blueberry roulade

Candice Brown

Bakewell tart is the ultimate retro dessert, and this is my little twist — or should I say swirl — on that classic pud. A roulade is often my go-to bake if I’m short on time but want to rustle up something really tasty. If you’re pushed, use blueberry jam, but once you try my recipe, you won’t want to use a shop-bought filling again. Also, don’t worry about cracks when you roll — they just add character.

serves 8-10 people

for the jam
200g blueberries, fresh or frozen
100g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
50ml good-quality rum

for the roulade
4 large organic eggs
1 tsp almond extract
120g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
100g self-raising flour, sifted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
20g ground almonds
50g flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate

for the filling and icing
300ml double cream
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
100g icing sugar
Lemon juice

01 To make the jam, place the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and rum in a small pan and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then turn the heat up to medium and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. You can test to see if the jam is ready by putting a blob onto a frozen plate — if it wrinkles to the touch, it’s ready; if not, cook for a further 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.

02 Heat the oven to 170C (non-fan 190C). Grease a 30cm x 24cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment. Put the eggs, almond extract and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5-6 minutes. When you lift the whisk out, the mixture should fall back in ribbons that sit on top of the mix.

03 Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour in three batches, making sure it is all incorporated. With the last addition of flour, add the lemon zest and ground almonds. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly using a spatula. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until it’s just firm and light golden brown in colour.

04 Dust a large piece of baking paper with caster sugar, then quickly but carefully turn the sponge out onto it. Carefully peel away the baking parchment that was used to line the tin.

05 Use a blunt knife to gently score a line about 2.5cm from one of the longer edges. Fold the edge of the paper over the sponge, then roll up the cake with the paper inside. Allow the rolled cake to cool completely. If you need to toast your almonds, spread them on a small baking tray and place in the oven for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

06 To make the filling, combine the cream and vanilla bean paste in a large bowl and whisk using an electric mixer, until the cream forms soft peaks.

07 Gently unroll the cooled sponge and discard the paper. Spread over the cooled blueberry jam, then spread the cream evenly over the top, leaving about 2.5cm clear at one long edge.

08 Starting at the side with the line, gently roll over and tuck under the first 2.5cm of cake, then roll up the sponge (try not to squash out too much filling). Do not worry if the sponge cracks.

09 To make the icing, place the icing sugar in a bowl and mix in 1 tsp lemon juice at a time, until it is smooth and runny but holds a shape when drizzled. Drizzle it crossways over the roulade, then sprinkle over the cooled toasted flaked almonds to decorate.