• No results...

We Value Your Privacy

By remaining on this site, you consent to the use of cookies for third-party services such as YouTube embeds and affiliate marketing. If you do not consent, please navigate away from this site.

Read more about how cookies are used on this site

Prue's Chocolate Mini-Rolls

March 9, 2023

Bird's eye of 3 chocolate mini rolls on a plate, a smaller plate with a cut open mini roll, and a glass of milk on a tablecloth with a pink rose design.

* Products linked below may be affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you place an order through them (at no cost to you). For more, see our Affiliate Disclosure.

Welcome to Katrina’s Great British Baking Project, aka Bake Along with Bake Off! If you haven’t checked out my post about the hows and whys of this project, please head over there and give it a quick peruse. (TL, DR: I am baking the recipes from Bake Off that sound the best to me for fun, deliciousness, and learning!) This is my second bake of this project, and my first ever time making a rolled cake!

I am starting with the oldest episode I have access to here in the US, which is Collection 5, Episode 1: Cake Week. I don't have a ton of cake experience, so I will be learning a whole bunch this week! This is The Technical challenge, which is Prue's recipe for 12 "Chocolate Mini-Rolls". I decided just to make 6 since I already had a whole apple cake in my fridge. (Check out that post HERE!)

Close up of dark chocolate covered mini cake rolls with white chocolate drizzled diagonally.

Rules of The Challenge

The Technical challenges provide the bakers with a *simplified* recipe so they must rely on their instinct and expertise to properly execute the bake. For this challenge, the contestants had 2 hours to complete their mini-rolls. The rolls consist of:

  • chocolate sponge
  • peppermint buttercream frosting filling
  • milk and dark chocolate coating
  • white chocolate drizzle

Words of Wisdom from Prue Leith

The Technical bakes are all recipes created by the judges, and they alternate between Prue and Paul each episode. Whichever judge's recipe is being baked imparts some knowledge onto the bakers before they embark upon their baking journey. This is what Prue had to say about these mini-rolls:

Well, all I can say is it's a bit FIDDLY.

So yeah. That's what I had to work with.

Research and Recipe Choice

While the bakers on the show have a pared down version of the recipe, I will be using full, actual recipes. Luckily for me, the full version of Prue's actual recipe is on the show's official website! I also watched Erin McDowell's fantastic rolls and roulades episode of Bake It Up A Notch on Food52's Youtube channel for more insight on how to do a rolled cake like this properly. 

Making This Bake

The Cake

The cake in Prue's recipe is a sponge that has no chemical leavener, so all of the rise comes from air whipped into egg whites. I have heard that eggs separate better when they are fridge cold, and whip up better when they are room temp, so I separated them right away and let them sit while I get everything else started.

Separating an egg yolk from white into a green bowl.

The recipe starts by making a cocoa paste. It calls for a tiny amount of melted butter, so I got that going next. With the butter melting, I started weighing out my cocoa powder, vanilla, and boiling water, and then added the melted butter. Then I stirred the paste together and set it aside.

A bowl of cocoa paste.

The next step is to bring the yolks to the ribbon stage by beating them with sugar. The ribbon stage is when when the yolks almost triple in volume, become noticeably paler in color, and trail into the bowl like a ribbon piling in top of itself. I think it is one of the most beautiful and underrated transformations that happens in baking. Once I had ribbons, I added in the chocolate paste and mixed until it looked like brownie batter. YUM!

Eggs and sugar at the ribbon stage.
A hand mixer stirring what looks like brownie batter.

The chocolatey yolks went to the side, and it was time to start whipping the egg whites into meringue in a super clean bowl. I pulled out Art Vandelay (my stand mixer!), and started mixing on low speed just until they got a bit bubbly, and then turned up the speed to medium. Once they started to get foamy on top, I started gradually tipping in the rest of the sugar. The eggs continued to beat until they were medium/stiff peaks.

Meringue on a stand mixer's whisk showing medium peaks.

Then I mixed the whites into the yolks in four additions. The first addition I mixed in really well to get the textures to meld together, which is called tempering. I mixed the next three additions much more gently by folding the chocolatey mixture from the bottom of the bowl onto the egg whites. After the last addition I made sure to really scrape down to the bottom of the bowl and kinda push apart any lumps of egg white that weren’t yet mixed in.

Folding meringue into the chocolate batter.

Then I poured the batter onto a very buttery quarter sheet pan, and popped it in the oven. While it baked, I did a very Bake Off thing of staring into the oven and willing my cake to bake nicely. Unfortunately, it wasn't really baking very nicely, and was super uneven - much thicker on the left than on the right! Erin from Food52 said that if that happens, it will even out some if it gets rolled while it's still warm, so I crossed my fingers for this outcome.

When the cake was just starting to pull away at the edges of the pan, I took it out of the oven and went to unmold it. Here is where things started to unravel! Even though I buttered the sh*t out of my pan, and used a silicone mat, the cake stuck like crazy. I wanted to roll it while it was still warm, so I tried to work quickly, using a tiny offset spatula to carve the cake off of the silicone mat.

A thin layer of chocolate cake sits on a worktop.

Once I had liberated the cake from the mat, I dusted it with a bit of powdered sugar, and rolled it up according to the recipe - one short end to the center and then the other short end to the center. I let it cool completely while I made the frosting.

Two hands rolling a thin chocolate cake into a log.

The Frosting

This frosting is an American style buttercream which is super easy and super sugary. It’s just butter, powdered sugar, and flavoring, in this case - the flavoring is peppermint extract. Look how creamy and lovely it is! And it only took like two or three minutes to do.

White frosting in a metal bowl.

I set it aside and unrolled my cake, which was hardly more than a bunch of crumbs at this point. This made it really tricky to spread out the frosting. I ended up using my fingers. I think with a thicker and more well-baked cake that wasn’t already mangled from removing it form the pan, this step would have been a breeze. Once I got it mostly spread out, I tried to roll it back up. In line with the rest of my luck so far, the underside had then stuck to the parchment paper, so I had to wriggle it loose with a fish spatula. I wrapped it back up and popped it in the freezer while I made the chocolate coating.

Two hands spreading white frosting onto a thin chocolate cake.
Slicing the rolled rolls into portions.

The Chocolate Coating

This recipe has three types of chocolate in the coating. The dark and milk chocolate gets melted together for enrobing the rolls, and the white chocolate is used for drizzling on top.

Three jars each containing dark, milk, or white chocolate chips.

While the dark and milk chocolates were melting, I cut apart the roll into 6 mini rolls, and YES I used a ruler so they are as exact as I could make them. I put them back in the freezer and became a human cat tree for Pete.

Katrina with brown tabby Pete on her shoulders.

Once the chocolate was melted, I tried a few methods of coating the rolls. A small spoon ended up working the best. I think I would have had a much better time pouring the chocolate over the rolls, but I would have needed much more than I had! I used up every last bit of chocolate that I melted.

Covering the chocolate mini-rolls in melted chocolate.

Since I felt I was low on the amount of chocolate coating, I decided to do a little more white chocolate than the recipe called for, so I got that melted and into a large ziplock bag. I twisted the top, and then cut off a very tiny amount of the corner of the bag and started drizzling. I should have stopped sooner because it looked much nicer, but I kept drizzling because I melted extra chocolate and realized I didn’t want to waste it.

Drizzling the coated mini-rolls in white chocolate.

And there they are! The white chocolate tried to cover up the lumpiness, but they are still a bit clunky. After another quick trip to the freezer to solidify the white chocolate, it was time to cut one open see how successfully I spiraled the cake. Not terrible for a first attempt, but boy do I have a long way to go!

A close up of a sliced mini-roll.

The Official Rating

Paul’s handshakes are only bestowed upon the bakers when they have baked something really exceptional.

My rating for how likely I am to bake this recipe again is: 2/10 handshakes


It was soooo sweet! I wish there was something present flavor wise to break up all the sugaryness.

My rating for my execution of this bake is: 4/10 handshakes


My cake fell apart, my chocolate coating was lumpy, and I used way too much white chocolate drizzle. The frosting came out good though!

To Sum Up

Baking blunders aside, I really wasn't totally in love with these as a concept. Something about the balance of flavors was off for my taste, and the sweetness over just so overpowering. I think possibly it could have been saved for me with a pinch of salt in the batter and the icing, but I probably won't make these again to find out. Sorry Prue!

Head to the links below for the other two bakes from Collection 5, Episode 1 - Cake Week!

I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day and thank you so much for being here!

💖, Katrina



  • No comments yet 💅🏼

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *