Mary Berry's Chocolate and Hazelnut Boozy Roulade

Mary Berry's failsafe roulade recipe makes for a fantastic alternative to Christmas pudding that's a real showstopper.

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Introduction

The perfect celebratory dessert for any special occasion, especially Christmas. If you haven’t time to make praline, top with a coarsely crushed bought praline bar.

Makes a 33cm roulade (serves 8-10)

Ingredients

175g (6oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
6 eggs, separated
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 level tbsp cocoa, sieved
50g (1¾ oz) chopped and roasted hazelnuts
For the filling:
300ml (10fl oz) double cream
2–3 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
For the hazelnut praline:
100g (3½ oz) granulated sugar
50g (1¾ oz) whole blanched hazelnuts, halved
icing sugar, to dust

Essential kit

You will need: a 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) Swiss roll tin, greased and lined with non-stick baking paper.

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4). Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Allow to cool slightly until warm but still runny.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until stiff but not dry. Put the sugar and egg yolks into a separate large bowl and whisk until light, thick, and creamy. Add the melted chocolate and stir until blended.

3. Gently stir two large spoonfuls of the egg whites into the mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites, followed by the cocoa. Stir in the hazelnuts. Pour into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until risen.

4. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.

5. Whip the cream into soft peaks and stir in the Baileys. Dust a large piece of non-stick baking parchment with icing sugar. Turn the cake out onto the paper and peel off the lining paper, then spread with the whipped cream. Make a cut part way through the roulade along the short edge nearest to you, about 2cm (¾ inch) in. Roll up the cake, tightly to start with and using the paper to help. Don’t worry if it cracks – that is quite normal and part of its charm! Place on a long plate.

6. To make the praline, put the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water into a stainless steel saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. When clear, bring up to the boil. Boil until a medium straw colour. Add the hazelnuts, then pour quickly onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper. Leave to cool slightly, then use a teaspoon to carefully group together small clusters of nuts. Leave to cool and become hard. When set, break into pieces and arrange on the top of the roulade. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

IN THE AGA:

Bake the roulade on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven, with the cold sheet on the second set of runners for about 18 minutes – turn round half way through.

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