I got this recipe from a friend in Hong Kong, Chris Duggan. Her family went to our church, St. Andrews, and we went to a Bible study at their house. Brian, her husband, was an engineering professor at the University of Hong Kong. They were from Birmingham England. She is an excellent British cook. This recipe is not like any other chocolate roulade I've seen. I've made it as our buche de Noel for years. I once made one five feet long for a co-workers 50th birthday.
6 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 ounces cocoa
4 ounces chocolate, like chocolate chips or bar
2 tablespoons liquid, like brandy
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Find a jelly roll pan, they seem to come in all sizes.
Grease the pan a little, then put in a piece of parchment paper that comes up over the edges of the pan.
Grease the paper lightly.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar and vanilla until very light yellow.
Add the vanilla and the cocoa. This will make a rather stiff mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff, but not too stiff.
Dump the egg whites into the bowl with the yolks and fold the two together.
Spread the batter into the pan, and bake for about 20 minutes. Because pans differ, time differs.
Not long after taking the cake out of the oven, lift up the cake by the paper onto a cooling rack. When the cake is sufficiently cooled sprinkle granulated sugar onto the cake (not too much) and then place a tea towel over the cake and carefully flip the cake over. The gently peel off the parchment paper. The cake can rest for a while like this.
Assembling the cake
Whip the cream and the sugar until nice and stiff, but not so stiff it's almost butter.
Put the chocolate and the liquid into a glass dish and put into the microwave for a little while, not long. You can sneak up on it. Don't get the chocolate too hot as it can solidify. Stir up the chocolate mixture until smooth and using the back of the spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the cake.
Using a frosting spatula spread some, but not all, of the cream over the chocolate. Then, using the tea towel as a help, roll up the cake and carefully get it onto a platter. Don't worry about any cracks, as the whipped cream will cover them. Put on the rest of the cream. I like to reserve some of the cream so that I can pipe it on the cake, like around the ends and along the sides.
For a special decoration I like to add chocolate leaves on the top. You melt up a handful of chocolate chips with a dab of shortening. Then get come camellia leaves, wash and dry them, and gently apply some chocolate to the bottom of the leaf, using the back of a small spoon. Place the leaves on a small plate and put into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the leaves and place on the cake. Be as artistic as you like.