Chocoholic: Chocolate Roll (a.k.a. giant Yodel)
This cake reminds me of all those childhood packaged treats such as the Devil Dog, Ring Ding, Sno Ball, FunnyBone, and of course the Yodel, which is basically a mini chocolate roll filled with a whipped vanilla cream. I was never much of a Ring Ding fan, but I could never get enough of the FunnyBones. I remember when I had braces back in high school, I'd take the bus in the afternoon to get dropped off at the orthodontist for a routine tightening—but not before my after-school hunger got the better of me and I shoved down a couple of chocolate snack cakes just before I got in the chair (without brushing).
These packaged cakes are now mostly way too sweet for my tastes, but they are fun to make at home. Plus, in larger format, even the Yodel becomes somewhat of a showpiece type of cake, making it perfect for entertaining. While many chocolate rolls begin with a sponge cake, this one is a little more moist, dense, and hefty, keeping it more in line with the texture of the Yodel. Soon after baking and before the cake cools, it gets rolled up in a towel so that the cake partially sets in a curved shape, facilitating rolling up later. For the cream filling, I decided against a cooked milk filling such as the kind found in a classic whoopie pie and chose a light whipped cream because I felt that the cake and ganache icing would be rich enough.
Rolling up the final cake takes a bit of care, and don't be tempted to fill it too much (like I did the first time), or you'll end up with a cake the size of a rolled up yoga mat. To finish it off, a slick of ganache, which in addition to adding extra chocolate flavor also helps to keep the whole thing good and moist inside. Not that it'll stick around long enough for it to dry out anyway.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.