Let’s talk French. After all, Andrea is living up her first week in her new home of Bordeaux, France, so I think the occasion calls for it!
We’ve decided to raise our children with solely French in the home. But the trick is Teya, 6 yrs old, wasn’t introduced to intense French until Eden was born. Eden, on the other hand, has heard only French since the day she was born. I’ve been asked a lot WHY?! Why take it on when it’s not my mother tongue, when Teya would be starting from ground zero at 4 years old, when it’s “not useful in America” (as so many people have told me), and when it takes so much darned effort all day long???
Let’s start with the number one reason: I’m passionate about language. If granted three wishes, the first would be fluency in every language of the world. Reason enough. But I also believe it will attribute positively to her life in countless ways and open doors to learning other languages easily down the road when she needs to. Plus… we don’t exactly plan on living in America forever. We’ve got our sights set on several dream countries Teya was young enough when she began that she’s been steadily transitioning and if she stays on this path, she’ll be fluent in no time. So to me it’s all worth it, it’s fun, keeps me from dumb-afying (the term I use when I feel like I’m not using my brain and getting “stupider“) and beneficial ten-fold for the kids.
Therefor, as a shout out to Andrea, a reflection of our every day life at home, and to finish up the last bowl of blackberries we harvested in the woods here… we’re making a Roulade!
Inspiration came from the masterpiece called Sated. I’ve been devouring this magazine since it came off the press, going over the pages again and again and it’s high time I make a recipe it offeres. Have you heard of Sated magazine? It’s a specialty mag that will print only a few times each year, each issue is dedicated to one ingredient, and it’s pure art. There are no ads either. Sigh. Sated’s first issue was just released earlier this year, and because they are geniuses, the ingredient they dedicated it to was DARK CHOCOLATE. It’s page after page after page of history, info, chemistry, luxury, savory, sweet, and eye pleasing photography and layouts.
(Nope, not being paid to say this. They have no idea I exist…. I just have to share something that was enjoyed so much.) That aside, picking which recipe to start with was the most agonizing part of the deal! Luckily this time I had the blackberries to give me that kick-start.
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate (61% recommended)
- 6 large eggs, separated
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 4 ounces blackberries
- powder sugar to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- zest from one lemon
- For Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease an 11×17 in jelly roll pan, then line it with parchment paper. Leave the parchment paper a little longer than pan to make it easier for lifting out later.
- Melt the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl placed on top of a saucepan of boiling water. When melted remove from heat.
- In your mixer, add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until eggs are thick and pale. Gradually add the melted chocolate while beating on low, followed by the vanilla and cocoa powder.
- In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter just until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the jelly roll pan and spread evenly. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cake springs back to a soft touch. Remove from oven, check the edges aren’t stuck to the pan, place a new piece of parchment paper on top of the cake, followed by a tea towel. Carefully flip the pan over, peel off the paper that was originally under the cake, and now using the new paper and tea towel, carefully roll up the cake. Let it cool rolled like this.
- While the cake cools, make the filling: Press the berries in a processor, or be old school and use your hands and a spoon, until you have basically a liquid. Strain out the seeds the best you can.
- Place the heavy cream in a mixing bowl and whip with whisk attachment until soft peaks stage. Add in the powder sugar one tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- NOW lets assemble: carefully unroll the cake. First spread on the whipped cream, then drizzle on the blackberry coulis, gently swirl together with a butter knife, and lastly grate on top some fresh lemon zest. Now re-roll the cake, no longer using the tea towel, and using the parchment paper as an aid (but not actually rolling it into the cake:)
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the cake settle. FINISHED!
My eager audience, every time.
Since I’m unable to taste test the final result, I had the bodies at hand to the tasting for me.