Chocolate Roulade and…Where Are Your Clothes Archie?

Archie’s Formal would have been lighter on the wallet than Arabella’s but for the fact he kept losing his clothes.

Chocolate, Cream and Fresh Berry Roulade

The day before we’d been to his Graduation Ceremony and the night before we’d been to the Valedictory Dinner.  The Valedictory Dinner was a very formal affair and the parents were very dressed up but the boys had to wear their school uniforms.  After all the formalities it was time to hit the dance floor and for the first dance the boys were required to dance with their mothers.

By around midnight Carl and I noticed that Archie had a full dance card and was dancing with not just me but every other mother as well.  As he danced the night away he started losing bits of his uniform, first the jacket, then the tie, and then the shirt was being unbuttoned and then I thought it was time to leave.

The next day was the Formal.  Because he had been in boarding school I hadn’t been able to take him shopping for something to wear so we left the house first thing to buy him a shirt and a tie to go with his suit.  We then had to go to the other side of town to drop off his overnight bag where the after-party was being held as the hosts had kindly said Archie was welcome to stay the night.

By the time we arrived home we were running late to pick up his date.  Archie had a quick shower while I ironed the new shirt.  I asked the neighbour to look after Alfie and we ran to the car and started driving to the shop where I’d ordered the corsage.  When we got close to the florist I pulled over onto the side of the road, ran across six lanes of traffic and collected the corsage.  Back in the car we drove to the house where we were collecting his date.  The idea was that we would have a nice time taking photos and enjoy a glass of bubbles to mark the occasion but we were now late for the pre-party.

We ran back into the car and I drove to the other side of Sydney for the second time that day.  We arrived at the pre-party feeling pretty shattered as I’m sure I’d spent about seven hours of the last ten behind the wheel of my car with not so much as even a break for a snack.  Carl arrived to take photos of all the boys and their dates.  He organised a group shot and stood on a balcony and took a photo of the boys on the ground floor looking up at the camera.  After the shot had been taken I said, ‘Carl, Archie and his date weren’t in the photo.’  He said, ‘What?  Well where are they?’  And we searched high and low and they were no where to be seen because they had gone for a stroll to the local shops.

‘Oh, sorry mum, I was just starving that’s all.  I had to get something to eat’, is all he said.

We hurriedly organised a few photos of Archie looking very smart in his suit with is new shirt and tie and then it was time to farewell the boys with their beautiful partners as they walked to the venue to enjoy their night.

I went home and collapsed on the sofa.

At about lunchtime the next day I was still on the sofa when I looked outside and saw a car pull up.  Archie was home.

But he was wearing only underpants.

‘Archie, what happened?  Where are your clothes?’

‘Oh, don’t worry about that mum, it’s all good.  I’ve had the best time.’

And this is when you just have to be grateful that he wasn’t escorted home by the police.

For all those who would like to see a photo of Arabella’s formal dress, I’ve found an image of a model modelling it on a runway.  I’ll share an image of Arabella wearing it when the day arrives!

And there is a reason for my erratic blogging.  Since moving house I have been without the internet.  That would now be eight days!  In the last week I have spent most of my time abusing the internet company that is now blaming the phone company.  The latest excuse is that ‘the line needs buffering’.  I’ve never heard of such nonsense.  But they don’t ‘buffer’ on weekends, or in the evenings or early in the mornings and by law they do need their morning and afternoon tea breaks and a full hour for lunch so the earliest the line could possibly be ‘buffered’ is 7pm Monday.  I will then be able to let the internet company know they can now connect me.  In the meantime, I am going back to the old house (because it is empty) and I sit on the hard wooden floors and try to be a blogger!  May the good Lord grant me grace!

I have no internet but I have a kitchen.  I made this Chocolate, Cream and Berry Roulade while waiting for the internet company to return my call.  The roulade has now been eaten but I’m still waiting for that call from the internet company.

Chocolate, Cream and Fresh Berry Roulade

Serves:  6-8

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  This is quite an inexpensive dessert to make except for the cost of the berries but frozen berries that are more affordable could be substituted.  Thaw first before applying to the roulade.

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2 tbspns sifted cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml cream, whipped
  • 1 punnet fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Line a 30cm x 25cm swiss roll pan with baking paper.

Beat egg yolks until thick and pale.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Fold in cocoa and vanilla.

In a separate bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

Pour at once onto prepared tray.

Bake for 15 mins or until cake has drawn away from sides and springs back when gently touched in the centre.

Turn cake onto a T-towel that has been liberally sprinkled with caster sugar.  Carefully remove paper.  Roll roulade in T-towel and leave on a wire rack to cool.  When completely cool, very gently unroll and cover in cream cheese.  Scatter over berries.  Roll cake (without the T-towel) and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.  Just before serving dust with icing sugar and cut into thick slices to serve.

This recipe is by Pamela Malone

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  1. YUM!I love chocolate, berries and sugar. This looks devine. I am sorry your boy lost all but his underpants. It could have been worse. He could have come home without them too:) I commend you for braving an empty house so we can continue to read your delightful tales. Thank you!

  2. Your last two posts remind me just how demanding it is being a mother to teenagers! And expensive. Never mind, you will forget it all when they have grown up and left home, and then eventually comes the grand parenting, which is much more relaxing. I don’t know how you do it all, with house moving, and not having the internet – AND you cook up a delicious cake as well.

  3. He came home with no clothes on? 😉 Hope you get the internet sorted soon, I’ve been missing your posts, Charlie! 🙂

  4. Gorgeous dress! And I’m sure that with a lovely and expensive dress like that, Arabella won’t finish her formal in the same fashion as Archie! 😉

  5. Ah, the non-chalance of youth – I wish I could get it back. I rather fancy some of this roulade- it looks devine.

  6. Oh dear, no pants? 🙂 I found that really funny!

  7. What a funny story – the mind boggles somewhat and I think the best conclusion is the one you reached; it’s for the best that the police weren’t involved!

    I’m frustrated on your behalf at the internet absence but at least you ended up with an enjoyable roulade, although granted roulade *and* internet might have been more enoyable yet.

  8. i love chocolate and cream… it just makes everything taste so much better!

  9. Now if Arabella comes home in her underpants I don’t think you should tell us.

    That’s a beautiful dress, no wonder she wanted it.

  10. I want it for dessert, it looks fantastic!!!! Your kids are always funny!!

  11. Ih my Charlie! You have had a time of it. I wish I could help, but it’s so far. There is one comforting thing, though, we have the same issues with our service providers too. It’s usually not just a phone call, it’s a 45 minute call, and there is yelling involved more often than not.
    That is really a lovely cake.

  12. At least the underwear was still intact:) Could have been worse:)
    This recipe looks great, I am gonna attempt is in the near future. Never ever made a roulade

  13. I will remember this post when my son grows up…
    Your dessert is lovely, and the dress is absolutely fantastic!! I cant wait to see your daughter wearing it!
    I hope the internet problem will be solved soon..

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed your writing. I have visions of you dashing in and out and back and forth.
    That roulade is just so gorgeous looking.

  15. Wow, seems like you have had a pretty busy day. 😉

    Really like the presentation of your roulade. Makes quite an impression with the berries.


  16. That’s really funny about how Archie keeps losing his clothes! But my gosh…i feel so sorry for you Charlie 🙁 Always running after and around your teenage kids trying to make sure they’re fed, clothed and get home safely.

    You should be very proud of yourself still being able to blog (even if its irregular) and also being able to make a lovely roulade 😀

    Hope you get some more rest this week!

  17. The roulade looks delicious! And fresh, beautiful raspberries… Your story is as always captivating. Your son’s habit of losing clothes sounds very mysterious…

  18. You make the roulade sound so easy! Loved the dress–how mod and fab. Arabella will feel like a model herself! And Archie and his clothes…always funny.

    I wrote L at NQN the same thing: If you have a desire to come to Mexico, check out the March 10th article from a Sydney paper and do it. We’ll go marketing and have a grand time!


  19. The dress looks lovely, the dessert delicious, but, oh, that internet problem, not so good. Hope that issue is resolved soon.

  20. The dessert looks luscious. Love raspberries!

  21. o…just underpants…Archie might just have had some good time. No worry, mom.
    The cake looks lovely with fresh raspberries.

  22. Funny story and great dessert! As long as everyone had a good time, I suppose!

  23. Well hopefully Arabella will come home with more than her underpants on. Good thing that Archie didn’t say something like “My date had a great time, too!” (I’m rather glad this isn’t that sort of blog.)

    Actually, I find it very difficult to keep clothes on my three-year-old sometimes.

    I will say that you put your internet-free time to better use than I do. This roulade looks great!

  24. This looks delicious! I’ve made a roulade once – and haven’t wanted to try since! The whole rolling it up part freaked me out. But it’s so gorgeous, I may have to try again…

  25. The furious business of internet providers. !!. I thought you n=might be having some kind of trouble. Where on earth did archies clothes get to??. Lovely Roulade ( and beautiful raspberries)

  26. Be thankful for small mercies Charlie, at least he still had underwear on!
    Your cake looks amazing- so lovely and rich,yumm! Good luck with your internet, but I suspect you’ll have plenty of time for more baking before it gets sorted out!

  27. Ooh this looks delicious!

    I love the colour of Arabella’s dress. It’s just gorgeous. Can’t wait to see photos of the night.

    Archie sounds like quite an entertaining young man!

  28. oooh I love this combo with the berries!

  29. Boys will be boys! And, what a fabulous cake to have baked after being so busy. Looks divine!

  30. Ya gotta love Archie but saying, “Hat’s off to Archie!” seems somewhat inappropriate, given the circumstances. I did many things in my ill-spent youth but I always managed to come home with most of my clothes. Even so, I’m glad he had a great time, that you survived the chaos with your sense of humor intact, and that you shared today’s recipe. It looks incredible!

  31. Why do I have the feeling that I will have a son that will come home and say something similar to that of what Archie said? 🙂

    Great looking cake.

  32. saw the dress & its LOVELY! im sure ur daughter will be the center of attention on D-Day witha dress so pretty 🙂 the swiss roll is making my mouth water, so fresh with all that fruit. hope ur internet is back soon

  33. Ok I retract my comment form the last post about having 3 boys 🙂
    I am slightly drooling over that roulade that…actually slightly is a severe understatement.
    I HAVE TO HAVE IT! xxx


  1. […] actually pleasingly presentable and Celia couldn’t resist asking, ‘How is it that you returned from your formal wearing only your underwear?’  And Archie said, ‘Oh right, well I think there’s just some things you […]

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