This is an excellent pudding for a swanky dinner. Hugely indulgent, but it contains no flour so your pals with gluten problems can still get fat and happy along with you.
5 eggs, separated
6 oz soft light brown sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
6 oz very high quality dark chocolate
a little icing sugar/confectioners' sugar, sifted
butter, for greasing the tin
10-12 fluid oz whipping cream
punnet of strawberries or raspberries
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F, gas mark 6). Grease a swiss roll tin (flat, shallow, oblong cake tin) of 25 x 35 cm (10 x 14 inches) and line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Let the paper over lap the edges enough so that when it's weighted down with mixture, there's still a little sticking up.
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or a glass bowl balanced over almost boiling water in a pan. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Don't let the chocolate burn.
Put the egg yolks into a deep bowl with the sugar and whisk until they are smooth and thick and creamy pale.
Put the egg whites into a deep bowl, or a mixer, and whisk them until the are very stiff. If you are doing this by hand, it will take about five to ten minutes beyond the point where your arm muscles are screaming for mercy.
Stir the hot water into the chocolate, and mix this gently into the egg yolk mixture.
Fold the egg whites into the yolk and chocolate mixture. Be gentle. Don't stir it up. You want to keep as much air in there as possible.
Pour the mixture into the tin, spreading it carefully to the edges with the back of a spoon. Put in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. It's not meant to rise up massively like other cakes. It's meant to be thin. But, it shouldn't get crispy.
Remove the tin from the oven, and put it to one side, covering it with a damp tea towel. Leave it for ten minutes or so.
Lay out another sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat surface, and sprinkle this with icing sugar. Take the cloth off the cake, and turn it out onto the paper. (It can be easiest if you place the extra sheet on top of the roulade, then place a large enough chopping board on top of that, then turn it over and lift off the tin.) Strip off the paper from the bottom of the cake, and leave it to cool completely.
Whip the cream until it's good and thick. Slice up and mix in the fruit.
When the cake is cold, trim the edges and get rid of any ragged bits. This is called cook's perks. You can scoff them and call it cooking.
Spread the whipped cream and fruit mixture over the entire surface of the cake. Then, very carefully, using the paper to help, roll the roulade up. This is usually easiest if you roll it from a long edge, rather than a short edge.
Pop it in the fridge for at least half an hour (it will keep well without getting soggy for about 5 or 6 hours). When you want to serve it, slice it up, and lay it flat on a plate, and decorate with a little more fruit.