Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Roulade
When we first put this on the menu at Delia's City Brasserie at the football club, it was one of the fastest-selling desserts ever.
Please don't worry about rolling it up – if it cracks, it's quite normal. It's lovely having the layers of meringue and filling providing a contrast to each other.
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Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven for 8 minutes, cool and grind in a food processor until very finely chopped, but do not over-process or they will turn oily.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then whisk in the caster sugar a little at a time. Using a metal spoon, fold the ground hazelnuts into the meringue and spread the mixture evenly in the prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, cool then turn out on to a piece of greaseproof (or parchment) paper, slightly larger than the roulade, on a clean surface. Gently ease away the lining paper.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Then remove the bowl from the heat and leave the chocolate to cool. Whip the cream and divide between two bowls. Reserving four tablespoons of the melted chocolate for decoration, quickly but gently fold the rest of the melted chocolate into one bowl of whipped cream until it looks evenly mixed and mousse-like. Spread this mixture evenly over the roulade to within ½ in (1 cm) of the edge. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the chocolate mixture. Now, with the meringue placed long side towards you, and using the paper to assist you, roll up the meringue to form a long log shape (don't worry about the roulade cracking as it's quite normal).
Make sure the seam is at the base of the roulade and, using a spoon, drizzle the reserved chocolate all over the top using a zigzag movement. Lift on to a long serving dish and chill in the fridge. Remove from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).
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