After a relaxing weekend with my family, I need to get a dinner made ready for tonight for the family as we are rather busy later starting our Secret Santa shopping spree. I am going to make a Macaroni Cheese and a Chocolate Meringue Roulade. Also. I need to make a traybake or two to keep the childrens’ packed lunches well stocked up. I would rather they have a homemade treat in their lunch than a shop bought cookie. As it is coming up to Christmas, I was going to  make some tree and star shaped cookies for the children to enjoy. However, I am going to leave that task or treat for a weekend near to Christmas and allow the children to be involved or takeover. Definitely, a lot of festive fun will be had as they make these cookies. Instead, I have been asked to make some Granola Bars and some Choc Chip Cookies  by the children whilst on the school run this morning. I will be making these treats later as I am concentrating on making my “Thanksgiving” tribute today.

I have a strange method for making Macaroni Cheese these days.  This method to make a sauce saves on time as I don’t see the point in making the sauce separate if you are going to mix it with something else. In fact, I haven’t used macaroni in the bake today as I didn’t have any left. Instead, I have used fusilli, as that is all I had to hand, but it works just as well in this dish. I love this dish as all the family will eat it and it saves on the washing up. I don’t feel like I am running a café sometimes and making this meal gives me a welcome break plus all the children enjoy this meal. However, when I said I was making Macaroni Cheese with a “twist” – they turned their nose up at the “twist”. So I have made two lots of the pasta and cheese dish. This is a picture of the unbaked dishes ready for the oven.

On the dish with a “twist” I have added a oatmeal crumble topping which has oatmeal, Parmesan and cheddar cheese mixed with it. This is the only difference between the two dishes. This is a great way to add some fibre to this recipe and help in the combating of dementia to boot.  The bakes don’t look too appetising at the moment. However, after being in the oven they will be delicious as the flavours will meld together and produce a hearty dinner for the family on a cold, wintry day. I will share this recipe tomorrow once I have some photos of the baked dish.

For now, I am going to add the recipe for the Chocolate Meringue Roulade which I have just finished decorating. The children will love it as it is a chocolate lovers dream and my children love chocolate.

A Chocolate Meringue Roulade Recipe.

Recipe by V.DaleCourse: Desserts, RecipesCuisine: desserts


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



A perfect end to a lovely celebration.


  • For the sponge:

  • 4oz dark brown sugar

  • 3.5oz self raising flour

  • 0.5oz cocoa

  • 4oz soft spread

  • 2 eggs

  • For the filling and topping:

  • 4 Mars Bars

  • 75ml water

  • 300ml whipping cream

  • 2 meringue nests (shop bought will do)

  • 10 caramel bites

  • sprinkles


  • Preheat the oven to Gas 4.
  • Line a swiss roll tin.
  • In a mixing bowl, weigh out the ingredients for the sponge.
  • Whisk together to form a smooth batter.
  • Transfer to the baking tin.
  • Bake for 10 minutes till the sponge springs back when touched.
  • Allow to cool.
  • In a pan, heat the Mars Bars and water together, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce is formed.
  • Allow to cool.
  • In a bowl, whisk the whipped cream till it forms soft peaks.
  • Spread some of the chocolate sauce on the sponge, followed by some of the cream.
  • Dot pieces of caramel bites and crushed meringue onto the filling.
  • Roll the sponge up carefully (the filling will run out if you overfill the sponge).
  • Transfer to a serving dish.
  • Spread the cold chocolate sauce over the top.
  • Pipe the remainder of the cream on the top.
  • Decorate with crushed meringue, sliced caramel bites and sprinkles.


  • Nutritionally, one slice contains 569 calories, 33.4g total fat (43% daily total fat), 62.1g total carbohydrate (23% daily total carbohydrate), 1.6g fibre (6% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet).

This recipe seems quite complicated but the trickiest bit is rolling up the sponge. I changed my mind in the end about what sponge to make for this recipe. I stuck with the standard cake batter rather than a genoise sponge. Both types of sponges work just as well but the genoise sponge does not keep as long due to the lack of fat in the recipe. I know this bake will not last past dinner time tonight – so it doesn’t really matter which sponge you use.

This recipe can be gluten free and possibly egg free if you make a standard cake batter. It is something I will have to try. If you don’t like chocolate then the sponge can be any flavour you like, from lemon and coconut, to caramel and apple. There are many combinations which you can try. A very versatile recipe indeed.

Nutritionally, I knew the calories, fat, cholesterol, sugars and carbohydrate content would be high as there are a lot of rich ingredients in this recipe. This is a decadent dessert and a delicious treat to share with the family over the festive season whether that be “Thanksgiving”, “Christmas” or “New Year”. “Everything in moderation” as they say and as of yet I have resisted the urge to have a slice – unlike my husband who has already tucked in to it for his lunch.

This is a recipe I will be using over the next few weeks for when I have company or just as a treat for my family. As it is a versatile recipe I will be trying other flavour combinations too :). After talking about Christmas, tomorrow is going to be a wrapping presents kind of day for me as the days are slipping away – or is that just in my life??