Looking for a creamy, rich and elegant dessert? Then look no further than this decadent Chocolate & Walnut Roll. This beautiful dessert is inspired by a popular Serbian cake called the griljaz torta (pronounced something like ghre-lyaz). The cake is made up mostly of crunchy, sweet walnuts with layers of rich chocolate filling. The same ingredients are used to make this decadent chocolate & walnut roll. With a layer of walnuts that have been drizzled in melted sugar and a rich layer of dark chocolate filling, this dessert is a chocoholic’s dream come true.
GRILJAZ / WALNUT & SUGAR MIX
The star of the show for this recipe is the grljaz. This is simply a walnut and sugar mix which is what makes this chocolate & walnut roll that little bit extra decadent!
Before putting other parts of this recipe together take a few minutes to prepare the griljaz. Place 120 g of caster sugar into a pot over medium heat and melt the sugar down into liquid. Once the sugar turns into liquid and slightly starts to brown turn the heat off. Add in the chopped or halved walnuts into the pot and combine the two ingredients using a spatula. Empty the walnut & sugar mixture onto silicon mat or parchment paper and set aside to cool.
Once the griljaz has cooled, in a food processor, mix the griljaz into a grounded walnut-like texture. Set aside to be used in the walnut filling part of the recipe.
THE WALNUT BASE
Making the base for this chocolate & walnut roll is an easy one bowl process.
To begin preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking tray (28×38 cm) with butter and fit baking paper into the tray. Place 8 egg whites into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until some volume in the egg whites develops. Then, gradually add in the 70 g of sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff. This process can take roughly 5 minutes with a hand mixer on high speed.
Once the egg whites have become stiff add in the 30 g of flour as well as one tablespoon of cocoa powder. Combine with a hand mixer on medium speed. Using a spatula fold in the ground walnuts and place the walnut base mixture into the baking tray. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the walnut base has finished baking in the oven set aside to cool.
*Tip – By greasing your baking tray with butter first, your baking paper will adhere to the pan much better. This is how you avoid uneven surfaces for the walnut base.
THE WALNUT & CHOCOLATE FILLING
The two fillings for this rich chocolate & walnut roll is made up of the remaining egg yolks, sugar and butter. This mixture is divided into two halves. One half is used to add in the griljaz (walnut & sugar mix) making the walnut filling. The second half is used to make up the chocolate filling by adding in melted dark chocolate. What could be better than this rich and decadent duo!
To make the filling, in a glass bowl beat 8 egg yolks on high speed with a hand mixer. After a minute of beating the egg yolks, gradually add in 90 g of caster sugar. Continue beating until the egg yolks turn to a lighter yellow colour and forms a thick, custard-like texture. This can take up to 4 minutes of beating on high speed.
It is important to cook the egg yolks using a double boiler method. Place the glass bowl with the combined egg yolks and sugar on top of a pot with boiling water and cook on low to medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir the egg yolks regularly. Once the egg yolks have cooked, set the bowl aside to cool for twenty minutes.
Once the egg yolks have cooled, add 250 g of unsalted butter (at room temperature) into the egg yolks and combine with a hand mixer. You are looking for a creamy buttery texture.
Divide the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture into two even halves. You should end up with roughly 180 g in each bowl. The measurements can vary as it will depend on the initial size of the egg yolks.
In one bowl of the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture add in the grounded griljaz (walnut & sugar mix). Mix well together with a spatula. Set aside.
In the second bowl of the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture add in 130 g of melted chocolate and combine using a hand mixer.
ASSEMBLING THE WALNUT & CHOCOLATE ROLL
Assembling the chocolate & walnut roll is a simple process of forming a log.
Once the walnut base has completely cooled, spread on top the completed griljaz / walnut filling evenly. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
After the first filling has set, spread on top the chocolate filling as evenly as possible. Then form a log shape starting from the long side that is closest to you and roll into a tube. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour to set or preferably overnight.
DECORATION & STORAGE
To decorate, spread 100 g of melted chocolate over the log and sprinkle some grounded walnuts as well as some shredded chocolate.
This chocolate & walnut roll can be stored in the fridge, covered for up to a week. You can also store this delicious treat in the freezer for up to a few months.
Chocolate & Walnut Roll
GRILJAZ / WALNUT & SUGAR MIX
- 120 g caster sugar
- 100 g walnuts (whole or halved)
FOR THE BASE
- 8 egg whites
- 70 g caster sugar
- 30 g high grade flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 70 g walnuts grounded
FOR THE FILLING
- 8 egg yolks
- 90 g caster sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 130 g dark chocolate melted
- 200 g griljaz (walnut & sugar mix)
- 100 g chocolate melted
- 25 g grounded walnuts
- 15 g shredded chocolate
FOR THE GRILJAZ / WALNUT & SUGAR
- In a medium pot, heat 120 g caster sugar until it turns to liquid and starts to caramelize. Stir in 100 g of the whole or halved walnuts and combine.
- Pour the sugar and walnut mixture onto a silicon mat or non-stick paper and set aside to cool.
- Once the griljaz / walnut & sugar mixture has cooled, place into a food processor and mix until the mixture resembles grounded walnuts. Set aside for the walnut filling.
FOR THE WALNUT BASE
- Preheat oven to 180. Grease a baking tray (28×38 cm) with butter and line with baking paper.
- With a hand mixer, mix 8 egg whites until they become stiff while gradually adding 70 g of caster sugar. This can take up to five minutes on high speed.
- With the hand mixture on medium speed, mix in 30 g of flour and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
- Using a spatula, fold in 70 g grounded walnuts.
- Pour the walnut base mixture onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven at 180 for fifteen minutes or until golden brown.
- Once the base is done, set aside to cool.
FOR THE FILLING
- In a glass bowl, using a hand mixer, mix 8 egg yolks and gradually add in 90 g of caster sugar. Mix until the egg yolks turn a pale yellow and develop a thick / custard like thickness. This can take up to four or five minutes on high speed.
- Once the egg yolk mixture has become light yellow and thickened, add the glass bowl to a double boiler and cook the egg yolks on low to medium heat for ten minutes.
- Once the egg yolks have cooked, remove from the double boiler and set aside to cool for twenty minutes.
- Once the egg yolks have cooled, add 250 g unsalted cubed butter and beat with a hand mixer until well incorporated into the egg yolks. You are looking for a thick creamy texture.
- Divide the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture into two halves into two separate bowls.
- In one half of the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture mix the melted chocolate and set aside.
- In the other half, add in the grounded griljaz / walnut & sugar mixture. Fold this in with a spatula.
ASSEMBLING THE CHOCOLATE & WALNUT ROLL
- To assemble the roll, spread the griljaz / walnut & sugar filling evenly over the base.
- Let this sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Once the first filling has set. Spread the chocolate filling evenly on top of the griljaz.
- Once the chocolate filling has been distributed, form into a log shape. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to set for at least an hour or preferably over night.
- To decorate the log, spread melted chocolate on top & sprinkle with grounded chocolate and walnuts.
- To help your base cook evenly, grease the baking tray with butter and then place baking paper on top. The butter helps the baking paper adhere much better so that the base mix spreads out evenly.
- Store the chocolate & walnut roll in the fridge for up to a week.
- Alternatively, store the chocolate & walnut roll in the freezer for up to a few months.
This is one of the most creamy, rich and elegant desserts. You can never go wrong combining chocolate with lots of walnuts. This chocolate & walnut roll is a great recipe to make for your friends and family. It is also a great decadent treat to bring to a dinner party. Anything chocolately is sure to delight just about anyone and especially chocolate lovers!