Tag Archives: desserts

Black Cherry Chocolate Arctic Roll

There are so many traditionally English puddings. But there’s one that always seems to provoke a pang of nostalgia with the Brits whenever it hits the table, and that’s the arctic roll. This delicious dessert consisting of a layer of cake, lined with jam, and rolled around a frozen ice cream center, became wildly popular in the 1950s and is now quite trendy again. It’s also incredibly easy to make! So when we had a dinner party recently, I decided to give it a go.

Cherry Artic Roll Ingredients

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Get your ice cream from the freezer and allow it to sit out and soften. Spoon it onto a sheet of wax paper (or parchment paper) and shape into a log. Roll it tightly in the paper, secure with plastic wrap, and return to the freezer to set.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Recipe Step 3 Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Whisk the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Recipe Step 1 Eggs and Sugar

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Then gently fold dry ingredients into the egg mixture until blended.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Recipe Step 2 Sift Cocoa Powder

Pour the chocolate batter into the lined baking tray, smoothing the top so surface is even. Bake for 10-15 minutes until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, then flip onto a new sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with sugar. Gently peel off the lining paper.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Step 4 Baking Sheet

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Step 5 Baked

Cover the entire surface of the cake with a generous layer of black cherry jam.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Step 6 Spread

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Step 6 Spread Across

Remove the cling film and paper from the refrozen cylinder of ice cream and put in the middle of cake sheet, using the parchment paper to roll the cake around the ice cream. Wrap again in cling film and return to freezer.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Step 7 Wrap up ice cream

artic roll wrap

Just before serving, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over the roll. I sprinkled on some chocolate hearts and garnished with fresh cherries.

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Finished

Cherry Chocolate Artic Roll Serving

Slice, and serve!

Artic Roll

This version was such a success! It would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or even a child’s birthday. You can also experiment with different flavour jams to create endless varieties. It keeps in the freezer for up to two weeks – so be sure to save a slice for later!

Sketch Lecture Room & Library

I was supposed to be babysitting for friends last night while they tried the Tasting Menu at Sketch Lecture Room and Library. Fortunately for me, one of their guests cancelled unexpectedly so they brought me along!

Sketch’s resident concierge David was the first to greet us at reception, in all his exuberant Irish flair and knowledge about the building. Formerly Christian Dior’s London flagship store, 9 Conduit Street now houses a smorgesboard of Sketch ventures: a Lewis Carollesque tearoom-cum-bar in the front parlour, a swamp-themed lace and laser cocktail bar eerily evocative of a nightclub in the Everglades, and a huge white cube dining hall with mismatched design furniture and video art projected onto the ceiling.

Upstairs, we were seated in a vivid Missoni-on-acid sitting room where a waiter rolled in the champagne cart, glasses tinkling. The interior is dizzingly ostentatious – cream tufted leather walls, distressed coloured mirrors, Moroccan lantern chandeliers – but in an obvious way, as if to deflect any elucidation.

The tasting menu was seven courses, the first four of which were seafood. Red meat was surprisingly absent from the menu, but not at all missed!


Feuilletés:  goat cheese topped with beet root crumb, asparagus financiers, sea bass sashimi wrapped in banana leaf


Parmesan croutons, vegetable spread, cumin crackers


Poached Skate with chilled mushroom jelly


Warm oyster with beetroot mustard jus, Ibérico and Beaufort


Dover sole and lemon caviar


Roast scallop over mango and pear with sweet onion syrup


Asparagus and rocket coulis with burrata ice cream


Roast chicken breast over vegetable curry with chicken leg confit on the side


Passionfruit cheesecake, liquorice granata



Petit fours


The seriously professional service in a playfully indulgent atmosphere only propped up the already amazing food.

After dinner, pop into the East Bar for cocktails. It’s like being in a white plastic flying saucer with a recessed bar in the middle!

Book online here.