Often we have roulades during the holidays: a chocolate sponge cake filled with whipped cream, perhaps surrounded with a chocolate glaze. Roulades are far more than holiday food and can be enjoyed year-round in great variety. The cake can be vanilla, as it is here, or the classic chocolate or citrus or even herb flavored. The filling can remain that simple whipped cream, or you can go upscale. Here, we literally used leftovers. We had caramel. We had chocolate ganache.

“Boy, are you going to like this,” Suzi said to me. I had no idea she was hitting the leftover shelf in our refrigerator. There were plusses and minuses to this act of generosity on her part. Using the caramel, all of the caramel, in the cake made for gooey richness. Using all the caramel, all of the caramel, also meant that, when I got up in the middle of the night, there was no caramel for my usual little sugar hit. I had to eat an entire slice of the roulade instead.

I did not mind.

You do have options here when you make this dessert. If you want some chocolate in that cake itself, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. When brushing the cake with simple syrup, we actually employed thyme simple syrup to present an herbaceous undertone. Alternatively, you can brush with rum or the liqueur of your preference.

Caramel Ganache Roulade

Yield: serves 10-12



  • One half sheet baking tray, 12” X 17”

For the sponge:

  • 6 eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the assembly:

  • ¼ cup simple syrup [flavored if you desire: lemon, thyme, …]
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup chocolate ganache


Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Place 1 egg and all of the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk with an electric beater. Add the remaining eggs, one by one. Whisk until the mixture is very light, creamy, and almost white; this should take 5 to 8 minutes.

Sift the flour and fold it in carefully with a flexible spatula, taking care not to deflate the mixture.

With a spatula, spread the batter over the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, swapping the baking sheets round midway, until a very light brown. Immediately slide the sponge layers on their sheets of parchment paper onto a rack and allow to cool.

To assemble, first warm the caramel and ganache so they are soft and spreadable. — but not too HOT! Carefully peel the parchment paper the cake. Dip a pastry brush in the syrup and lightly moisten the surface that was in contact with the paper. Spread the caramel and then the ganache over the surface. Carefully roll up cake, rolling up the long side so you have a 16-inch cake.

Chill slightly before serving.

Source: Idea by Suzi O’Rourke with the sponge cake recipe and technique from Gâteaux by Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq [Rizzoli, 2017]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑100