Week One Hundred & Eighteen – Mary Berry’s Death By Chocolate Cake & Swiss Roll

Week 118 and when I delved into Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible this week I was looking for appropriate birthday cake for my other mum and one of my chief tasters. Death by Chocolate definitely seemed to fit the bill!


This is a seriously chocolatey cake and the first step Mary asks you to do is grease and line 2 sandwich tins. The sponge mix has a lot of cocoa powder in it as well as golden syrup and vegetable oil. I followed the step by step instructions for mixing and poured the mix into the tins and put them in the oven. When the pinger went, I took out 2 beautiful chocolate sponges and put them on the airing racks to cool. Mary then asks you to cut each sponge in half so this cake will have 4 layers….gulp.

Next step was to tackle the icing. This is where the “death” bit comes in. Mary asks you to melt 450 g or 1 lb of dark chocolate! I have said before that I really am not a fan of dark chocolate but most of my tasters are so I compromised with 3/4 dark chocolate and 1/4 milk chocolate to try and take the bitterness of the dark chocolate away. Once the chocolate has been melted, Mary then asks you to add the 200g of butter to it and allow it to melt into the chocolate…… ( cholesterol comes to mind….lol) . Mary then asks you to sandwich each layer of the cake together with this icing and then stand the cake on a wire rack and use the rest of the icing over the top and sides of the cake! I gave it a liberal covering but still had some icing left over. Mary asks you to leave it to set then decorate with coarsely grated plain and white chocolate. I must admit I ” cheated” here by buying a pot of ready mixed chocolate curls!


The cake went down well and I would like to take this opportunity again to wish my other mum and one of the chief tasters a happy birthday!


The second recipe was Mary’s swiss roll recipe. I have tackled some of the swiss roll recipes before with varied success. The baking part isn’t the issue it’s the rolling!


The sponge is a fatless sponge and easy to make. I whisked it all together and poured it into the prepared swiss roll tin. I put it in the oven for ten minutes and while it was baking put a sheet of greaseproof paper on the side with caster sugar sprinkled on it.  Soon enough the sponge was done and I tipped it onto the prepared paper. Mary asks you to allow to cool “slightly” and then spread with jam. Slight hiccup here, my jam had grown a lovely mold on it so I quickly made some buttercream and used this instead. I rolled the cake into the roll and again , it split to my dismay but not all the way through. I sprinkled it liberally with caster sugar and took the photograph!


Well the countdown has now reached 38….. so near yet so far!


Week Ninety Four – Mary Berry’s Chocolate Swiss Roll & Dobaz Torte

Week ninety four and my bake was done in two parts this week. I delved with glee into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the chocolate swiss roll which I made at the weekend and then the Great British Bake Off inspired me to try May’s dobaz torte….

Firstly the chocolate swiss roll, I used my new all singing all dancing stand mixer to take up the strain of the mix and the only effort I had was to melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water! I lined a swiss roll tin and poured the mix in. Into the oven it went and I set the timer, put the kettle on, made a cup of tea and put out a sheet of grease proof paper sprinkle with caster sugar ready for the baked sponge. Meanwhile, I read the next steps and whipped the cream ready for the next step. The timer pinged and I got the sponge out, tipped it carefully out onto the sugar coated paper and carefully peeled the lining paper off. Finally I rolled the sponge into a roll with the grease proof paper rolled up with it and left this to cool.

Mary Berry's Chocolate Swiss Roll

Finally I was able to warm thejam through- Mary suggests blackcurrant jam but I found a lovely conserve by Bonne Maman – berries and cherries conserve which was so nice with the chocolate sponge and cream. I unrolled the sponge, spread the jam and cream in it, rolled it back up and cut it in half so that the chief tasters would get their part.

Kim's Chocolate Swiss Roll

The second bake I made midweek on a day off, while having a new carpet laid in the lounge. It all sounded so easy, go to shop, order carpet, ensure room is empty…hold on, where do we put all the furniture-borrow groundsheets from chief taster, move most furniture into the garage and place on groundsheets, take up old carpet and underlay and notice that the paintwork and walls all need wiping. Spend the baking day wiping paintwork down and waiting for the call from the fitters. I read Mary’s recipe which says to mark circles on grease proof paper, make the cake mix and spread onto the circles and bake in batches.


Mary Berry's Dobaz Torte

This was not too difficult and I soon had 6 weirdly flat sponge circles done. Carpet fitters arrived. Next step, make butter cream- use stand mixer to soften and mix butter. Meanwhile over a pan of hot water mix the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk while the carpet fitters go back to the warehouse to get the right underlay! Keep whisking the mix while walking to the lounge window to ensure the fitters aren’t back yet as the mixers are noisy and I can’t hear the door bell. Finally add this mix to the butter and melt chocolate over the pan of hot water and add to the butter cream. Mix again.

Dobaz Torte sponge mix

Carpet fitters arrive- ( They make me feel really old!) and I read Mary’s instructions about making the caramel. I add the water and the sugar together in a pan and heat gently then allow to boil. When it changed colour, I poured some over one of the sponge layers and the rest on a sheet of grease proof paper. Carpet fitters seem to lay underlay and carpet super quick and I leave the cake to put together later. Vacuum lounge and begin to put room back together again- fail dismally and end up with the essentials for the night- TV and sofa!

Take a few hours off work the next day, put the cake together- sandwich the 5 sponge layers with butter cream, spread butter cream around the sides and roll in the caramel that you are supposed to crush with a rolling pin from the day before- slight problem, caramel too sticky, won’t crush. Hubby makes a batch, sets well but tastes burnt so plan C- grated chocolate. Sides suitably covered, decorate the top of the cake with the caramel covered sponge cut into slices. finish with a swirl of butter cream and give to the chief tasters for their 49th wedding anniversary! PHEW….

Kim's Dobaz Torte

The dobaz torte was a fiddly cake to make and probably not one that I would re-visit but another one ticked off the list…and the countdown now stands at 80 recipes left to bake.

Week 2……and a bit…..the lemon swiss roll

Yes, I know…the plan was to bake a recipe a week and blog about it…..and no excuses but boy what a week it was though…my hubby had a medical emergency that I needed to help him with and when it was sorted, we got home at about three in the morning!

That evening, after very little sleep and a full day at work, I attempted the recipe..and it was a disaster. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have baked while shattered and stressed but hindsight is a wonderful thing. The tin I used was also wrong so the sponge came out a lot thicker than it should. So my swiss roll was more of a swiss fold!

Then further disaster struck…..yeah I know, not my week at all! I was making porridge in the microwave and when it was done, took it out and placed it by the sink in order to get the dates, nuts and berries I wanted to add to it. ( I was trying to be healthy!) The bowl tipped off the work surface and without thinking, I went to grab it and got a hand full of boiling porridge! OUCH! The rest then went on the floor and I must have looked a right sight because I had to get my hand under the water as soon as I could while trying to keep the dogs away from the hot gooey mess on the floor. Then i had to try to clean it up.

When the air hit my hand, it really began to hurt and I realised that I had done some damage to it. So a trip to the local Urgent Care Centre was needed where the lovely staff patched me up.

I spent a day or two feeling sorry for myself and took a retail therapy trip to Lakeland to buy a swiss roll tin. (Such a hardship…)

I rolled up my sleeves today, and tried the recipe for the second time. This time, although it isn’t as perfect as Mary Berry’s roll, I am pleased with it. It might not make the “Great British Bake Off” grade but hey, we all have to start somewhere…..

This is mine……

So , I have a day or two before week three comes around..and I have already decided what this weekend’s challenge is going to be….so watch this space.