The Great South African Bake Off recipe

Panama roulade chocolate cake

Recipe by Gavin from The Great South African Bake Off


The Great South African Bake Off - Past series

BBC Lifestyle


Chocolate cake:

  • 240g egg whites
  • 1g salt
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 160g egg yolks
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 10g vanilla extract

Chocolate buttercream icing:

  • 350g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 5g vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp milk

Coffee syrup:

  • 100ml strong espresso
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 50ml Kahlúa liqueur

Chocolate decoration:

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 100g cocoa powder

Preparation method

Chocolate cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan.
  2. Line two Swiss roll tins (not the sides) with baking paper.
  3. Beat the egg whites and salt.
  4. Gradually add the sugar and beat until medium peaks form.
  5. Cream the egg yolks, vanilla and icing sugar, until pale and fluffy.
  6. Sift in half of the flour.
  7. Incorporate the flour, and then fold in half of the egg white mixture.
  8. Sift in the remaining flour and fold in remaining eggs whites.
  9. Divide the mixture between the tins and level the surface.
  10. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
  11. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Chocolate buttercream icing:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie over boiling water until pouring consistency.
  2. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the butter, milk, icing sugar and vanilla extract until thick and creamy.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and beat until creamy.
  5. Chill immediately.

Coffee syrup:

  1. Dissolve the sugar in the espresso over heat, then at the Kahlúa liqueur.
  2. Brush over the sponges.

Chocolate decoration:

  1. Measure the height of one of the horizontal layers cut from the Swiss roll.
  2. Melt half of the white chocolate.
  3. Add the balance of white chocolate and spread over the baking paper, the width being higher than the height of the Swiss roll.
  4. When cool, slice into horizontal segments to fit against the side of the cake. (2cm wide and ½cm higher than the cake).
  5. Repeat the procedure with the dark chocolate, ensuring that the dark segments are 1cm larger in length that the white segments. (Ensure that you have sufficient segments to cover the edge of the cake).


  1. Cut each sponge cake into three horizontal layers.
  2. Spread the chocolate buttercream evenly and roll into a tight roll on the first layer.
  3. Stand the roll vertically.
  4. Spread chocolate cream over the second layer and wrap around the first layer to create vertical layers.
  5. Continue to add the iced layer of sponge in concentric circles around the upright sponge cake so that there are vertical layers repeated. (There are 6 layers to add to build up the cake).
  6. Ice the side and top of the cake and smooth. Dust the surface of the cake with cocoa powder.
  7. Add the alternate rectangles of white and brown chocolate to the side of the cake to create a repeated design.
  8. Decorate the top of the cake with a checkerboard effect of toasted almonds.

This recipe was created and written by the accredited contestant of The Great South African Bake Off. BBC Worldwide accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of ingredients, method or content.