A naturally gluten free chocolate and cherry dessert fit for a party (and Black Forest Gateau lovers)! It freezes beautifully and only gets better for making ahead.
Start by preheating the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a tin of approximately 8 x 12 inches with baking parchment. I highly recommend lightly greasing the paper once it's in the tin to help release it later - I dip a piece of kitchen roll in rapeseed oil and lightly brush it over the parchment.
Melt the dark chocolate for the roulade in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly or give it 15-30 second zaps in the microwave. Set aside for now.
Add the whites to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand whisk) and whisk to stiff peaks - you want them snowy white and glossy. Set aside.
Whisk the yolks and caster sugar in another bowl until tripled in volume. No need to clean the whisk in between! Fold in the cocoa then scrape in all of the chocolate and fold that in too - it gets quite thick and sticky at this point but persevere!
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, one large spoonful at a time then pour into the prepared baking tin once smooth. Level it off as best you can (it's always a little lumpy - that is fine) and bake for 18-20 minutes. It will be dry to the touch, bounce back lightly when pressed and very well puffed up when cooked.
Remove from the oven and carefully remove the roulade by it's baking parchment. Sift over a little cocoa to give a light coating, place a second piece of parchment on top then in one deft move, flip it over and peel off the piece of parchment that the roulade baked in. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave until cold before filling - usually about 30 minutes (nice and fast!).
When cold, spread the cherry conserve over the roulade, not quite to the edges. Whisk the double cream with the vanilla and Chambord to soft peaks only then spread this on top of the conserve. Don't worry if it mixes in a little.
Now for the not-so-scary bit - rolling that roulade up! Turn it so a long side faces you then with confidence, start rolling by folding over the first inch thoroughly anticipating it cracks. Once started, don't stop and roll it up firmly, using the cocoa-dusted parchment it is laying on to help you. Flip over seam side down onto a serving plate and pop in the fridge for now.
Heat the cream and Chambord for the ganache in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil, then pour over the chopped milk and dark chocolate. Stir well and beat until smooth. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
Retrieve the roulade from the fridge and spoon over the ganache. If it's too runny, you can spoon over half, chill for 15 minutes then add the rest. Smooth over with a knife/palette knife or spatula and decorate as you please - I go for Dr Oetker's chocolate stars but fresh cherries, when in season would be sublime.