Text read by Mary Peters


6 large eggs, separated
150g soft brown sugar
50g cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp caster sugar

For the filling:
225ml double cream
250g chestnut puree
1 tbsp brandy (optional)

For the icing:

285ml double cream
150g good quality milk chocolate, broken into pieces
100g dark chocolate
Pinch of sea salt


Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 30x20cm swiss roll tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Put the egg yolks in a food mixer and whisk for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over the soft brown sugar, breaking up any lumps, and whisk until you have a thick mixture. Meanwhile, sift together the cocoa powder and seasoning, then whisk them into the egg yolk mixture.

In a clean bowl, whip up the egg whites to soft peaks, then fold them into the rest of the mixture. Pour this into the tin, spread out evenly, and bake for about 30 minutes until cooked and bouncy. Put a clean tea towel on a cooling rack and top with a similarly sized piece of greaseproof paper. Sprinkle this with caster sugar.

When the roll is cooked, run a knife around the edges, then shake it out on to the greaseproof paper. Peel off the lining paper, and then, using the tea towel to help, roll it up tightly and leave to cool on the rack.

Whip the cream to soft peaks, and then fold in the chestnut puree (if it isn’t already sweetened, you may wish to add a little sugar) and brandy. Make the ganache by heating the cream to a bare simmer, then take off the heat and add the chocolate pieces and salt. Leave for a minute or so, then stir to a smooth paste, and allow to cool to room temperature.

When the roll is barely warm, unroll it on a board, remove the paper, and spread with the chestnut cream. Roll up again, and place on the serving plate. Spread with the ganache, and, as it cools, use the tines of a fork to create a bark effect – you can add more ganache for a thicker coating once the first layer has cooled if you like. Dust with icing sugar for a snowy effect just before serving.

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