Transport yourself to the Black Forest with these German-inspired mini rolls. The tart cherries offset the rich chocolate to perfectly balance out the flavours. Unutterably moreish!
Heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/415°F/Gas 6–7.
Start the cherry filling. Tip the dried sour cherries into a small saucepan with 100ml of water and place them over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to rehydrate the cherries.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate sponges. Sift the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder together into a bowl and set aside. Crack the eggs into a heatproof bowl and add the sugar and salt. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk, using an electric hand whisk, until the temperature reaches 43°C on the cooking thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until the eggs have cooled to room temperature.
Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then fold in the butter to combine.
Divide the mixture equally between the prepared Swiss roll tins and bake for 5–7 minutes, until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.
Add the kirsch, cornflour and sugar to the sour cherries in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, until jammy and glossy. Set aside.
Make the cream filling. In a clean bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the cream and icing sugar together to soft peaks. Whisk in the kirsch until incorporated.
Trim the edges of the sponges to neaten and set aside one-quarter of the cream filling. Using a palette knife, spread the remaining three-quarters of the filling equally over each sponge, leaving a gap in the middle across the narrow measure. Spoon the cherry filling evenly across the short width of each sponge.
Turn one of the sponges so that you have a short end closest to you. Carefully roll up from the short end, rolling until you reach the middle. Turn the sponge through 180°, so that the other short end is closest to you, and roll up again, so that the two rolled ends meet in the middle, like a scroll. Cut down the middle to create two rolls. Repeat with the second sponge to give 4 rolls altogether.
Cut each roll equally into 3 pieces to give you 12 individual mini rolls.
Transfer the reserved cream filling into the piping bag fitted with the closed star nozzle. Pipe small stars of cream on top of each mini roll, then place the mini rolls in the fridge to firm up.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate decorations. Melt the dark chocolate in either the microwave or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Spoon the chocolate into the small piping bag fitted with the writing nozzle (or alternatively, simply snip the end of the pip-ing bag to create a small hole). Pipe at least 24 chocolate trees on the lined baking sheet (the simplest way to pipe a tree is to pipe two triangles, one on top of the other) and leave to set.
Dust the tops of the mini rolls with cocoa powder, then stand a chocolate tree in the cream stars to finish.