Cooking with Facts


Other than looking like an un-sprinkled Cosmic Brownie by the distinguished Little Debbie™, my recipe for this week, a chocolate cake roll with praline filling, was not the most successful. Possibly, and probably mainly, because I allowed my youngest sibling and brother to help me in the kitchen. If it were not for him using the cake roll, that was rolled up in a towel for the cooling process, as an armrest, I’m certain it would have turned out less cracked, less flattened, and overall better looking in appearance. I am also partly to blame for it not tasting the best. The cake was too spongy and reminded me of how an actual sponge would taste; bland, airy, and cardboard-like with a hint of over processed cocoa.

‘Blame the baker, not the recipe,’ that I know. But, there is one thing I will place on the recipe itself; the amount of filling that gets made with the required measurements on the list of the ingredients is not enough to spread over the cake and get a beautiful swirl in the middle. I recommend doubling, or even tripling the recipe for the filling as to get a good amount.

However, the reason I chose this failure of a desert in the first place was because all week I had been re-watching episodes of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. In one of the installments, a cake with similar style to this one at was shown and being baked, so I immediately felt the need to try my hand at this slightly more advanced dessert.

I will probably retry making this recipe in the days to come; and, hopefully, for anyone that does try to make this sweet and has a sibling or younger person help with the baking, that mini chef does not squish the cake roll ‘accidentally.’

Recipe ( original found at  )

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling

MAKES: 10 servings



  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract




  • Line a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored.
  • Beat in the chocolate, water and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; fold into chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 375° for 10-13 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Invert cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, in a small heavy skillet, cook almonds over medium heat until almost toasted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until sugar is melted and golden brown. Spread on foil to cool. Crush finely. In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form; fold in crushed praline pieces.
  • Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within 1/2 of edges. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a serving platter.
  • For frosting, melt butter and chocolate in a microwave; stir until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture; beat until smooth. Spread over cake roll. Yield: 10 servings.


Originally published as Chocolate Cake Roll with Praline Filling in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2013, p126