Chocolate Roll with Jam and Strawberries

So you think chocolate is delicious?

Okay, I grant you: chocolate is delicious.

But in my opinion, the most delicious thing in these photos isn’t the dessert, it’s the kid. My grandson, age 2-3/4.

Here he is putting the final touches on a chocolate roll cake. I prepared the batter. He licked the bowl.

These photos are proof of how easy it is to cook with children, even one who is 2-3/4. Remy was able to spread the strawberry jam on the baked cake. I sliced the strawberries. He placed them over the jam. 

He did a pretty good job don’t you think?

We rolled the cake together and plopped it onto a big serving dish.

Okay, the cake has some cracks in the surface. That sometimes happens to rolled cakes. So we covered it up somewhat: I held the strainer filled with confectioner’s sugar and he tapped it with a spoon, causing the white sprinkles to come down like snow and give a nice finish to our work.

No one cared that the cake didn’t look perfect. The time we had together was perfect.


You can do it with a kid in your life using my recipe. It would be a good Mother’s Day project. 


Chocolate Roll with Jam and Strawberries


6 ounces semisweet chocolate

3 tablespoons cold, strong coffee or orange juice

5 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup strawberry jam

1 pint strawberries, sliced 

confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 15-1/2”x10-1/2” jelly roll pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving several inches hanging over each of the short edges. Lightly grease the portion of the paper that fits inside the pan. Melt the chocolate and coffee together in the top part of a double boiler (or a bowl that fits into a saucepan) set over barely simmering water. Mix the ingredients well and remove the top part of the pan from the heat. Let cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed (or use a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract together for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend it in thoroughly. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Mix about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture until the mixture has an even color. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it to make it even. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven. Cover it with a slightly dampened kitchen towel. Let cool. Loosen the cake by pulling the overlapping ends of parchment paper. Invert the cake onto a clean sheet of parchment paper or kitchen towel (use the towel if you will be filling the roll later; keep the cake rolled inside the towel and set it aside, then unroll the cake to proceed).

Spread the jam evenly over the top of the cake. Top with the strawberries. Roll the cake starting on the long side. Place on a serving platter, seam side down. Dust (using a strainer) with confectioner’s sugar. Makes 8-10 servings