Chocolate Jelly Roll Cake

Con Poulos
  • Yield: 6 – 8 servings

This is the fresh cream version of this retro classic. It is a great cake, which can also be wheeled out as a “buche de Noel” come that time of year, with whatever stash of Christmas cake decorations and frills you choose. — Annie Bell


1/2cup cocoa powder
pinch of fine sea salt
3 extra large eggs
1/3cup light brown sugar
4ounces dark chocolate (approx. 50 percent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
1tablespoon dark brown sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1cup heavy cream
Unsalted butter for greasing
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Chocolate curls for decorating (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F convection oven/400F conventional oven. Butter a 9 x 12 inch nonstick jelly roll pan, line the base with parchment paper, and butter this also. Sift cocoa into a bowl and add salt. Place eggs and brown sugar in a bowl and beat for 8–10 minutes using a stand mixer, until the mixture is pale and mousse-like.
  2. Lightly fold in cocoa in two batches. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the surface using an offset spatula, and give the pan a couple of sharp taps on the work surface to disperse any large air bubbles.
  3. Bake the cake for 8–10 minutes until set and springy to the touch. Lay out a clean kitchen towel on your work surface and sift on a fine layer of confectioners’ sugar. Turn the cake out onto it and carefully roll it up with the kitchen towel, leaving the paper in place—start at the short end so you end up with a short fat roll. Set aside to cool for 40–60 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, place chocolate, sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a bowl and set over a pan with about an inch of simmering water in it, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form and fold in the cooled melted chocolate.
  5. To assemble the jelly roll, carefully unroll the cake and peel off the paper. Spread with chocolate cream, roll it up again, and transfer to a long serving plate, seam downward. Dust on some confectioners’ sugar and decorate with chocolate curls if you wish. Chill, uncovered, for a couple of hours.

Note: If you are making the jelly roll in advance, bring it back up to room temperature for 30 minutes before eating. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar and decorate it at the last minute.

Excerpted from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible by Annie Bell (Kyle Books). Copyright © 2012.