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Go with the Roll…

December 2, 2013

Chocolate & Strawberry Roulade. Dairy free, Gluten free, possibly Sugar free

Chocolate & Strawberry Roulade. Dairy free, Gluten free, Nut free and possibly Sugar free!

Did you know that just about every country has its own form of swiss roll cake? From Hong Kong to Sweden, from Portugal to South America, they all have their own renditions of a rolled sponge filled with anything from jam to cream to marzipan to butter!

The origins of this cake are sketchy, but we know for sure that this cake doesn’t hail from its namesake, Switzerland, its more likely to be  British invention.

I always envied the kids who brought those miniature swiss roll cakes to school for their lunch. My mother never bought them. And I am grown up, I am so glad that she didn’t, they are the furthest thing from real cake next to Twinkies. Sorry Twinkie lovers.

On very very special occasions my mum would make a “chocolate & strawberry roulade” –  such was the language at our house –  AKA swiss roll, it was so la de da and a major event!! Filled with fresh cream and chopped strawberries, the chocolate genoise had minimal flour and its filling causing it to burst at the seams. Such decadence!

Yesterday I had an afternoon tea for some very special girlfriends whom I don’t get to see often enough. Our lives have diverged now that our kids have grown up and juggling jobs and new careers  and lets not forget, the kids, its hard to catch up as regularly as we once could. It was also a good time to experiment some recipes for some constructive feedback so I could give them to you on this blog!

The highlight of the day, I’m told, was my chocolate swiss roll. My healthified version of my mothers chocolate & strawberry roulade. She will be horrified that I have made it dairy-free, gluten-free AND sugar-free!! LOL! Although I bet there’s a few followers out there that will be pleased!!

To be frank, this cake does take a bit of work. But its worth it! The 3 components are the custard, the coconut cream and the sponge and its best made the day before so it can set.

The technique of mixing cold custard & cream is that of a good crème patissiere and this translates well to a dairy free option using coconut cream. You will need to sit a can of coconut cream in the back of your fridge for it to settle out.


I have read lots about using whipped coconut cream instead of dairy cream and this is how this cake actually came about. I wanted to whip some coconut cream to see if it was as good as everyone says. I just couldn’t fathom it. By chilling the cream, undisturbed, the fat rises to the surface and the water separates out to the bottom. By tipping off this water, you get a high fat solid coconut cream which apparently is interchangeable with whipped cream when you whip it…. NUP. When you whip it you get beaten coconut cream. It doesn’t increase in volume or become light and airy like cows cream. It does loosen up and become silky smooth but you would need 4 cans of cream to get the same volume as 600ml of dairy cream when it’s whipped. Find out how others do it here.

I have read that different brands of coconut cream get varied results – yes. I tried many different brands and got slightly varied results but with the same outcome – beaten coconut cream! Sorry, I got distracted by this whole whipping thing, let’s get back to the recipe……

I used my Thermomix and my stand mixer for this recipe as you need maximum volume of your eggwhites. The thermomix is excellent for making the custard but I did the rest in my mixer.

400g can of coconut cream, left undisturbed at least overnight in the fridge.
5 egg yolks
1 egg
30g natvia
20g honey
1 vanilla bean, scraped or vanilla extract or oil
20g coconut oil
45g butter
1 tab cornflour
1 teas gelatine
Open the can and carefully scoop out the hardened cream on the surface. Hopefully you will get about 230g. Put this back in the fridge.
With the remaining 160g of coconut liquid, add the remaining ingredients to the TM and cook on 80ºC at SP 3 for 7 minutes. Check the thickness of the mix and turn up to 90ºC for 1 – 2 minutes on SP 4, watching carefully that it doesn’t over cook. It should be quite thick but flowing. Set aside in a shallow bowl to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
6 eggs, separated
130g light coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
30g cocoa
pinch salt
A big pinch cream of tartar
200g fresh strawberries, chopped
Mill the sugar in your TM for 10 seconds on SP 9 to get icing sugar. Add the cocoa & salt and egg yolks and mix on SP 4 for 20 seconds.
In a clean dry bowl, whip the eggwhites & cream of tartar until firm peaks form and stir 1 tablespoon of this into your cocoa mixture.
The carefully fold through the cocoa mixture into your eggwhites. On a large flat tray cut a piece of baking paper to fit and oil – I use coconut oil spray.
Spread the cake batter onto the tray to a thickness of about 1.5 cm. Bake in a 170ºC oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until just springy in the middle.
When cooked immediately tip out onto a clean tea-towel and peel off the baking paper. Roll up loosely and leave to cool.
Cream Patissiere
With your stand mixer and whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream until smooth and silky. It will not increase in volume. Set this aside and then whip the custard mixture until perfectly smooth and silky also. Add in the coconut cream and whip until combined. Set aside in the fridge while you wait for your sponge to be COMPLETELY cold!
Gently unroll the sponge and spread the cream mix all over to the edges. I used half a punnet of chopped strawberries to garnish mine but raspberries and cherries would work too. Very carefully re-roll up, using the tea towel as a guide. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate over night if possible or at least 4 hours.
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