Chocolate Apricot Roll with Lacquer Glaze

On Sunday evening on our drive back from Brighton, I had decided that I would cut my losses.  I would hurl my Saturday attempt at apricot Lekvar which was masquerading as fruit toffee resin and take a week out from the HCB'ers.  Which was a little disappointing, given how much of a cake martyr team player I am.  As I was coming to terms with missing out on a week of posting (and therefore comments), I checked in with Raymond and learned a few things.

  1. Raymond gets up stupid early o'clock to go to the gym.  I didn't even know they opened gyms that early!  That man is dedicated.
  2. That I really needed to bake this cake.
I quite like that Raymond posts early, that way I can pick up a few tips and some inspiration and motivation.  I think the only time I have ever eaten the chocolate and apricot combination was whilst on holiday in Adelaide.  Those South Australian's go mad for FruChocs.  Me?  Not so much.  As in, not at all.  As in, didn't finish the packet.  Not sure if it was the apricot/choc pairing or the not-amazing-chocolate chocolate coating that I put.  Anyway, I don't have Raymond's nor Rose's deep love affair for the apricot and chocolate duet.  Would this cake see that change?  Ah, the suspense!

It is now Monday night and I started this cake on Saturday.  That would be when I made the Apricot Resin aka Levkar.  Not very difficult to make, the difficulty comes in being able to count to three.  You see, Rose has you boil the apricots and water (note, don't add the sugar then, like I did) for a while until they soften. 

Then process with the sugar et al and then put back on the heat until it becomes a deep orange colour and it takes three seconds to drop from a tablespoon.  Yeah, well.  Apparently I can't count to three very well.  Because once my levkar cooled, it was solid and the only way to get it to spreadable consistency was to heat it and add more water.  Alot more water.  Maybe my tablespoon loosens it grip on the levkar more quickly than Rose's... 95% of the stuff would drop off in the first second.  A temperature guide would have been much more fool proof than just assuming that everyone can count to three.  In the end it didn't really matter, because all I needed to cover my tracks was a microwave and then water.  In that order.

I expected the Levkar to be more tangy than it actually was, but I think that was due to the quality of the apricots I used.  They weren't anything special, and you could tell!  I washed out a couple of jam jars and used that to store the resin.  Very difficult to chisel it out, now that it has set.

Fast forward to Sunday night and I whipped up the sponge, which really was pretty easy.  Strangely, there was no heating of the eggs and the volume didn't seem to suffer in the slightest.


Right about now was when I missed Rose's "understanding cakes" section from the TCB - Rose, how come we don't have to heat the eggs this time?  It bothered me for about three seconds, and then I silently thanked her for one less faffing step and one less pot to wash... little did I know that the glaze would more than make up for that one pot saved!


After beating the eggs to four times their volume (give or take) you then fold in the flours in two batches.  And then the whites.  As an aside, I read that recipe about six times and I still have no idea when to add in the vanilla extract.  I just threw it in with the eggs in the first step.

About ten minutes later you pull this out of the oven and get to marvel at how well you didn't smooth the surface... cunningly disguised by powdered sugar.  And then you quickly roll it so all faults are gone, and given they are on the inside, it is no big deal.  Just my little secret.  I made the ganache on Sunday night also, because it is super quick to grind chocolate and tip in scalded cream. 

I "composed" the cake tonight, whilst making dinner, so again, not difficult.  I didn't syrup the cake, and after eating a slice, I wish that I had.  Hopefully, like Rose promises, the ganache will moisten the cake up perfectly sometime between now and tomorrow evening.  Spread on the loosened up Lekvar, then the ganache, roll it back up and crumb coat with the faintest covering of ganache.  No photos of this - probably because it was all pretty quick.  If you can make a sandwich, you can make this cake.

Then comes the wow factor of the Lacquer glaze.  I really dislike the word Lacquer - when I say it sounds like lack-her and well, that sounds like "she" has a "lack" of something.  Not right.  Anyway, pronunciation and my weirdness aside, this glaze is the business.  Easy to make.   You don't even have to count to three or any other number.  Just stir and pour.  Like making instant gravy, you even boil water and mix in a few other things.  Easy.  Rose has lots of helpful temperatures in this section, so that made my life quite simple.  It does use about fourteen different bowls and pans and sieves and mixing utensils, but you could probably do it with a pan and one bowl and one sieve and one jug.  That is still a lot isn't it?  It really is simple and you really should make it because it really is impressive.

Whilst the glaze is still warm, you need to get it onto your cake.  Make haste at this point, but pour it on slowly and carefully and remember that for once, gravity is your best baking assistant.


I have just eaten a slice now and I did find the cake a bit dry... so definitely use the syrup.  Probably not helped by me baking the cake 24 hours ago.  I am still not sold on the apricot/chocolate matchup... maybe in a few days.  My guess is, if you are from South Australia or already understand the love that is Apricot and chocolate, you will love this cake. 

Enjoy.  Next week I am definitely out as I can't find shelled pistachio's anywhere!  And I can't see shelling salted pistachios in my near future.  Yuck.  Salted pistachios on a sweet cake.  No thanks.  I will be reading along though.


  1. Lovely, absolutely lovely. I agree with you about the glaze..very impressive.

  2. Love the little star shape in your cake...looks like I'm gonna have to make this someday:)

  3. Ok.. I read most of the post and everyone has mention the "dry" factor... I need to go over what I did, because mine is super moist, even today, after a day of sitting out there.

    Like I mention to Virginia, I did cover the cut up end with plastic wrap, and I did not even use the syrup (because as Rose mention you don't really need it if you are serving it the next day)...

    Nevertheless, I agree with you, we all have to wait on Raymond to post and motivate us.

  4. Nicola, your cake looks lovely! You post made me laugh... Actually my apricot jam was a bit hard but then after it cooled in the fridge but when i removed it from the fridge and left it to room temperature, surprisingly it became spreadable consistency.

  5. ב''ה

    Great post as usual.

    The next recipe actually calls for unsalted pistachios. I made it already and it was wonderful! :)

    btw it sort of looks like there is a thumb sticking out of the cake in the bottom picture...

  6. I skipped the syrup but didn't find the cake dry....but I did let it sit a day before I cut it. Perhaps the ganache moistened things overnight. I didn't find it to be a great-tasting cake (good, but not great), but at least mine was moist.

    Your slice with the star pattern is very pretty!

  7. Great process to go by. It looks beautiful and know it was scrumptious!

  8. Brighton! My maternal great grandfather hailed from Brighton. I curse the day he crossed the pond. He helped replicate Brighton in California here

    I definitely was not going to bake this cake either until Raymond and Faithy posted. Your's looks very pretty.

    My kitchen was an explosion of dishes, pots, pans, measuring things by the time I was through. It took an hour this morning washing up after a night recuperating!

  9. Your cake turned out great. I made the cake part on Thu and assembled the layer cake on Sat night. Skipped the syrup and still it wasn't dry. Not sure what happened there. I hope you enjoy your second slice better. We're enjoying our leftover cake (and there's not much "sharing" outside our house going on, except really really close friends) :o)

  10. I hope you see this late comment. Your post is really funny. I love how there's a star in the middle of the roll - how do you do that? I haven't made this cake yet. I'm in Denver and it's very dry here so I know I would need to syrup the roulade otherwise it become crispy like chips. Is it dry where you're at?


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