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Chocolate Soufflé Roll | Great Performances


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Chocolate Soufflé Roll
by Joan Nathan

Adapted from Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook

When this recipe appeared in my column years ago in the Boston Globe magazine, the newspaper received several calls from indignant readers: How could there be such a thing as a soufflé roll? Well, there is! This particular recipe came from the old Window Shop bakery on Brattle Street in Cambridge, started by Bostonians to help immigrant German refugees during World War II, and now called the Blacksmith House.

A similar soufflé roll was served at the Jewish Bake Shop in Cincinnati, also started by that city’s German Jewish community for the new German refugees. The late political filmmaker Charles Guggenheim loved the chocolate roll recipe prepared by his grandmother, Grace Stix, one of the prime movers behind the Cincinnati-based shop. The Cincinnati version was made by adding flour, filling with whipped cream, and covering with a chocolate icing. The following BOston version, which even Charles approved, can be served at Passover -- and will be the hit of your Seder or any dinner party.



7 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate

¼ cup strong brewed coffee

7 eggs, separated

¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-15 inch jelly-roll pan. Line with greased wax paper.

2) Melt the chocolate in the coffee over hot water in a double boiler and stir until the chocolate is melted. Cool slightly.

3) Whip the egg yolks with ½ cup of sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.

4) Add the chocolate and coffee to the yolks.

5) Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar  and beat until stiff peaks form.

6) Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Place the batter in the pan and bake 15-20 minutes or until the cake is firm.

7) Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then place a damp towel over the cake, still in its pan and cool completely at room temperature (this prevents the cake from drying out.) Store in a cool place.

8) When ready to assemble the cake (several hours before serving), remove the towel and sprinkle the cake with cocoa. Place an ungreased sheet of waxed paper over the cake and turn the pan upside down. Remove the pan and the first piece of waxed paper.

9) Spread ¾ of either the mocha or whipped cream filling over the flattened cake and roll up very carefully and quickly. Spread the remaining filling on top of the cake as icing. Store in the refrigerator.

Mocha Cream Filling:


9 tbsp unsalted butter or pareve margarine

¾ cup very fine sugar

3 oz semisweet chocolate

2 tbsp strong brewed coffee

2 eggs

2 tbsp shaved chocolate, for garnish


1) Cream the butter or margarine and sugar very well.

2) Melt the chocolate in the coffee over hot water in a double boiler, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Add to the butter or margarine mixture and blend well. Add the eggs and continue beating until very smooth and light. Set aside in a cool place.

3) After filling, sprinkle the top of the cake with the shaved chocolate. Since the chocolate roll usually cracks a bit in rolling, the decoration will cover this.

Whipped Cream Filling:


½ cups heavy cream

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla or rum extract

2 tbsp shaved chocolate, for garnish


1) Just before serving, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla or rum.

2) You may wish to reserve some of the whipped cream and decorate the outside of the cake, using a pastry bag or a spatula. Sprinkle the top with shaved chocolate.

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