. So ship me over a chunk when you get around to it!

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  2. Looks and sounds so sophisticated! Very neat rolled up too, mine would be right mess!!!

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    Replies
    1. No, it wouldn't Sarah. It would look amazing!

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  3. Mr P, I always have real maple syrup in the fridge and often sweeten whipped cream with it. It is soooo good! Your cake roll looks scrummy! I'm sort of a pie girl, but a slice of that could make me forget about the pie. I just made an easy thing called Indian pudding, in honor of my ancestors who came over from England on the Mayflower.

    ReplyDelete

That's what he said.

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