Online Recipe Book

Delias Chocolate Roulade

Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course, c1989, p548
8 servings
Prep info
30 min prep + 1 hr chill & prep & bake + 3 hrs cool + 30 min prep
Prep time
5 hours
Cook time
1 hour
Time required
6 hours
Oven preheat
Desserts - Misc


  • For the Cake:
  • 6 eggs (large, separated)
  • 150 g Sugar (Castor)
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • For the Filling:
  • 200 g chocolate (plain)
  • 2 T water
  • 2 eggs (large, separated)
  • 200 mL whipping cream
  • To finish:
  • 10 g Sugar (Icing) (as needed for dusting)


Preheat the oven to 175C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.  Oil and line with parchment paper the base of a pan about 11.5"x7" and about 1" deep.  Set aside.

For the filling:

Whisk the 2 egg whites til stiff; set aside.

Beat the 2 egg yolks together; set aside.  

Put about 1" of water into a pot and start bringing to a simmer.

Break the plain chocolate in pieces into the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl and add the 2T water.  Place it over the pot and wait for the chocolate to melt.  Once melted, remove from the heat and beat until smooth.  Beat the egg yolks into the mixture.  Let cool a bit.

Once cool, fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

For the cake:

While the filling cools, bake the cake.

Whisk the 6 egg whites til stiff; set aside.

Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until they start to thicken; add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture thickens slightly.  Mix in the cocoa powder.  Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture - gently and thoroughly.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake on the centre shelf for 15-20 minutes until springy and puffy.  When the cake is done, remove it from the oven but leave it in the cake pan to cool.  It will shrink quite a bit as it cools, but don't worry, that's normal.

Make the roulade:

When the cake is quite cold, turn it out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper which has been liberally dusted with icing sugar.  Peel away the cake pan lining paper (which is now facing upwards).  

Spread the filling over the cake.  Whip the double cream softly and spread it over the chocolate filling.  Gently roll up the cake to make a log shape.  



Notes from source:

  • Although it's unlikely that there will be any left, you can cover any remaining cake with an upside down bowl and keep it in the fridge.  
  • As an alternative, 11oz of sweetened chestnut puree (creme de marrons) can replace the chocolate mousse filling.
  • During the rolling, the cake will crack, but this is quite normal and looks most attractive.

SJ Note 26 Dec 2012: It doesn't roll so much as break into three pieces.  We used some darker chocolate that we had on hand; don't make that mistake, get regular plain chocolate, or else it never goes smooth after melting and beating.  It also needs the sugar so it doesn't come out bitter.  Also don't chill the filling mixture any more than an hour or it'll resolidify.  Our cake pan was a bit larger than called for (11"x9"), so it was a bit shallower than she had in mind - it was still mighty thick for its intended purpose.  A bigger pan would probably be better.