Sometimes accidents are happy accidents.
And such was the case when I burnt the sugar for my Italian Meringue buttercream filling for my Chocolate Roulade.
As the sugar slowly climbed to temperature I turned my attention away for a mere moment to begin beating the egg white, and when I turned back the sugar had gone beyond temperature and turned golden and a lovely aroma of caramelised sugar surrounded me. Instead of throwing the sugar out and starting again, I thought I’d try a burnt sugar buttercream and see how it turned out. And it was delicious!
While I’d originally intended to fill my chocolate roulade, or swiss roll, with a chocolate Italian meringue buttercream, I think the burnt sugar version was better. The burnt sugar is a lovely contrast to the light and fluffy chocolate cake that surrounds.
- 3 large eggs
- 80g (3oz) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp milk
- 60g (1/2 cup) plain (all purpose) flour
- 15g (2 tbs) cocoa, plus extra for dusting
- pinch of salt
- BURNT SUGAR ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
- 60g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 extra large egg white
- 60g (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
- Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and grease and line a 22cm x 33cm (9 x 13 inch) swiss roll tin with baking paper.
- Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until the mixture is extremely pale and creamy, around 5 minutes.
- Add the oil and milk and gently fold through with a metal spoon or spatula. Sift in the flour, cocoa and salt and fold through gently, being careful not to knock too much air out of the whisked eggs.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tilt to distribute evenly. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk back a little from the sides and springs back when touched.
- While the cake is in the oven dust baking paper with cocoa and when the cake is done remove from the oven and immediately turn out onto the cocoa dusted baking paper. Remove the baking paper from the back of the cake and immediately, beginning at the narrow end of the cake, roll into a tight roll. Place on a wire cooling rack, seam side down, to cool completely.
- To make the Italian buttercream place the sugar, golden syrup and water in a saucepan and mix until well combined. Use a pastry brush to dislodge any stray grains of sugar that have stuck to the side of the saucepan before placing over a high heat. Bring to a rapid boil and add a candy thermometer. Do not stir! Cook until the mixture reaches 160 celsius (320 Fahrenheit) and remove from the heat.
- Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk to soft peaks. With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl, being careful not to touch the whisk, and continue whisking until the mixture cools, around 5 to 10 minutes. Add the butter, one third at a time, and whip until fully incorporated.
- Carefully unroll the cake and spread the buttercream over the chocolate roulade and re-roll. Lightly dust with extra cocoa.