I love all the “how to” posts…. an answer for everything. All you have to do is turn to your favorite search engine and away you go on your journey for the meaning of life, that is “if” you don’t get side tracked. I DO! Kidding…. but really, considering all the details of life there really is a plethora of answers on the net. Yet, the publishers still manage to crank out books. I hope they never stop, PLEASE ? Collecting them happens to be an affection, (reads “affliction”) of mine, a habit, a passion. Specifically, cook books that is. Love them. This week as requested by my good friend, a chocolate roll or roulade for a dear Mother’s birthday was on my agenda. Habit dictates a quick look on the net for a “quick” answer. Are you like that too? Always the easy method of extracting a solution? Stop! This time, a light bulb came on as I glanced over a bookcase, and I set about pulling books from the shelf . It was amusing the number of possibilities available. At least to me. Kind of embarrassing.
Next, notes were made for possible choices. So I pondered and probably labored a little too much (in my mind) to make a good choice factoring in the time of year and the palates of the persons who were the recipients. Do you do this? Always, taking a step back from a personal choice, dark chocolate, bittersweet and rich, lusciousness. Maybe this person wouldn’t love it that way. Let’s try something in the middle, less bittersweet, which may read as a little more pleasing since its summer and we have beautiful berries which naturally love to roll around in a bed of smooth white whipped cream, right? So… I picked Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet Roulade from the book entitled “Bittersweet.” I’m embarrassed to say this book has been on the shelf for some time and I’ve never made this recipe before….. and it is Chocolate! What was I thinking?
Off to the market to buy cherries. Found that organic was comparable in price to non-organic, fresh whipping cream and the rest was around the house. Oh, cherries were mentioned in the request. In an effort to keep things on the lighter side, I decided to make a cherry infused chocolate sauce which was a discovery in one of those “chocolate” books by Lori Longbotham, Luscious Chocolate Desserts. I made another sauce by cooking the remaining cherries with sugar which were put in the blender with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to keep it bright both in flavor and color. :”) A little vanilla liquor, 43 Cuarenta Y Tres, was added to round the edges a wee bit figuring chocolate and vanilla are nice.
Chocolate Cherry Sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup pitted ripe cherries, finely chopped ( I think perhaps 1 c)
4 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
sea salt to taste
Heat the cream, cherries, and chocolate in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a large coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Use immediately, or let cool to room temperature, transfer to a glass jar, and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to serve. The sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks. Shake well before serving chilled, or gently reheat before serving.
In a time pinch I quickly snapped (which means they aren’t lovingly staged and thoughtfully photographed) a few pics of the chocolate roll. Also, because it was being delivered to a special friend I don’t have a plated version either. I can tell you I was able to eat the end trimmings. Privilege of the one who bakes… he he and it is perfectly delicate in crumb, chocolate (60% cocoa Callibaut), rolled with lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream. Oh so perfect. Not heavy but chocolatey. Breakfast?
(adapted from Bittersweet, by Alice Medrich)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate 70%, coarsely chopped (used 60%)
1/3 cup water or freshly brewed espresso, or 1 tsp instant espresso powder (Medaglia d’Oro) dissolved in 1/3 cup water (used 3 T water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 to 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup heavy cream
Position an oven rack in lower third and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place chocolate and water or espresso in a microwaveable bowl on 50% power for about a minute and then stir to combine and melt until smooth. Stir in vanilla and set aside. (Because of the 60% chocolate, Alice instructs the reduction of water/espresso to 3 Tablespoons).
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large dry bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat at high speed until the whites are stiff but not dry.
Whisk the yolks into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites completely into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently but completely. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertips and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist but not gooey, 8-10 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
* Because I used 60%, Alice instructs the baking for 10 minutes then reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the surface of the sheet seems firm to the touch.
To unmold, first run a small knife around the inner edges of the pan to release the cake. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift a very light dusting of cocoa over the surface. Cover with a sheet of foil. Holding the foil and pan edges together at both ends, invert the pan onto a counter. Remove the pan and peel off the parchment liner.
I whipped the 1 c heavy cream and lightly sweetened until nearly stiff. Then spread it evenly all over the cake before rolling. I used the foil to assist with the rolling of the cake which I recommend. ”Don’t be scared!” :”) Roll that baby up and presto…. you have a dessert that folks will think you labored over for hours. Sprinkle some of your favorite summer berries and dust everything with powdered sugar or cocoa, not to forget an extra dollop of that lovely billowy whipped cream. Never too much whipped cream. Heck, you can even get your fancy pants on with chocolate decorations if you have the inclination. The ball is in your court. Here are those “not so fancy pics” I promised. Thanks for hanging around! I love it that you did.