Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Liskeard Mess – We Should Cocoa 9

After waiting for Blogger to fulfil its promise of restoring all posts and comments lost on Thursday, I’ve decided to move on and just hope they manage it at some point. So apologies to any of you who had left comments which have now disappeared. Hopefully, that was a temporary blip that won’t be repeated.

Oh my, oh my. There is no use trying to hide it, this was meant to be a roulade – a chocolate and lime curd roulade! My attempt at rolling the sponge was an unmitigated disaster. It was my turn for a sinking heart when I found out what Chele had chosen for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge – to make a Swiss roll type cake. These are not my forte by any means. Out of the three roulades I’ve made, I have been slowly improving, but I seem to have regressed with this one: this is the worst I’ve done yet and just when I wanted to impress most too. There were a number of factors that contributed to the mess, chief amongst them being my limited patience. However, I think I undercooked the sponge a little and I just didn’t make enough of the mixture to fill the tin properly. I was trying to make a sponge that wasn’t too thick and therefore easier to roll – ha!

Luckily, where this has failed on the all important visual factor, it succeeded hugely on the even more important one of taste. Forget this as cake, it was a delicious and decadent dessert which CT and I mmmmd and ahhhd our way through with silly expressions of pleasure on our faces.

You may not want to emulate me here, but this is how I did it.

  • Melted 50g 70% dark chocolate over a bowl of hot water with 1 tbsp of lime juice.
  • Removed from the heat and left to cool.
  • Beat 2 duck egg yolks with 60g caster sugar until the mixture was pale, thick and custard like.
  • Sifted in 1/2 tsp ground ginger and stirred carefully.
  • Stirred in the melted chocolate – also carefully.
  • Whisked the 2 duck egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
  • Folded in 1/3 at a time.
  • Spread onto a 20cm x 29cm Swiss roll tin lined with baking paper and baked for 10 mins at 180C (2 minutes more would have given a firmer sponge I reckon).
  • Removed from oven and immediately turned onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with caster sugar.
  • Rolled this up whilst hot and left to cool (the theory being this would form it into some sort of roll shape that would lesson the cracking when rolled later).
  • Mixed 125g of mascarpone with 2 tbsp of lime & ginger curd.
  • Unrolled baking paper to find my sponge was in bits – oh b*****.
  • Too disheartened to make the attempt again, I had a quick change of plan.
  • Divided the bits up into 4 and layered them with the mascarpone filling to form a vague likeness to a roulade.

Next time I make a flourless sponge to fit this tin, I will use 3 eggs, 75g of chocolate and 80-90g sugar.

The cake was rich and squidgy and tasted divine. The creaminess of the mascarpone filling and the tartness of the lime were like yin and yang – creating a heavenly harmony and the ginger formed a subtle backdrop to the main event.

This creation was so delicious, I’ve decided to name it after my home town, Liskeard. Eton Mess is certainly yummy but why shouldn’t a modest market town in Cornwall have its very own culinary delight? Next time I’ll serve it in a glass – it might look better that way. After an unpromising start, I feel I’ve snatched a worthy victory from the jaws of disaster.


  1. Suelle

    15th May 2011 at 8:25 am

    While it’s a shame that you didn’t succeed in the We Should Cocoa Challenge, it sounds as though you’ve made a delicious dessert with wonderful flavour combinations.

  2. MissCakeBaker

    15th May 2011 at 8:28 am

    I bet it still tastes amazing. I’ve yet to do mine and have to say I don’t find them easy either.

  3. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    15th May 2011 at 9:06 am

    looks bloody divine if you ask me… my mum’s trick with roulade rolling is to leave the roulade in the tin (but upside down) over night so that the moistness stays within the cake… yet to see if this actually works for myself as I have yet to make my WSC challenge… still searching for an ingredient I doubt i’ll find locally!


  4. At Anna's kitchen table

    15th May 2011 at 9:13 am

    Isn’t that always the way ?! Lol. When we want to impress the most things tend to go wrong! Sods law.
    Bet the roulade still tasted divine though.

  5. Kath

    15th May 2011 at 9:19 am

    Well I think it looks absolutely delicious and very homemade ;). The layering idea was a stroke of genius, that lost shot looks great. I want a slice right now.

  6. C

    15th May 2011 at 9:36 am

    Looks fab to me – and obviously the most important thing is that it’s delicious!

    Rolling the sponge is my fear in this challenge!

  7. oxslip

    15th May 2011 at 10:17 am

    An amalgamated comment, sorry it’s a bit long
    Firstly blogger disaster, hope you didn’t lose too much, it was annoying but trying to appreciate how much I take for granted that it will all work smoothly without any input from me every other day
    Second what a great cake, you are too honest though. If you’d shown the second picture and called it a layer cake noone would have known about the rolling up
    Thirdly the geese were fine, we had one that ate from our hands, reared from a chick, name of Bill as he had a deformed beak. But later we kept some a bit fierce and unaccustomed to people on purpose so that if people came in the top end of the field they would make noise – guard geese really. You should try ducks and see if you like them, geese are v similar but less cute as babies

  8. Foodycat

    15th May 2011 at 10:21 am

    I know this is a bit rude, but I do LOVE seeing other people’s failures! It makes me feel better about my own.

  9. Aveen

    15th May 2011 at 10:23 am

    I think it still looks extremely tasty! I find that if you put a damp tea towel over the baking tray when it comes out of the oven for a few minutes before rolling it, it’s a lot easier to roll without cracking.

    I made a MASSIVE chocolate roulade at work on Friday and was going to take photos of it for this month’s We Should Cocoa, but it got taken out for customers and eaten up before I had a chance 🙁 Will have to do another one at home and eat it myself. Oh the hardship.

  10. Johanna GGG

    15th May 2011 at 10:49 am

    blogger has been frustrating lately but glad you got more joy from your cake! I love the name too

  11. Gloria

    15th May 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I love this look amazing and delicious!!! gloria

  12. mangocheeks

    15th May 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Making the roulade or swiss roll certainly has challenged a few of us (me too), but despite the complications we’ve encountered the taste has certainly made up for it.

    I hope blogger restores your previous post, problems are obviously still on going.

  13. The Caked Crusader

    15th May 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Doesn’t matter that it didn’t roll – I would rather something tasted heavenly and looked rather more earthbound than the other way round!

  14. Choclette

    15th May 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you Suelle. II think I need hour patience and dedication.

    MCB – thank you and you’re right, it tasted great.

    Dom – sounds intriguing. Looking forward to find out your secret ingredient. As for rolling, I have more to tell on that subject, but it can wait for the appropriate post

    Anna – sod’s law indeed, but thanks for your faith in the taste.

    Kath – ha ha, the layering would have been fine, if there were pieces big enough to do it properly. Thank you for your encouragement – always appreciated 🙂

    C – Thank you and Good Luck with yours.

    Oxslip – good point about taking things for granted. We’re actually amazingly lucky to have this free resource at our fingertips. I did make a back-up this morning though. Trouble was the challenge was to do a roulade, so not sure I could have got away with a layer cake! Poor old Bill, that must have been tough for him. Would love to have ducks, but we have nowhere to keep them. One day, we might be lucky enough to get a home with a bit of land or at least a large garden.

    Foodycat – thank you so much for your sympathy 😉

    Aveen – thanks for your tip. Yes agree, it’s a hard life having to make cake 😉 Look forward to seeing yours and don’t forget the camera.

    Johanna – you know things are bad if there is no joy in cake.

    Gloria – thank you, you are far too kind.

    MangoCheeks – it is really tricky this rolling business, but yours looks fabulous. Am thinking I’m just going to have to rewrite the post I lost 🙁

    CC – thank you, thank you, thank you. When it comes to cake, you know best 🙂

  15. Chele

    15th May 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for having a go! I have to admit I am slightly bricking it now, I’ve never made a roulade and only bought the tin yesterday, I think the time for some practice runs has pretty much disappared so I’ll have to blog my first attempt when I make it. Love the flavour combo of this one though, great idea and at the end of the day what does it matter what it looks like? So long as it tastes fantastic thats the main thing ;0)

  16. The KitchenMaid

    15th May 2011 at 7:00 pm

    And here was I thinking that a Liskeard Mess was what blogger has been recently! This looks fabulous – what are a few cracks between friends? Am yet to get on a roll with my entry, thanks for the reminder!

  17. Michelle Peters - Jones

    15th May 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I haven’t started on mine either – terrified tbh. Yours does look moist and tasty though, betcha it was good.

  18. cityhippyfarmgirl

    16th May 2011 at 4:04 am

    mascarpone AND curd? match made in heaven surely!
    I’ve only ever attempted a roll once, and that was 18 years ago. Maybe I need to revisit…

  19. Adie Andrews

    16th May 2011 at 10:35 am

    This really made my day 🙂 I adore chocolate and this looks like the perfect dessert for me. I will definitely try it 😉

  20. Jill@MadAboutMacarons

    16th May 2011 at 11:15 am

    Well, congratulations on naming your cake! It sounds absolutely yummy. You’re on a roll (sorry!) 🙂

  21. Flourvonsponge

    16th May 2011 at 12:34 pm

    You’re so right, the look should be secondary to how it tastes. I think the flavour combination is genius and I’m going to give this a go soon.
    THis month is my first month for weshouldcocoa. If you guys have time, please do pop over to my blog for a gander.

  22. Greedyrosie

    16th May 2011 at 2:33 pm

    You might not think it looks great – but it looks great! You can sort of tell, that it might have fallen apart a bit that it will still taste amazing. Lovely filling combination too.

    You’re a real roll model for me (sorry).

  23. LF

    16th May 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for your comment re.sourdough! It’s going to be a case of trying and trying until it’s right I reckon.

    How clever of your to add your lime and ginger curd to the swiss roll. Never mind presentation! lol I’ve always been a bit rustic when it comes to baking and I dont think it’s likely to hope it’ll change. I’m sure the flavour was amazing! I didnt get time to make my own lemon curd on the weekend, but will try in the future.

  24. Janice

    16th May 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your ‘not quite right’ baking, it is always reassuring to know that even the most accomplished baker can have an off day! Taste is all though, so I’m glad it was yummy.

  25. Ananda Rajashekar

    16th May 2011 at 7:12 pm

    oh i always fear rolling the cake, so i never dare do it…congrats on trying never mind how it looks…glad it tasted good!

  26. Choclette

    16th May 2011 at 7:33 pm

    KitchenMaid – ha ha, you gave me a good laugh there – a mess indeed. Cracks was being might generous. Good luck with yours and get rollin.

    Chele – that’s very good of you, you always come out with such amazing looking cakes. I’m sure your roll will be fantastic. But just in case it’s not, remember what you just said here 😉

    Jill – thank you. Trouble was I wasn’t on a roll at all 🙁

    Flourvonsponge – thank you for being kind. I’m quite envious of your expert rolling and delicious looking roulade.

    LF – getting a good sourdough will be worth all the effort in the end. Good old rusticity – sort of fits me better than elegance!

    GreedRosie – thank you. It’s great that you are all being so supportive and my lack of perfectionism doesn’t seem to be such a big deal – just as well really 😉

    Janice – accomplished baker? Now that has really cheered me up 😉

    Ananda – give it a try. The good news is that if you make a mess, just turn it into something else. You don’t have to tell the world like I did.

  27. Choclette

    16th May 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Michelle – sorry missed you in the last round. I know you will do a terrific job – looking forward to seeing it.

    CityHippy – missed you out for some reason too. Sorry about that. I’ve sort of got my posts out of sequence, so I haven’t yet published the first thing I made with lime curd and mascarpone, but you get the credit for the use of mascarpone. It’s a wonderful combination.

  28. kimmie

    17th May 2011 at 2:43 am

    Some of my messiest dishes are also the tastiest! Sorry it didn’t turn out as planned, but I’d still love to dig my fork into your creation! =)

  29. Choclette

    17th May 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Kimmie – thank you for visiting and for your reassuring comment.

  30. Celia

    18th May 2011 at 9:07 am

    Girlfriend, that looks sooooo yummy! I’d like a slice for dinner right now – it’s getting cold here in Sydney, and I feel a need for chocolate and cream!!

  31. Choclette

    19th May 2011 at 5:42 am

    Celia – thank you. It’s always hard to imagine that reverse of seasons. It’s very much spring here and still quite cold, so warming food is still much appreciated. Having said that, I could manage chocolate and cream at any time of the year with no trouble at all :-0

  32. Baking Addict

    31st May 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I like the sound of Liskeard mess. I’ve just come back from Cornwall but unfortunately didn’t make it down to Liskeard. I’m glad the roulade tasted good which is what matters most. The slice in the 2nd photo looks great, you wouldnt have known you have trouble rolling it.

  33. Maya Russell

    25th February 2013 at 11:01 am

    Looks squigy and divine!

  34. Tracy K Nixon

    7th August 2013 at 3:28 am

    This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Maya Russell

    10th August 2013 at 5:58 am

    I would love to go to Liskeard. Cornwall is lovely. Thanks for your recipe & pics.

  36. Pamela Lake

    28th January 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I can’t understand why you used duck eggs for this. Duck eggs have a very strong flavour. Surely chicken eggs would have been better?

    • Choclette

      28th January 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Duck eggs are fabulous for baking Pamela and you really can’t taste the difference. Check out my post on duck eggs – /2009/07/duck-eggs/


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