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06 June 2012

Dark Chocolate, Strawberry & Mint Swiss Roll

No kid will ever refuse anything with chocolates.  That includes mine telling me continuously that it's good with their mouths outlined with chocolate mustaches.  They look so funny but they don't care as long as what they are eating is chocolate mixed with strawberries.  Big eyes, big bites and big appetites. 

When I made my first Swiss roll with mascarpone and strawberries, there were jolts of interest and excitement in eating it because it looked beautiful laden with strawberries and white cream. But my son, ever the antagonist of anything white and creamy in his food (that also includes healthy greens and artificial blues), wouldn't stop complaining about it in between bites of the cake while trying to extricate the mascarpone from his almost delicious cake. 

While watching him, I knew what I would be doing next to surprise him when he gets back from school.  A fully-loaded dark chocolate Swiss roll with raspberries (or strawberries which are easier to find).   He loves all three so there won't be anything to push away in his plate.    I know him well because we are exactly the same.   I am not a milk and fresh cheese lover myself but I can eat them at times when masked well with other ingredients like the strawberries in the Swiss roll I previously did.  And we also agree on dark chocolates and mint.

So that was it.  This dark chocolate Swiss roll was waiting on the kitchen table when he walked in.  I had to divert my daughter's attention away from the kitchen and the cake while waiting for his brother to come home.  She wanted to dig in and was already setting herself up, propped on her chair while I found a recorded cartoon episode of Barbapapa to peel her away from the cake.   I, on the other hand, scraped the spoons and bowls clean while tidying up the kitchen.  It was the reward I was waiting for. 

We don't always get to sit down together on afternoon snacks unlike dinnertime.  Dinner is the only time of the day when we can stay together as a family after a day of separate activities.  Afternoons in the kitchen is a plus and I love the spontaneity of setting ourselves up together and enjoying a moment of eating something with pleasure.   I value these times and they give me more reason to keep whipping up cakes to put my family together in the kitchen table. 

I hope you are having a good week!

Dark Chocolate, Strawberry & Mint Swiss Roll

Serves 6 - 8 
  • strawberry filling (see recipe below)
  • chocolate cream (see recipe below)
  • sponge cake (see recipe below)
  • mint sugar, optional (see recipe below)
  1. Trim off any rough edges of the cake with a sharp knife to make the sides tidy.  
  2. Spread the chocolate cream all over the sponge, leaving just a small margin so that it doesn't squelch out when rolling.   Leave about 2 tablespoons to fill up the ends of the roll when finished.
  3. Spoon the macerated strawberries over the chocolate cream and spread evenly. 
  4. With the shorter side facing you, roll the sponge (going forward, away from you) using the parchment paper to help.  Try to roll it as tightly as you could.   Leave about a tablespoon to fill up the ends of the roll when finished.
  5. Once you have rolled it all up, make sure the end part is underneath so it doesn't open.  
  6. Transfer to a serving plate carefully.  
  7. If the ends of the roll are a bit empty, fill them up with chocolate cream & strawberry filling you set aside.  
  8. Cover swiss roll with the chocolate cream and decorate with the extra strawberries & chocolate flakes.  

Strawberry Filling:

  • 250 grams strawberries, hulled + 50 grams extra for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine
  1. Put 2/3 of the strawberries in a blender  with 2 tablespoons of sugar and blend well.  
  2. Transfer them to a bowl and add the Marsala.  
  3. Stir in the remaining strawberries and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator at the least. 


Sponge Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 grams caster or granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 grams plain flour 
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (if using sweetened, lessen sugar to 80 grams)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375F/Gas 5).  Grease and line a 23 x 33cm (9in x 13in) Swiss roll tin or small roasting tin with parchment paper. 
  2. Beat the eggs, 80 g. sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is very pale yellow, foamy and mousse-like.  
  3. Pour the flour and cocoa powder on one side of the bowl and fold in gently with a rubber spatula.  Add the water.  This should help prevent cracking when you roll the cake later.   Don't overmix so that the cake doesn't lose the air and fold as less as possible.
  4. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin and level it gently with a palette knife.  Bake for 10 -15 minutes.  
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and turn the cake out onto a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with mint sugar.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then gently peel the lining paper off the sponge and leave to cool completely.  

Chocolate Cream:

  • 200 grams dark chocolate blocks + some for garnishing
  • 100 grams cream
  • 4 tablespoons Godet Belgian white chocolate liqueur (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Prepare a waterbath.  Pour the water in a saucepan.  Put a smaller saucepan on top that can hold on the sides.  
  2. Put 200 g. of broken chocolate blocks in the smaller saucepan and move frequently until it melts.  
  3. Add the cream.
  4. Pour the white chocolate liqueur.  
  5. Cook 3 minutes more.
  6. Turn off fire and let it cool.


Mint Sugar: (optional)

  • handful of fresh mint leaves, washed & dried well (amount depends on how strong your mint leaves are and how you like it)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
      1. Put the mint leaves in a blender with the sugar.  
      2. Blend until well combined. 
      3. Set aside.


        1. Very interesting recipe, it makes a beautiful cake.

        2. Anonymous06 June, 2012

          Oh wow! I would love to have this right now. Thank you for the recipe. I must make this one! Shannon

          1. I hope you enjoy the recipe Shannon. Thanks!

        3. I can't decide which roll I like best, so I think I'll have to make one of each and then let you know :). Love the dark chocolate and mint pairing here, and strawberries are just perfect!

          1. Personally, I liked both but being more of a chocolate person and a non-fresh cheese lover, I am more biased with this one. :-)

        4. It looks absolutely beautiful! I could so go some right now.

        5. That looks and sounds absolutely amazing - you are the sweetest Mom!

        6. The combination of flavor are sure to be a hit, and the mint is a bonus. I really love rolls but somehow never make them. This can be the push I need!

          1. If ever you do it, I hope you will enjoy it. Thanks!

        7. Oh wow...I am all for covered in chocolate! They are both such beauties though :)
          Hope you are having a great week!

          1. Me too. I think I like the chocolate one. Thanks.

        8. This is just stunning! Lovely photos as usual!

        9. Anonymous22 June, 2012

          I just made this and it turned out perfect! But then I turned around to clean up the kitchen and when I looked back the cake had split along the top and one half completely flopped open XD It was picture-perfect for about 3 minutes, though! Luckily my family doesn't care about the appearance, and it still tastes great!

          1. I would have been devastated if that happened to me. At least it tasted good! I wonder if you beat the eggs until they were foamy enough? Because in that way, the sponge cake would come out fluffy with less possibility to crack. I did this cake twice and didn't encounter any problems. I hope you'll give it a try next time. Thank you for letting me know.


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