The Italian Chocolate Roll

The Namesake, a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read it when we were living in New York (2005). We had no kids back then, still I could feel the difficulties of raising a child in a country which is not your country, for as much as you love it. She, the novelist,  is incredibly good in describing the struggles and hardships of a Bengali couple who immigrate to the United States to form a life outside of everything they are accustomed to, trying to put up with language and cultural barriers and ending up with a son who wants to be 100% American, not a Bengali – deepening the distance between him and his family, not only geographically but also, and above all, emotionally.

Salame del Re e Caffe' - Italian Traditions

Salame del Re e Caffe’ – Italian Traditions

The Namesake won a place in my favorite books’ shelf.

It is when I read this book that I thought that, whenever my husband’s work would have taken us,  I would have always tried as hard as possible to make my kids feel Italians. My dream was (wasn’t it?!) to have them to attend their secondary school in Rome. This is the only way to be a proper ‘Romano’ – no matter where you were born, raised or live after that.

And then one of the biggest financial and economic crisis in 30 years happened (2007). And then the global recession affects the entire world economy. And then the Italian economy shrinks for seven quarters in a row (2010/2011). And then the Italy’s parliamentary elections have ended in a stalemate and a protest movement led by a COMEDIAN won 25% (yesterday).  

So now, no more plans for my kids to go back to Italy. Sadly enough. The only thing left (kind of) is my memory  and the recipe that most of all reminds me of my childhood and my family is ‘il Salame del Re’, kind of a Swiss roll with Nutella inside. Yummy!

Salame del Re – Italian Roll


200 g egg

120 gr caster sugar

120 gr plain flour (if you have it, 30 gr of potato flour and 90 gr flour it would make it even softer)

20 gr melted butter

30 ml alchermes or rum

400 gr NUTELLA


Turn the oven on at 200°.

In a round bowl, on a Bain Marie, whisk the eggs and the sugar until nice and warm. Take off the heat and keep whisking until quite proud and fluffy. Sieve the flour (together with the potato flour, if using it) and fold it in with a spatula. Add the melted butter and fold everything together.

Italian Roll with Nutella

Italian Roll with Nutella

Pour the mixture onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper, 4mm thick.

Bake it for no more than 8/9 minutes, until light and springy to the touch.

Remove form the oven and turn the sponge out onto a dump tea towel.

Soften the Nutella on a Bain Marie.

Brush the sponge with the liqueur.

Spread the Nutella onto the sponge, leaving a small gap around the edges.

Roll the sponge over, using the tea towel.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Categories: After Meal time Recipes, Breakfast and Tea time Recipes, Sweets, Sweets, after meal difficult recipes, Sweets, ampm difficult recipes

Tags: , , , ,

4 replies

  1. someone asked for some the line.
    it might be useful for everybody though, so here we are:
    1. ‘on a bain marie, whisk the eggs and the sugar until nice and warm’ => keep the bowl on heat until around 40 degrees, our body is around 37, so if you touch the mixture you feel it a bit warmer than your finger!

  2. 2. ‘Take – the eggs mixture – off the heat and keep whisking until quite proud and fluffy’ => this means that you have to reach the RIBBON-STAGE, this is a cooking term describing the texture of an egg-and-sugar mixture that has been beaten until pale and extremely thick. When the beater or whisk is lifted, the batter falls slowly back onto the surface of the mixture, forming a ribbonlike pattern that, after a few seconds, sinks back into the batter.

  3. 3. make sure you have the filling ready before taking the genoise sponge off the oven. The Nutella (or any other kind of chocolate cream, or marmelade) has to be ready to be brushed as soon as the genoise sponge is ready, otherwise it get too stiff and you won’t be able to roll it anymore.


  1. KitchenAid versus Bimby – Orange and Chocolate Cake « Peace. Love. Pastry.

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