I like to walk and have done several 26 mile walks now – with another one coming up at the end of July – but I’m not sure how I would feel about 100 kilometres, which is about 62 miles. I made this roulade for my friend Denise’s barbecue that she had planned to thank those who had supported her during her training for a 100 kilometre non-stop charity hike through the Brecon Beacons mountain range in Wales: with donations and walking with her to relieve some of the boredom as walking for 8, 10 or 12 hours straight just for the sake of it can get a bit lonely! The organisers expect it to take about 28 hours and Denise couldn’t possibly have been any better prepared. And then the week before the walk she twisted her ankle – on a kerb – and despite all the positive thinking in the world finally had to admit that walking 100 kilometres on a fractured foot was not an option. Devastated would be an understatement.
Denise still held her barbecue, hobbling around in her boot, crutches abandoned for the evening. Karyn, who also went on some of the training walks, and I were forced to put talk of the three of us signing up for the 100km next year down to the Pimms Prosecco cocktails talking and made a swift exit in the hope Denise would have forgotten in the morning. Something tells me she won’t! But if you want an idea of the scale of the walk, it takes in these mountains:
I made this roulade for the barbecue using a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website that I slightly amended. The original version has a teaspoon of almond extract in it which I didn’t use as I didn’t want an obvious almond taste. I also used whole almonds with the skins on and ground them myself and I like the slightly speckled effect this gives the roulade. Instead of toasting flaked almonds (mainly because the packet in the cupboard had expired a year ago) I roughly chopped a few whole almonds for the decoration and would do that again. I made the lemon curd for the filling (recipe below) and had some leftover but you can also use store-bought.
4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
50g ground almonds
300ml double cream
About 6 tablespoons lemon curd (recipe below)
Whole or flaked almonds to decorate
Set the oven to 190°C and grease and line a Swiss roll tin (around 23 x 30cm) with greaseproof paper, or line with baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage. Slowly add the sugar, while whisking. The meringue should be stiff and glossy.
Add the vinegar and fold in the ground almonds. Pour into the prepared tin
Gently smooth with a palette knife.
Bake for around 25-35 minutes until the top is golden and feels firm.
Remove from the oven and cover with baking parchment and a damp tea towel. Leave to cool completely.
For the filling:
Whip the cream until stiff.
I made my lemon curd with 200g sugar, 100g butter, the zest of a lemon, 125ml lemon juice and 2 eggs plus one yolk. Put the sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until the butter has melted and then add the lightly whisked eggs and yolk. Stir the mixture and allow it to thicken: it should take about 10 minutes and when it is ready it will coat the back of the spoon. Allow to cool completely.
Mix about six tablespoons of lemon curd into the whipped cream: add more if you want a sharper, more lemony taste or add some sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
Turn the roulade out onto a large sheet of baking parchment that has been sprinkled with icing or caster sugar and carefully peel off the lining paper.
Spread the cream over the roulade, reserving some for decoration.
Roll the roulade up carefully, using the paper to help you.
Decorate the top with cream mixture and add some toasted flaked almonds, or chopped whole almonds. Drizzle some lemon curd over the top.
Slice and serve!