Possibly the best recipe ever to be posted on Delicious Delicious Delicious...
I confess that I ate quite a lot of these and had to caramalise more. Sue me.
I haven't been the same person since, and knew without a doubt last week that I had to come up with some kind of cake (I'm no pie guy) that would make this maple and spice combination the star of the show. I am quite excited to present this bad boy, the result of my efforts, to you all for your approval.
I have rather lazily simplified the whole spice fandango, unlike the pie Rich made: there'll be no fine grating of nutmegs for this beauty. I noticed in Miami that lots of shops were selling 'pumpkin pie spice'; we don't get that here, so I opted for Schwartz's 'mixed spice', which has a little bit of everything you want in it. This made me feel really nostalgic, because my Mum's spice rack was always full of those cute little spice bottles, with their distinctive shape and lids.
I also seem to remember she always had celery salt in plentiful supply. I'm wondering as I type this if she was a secret Bloody Mary drinker the whole time? It would explain a great deal.
Anyway, I hope you try this. The spiced chocolate and nuts go so well with the maple whipped cream that it would be a pity if you never found it in you to whisk a few egg whites. If you can't be bothered with the rolling, simply bake the mixture in a 20cm greased and lined deep-sided tin for around 25 minutes, and when cool, frost with the whipped cream and top with the nuts. For me, it's the Swiss roll, every time.
Maple Spice Chocolate Roll Cake with Caramelised Nuts
You will need:
35g cocoa plus a little extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp Schwartz mixed spice
30g unsalted butter
60ml boiling water
6 eggs, separated
A generous handful of pecans and walnuts
50ml maple syrup
250ml double cream
125ml maple syrup
- Pre-heat the oven to (you guessed it!) 180°C. Cut a generous piece of baking parchment (you want some overhang at the edges, to assist in rolling later), grease it well and lay it on a regular sized shallow sided baking tray. Mine measures 45cm by 30cm, so that's what I mean by 'regular'. You can make this as a round cake too - see above.
- Put the cocoa, vanilla, mixed spice, butter and boiling water into a small bowl and stir until the butter has melted and you have a thick, brown cream. Set aside for a moment.
- Beat the egg yolks and around half the sugar until creamy, pale and thick. This will take around three to five minutes with a regular hand whisk, a little less if you use machinery. It's your choice, and we're all friends here, so don't think I'll judge you for pulling out the stand mixer.
- Whisk the egg whites in another, large bowl. When they start to froth, start adding the remaining sugar gradually, continuing to whisk until they reach the stiff peaks stage.
- Now, we amalgamate. Add the cocoa slurry to the yolk mixture; stir until well mixed. Then fold the egg whites into the chocolatey egg yolks. Fold gently and keep at it until there are no streaks of white left and all is chocolate brown in colour. Pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined tray, spread it out using a spatula, and bake for just under twenty minutes. It will be light and springy when done.
- Wet a clean tea towel and ring it out well. Take the cake out of the oven and, leaving it in the pan, place it on a cooling rack to cool. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder evenly all over the cake and cover with the damp dish towel. Allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a dry pan, over a low flame. Just warm them through, stirring often. When nicely toasted (don't let them burn!), add the 50ml maple syrup and stir to coat them as it heats up. Turn them out to cool onto a piece of baking parchment and then chop them into small chunks.
- Whip the cream until softly peaking; add the syrup and whip just a little more. Then, remove the tea towel from the cake and spread the cocoa dusted sponge with the maple cream. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
- Gently roll up the cake, using the parchment to lift, peeling it away as you go. This is much easier than it sounds so do not be scared as the cake is very flexible. This will keep in the fridge for at least three days. Serve generously in thick slices.Yum!