When I was testing recipes for this book, surrounded by desserts around-the-clock, I had to invent rules to keep from eating myself out of my wardrobe. The primary one was no pajamas. I didn’t allow myself to eat desserts in the morning before I got dressed. Coffee and an English muffin were fine, but not sweets. This may seem a bit silly to some, but after churning ice cream or assembling an ice cream cake and putting it in the freezer overnight to harden, I woke up curious to see how things came out. I wanted to head straight from the bed to the freezer, stopping only to get a spoon, but if I start the day with ice cream it makes me crave desserts all day. I tossed this rule when it came to this roulade. Later, after several pieces, I justified my pig-out by telling myself that at least there was coffee in the accompanying Coffee Caramel Sauce.—Emily Luchetti
For the coffee caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup brewed decaffeinated coffee
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the brown sugar ice cream
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the roulade
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons water
6 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Coffee Caramel Sauce, warmed
Make the coffee caramel sauce
1. Stir the sugar and water together in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase to high heat and continue to cook, without stirring, until the sugar has caramelized and is medium amber in color.
2. While the sugar is cooking, mix together the coffee and cream in a bowl. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in about 1/4 cup of the coffee-and-cream mixture. (The caramel will sputter as it is added, so stir carefully.)
3. Continue gradually stirring in the mixture until all has been added. Let the caramel cool, stirring occasionally, until warm. Whisk in the butter and salt.
4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. If serving warm, reheat in a double boiler or microwave.
Make the ice cream
1. Combine the cream, milk, brown sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool over an ice bath to room temperature.
2. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until firm but still spreadable, about 2 hours, depending on your freezer.
Make the roulade
1. While the ice cream is freezing, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray an 11-by-17-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Melt the chocolate and water together in a double boiler over hot water. Stir until smooth.
3. Whip the egg yolks on high speed until light in color, 2 to 3 minutes with a stand mixer, 3 to 4 minutes with a hand mixer. Reduce to medium speed and add 1/3 cup of the sugar. Increase speed to high and continue to whip until thick and ribbony. On low speed or by hand, stir in the 1/4 cup cocoa powder and the salt. Stir in the melted chocolate.
4. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy and beginning to increase in volume. Gradually whip in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a steady stream. Whip until satiny, stiff peaks form. In two additions, fold the whites carefully into the chocolate mixture. Gently and evenly spread the mixture in the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when pressed with your fingertip and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. While the cake is baking, lay a clean, thin cotton dish towel on the work surface with a short end toward you. Dust an area of the towel the size of the cake pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and run a small knife around the inside edges of the pan. Place one of the long ends of the cake pan on the right side of the towel and invert the pan and the cake on top of the towel so it falls at the end of the towel closest to you and on top of the cocoaed area. Carefully remove the pan and then the parchment paper. From the cake end closest to you, carefully roll the cake and the towel up together like a jelly roll. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Assemble the roulade
1. If necessary, temper the Brown Sugar Ice Cream (put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to soften it slightly) while the cake is cooling. It should be firm but spreadable. Carefully unroll the cake. (If it splits anywhere, carefully push the broken pieces together.)
2. Gently spread the ice cream over the cake with a thin metal spatula, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Reroll the cake without the towel.
3. Place on a large platter or baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours, depending on your freezer. Cut into slices and serve with the Coffee Caramel Sauce.
The roulade can be made up to 2 days before you serve it. Wrap well in plastic wrap.
Recipe © 2006 by Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.