Food Editor's Notes:
Joan Nathan is just about the most well known Jewish cook in America. This is one of her most popular recipes, a cake designed for Passover, but delicious enough to serve year-round. It is sweet and chocolatey, but light and elegant. Even if you serve multiple desserts at your seder, everyone will want a slice of this one.
7 ounces dark, good-quality semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons strong coffee
7 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 x 15 jellyroll pan. Cover with greased wax paper.
2. Melt chocolate and coffee over hot water in a double boiler and stir until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly.
3. Beat the egg yolks with ½ cup sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.
4. Add the chocolate and coffee to the yolks.
5. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add ¼ cup sugar, beating gradually until stiff peaks form.
6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Place batter in pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the roll is firm.
7. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Than place a damp towel over the roll and cool completely at room temperature (this prevents the roll from drying out). Store in a cool place.
8. When ready to use (you can make the mocha filling in advance), remove the towel from the roll and sprinkle with cocoa. Place an ungreased sheet of wax paper over the roll and turn the roll upside down. Remove the pan and the first piece of wax paper.
9. Spread the whipped cream or mocha filling over the flattened cake and roll up very carefully and quickly. Store in refrigerator.
Ingredients for Mocha Cream Filling (see Note below)
9 tablespoons pareve margarine
3/4 cup very fine sugar
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons strong coffee
Shaved chocolate for garnish
1. Cream the margarine and sugar very well.
2. Melt the chocolate in coffee in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Add to the margarine mixture and blend well. Add the eggs and continue beating until very smooth and light. Set aside in a cool place.
3. Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and then shaved chocolate. Since the chocolate roll usually cracks a bit in rolling, the decoration will cover this.
Food Editor's Note:
If you prefer to use a pareve filling without eggs, try 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine, 1/2 cup cocoa, 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar, and 2-4 tablespoons warm water, coffee, or cola. There is a Passover confectioners’ sugar available in markets, which is made with potato starch instead of cornstarch.
Ingredients for Whipped Cream Filling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla or rum
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
Shaved chocolate for garnish
1. Just before serving, whip the cream with the vanilla or rum and confectioners’ sugar.
2. You may wish to reserve some of the whipped cream and decorate the outside of the cake, using a pastry bag or a spatula. Sprinkle the top with shaved chocolate.
Joan Nathan is the author of many Jewish cookbooks, including The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen, The Jewish Holiday Baker, Jewish Cooking in America, and her newest book, The Foods of Modern Israel (Alfred A. Knopf).