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.
Yay! Ice Cream! I realise that this makes me sound very, very grown-up, but I can explain. I've never really liked ice cream. Too cold. I hate being cold. That's also why I don't really like swimming in the sea, or living in Wellington, for that matter. The cold makes your muscles all tense up, and your teeth chatter, which is very unlady-like, let's be honest. So, no thank you for ice cream, until one day, in a fit of adventurism, I bought an ice cream maker. I blame my mother. She is so into appliances, she'll have two bread makers if she could find the space. Some of this love for electronic food helpers must have rubbed off on me, because I suddenly found myself with an ice cream maker. Can't tell you how it happened, it's all a bit blur, really.
The inaugural batch I whipped up in my new baby was roasted cinnamon ice cream, and it was the best dessert I've ever had. And just like that, I was hooked. Suddenly I had years and years of ice cream eating - and making - to catch up on. What a great dessert. It's at the same time fun and therapeutic to make it (all that hypnotic stirring of the custard), and if you do it right, the result is heaven. Cold, yes, but so delicious, the temperature doesn't seem to be an issue. It's the melting in the mouth that make it a tactile experience along with the taste, a little bit like chocolate.
And of course, with ice cream making comes new recipe books. I think I might have mentioned before that I lived with my Baby Brother in Wellington, New Zealand, for six months. We had the greatest time. He was studying film at the time, so we were at the movies a LOT, and very often in the Belgian cafe, courtesy of our Belgian room mate, Bruno. All of us liked good food, and we didn't skimp. Except good food can be expensive, and supporting little brother on my doctor's salary was touch and go at times. (To give you some perspective, I've recently started considering going back to my job as emergency doctor now that the Little Girl is a bit older, and realised with a shock that I will make more money as a Tupperware demonstrator. And this is in a developed country. You be the judge.)
Anyway, point is, we were not rich. So when I walked into a book shop one day and saw the most beautiful ice cream book, A Passion for Ice cream, by Emily Luchetti, I had to have it. Here was a book with page after page of the most delicious ice cream recipes I've ever seen, with cakes and cookies and other fabulous things to eat thrown in, obviously just to brag about how good she really is. Then I saw the price. There was absolutely no way I could afford to pay $90 for a book on ice creams. So I paged through it, and drooled, and thought about buying lottery tickets, and walked away empty-handed.
Then, a few months later, the same book shop had a sale, and lo and behold, same lovely book, new lovely price - 60% off! This was towards the end of my stay in New Zealand, and the book was carefully packed and shipped across the Tasman Sea to my new home country, Australia, where, once arrived, I looked at it all the time, but didn't make any of the lovely recipes, as my lovely new husband's bachelor pad had only a small bachelor fridge with teeny tiny freezer compartment. Hardly any space for a bag of frozen prawns, let alone an ice cream maker bowl.
Along came the new Daring Baker's challenge, requiring not one, but two kinds of ice cream, and I decided that it's time to drag that bag of prawns out of the freezer and make way for ice cream. (Yes, it's still the bachelor fridge, but there's a new fridge on the horizon. I'll tell you later.)
The two ice creams I decided to make was a banana one, and a milk chocolate one with chocolate covered pecans, and yes, it does taste as divine as it sounds, but I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all, the swiss roll cake. Fiddly, but delicious. Will I make it again? Not sure if it's delicious enough to warrant the fiddliness. The banana ice cream? Tasted like pureed bananas, so I ended up using only a tiny bit in a cake. It tasted fine, but I'll be looking for another recipe. The fudge sauce? Easy, but not as good as The Best Chocolate Sauce in the World.
Now, for the chocolate ice cream. Looking at the recipe, I toyed with the idea of using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, but I'm so glad I didn't. My ultimate favourite Black and Green's chocolate stole the show. It was lovely and sweet, with a touch of richness that I want to describe as smoky, except that's not exactly it. And that's just the background. The chocolate covered pecans were so good, I'm forever going to cover my chopped nuts in chocolate before using them in any recipe ever again. It was divine. All I can do is implore you to try this ice cream. Please! Pretty please! You will not be disappointed.
The cake was such a big job that took me 3 days to complete, working with a tiny freezer and a lovely Little Girl wanting hugs and kisses all the time. I kept on thinking that this is just not worth it. I could be making several other dishes in the same time. Then I tasted the final result, and it's so good, I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. (I don't really see the point of being a grown-up if you can't have cake and ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce all in one for breakfast. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this.) This dessert is a labour of love, maybe made for a birthday, or for Christmas. But very much worth it.
Swiss roll ice cream cake
Inspired by the recipe of the same name from the Taste of Home website
The Swiss rolls
6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling
2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar
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.
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.
Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
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.
Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer 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.
In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.
The Hot Fudge sauce
1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch
1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.
Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .
Chocolate covered pecan and milk chocolate ice cream
120g bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups pecan halves, chopped
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
180g milk chocolate, finely chopped
Melt the chocolate over boiling water. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecan nuts. Spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tin. Let sit at room temperature until hard, about 1 hour.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Cook the milk, cream, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the milk and cream into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Whisk in the milk chocolate until it is completely melted.
Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard lightly coats the spoon.
Strain the custard into a clean bowl and cool until room temperaturel. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or overning.
Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Banana ice cream
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar (as I've mentioned before, Australia thinks a tablespoon is 20ml, not 15ml like the rest of the world, so if you live Down Under, use a bit less.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Put the unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft and beginning to give off some liquid. Remove the skins from the bananas, and puree the bananas in a food processor.
In a bowl, whish together the egg, yolks, half the sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine the milk, cream and remaining sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the milk and cream into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of the spoon.
Strain the custard into a clean bowl, and cool in an ice bath. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, then churn in your ice cream machine.
Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
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).
Soften the banana 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)
Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)
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 .
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.
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.
Serve with any leftover fudge sauce, heated up.