I’m on a roll when it comes to rolled puddings at the moment. First, a Swiss roll a couple of weeks ago, and now its slightly more sophisticated sister, the roulade. Where Swiss rolls tend to adorn the tables of children parties, roulades were made for dinner parties.
This was one of the first dishes I was taught when learning to cook. At the time, looking at the recipe sheet, I scoffed, dismissing it as a tired throwback to a different era, not even worthy of the kitsch status of its more famous bedfellows, bananas foster, Black Forest gâteau and baked Alaska. But once I’d made it, I realised the error of my ways.
The first mouthful of roulade, when the fork breaks through the crisp exterior to the almost marshmallowy inside, is blissful, and the ground hazelnuts in this version gives a gorgeous depth to the meringue; the lemon curd and raspberries sing of the dying days of summer, the last bright pudding perhaps, before we jump feet first into crumbles and pies, sticky toffee and spices.
The first time I made this, the roulade cracked as I rolled it, and I was horrified. I put it down to ineptitude and inexperience. And when it cracked the second time, and the third, I came to the conclusion that I was either cursed specifically when it came to roulades, or doomed more generally to be a hopeless cook. It’s only now that I realise that a good roulade is always going crack: it means you have a gorgeous, crisp shell on your pudding. If anything, it is a mark of how delicious it will taste. Be bold, be brave, roll your roulade with wild abandon: own those cracks.
You don’t have to make your own lemon curd for this pud, but it’s sharper and silkier than the shop-bought stuff, and often easier to pour than the curd that comes out of a jar: you can find my recipe for it here. It goes like this…
Hazelnut roulade with lemon curd and raspberries
3 large egg whites
170g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour
100g whipping cream
100g lemon curd
1. First toast your hazelnuts, in a pan, or an oven set to about 160°C: cook them until they are beginning to turn golden, and you can smell their nuttiness. Remove from the heat and rub with a tea towel to remove their skins. Allow to cool completely before blitzing in a blender; if you do this before they cool, they will give out too much oil and become greasy.
2. Heat the oven to 150°C. Line a 30cm by 20cm Swiss roll pan with baking paper, ensuring that the paper comes up the sides of the tray. Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until they reach stiff peaks: when you lift the whisk out of the bowl, the whites should stand proud of the whisk and not flop over. Add the sugar in three additions, each time brining the mixture back to stiff, glossy peaks. Fold in the vinegar, cornflour and ground hazelnuts.
3. Spoon gently onto your prepared tin and smooth so that the surface is even, without knocking too much air out of the mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the meringue is golden and crisp; don’t allow to brown. While still warm, carefully turn onto a clean sheet of baking parchment and leave to cool.
4. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold the raspberries through it. Smooth this onto the roulade with a spatula and then pour or spoon the lemon curd on top. Using the paper to support the roulade, roll the meringue as tightly and confidently as you can. Lift carefully onto a serving plate.
Olivia is the winner of the YBF award for Fresh Voices in Food Writing 2017. Read her other Vintage Chef recipes here