Actually, “Where in the World” is pretty inaccurate, I guess, since it’s actually “Where in the U.S.,” but it doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Nope. Not really…I’m sticking with “world.”
So. That picture up there? The one of the delectable chocolate cake full of pretty blackberries and cream? The cake all covered in rich chocolate ganache? That’s your first clue, folks. That’s right, your clue is food. And it’s dessert, too. You’re not surprised are you??
I didn’t think so.
Alright. Here’s how this is gonna work:
Today is the first clue. There will be another clue/giveaway later this week. There is something about this recipe that hints as to where my family is moving next. It’s one of the ingredients, actually, and if you know which one, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what region of the United States my family is headed to.
If you think you know, then leave a comment below. The first person to guess the region of the U.S. that I’m hinting at with today’s recipe wins a supply of Swerve Sweetener and fun baking gadgets!
A few weeks ago, I received a sampling of Swerve to try and I’m not gonna lie, I was skeptical. I’ve tried all the other sugar substitutes that are supposedly great in baking, and I haven’t been impressed. The flavor is never great, and they often have rise/browning issues. I decided to give this a shot, though, if for no other reason than the fact that LOOKY HOW FUN IT IS!
In my box, there was a bag of basic granulated style sugar, confectioners’ style sugar, and a package of individual packets. But there was also this great little tin box, chock full of fun, sweet baking tools, like spatulas that say “Spread the love.” How cute is that??
My first test was the all-important “Tea Test.” Every sugar substitiute I’ve ever tried has failed the Tea Test. The test is simple: make a cup of hot tea and use sugar substitute instead of regular sugar.
The verdict on Swerve?
Can you believe it?? I’ve never had anything above a D in the Tea Test.
Swerve didn’t taste exactly like sugar, but it was sweet and pleasant, and it didn’t have a gross, lingering “diet” taste. It did make the tea all cloudy, though, and it settled a bit as the tea cooled, hence the A-. Flavor-wise, I give it an A+! Woo hoo!
Since it did so well with tea, I decided to use Swerve in a baking recipe. According to Swerve, it measures and bakes just like regular sugar. We’ll see…
Today’s recipe was made practically sugar free (there are some regular chocolate chips int he recipe), with the exception of the chocolate ganache. I made all of my recipes just like normal, substituting Swerve in for granulated sugar. If you decide to make this recipe with full sugar, you’ll use the same amounts, but with regular granulated sugar.
The most important ingredient for this recipe is the blackberries, of course. I was surprised to find such gorgeous blackberries when I went to the store for these. Aren’t they beautiful? And they were a great price, too. Plump, lovely blackberries in February…who knew?
You can substitute these for other fruit, though, if you like. Red raspberries are obviously awesome, too, as well as strawberries. In addition to the fresh fruit, you’ll need seedless jam in the same flavor. Since I was trying out Swerve sweetener in my recipe, I opted for sugar free jam, and it tasted great.
For the cake portion of this recipe, all you need is cocoa powder (sifted), all-purpose flour, bitter or semi-sweet chocolate chips, vanilla extract, baking, salt, eggs (separated), sugar (or int his case Swerve sweetener), unsalted butter, and water.
I’ve never made a jelly roll or roulade before, so I was a little nervous about it, but seriously, you guys, it was super duper easy.
Before you get started mixing the cake up, in a medium bowl, combine the chocolate, water, and butter. Warm the mixture in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each time, until the chocolate is melted, glossy, and smooth. Set aside to cool.
You’re going to be beating the egg yolks and whites separately in the recipe, so be sure to clean your bowls thoroughly before mixing the egg whites. The egg whites will be slightly glossy and have stiff peaks when they’re ready.
Place the towel wrapped cake, seam side down, on a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes. If you’re going to be using cream in addition to jam, then allow the cake to cool completely before continuing.
The verdict on the Swerve sweetener? What Swerve sweetener?? This turned out so wonderful, it tastes like it has regular sugar in it! I haven’t tried the sweetener in a recipe where the sugar flavor would be more obvious, such as frosting, yet, but for this cake and simple whipped cream, the sweetener worked beautifully. The cake isn’t a high riser anyway, so I can’t give a complete verdict on rise, but it was nice and puffy, as it was supposed to be, when it came out of the oven. I also can’t comment on browning, since this is obviously a chocolate cake, but I plan to try Swerve again, thanks to this success.
The texture of the cake was light, but firm, as you would expect from a sponge cake, and the flavor was sweet and chocolaty with no strange after taste. Well done, Swerve!
I loved the combo of fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream filling in this cake. And fresh berries seem like they were created to be paired with chocolate. Plus, sugar free cake with fresh fruit is practically health food…but the good kind.
Whether you make this recipe sugar free, or with good old sugar, you’re going to be very happy. I think next time, I’m going to try it with juicy strawberries. I have a feeling that no matter what, it’ll be delicious. Enjoy!
Chocolate Blackberry Cream Roulade
Makes 1 18×12-inch cake (12-inch roll)
1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (28 grams) cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (170 grams) bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
6 eggs, separated, at room temparature
1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar or Swerve sweetener
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup blackberry jam
1 cup fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
1 recipe whipped cream (substitute equal amount of Swerve for sugar free)
1 recipe chocolate ganache
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200 C). Spray an 18×12-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray with flour and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
in a medium bowl, combine the chocolate, water, and butter. Warm the mixture in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the egg yolks at medium high speed until just combined (10 to 15 seconds).With the mixer still running, add about half of the sugar. Continue beating, scraping the bowl as needed, for 8 minutes. Stir int he vanilla, then transfer the yokk mixture to a large bowl.
Thoroughly wash and dry the mixer bowl and whisk.
In the clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until foamy (about 30 seconds). Add 1 tablesppon of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form, then gradually add the rest of the sugar. Beat until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks (about 1 minute). Do not overbeat.
Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Once combined, add about 1/4 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture, and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining egg whites until combined, then sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top. Quickly and gently fold them in until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan half way through baking time.
While the cake is baking, lay a clean, dry dish towel on a flat surface. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder over it and rub it into the towel with your hands.
Once the cake is done, overturn it onto the prepared towel, peel away the parchment, and immediately roll the short side of the cake up in the towel. Transfer the roll to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Assemble the cake: Once cooled, unroll the cake and spread the jam over the surface, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Next, spread about 1 cup of whipped cream over the top of the jam. Sprinkle with the blackberries, and re-roll the cake. Trim both ends using a serrated knife. Drizzle with ganache and garnish with remaining blackberries.
Recipe by Darla, Sponge cake recipe slightly adapted from Baking Illustrated
Want to win the best sugar substitute I’ve ever tried???
It’s easy. Just answer guess the region of the United States that today’s recipe refers to in the comment section below.
That’s it! The first correct answer wins! I can’t wait to see what your guesses are!
This giveaway is open to international readers.
**The comments will be hidden until I announce the answer, so your comment will not immediately appear.**
The winner will receive one bag of regular Swerve Sweetener, one bag of Confectioners’ Style Swerve Sweetener, and one Swerve goodie box full of fun kitchen tools and goodies. Winner will be announced Monday, March 5th, 2012.
I will contact the winner, so don’t forget to add your email in the email section!
Good luck with the giveaway!
**Swerve Sweetener did send me a free sample to try, but all opinions and observations about the product are my own. They have not provided me with incentive for this giveaway. I just like the stuff and want to share it with you!**