Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats #10: Calorie Overload!

Ingredients: [Sponge] 4 large free range eggs, 125g caster sugar, 65g unsalted butter, 100g plain flour, 30g cocoa powder. [Filling] zest and juice 2 oranges, 3 tablespoons caster sugar, 400g tin black cherries in syrup, 100g dried sour cherries, brandy, 400ml double cream, 100g green and black’s sour cherry chocolate, icing sugar.

Difficulty: 4/5
Rating: 3/5

The first recipe of the week was “1980’s-style Black Forest Swiss Roll” (page 381, Cook with Jamie).

Start by making the sponge base. Mix the eggs and sugar until thick and frothy – the mixture should triple in size and pass the ribbon test (whatever that is). Melt the butter and slowly mix into the eggs and then fold in the flour and cocoa a spoon at a time.

Pop onto a lined baking tray and cook for approx. 15 minutes – when ready leave to cool on a wire rack.

While the sponge is cooling add the sugar, orange zest and orange juice to a pan and heat until dissolved. Add the tinned and sour cherries and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Take off the heat and add a splash of brandy – leave too cool and drain through a sieve, keeping the syrup and cherries.

Make the chocolate cream by heating 100ml of double cream until it starts to boil, take of the heat and add the sour cherry chocolate until melted. Whip the remaining cream until it forms stiff peaks.

When all components of the recipe are done it’s time to assemble. Brush the sponge with the cherry syrup and add a layer of chocolate cream and whipped cream. Add the cherries, roll the sponge and pop in the fridge for an hour.

When chilled and set remove the baking parchment, trim the ends and decorate with icing sugar and chocolate shavings – done!


It’s hard to know how to summarise this recipe as a lot of the ingredients, techniques, and textures are new to me. I’ve never really been a fan of Swiss roll and I’ve never made one before so It’s hard to know what I should of expected – it looked like the photo so that was a good start.

Once again I was amazed at the versatility of eggs, who knew that whisking with sugar would create such a thick, creamy, frothy substance. I think the sponge turned out OK although I was a little disappointed by its density, it was a little heavier than I thought it would be.

The chocolate cream was easy to make and delicious and a technique I can use again and again and the sour cherries were really really tasty.

There was a little moment of panic when it came to rolling up the Swiss roll but I have to say it turned out pretty damn good. I think I have a definite talent for baking and cakes… but only time will tell.

Overall a really tasty recipe, if I was to make some amendments I’d cook the sponge a little less, use milk instead of dark chocolate and use fresh cherries but other than that a successful attempt.

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