Roulades might have a reputation for being a bit tricky but really they are quickly and easily made from just a few ingredients. The key is to make sure you beat enough air into the eggs and sugar before adding whatever type of flour you are using, or chocolate. Chocolate roulades are great for the winter months, while fruit roulades just say summer to me. I came across this recipe in a very old desserts recipe book that I have: I often use ground almonds for roulades but hadn’t actually thought about adding desiccated coconut instead. It gives it a luscious tropical taste, and goes perfectly with the lemon and strawberries. Although I misread the recipe when I made it initially and used large eggs instead of medium, and added the lemon juice to the roulade, instead of the strawberries(!). Not sure what happened there but I wondered why it was taking so long to cook in the centre… 3 large eggs or four medium will give the proper result and adding the lemon juice to the roulade mixture just gives it so much more of a tangy lemony taste. You could always use lime juice instead of lemon, as coconut and lime are one of the those perfect combinations. As the cliché has it, summer on a plate. A great dish to take to a barbecue if you’ve offered to bring a dessert.
3 large eggs
125g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
50g desiccated coconut
Zest and juice of one lemon
300ml double cream
Punnet of strawberries
Set the oven to 190°C.
Grease and line a 9″x13″ Swiss roll tin.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until the mixture is very thick and frothy. The whisk should leave a trail:
Mix in the lemon zest, juice and desiccated coconut.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until firm.
Turn the roulade out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper that has been sprinkled with caster sugar.
Leave it upside down, but don’t remove the greaseproof paper. Just cover the roulade with a damp tea towel and leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream and prepare your strawberries.
Once it is completely cool, remove the tea towel and greaseproof paper and trim the edge if necessary (mine came off with the greaseproof paper).
Cover the roulade with a layer of cream, saving some for decoration, and a layer of strawberries:
Roll up carefully, using the greaseproof paper to help you.
Decorate with the leftover cream and strawberries and chill it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
Summer in a dessert.