Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mocha-Hazelnut Roulade.

Mocha-Hazelnut Roulade

Mocha-Hazelnut Roulade

I thought my roulade was smiling at me.

This is another recipe from Chocolate Holidays by Alice Medrich. The souffle cake base is wonderfully moist and studded with just noticeable bits of hazelnut. The filling is a sinfully delicate espresso flavored whipped cream. I picked this recipe because i've never made a jelly roll, and i'm a sucker for anything flavored with coffee and hazelnut.

Baking is very relaxing to me, and I find it very theraputic/stress relieving. Since I was very small, i've needed time alone to recharge.

Sometimes between ages three and five i'd get upset and tell my mother "I just need to be alone with my animals." I would shut myself in my room and sit on my animal-covered bed until I felt better.

Now that i'm older, i'm more likely to bake, work out, read, or take a short walk. It gives me time to process and recover.

Chocolate Hazelnut Roulade

1/4 cups hazelnuts, toasted and cooled, skins rubbed off
2 tbsp all purpose flour
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2-3 tbsp dutch process cocoa powder

1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5-2 tbsp sugar

16x12 or 11x17 jelly roll pan, lined with parchment or foil

Preheat the oven to 350.

Finely grind the nuts and flour in a food processor. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth and melted.

In a large bowl, whip the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

In a seperate bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff but not dry.Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate along with all the hazelnut/flour mix. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Spread into the prepared pan and bake 12-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Cool the cake completely on a rack, in the pan.

Dust some of the cocoa on a 16inch sheet of foil. Upend the cooled cake onto the foil and peel off the parchment.

To make the filling, whip the cream, vanilla, and espresso powder until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and beat until soft peaks (make sure it is stiff enough, or your roll will be squashy.) Spread the cream over the cake and roll up with the help of the foil. Don't worry if it cracks a bit, it will be okay in the end.

Wrap in foil and refrigerate before serving. To serve, transfer it to a platter and dust with additional cocoa, powdered sugar, or decorate it however you like.

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