Butter, for greasing
150g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
115g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp of almond or vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa (optional)
For the filling/icing -
280g plain chocolate, broken
225ml double cream
2 tbsp rum (optional)
100g icing sugar, sifted
holly, to decorate
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Grease with butter and line a 40x28 cm Swiss roll tin then dust with flour
2. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and whisk the remainder with the egg yolks in a bowl until thick and pale. Stir in the almond or vanilla extract.
|Folding the egg whites in|
4. Sift and fold in the remaining flour, followed by the remaining egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the tin, spreading it out evenly with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 15minutes until lightly golden.
5. Then sprinkle caster sugar over a sheet of greaseproof paper and turn out the cake on to the paper. Roll up and leave to cool.
6. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to boiling point in a small saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted, add the icing sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and thick. Put in the fridge for about an hour until it is a spreadable consistency. Reserve about 1/3 of chocolate mixture and if using rum, stir into remainder.
7. Re-roll and place on a plate or silver board. Spread the reserved chocolate mixture evenly over the top and sides. Mark with a fork so that the surface resembles tree bark. Just before serving, decorate with holly and a sprinkling of icing sugar to resemble snow.