27 July 2010

Now that's my kind of Cherry Bombe!

Chocolate Cherry Bombe
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.  Well, the timing for this recipe challenge could not have been better.  Dad's birthday is in July and, as I mentioned in a previous post, my dad *loves* ice cream.  He loves ice cream the way some people love chocolate.  At any given time, there are probably 4 or 5 containers of ice cream in my parents' freezer, and let's just say they are never in danger of freezer burn.  I've been told that when hubby and I go to Rome, Mom and Dad can give me a map showing where the best gelato can be found.  Seriously, I'm talking ice cream-aholic.  The fact that this recipe did contain a small amount of actual cake was actually a strike against it, but I figured for some homemade ice cream, he'd likely look past that minor flaw.  

The birthday boy's shirt don't lie....
(One thing to note about this cake... this is not a "whip up a quick dessert an hour before company arrive" kind of dessert.  Each layer needs a couple of hours of chill time in the freezer, so it's best to start a day or two before you want to serve it)

Though we have had a solid 10 days of very wet weather here, the grocery stores are still filled with summer's haul of fresh stone fruits.  I picked up a huge bag of dark red cherries for one of the two ice creams called for in this recipe.  Ice cream #2 would be a nice creamy vanilla, because in my opinion, vanilla ice cream is often overlooked.  Years ago, Sis told me that vanilla couldn't be my favourite flavour of ice cream because it's the food equivalent of white in a colour palette - it's a non-flavour.  I disagree.  For me, vanilla ice cream (and I mean really *good* vanilla ice cream) is more like the little black dress in your dessert wardrobe.  Every girl should have a little black dress, and every kitchen should be stocked with a really good quality vanilla ice cream.  After all, when your sweet tooth starts screaming to be appeased, vanilla ice cream can provide the perfect backdrop for a dark rich chocolate ganache, a smooth fleur de sel caramel sauce, fresh fruit, or hubby's favourite: an ice cream float made with orange pop.  

The cherry ice cream layer turned out to be a real labour of love.  It took about 20 minutes just to pit the entire bag, before I quartered them and put them in a saucepan with a bit of sugar and a pinch of salt to bring out the juices and reduce them down to an intense syrup.  When the juices were just starting to boil,  I added a generous splash of Crème de Cassis (our liquor cabinet was all out of Kirsch), and cooked everything for another few minutes before straining out the fruit and pouring the liquid back into the pan for more reduction.  Today's food science tip; when you want to make a fruit-flavoured ice cream but you don't want to break a tooth on an icy chunk of fruit, cook the fruit with a bit of alcohol first - preferably something that compliments the flavour, or vodka.  Alcohol doesn't freeze, so you're essentially infusing the fruit with just enough anti-freeze to keep them a similar consistency as the ice cream itself.  A second food science tip regarding ice cream is that when things are extremely cold or frozen, our taste buds don't register flavour as strongly as when the same food is room-temperature.  So, when adding a flavour component to ice cream, it should be much stronger that you would make it for any other dessert.  Likewise with sweetness and flavours, which is why that last little bit of melted ice cream at the bottom of the bowl always tastes so much sweeter than the first spoonful did.  So, instead of adding just the straight cherry juice to my ice cream base, reducing the juices down until they are thick and syrupy, concentrates the flavour in them, which makes for a tastier ice cream in the end.  When it finally came time to churn everything in the ice cream maker, I added about 1/2 of the cherry reduction to the cream base and, as I transferred the entire batch to a freezer-proof bowl for the final chill, I wove a ribbon of the same syrup through the finished ice cream after the cherries were folded in.  The result was sheer perfection - probably my best batch of fruit ice cream ever (candied ginger holds the top spot for all-time favourite homemade ice cream).  The intense, distinct flavour of dark cherries was unmistakable and impossible to miss.  Now it was time to make the Swiss roll cake.

Cherries, chocolate, ice cream... what's not to like?
A Swiss roll typically uses a classic génoise cake as the sponge.  Perhaps without realizing it, we have all tasted génoise cake at some point in our lives, because it is highly adaptable and can be used in an endless variety of dishes.  However, the process for making a génoise is very unique.  For one thing, the batter contains no chemical leaveners.  That's right, no baking powder, no baking soda.  Instead, it uses a method similar to Swiss meringue, only génoise whips the entire egg into a foam, and cooks it gently over a double boiler to help stabilize the structure of the foam, before the dry ingredients and butter are added and the batter is baked.  The result is a very light, flexible cake that can be rolled up before it cools without breaking apart and crumbling.  Once cool you can gently unroll the cake, spread on a layer of filling, typically either a flavoured whipped cream or fruit preserves, then roll it all back up and serve.  Once the cake was filled with chantilly cream,  I let it firm up in the freezer for about 20 minutes to make for cleaner slices.  That gave me enough time to find the right bowl to use as a mold, and line it with plastic wrap.  I carefully cut the cake into 20 equal slices and arranged them snugly around the bottom and sides of the bowl.  I then scooped the cherry ice cream on top of the cake, and smoothed it out a bit, covered it with plastic wrap and put it back into the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.

Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake - perfect for a summer birthday!
For the fudge sauce layer, I went simple.  I prefer a nice dark chocolate ganache to most chocolate or fudge sauce recipes that often call for corn syrup or other things that only make the sauce sweeter, taking away from the chocolate.  Ganache stays relatively soft once it's frozen, so it's a fine substitution.  Equal parts heavy cream and dark chocolate, heated up and stirred together... it takes less than 2 minutes to make and is *so* good when it's done.  To eliminate any chance of melting the ice cream layer by adding warm ganache, I left it on the counter overnight to cool to room temperature.  The next morning, I had a fully frozen ice cream mold and a scoop-able truffle layer, which I smoothed over and set back in the freezer while I made the final layer of ice cream.... Vanilla!

Both ice creams for this recipe were made Philadelphia style.  It's a lot faster to make than French style ice cream, because you don't have to cook and then cool the cream.  You can just mix everything together and churn it in your ice cream maker if you have one (If you don't happen to have an ice cream maker, Sunita has also posted a recipe for homemade ice cream that doesn't need any special equipment).  Milk, cream, sugar and a generous amount of vanilla were mixed together, churned and scooped on top of the chocolate layer.   A couple more hours in the freezer to firm up and the cake was finally done.

Dad loved his ice cream cake.  In fact, when Mom tried to send the left-overs home with me after dinner, I insisted it would keep in the freezer and he could enjoy a piece after dinner every night this week if he wanted.  When Mom asked Dad if he would be able to finish it, his reply was a simple "It's ice cream!"  Enough said....

So, if you have a couple of days to prepare in advance, and you want a nice summer treat to cool everyone down, this is a great dessert to make.  The sky's the limit when it comes to flavour combinations - if you can dream it, you can make it in this cake.  I'll definitely be making this dessert again and mixing up the flavours yet again.

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Cherry Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake
serves 12-14

Chocolate Genoise Cake

60g (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
107g (3/4 Cup) all-purpose flour
30g (1/4 Cup) cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs, room temperature
201g (1 Cup) granulated sugar
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla

Preheat  oven to 350˚F and place rack in centre of oven.  Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Butter and flour any areas that may not be completely covered by the parchment.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Continue whisking gently until the mixture reaches 110˚F (check using an instant read thermometer).  Immediately pour the mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a whisk.  Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip until the egg mixture has more than doubled in volume.  When the whisk is lifted and held above the bowl, the mixture should fall in a thick ribbon that rests on top of the batter for several seconds.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Gently fold in the melted butter.
Holding the bowl very close to the sheet pan, and being very careful not to deflate the batter, gently scrape the batter onto the prepared pan.  Carefully smooth the batter with a spatula.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch.  Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
On a flat, clean worksurface, smooth out a clean dishtowel which is larger than the sheet cake.  gently sprinkle cocoa powder onto the towel.  One the cake is just cool enough to handle, invert the cake onto the dusted towel.  Working quickly and using the towel, tightly roll the cake width-wise.  Set aside to cool completely.
Once the cake is fully cool, carefully unwrap the cake just before preparing the cream...

Vanilla Cream Filling
250ml (1 Cup) heavy cream
30g (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
15ml (1 Tbsp) vanilla

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks.  Gradually whip in the sugar and vanilla, and continue until the cream holds still peaks.  Spread in an even layer over the top of the cake, leaving a 1/2 of clean border along the outer edge of the cake.

Slice the cake into approximately 20 equal slices, and line the mould tightly with the rolls.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set while you make the cherry ice cream.

Cherry Ice Cream
2 Cups fresh cherries, pitted and sliced into quarters.
100g (1/2 Cup) granulated sugar
1/2 stp salt
45ml Kirsch liqueur
500ml (2 Cups) heavy cream

Place the cherries, sugar and salt in a large saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the juices have begun to reduce.  Strain the cherries over a bowl, reserving the juices.  Return the juices to the saucepan and stir in the Kirsch.  Continue to simmer for several minutes until the juices are thick and syrupy.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Once cool, combine 1/2 of the syrup with the heavy cream and churn in an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's directions.  Once the ice cream is churned, quickly fold in the cherries and finally, a ribbon of the syrup.  Immediately spread the ice cream into the cake-lined mould.  Cover and place in the freezer to set.

Chocolate Ganache
250ml (1 Cup) heavy bream
250g (1 Cup) dark chocolate, chopped
15ml (1 Tbsp) Kirch

Heat the cream over medium heat, but do not allow it to boil.  Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.  Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and whisk gently to combine.  Once the ganache comes together, gently stir in the Kirsch.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool for approximately 1 hour.

Once cooled, pour the ganache on top of the cherry ice cream, but do not spread it to the top of the mould.  Cover and return the cake to the freezer once more.

Vanilla Ice Cream
500ml (2 Cups) heavy cream
100g (1/2 Cup) granulated sugar
30ml (2 Tbsp) vanilla

Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to directions.  Once fully churned, spread the ice cream over the ganache layer in the mould, and smooth the top.  Cover and return to the freezer and allow to chill completely, approximately 6-8 hours.

Shortly before you are ready to serve, remove the mould from the freezer and carefully run warm water over the outside of the mould to help release the dessert.  Gently invert onto a plate and keep in the freezer until everyone is ready for dessert.  To slice, use a very sharp knife, dipped into very hot water.


FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said...

Oh wow Julia....it looks beautiful! So wonderfully excuted and presented. I'm sure it was a hit

Juls @ Juls' Kitchen said...

Julia, I could print this sentence "vanilla ice cream (and I mean really *good* vanilla ice cream) is more like the little black dress in your dessert wardrobe" and learn it by heart!
Witty, love it!
And love your dessert!!
Hugs! xx

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Nice job on the challenge. I see I am in the minority of people who didn't go the whole hog and make the bomb... Yours is. (da bomb!)

Renata said...

Beautiful and delicious! Well done!

Cecilia said...

Julia, it looks amazing! We both made cherry ice cream as one of the components for the ice cream cake! It seems like such a waste to not be making fruit ice cream during the summer. So many delicious fruits to pick from. But yes, cherry ice cream is a labor of love. I really like your idea of dark chocolate ganache instead of a chocolate sauce, it sounds so decadent. I totally eliminated the sauce from mine, after making a cake, a filling and two ice creams I really didn't have energy for making the sauce. I really loved this challenge, it was so much fun. Hope you are doing well, hugs!

Barbara Bakes said...

Wish I could have a scoop of you fabulous cherry ice cream right now. Thanks for sharing your tips. Your bombe looks fabulous.

Pam said...

Oh my gosh! This looks delicious and decadent! I have to try it as cherries are the best! I'm a new follower and am looking forward to more great recipes! Thanks so much for this one!

Anne's Kitchen said...

Ha, I totally agree with the vanilla ice cream! I tend to always order it wherever I go because (I love it but also) it tells you how talented the ice cream manufacturer really is! A good vanilla ice cream is not easy to make and it requires only the best ingredients! You can fake a good chocolate ice cream, but you can never ever do so with vanilla, right?

As for the bombe, my gawd, thumbs up for this one! I'm speechless! Your dad must feel super special with such a stunning and labour intensive birthday treat!

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Jeanne @ CookSister said...

Beautiful!! And I love that there are almost more cherries than ice-cream in the ice-cream!! have a total weakness for anything with cherries...

Jeanne @ CookSister said...

Beautiful!! And I love that there are almost more cherries than ice-cream in the ice-cream!! have a total weakness for anything with cherries...