"French chocolate sponge is a revelation because it is both flourless and keeps for a day or so in the fridge," says Nadine Ingram of Flour & Stone. "Admittedly it needs cream or a mousse to marry with, but it's so light that it will spoil you for other sponges, for life."
- 140 gm mascarpone
- 140 gm crème fraîche
- 70 ml pouring cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Cacao nibs, to serve
- 250 gm blackberries
- 70 gm caster sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
French chocolate sponge
- 4 egg yolks
- 200 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
- 6 eggwhites
- 75 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 6 eggwhites
- 280 gm caster sugar
- 100 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease two 25cm x 35cm Swiss roll tins and line base and sides with baking paper.
- 2For blackberry compote, bring ingredients to the boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and stir occasionally until thickened (12-18 minutes). Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- 3For sponge, whisk egg yolks and half the icing sugar in an electric mixer on high speed until pale and thick (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl, and clean and dry mixer thoroughly. Add eggwhite and a pinch of salt to electric mixer, and whisk on high speed until soft ribbons start to form. With the motor running, slowly add remaining icing sugar until incorporated, and whisk until thick and glossy. Gently fold a third of the eggwhite through the yolk mixture, followed by a third of the cocoa. Continue to fold in eggwhite and cocoa, alternating between them, until combined. Pour batter into one of the tins, smoothing evenly into corners. Bake until sponge springs back when pressed lightly (10 minutes). Cool.
- 4For meringue, whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in a clean, dry electric mixer to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and beat until thick and glossy (8-10 minutes). Sift cocoa and cornflour over and gently fold in with a spatula until no streaks remain. Spread meringue into second tin, reduce oven to 160°C and bake until set (15 minutes). Cool in tin (5 minutes), then invert onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with cocoa set on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Peel away paper, then invert sponge onto meringue and peel away paper.
- 5Whisk mascarpone, crème fraîche, cream and vanilla in a bowl to soft peaks and spread evenly over sponge with a spatula. Drain compote a little and spoon evenly over mascarpone mixture. Rolling away from you and with the long side facing you, using the paper and plastic wrap to roll and lift over, wrap roulade into a log shape, then gently twist ends of the plastic wrap to secure. Refrigerate to firm (1½-2 hours). Scatter roulade with cacao nibs, and slice to serve.