I know that Chocolate and Orange or Chocolate and Raspberries are the classic combinations but I love chocolate and apricots.  For years one of my favorite cakes has been the Flourless Chocolate Roulade with Whipped Apricot Souffle from Carole Walters Great Cakes.  There is just something about apricots, they are so lush and sweet and sensual.  Pair them with aphrodisiacal chocolate and how can you help but have a winning combination.   This simple looking roulade is just such a magical combination. 

Yes, this was a bit complex but I find that I like these construction job cakes as they allow me to spread the work out over the entire week, taking a few minutes here and there to complete one element and by the time the weekend comes all I am faced with is 30 minutes worth of assembly and decoration and my labor is complete and it hardly seems like I did anything.

I opted to make the lekvar instead of using jam just because I was intriqued and wanted to see what it tasted like.  While it wasn’t difficult to make and I did enjoy it, I won’t hesitate to use apricot jam the next time simply because this combination is too good to not have often.  The chocolate ganache was a straight forward ganache recipe and was completed in no time.  I also found the sponge cake to be very simple and while my family found it to have a strange texture, I thought it was delicious and also very very easy to work with.  I had no difficulty filling and rolling the cake with no cracking which is usually something that I just expect from a roulade.

The real miracle here was the lacquer glaze.  For years I have tried glaze recipes always wanting to get that shiny super smooth glass like coating that they always show in cookbooks and I usually end up with a semi smooth decent tasting coating but never that super smooth and shiny surface that I now believe to be a photo trick instead of any actual food product.  That is until now, this glaze was a miracle. It took no time at all to make and when I poured it over my completed roulade and it just slid down over the side and was as smooth and shiny as you could imagine I stood there in a daze.  I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing that happen right before my eyes.  I was simply stunned.  I plated the roulade and just stood there in amazement that I had actually done it.  I have to admit that after the cake had set for a day it was no longer as shiny as when first applied but that surface was so smooth and professional I didn’t even care.  I was so proud, my chest puffed out and my eyes just beamed with pride that I had actually produced a cake with that smooth professional surface.  I only hope that it wasn’t a fluke and the next time (and there will be a next time) I make this that it comes out just as smooth.

The sponge is easy to make.  The yolks and sugar are whipped and then the egg whites are whipped.  The whites are folded into the whipped yolks, then the dry ingredients are sifted on and folded in and the batter is spread into a sheet pan and baked.

Whipped Yolks

Whipped Whites

The baked sponge

 Once the sponge is baked it is dusted with powdered sugar and rolled in a towel to cool. Once it is cooled the sponge is unrolled and the syrup is brushed on, then the lekvar is spread on and finally the ganache is spread on.  The sponge is then rerolled tightly and set aside until ready to be glazed.

The Lekvar layer

The ganache layer

The rolled cake

 When ready to glaze, the roll is placed on a cardboard support the size of the cake which has been covered in foil and then the form and roll are placed on a rack over a cookie sheet.  The glaze is poured over the roll and completed covers the roll.

Glazing the completed roll

Over the past several weeks I have had numerous comments and emails asking why I always post so early on Sunday instead of Monday morning like the rest of the group.  I wanted to take a minute to explain so that the mystery is cleared up once and for all.  I get up at 4:00 am each morning to go to the gym and then have to be at work by 5:00 am.  I work an odd schedule and generally get every other Friday off.  This is usually my baking day or I bake after work during the week.  I always try to have the weeks baking project finished by Saturday so that I have time to get all the rest of the chores and errands completed and still manage to have a bit of time to myself.  Thus I post on Sunday morning as Sunday evenings are usually a madhouse getting ready for the coming week and if I waited until 4:00 am on Monday I would totally forget about posting all together.  So, there you have it.  The mystery of my Sunday morning posts.  I hope that my posting early hasn’t caused any problems for the rest of the Heavenly Bakers.

Next Up: Sicilian Pistachio Cake