I have to admit there was a sharp intake of breath as I checked out the Daring Bakers’ challenge for July. A “Swiss Swirl Icecream Cake” inspired by this:
(photo courtesy of the Taste of Home website)
I was kind of half expecting there to be a Jello layer in there somewhere! And weirdly, it reminded me of a wig.
The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.
1. You must make the Swiss rolls, a filling for them, two ice creams and a fudge sauce, from scratch.
2. You must set the dessert in a bowl/pan etc in the order given in the recipe-Swiss roll, first ice-cream, the fudge topping and, finally, the second ice cream.
Ok, you probably know already that I am all about the challenge. The challenge of learning new techniques, that is, and for me, the technique I decided to focus on out of this five-part challenge was the actual swiss roll.
A Swiss Roll? Never made that and always wanted to = perfect. I searched high and low for a “no fail” sponge cake and finally settled on a recipe from Gourmet (January 2001). My notes in red below.
Gourmet | January 2001
Inspired by Dionne Lucas’s recipe for roulade léontine, this easy flourless chocolate cake will delight your guests with its airy texture and intense chocolate flavor. Here we filled it with Grand Marnier whipped cream (see Cooks’ notes, below, for other flavor ideas). We tried several brands of chocolate and found that Lindt and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolates produced the best flavor and texture for this particular cake. This cake depends on separated eggs for its lightness and airy texture.
Active time: 40 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Yield: Makes 12 servings
For cake layer
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
3 tablespoons water (did not use this)
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
Garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners sugar
Make cake layer:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 15- by 10- by 1-inch shallow baking pan and line bottom lengthwise | with a large piece of wax or parchment paper, letting paper hang over ends by 2 inches.
Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm. (The first time I did this, the chocolate went all crumbly. I left it out the next time when I had to use a chocolate Inukshuk that was a student gift to make up the quantity in chocolate. It was not Lindt but it worked!)
Beat yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. (In the actual recipe, they do not mention the cocoa. I added it in to the beaten yolk mixture). Fold in melted chocolate until blended. Beat whites with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until puffed and top is dry to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes.
Transfer pan to a rack. Cover top with 2 layers of damp paper towels and let stand 5 minutes, then remove towels and cool completely. Loosen edges with a sharp knife. Sift cocoa powder over top of cake layer (I did not) and overlap 2 layers of wax paper lengthwise over cake. Place a baking sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. (Don’t worry if cake layer breaks; it will hold together when rolled.) (At this point, I rolled and wrapped the cake in a clean teatowel and left it a few hours. If you are going to do this, make sure the cake is fairly warm to avoid cracks and breakages).
Make filling: Beat cream with confectioners sugar and Grand Marnier with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold in zest.
Fill and roll cake: (I spread a very thin layer of marmalade on the cake before I filled with cream – thought it would go well with the Grand Marnier – it did!). Spread filling evenly over cake. Put a long platter next to a long side of cake. Using wax paper as an aid, roll up cake jelly roll–style, beginning with a long side. Carefully transfer, seam side down, to platter, using wax paper to help slide cake. (Cake will crack but will still hold together.) Dust cake generously with cocoa powder and confectioners sugar (again I did not because I started to have an idea of how to make this baby look pretty!)
·Cake may be rolled 1 day ahead and chilled in a cake keeper or loosely covered with plastic wrap.
·You can substitute the following for Grand Marnier and orange zest: 2 tablespoons Cognac and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; 2 tablespoons cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; or 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder or instant-coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons water plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
·This batter can also be baked in an unoiled 91/2-inch springform pan. Bake until cake is set but still moist in center, 35 to 40 minutes (cake will rise and then sink as it cools). Top with Grand Marnier whipped cream.
Ahem, yes, there are no step-by-step pics of this one because it was SO hot when I was baking it and I was in a bit of a fluster wondering whether I was doing it right. Thanks Jen for being there on Twitter for me throughout the process! And yes, my cake cracked – only a little but enough to mean that I needed a quick fix – ganache to the rescue!
I found this easy glaze at the Food and Wine website.
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Raspberries, for garnish
Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, stir the cream, milk and sugar over moderate heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand until the chocolate is melted, 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the butter and let cool slightly.
Transfer the cake to a rack. Pour half of the chocolate glaze all over the top and sides and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Spread the remaining glaze all over the cake and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
This was delicious but I had to coat the roll three times (each time letting the glaze harden slightly in the fridge) before I got a shiny solid surface all over the cake. This also makes A LOT of glaze. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.
But then I still thought it looked a little, shall we say, naked so I went ahead and made some candied orange peel that I thought I would decorate it with in some way. The recipe is from Bon Appétit (December 2008).
It takes a day or two for the peel to dry, so plan ahead.
Yield: Makes about 2 cups
2 large oranges, 1/4 inch of top and bottom cut off
4 cups sugar, divided
3 cups water
Cut peel on each orange into 4 vertical segments. Remove each segment (including white pith) in 1 piece. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cook in large pot of boiling water 15 minutes; drain, rinse, and drain again.
Bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel. Return to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.
Toss peel and 1 cup sugar on rimmed baking sheet, separating strips. Lift peel from sugar; transfer to sheet of foil. Let stand until coating is dry, 1 to 2 days. DO AHEAD: Wrap and freeze up to 2 months.
I got into a HUGE mess making this (again, no pics!) – how are you supposed to drain the peel from the boiling sugar syrup without it all hardening on the spoon or the strainer. In any case, I ended up with some lovely long strips of candied peel and also some big lumps of it. I decided to grind the big lumps up in the spice/ coffee grinder and sprinkle it on top of the roll for some added colour.
Finally, I was satisfied. I might not have made the 5 part proper challenge recipe but I had my own multi-part challenge of my own. I learned three techniques that I have never tried before (the cake, the peel and the glaze to coat a cake) so I would say it was a successful personal challenge! Very happy with the result – tasted SO good – as were our friends who got to taste the fruits of my labour on the weekend!