1. Chocolate Roulade. Roll with it. I am ready for Christmas. 

    This is a test. Christmas is coming and I would like to know if a chocolate log is within my remit. And I think it is.

    A kind soul gave me the Green and Black’s book as a leaving gift when I changed jobs recently. It has renewed my passion for chocolate and has confirmed that if you buy the recommended quality of chocolate the success of a recipe is well within reach. And this one is gluten free. 

    Trust the recipe. Follow the recipe. Know that the ‘roll’ doesn’t need to be perfect - it will crack, it will crumble a bit but it doesn’t need to look faultless. 

    Things to watch out for is just how much it appears to rise in the oven. It goes down slightly when it comes out the oven. This is all OK. When it came out the oven I slid the cake and the baking proof paper below onto a cooling rack. And I covered the cake with a very damp tea-towel; literally run the tea-towel under the tap and wring out any excess water and cover over the cake. This helps to mitigate the cracking as far as possible. 

    Layer on the cream (the perfect partner to the rich and decadent chocolate) once cooled and on new baking proof paper and icing sugar. Next the roll. Suspend too much concern and feel your way - use the paper that is the base to help you as you go. The first fold is tricky and then it comes together. Once rolled I kept the paper in place (entirely round the roll) for a while, helping the roll to keep the shape and not crumble or fall apart.

    It is so good. It is so decadent and grown up - the cool cream and the rich perfect chocolate. I was buzzing afterwards and continue to do so - buche de noel, well within my remit now. Christmas can’t come too soon after all!

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