Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring Bakers - Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

When you're working 10-12 hours days, six days a week do you:

a) Enlist help from family and friends,

b) Say no to requests for time, desserts, favors, etc.,

c) Make sure you're eating right, sleeping enough and getting plenty of exercise, or

d) Join a new baking group, for which the challenges truly are challenging.

If you said d, you know me too well. Yes, it's official, I have lost my mind.

Daring Bakers caught my attention over a year ago. I kept seeing blog posts with these fantastic desserts that I wouldn't tackle on a good day. It seemed like an exclusive club of accomplished bakers, so I knew right away I wouldn't fit in. But as time went on, I wanted to challenge myself to more involved recipes and learn some new skills. When it was my turn to pick for Chocolate with Francois, I chose macarons and with some trial and error, managed to turn out some decent looking and delicious macarons. Emboldened, I emailed the powers that be and in due time got my reply. I'm in!

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 filled with hot fudge.

Sunita provided her recipes for the cake roll, ice creams and hot fudge but gave us the freedom to use our own recipes and play around with the flavors. We like chocolate and vanilla so I decided to stick with those. I used Dorie Greenspan's vanilla and chocolate ganache ice cream recipes from Baking From My Home to Yours, and I used my own hot fudge recipe, but I used Sunita's recipe for the Swiss cake roll and cream filling.

I made this recipe over two days, making the chocolate ganache ice cream and hot fudge sauce one day, and the other components and assembling the cake the next. I served it the day after it was assembled. As Sunita promised, none of the recipes were difficult, but the bombe did require lots of freezer time in between assembly steps.
This recipe made me so grateful for my standing freezer in the garage, which M. talked me into last year. The forum on the Daring Kitchen site had several comments from bakers who were more challenged by finding space in their freezers than they were by making the dessert.

The fun began when I started on the sponge cake and filling. The sponge couldn't be easier--whip eggs and sugar until they reach the ribbon stage, add the flour and cocoa (presifted), fold in and then add a couple tablespoons of boiling water. Divide evenly between two 9x11 pans (I used quarter-sheet pans, which are 9x13, because that's what I had). Fortunately, I have an extra bowl for my KitchenAid, so I weighed it on the scale empty and then weighed the bowl with the sponge batter. I then weighed the sheet pan, and added 1/2 of the batter by weight. If I eyeball it, my cakes end up very different heights.

My sponges baked for about 14 minutes at 400 degrees, longer than the recipe stated. After removing them from the oven, I lifted them out by their slings and flipped one onto a dish towel sprinkled with sugar. I then rolled the layer into the towel and left it on a rack to cool, then tackled the other layer. So far, so good.

I again employed the extra bowl to weigh the cream mixture for the filling and portioned it out for the two sponges. This is where things didn't exactly work the way I'd planned. As I unrolled the first sponge it stuck badly to the towel, breaking apart in one area. I didn't panic, thinking there's a reason they call these recipes challenges. Then I dumped on half of the cream as I realized, could it be, that my sponge had shrunk?!? There was such a thick layer of cream that as I rolled it, cream came gushing out the seam and through the little area that had broken. I wiped off the extra cream and moved on, using much less for the second roll, which didn't stick or break! Wrapped in plastic, they went off to the fridge as I contemplated the mounting pile of dirty dishes.

The hardest part was over. Now came the slicing, arranging the slices in the bottom of a big glass bowl, freezing, spreading the vanilla ice cream over the slices, freezing, pouring in the hot fudge, freezing, adding the chocolate ganache ice cream, freezing. Then the waiting.

Unless we wanted bombe for a midnight snack, this had to wait another night to be eaten.

We had this for dinner the next evening. As I have been working tons and am sick to boot, ice cream sounded soothing for my stomach. We each had two small slices, and found it delicious. That surprised me because neither of us like whipped cream. Freezing it made the texture completely different and less heavy than normal. The ultimate measure of success was when M. vetoed taking the leftovers to work.

Thanks, Sunita, for such a fun and delicious recipe!

The Swiss rolls (recipe by Sunita of Sunita's World - Life and Food)

6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 grams caster sugar /8 oz + extra for rolling
6 TBS. / 45 grams/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 TBS. /40 gram / a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 TBS. /30 ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans

For the filling:
2 C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about 1/2 cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 TBS. / 70 grams / 2.5oz of caster sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans (11 inches by 9 inches) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.

3. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.

4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.

5. Place a pan in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the center is springy to the touch.

6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.

7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.

8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.

9. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.

10. Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processor till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.

11. In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.

12. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.

13. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of 1/2 an inch should be fine).

14. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar

Put the chocolate in a 2-quart liquid measuring cup or a large heatproof bowl. Bring 3/4 of the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit a minute, then, using a rubber spatula, and starting in the center of the mixture, slowly stir the cream into the chocolate in ever-widening concentric circles. When the ganache is smooth, set it aside.

Bring the milk and the remaining 3/4 cream to a boil in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle, Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon: if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer (this took about 8-10 minutes on my stove.) Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly and gently stir the custard into the ganache. Refrigerate until cold, then churn in ice cream maker.

Vanilla Ice Cream (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 moist, plump vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Bring milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. If you are using a vanilla bean, put the seeds and pod into the pan, cover and set aside for 30 minutes, then bring the milk and cream back to a boil before continuing. If you are using vanilla extract, wait until later to add it.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm the eggs so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170°F, but no more than 180°F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and strain the custard into a 2-quart measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Discard the vanilla pod or if you are using vanilla extract, stir it in now.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled then churn it in an ice cream maker.

Rich Hot Fudge Sauce
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 sticks butter, cut into bits
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
2/3 c heavy cream

In a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate and the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, then stir in the cocoa powder, butter, sugars and the cream (I usually mix the sugars and the cocoa together in a bowl with a fork, bypassing the sifting, and let the sugars melt in before adding the cream). Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring, and simmer it until it is smooth and the sugar is dissolved (it should be glossy). Pour it into a 2 cup measuring cup or microwave safe decorative pitcher (I use either a small glass milk bottle or porcelain pitcher.) To reheat, microwave for about 15 seconds, swirl it around and repeat until it is quite warm but not hot.

Assembling the cake:

1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices (approximately 2 cms each).

2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.

3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).

4. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm (at least 1 hour)

5. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm. (at least an hour)

6. Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.

7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.

8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.


Cakelaw said...

Hi Leslie, welcome to the Daring Bakers!! So glad you could join. Your bombe is a triumph, and I liked mine so much as well, it didn't go to work either - I gave one slice to my boy and kept the rest for myself. Sorry to hear that you have been unwell and are working ridiculous hours - I hope smoother sailing is just around the corner.

Katrina said...

Well, doesn't that dessert look awesome and delicious!
Yes, you go, joining another group!

Renata said...

That looks so good!!! Yummy!

Kayte said...

I am still giggling over your list...yes, that is so YOU!! This cake looks fabulous, art in action! Good for you. You now officially out class me in the baking world...well, actually you did that before, but now it is official!!!

CarrieZ said...

Great job! My cakes stuck quite a bit too, and I had a lot of leftover cream. Your cake looks delicious!

Joy said...

Your bombe is gorgeous! It's quite a striking dessert, and it looks like it would taste amazing, too.

AmyRuth said...

Whoa girl. I bumped into Cakelaw's too. You all are incredible. What a project. It looks beautiful and clap clap clap...congratulations. Amazing job

Megan said...

Wow Leslie - that looks fantastic! It makes me wish i hadn't dropped out of the Daring Bakers!

Julie said...

Wow! You are an amazing woman. I seriously couldn't make that dessert even if I wasn't working 10 hours a day, let alone if I was working that many hours. So reminds me of the Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. YUM!

Sherry G said...

Holy cow! That looks fabulous. Your hard work really shines through, and you should be so proud!

Lisa said...

Leslie!! I'm so glad you joined Daring Bakers!! Funny thing is..I was thinking that a gal with your talents would fit in so well and wow us with your creations :)

Well, you've 'wowed' me with your swiss swirl bombe. It's gorgeous and perfectly executed! Congrats on a first DB challenge totally rocked!

TeaLady said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers. Yep, challenging. And no, not crazy. Just a great baker who likes to share. LOL

I didn't get to this one, but after seeing yours I wish I had. Just no time...

It is beautiful. So much better than the original that Sunita based it on. Congrats on meeting this challenge.

Anonymous said...

That looks so cool! I've always wanted to make a molded ice cream dessert, but haven't tried it yet.

Mags said...

Yes, you have lost your mind...LOL

However, that is one lovely cake you've got there woman.

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers ! And thanks for stopping by my blog ! What a challenge to start out with-I felt like I had conquered Everest by the time I finished with all the freezing and mixing !! Nice job,it looks delish-I'm beginning to think all Daring Bakers are just closet over achievers !

Mimi said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Great job on your first challenege I'm not sure how you do it all TWD, SMS,CEiMB, Daring Bakers and a real job too. I need some of you time management secrets!
Those blueberry steusel muffins and panzanella need to make an appearance in my kitchen soon.