This week in veganising Great British Bakeoff I decided to veganise a roulade. After observing that no one on Bakeoff was making vegan bakes, and the baker that many vegans had hoped would showcase plant-based baking turned out not to make any vegan bakes, I accepted a challenge from a friend to veganise a bake from Bakeoff each week.
Last week’s Bakeoff saw the bakers compete in Dessert Week to make three desserts — a roulade, marjolaine cake and mini mousse cakes. I’m not a huge fan of mousse and the marjolaine looked amazing but complex (I’ll save that for a special occasion I think!) so I decided to veganise the roulade.
I had never had vegan roulade – or for that matter any roulade – before and imagined it to be a kind of posh rolled Twinkie. According to the internet, a roulade is made of either sponge cake or meringue rolled around filling. The filling usually seems to be some kind of cream but some people use jam. I decided to make a whipped cream type filling with aquafaba (the amazing chickpea water that can be used to replace egg whites in vegan baking), though a taste tester, who is familiar with roulades, said that usually it’s a thicker cream filling.
I decided that the best flavour option for the roulade would be a vegan roulade version of my alcoholic chocolate Kahlua milkshakes, which I’m sure would be Mary Berry-approved (every baker on Bakeoff seems to know to always include a bit of alcohol in their bakes to please Mary).
I used the very first of a series of experimental aquafaba roulade cakes I found on the Facebook group Aquafaba (aka “Vegan Meringues Hits & Misses”). Unfortunately my sponge cake went a bit wrong and I ended up with a very thin cake in a large pan, and it didn’t roll. If I did it again, I’d use Moira’s most recent roulade recipe, which she developed after much testing. It’s a bit more complex though. Either that or I’d use a smaller cake tin!
At any rate, after my sponge cake crumbled upon rolling, I did what any desperate baker would do — I decided to rename my vegan roulade. Now it’s a deconstructed chocolate kahlua vegan roulade (see what I did there?!).
The flavour is amazing at any rate, deconstructed or not. Beware there are quite a few tablespoons of Kahlua in the cream so this cake packs a little punch!
Deconstructed Chocolate Kahlua Roulade
For the cake
- Liquid from one tin of chickpeas
- Caster (superfine) sugar 1/4 cup (60 g)
- Flour 1/2 cup (65 g)
- Cocoa powder 1/4 cup (25 g)
- Vegetable oil 2 tsp
- Baking powder 1 tsp
For the kahlua whipped cream
- Liquid from 1 tin of chickpeas
- Cream of tartar 1/4 tsp
- Caster (superfine) sugar 1/2 cup (120 g)
- Kahlua 5 tbsp
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4.
- Whip the chickpea water with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until it forms soft peaks, then add the sugar and whip until stiff peaks.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and oil and fold in.
- Line a baking tin (I used a 12 x 6 tin but you might want to go smaller as my cake proved too thin) with parchment/baking paper.
- Spread the cake mix onto the parchment paper-lined tin and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top is baked and is springy to the touch.
For the whipped cream
- Put the chickpea liquid and cream of tarter into a stand mixer or large mixing bowl and whip with a mixer until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar, a little bit (about a tablespoon) at a time and whip until hard peaks form.
- Add the Kahlua one tablespoon at a time while whipping with the mixer.
To assemble the roulade
- If you’ve managed the make a cake that doesn’t fall apart when rolled, congratulations! Cool the cake on a cooling rack (with the parchment paper) for 10 minutes, then turn over onto another piece of parchment paper and peel off the parchment paper you baked it in.
- Spread the whipped cream onto the cake and roll up. Leave in the fridge for about an hour.
- If it starts to crack while you’re rolling, don’t panic. A few cracks in the cake are normal. And if there are too many, you can just scoop yours into a bowl for a deconstructed roulade, like I did. ;)
- Kahlua is a coffee-flavoured liqueur from Mexico. Substitute other coffee liqueur if you can’t find it.
- If you’re not sure what soft and stiff peaks are, there’s a handy video explaining what to look for here.