Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream Roll

Chocolate sponge cake:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large eggs separated (at room
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted cake flour
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1/4 cup brandy

Chocolate glaze:
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Crème anglaise:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pint pistachio ice cream, softened in refrigerator for 1 hour
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted


1. Make chocolate sponge cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375ºF. Line bottom of 151/2" x 101/2" baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving 2" overhang on short ends of pan. Lightly spray parchment paper and pan sides with non-stick spray. Lightly dust parchment and sides of pan with cake flour and tap out excess.

2. Melt chocolate according to instructions in Chocolate Key on page 47. Transfer chocolate to large bowl. In  bowl of electric mixer, using wire-whip attachment, beat yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed for about 4-5 minutes, or until batter forms a thick light yellow ribbon when whip is lifted. Using whip attachment that has been removed from mixer, gently fold egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. Gently fold in flour.

3. In grease-free bowl of electric mixer, using wire whip attachment, beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and while continuing to beat, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, beating until whites form stiff peaks when wire whip is lifted. Using whip attachment, fold one-third of the egg whites into yolk/chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites.

4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and gently smooth it with an offset metal spatula. Bake sponge cake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into  center of cake comes out clean. While cake is baking, place 151/2" x 10 1/2" piece of parchment paper on work surface and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

5. When cake is baked, run a thin-bladed knife around edges of cake to loosen it from sides of the pan and immediately invert it onto sugar-coated parchment paper; remove pan. Starting at a long end, roll cake up loosely with parchment paper into a jelly-roll. Cool completely.

6. Place pistachio ice cream into medium bowl and mix with wooden spoon until just spreadable. Carefully unroll cake so as not to crack it. Place brandy in small bowl and liberally brush onto cake, especially all edges. Using an inverted metal spatula, spread ice cream into a 3/8" layer. Using parchment paper as a guide, reroll cake into a tight cylinder. Wrap roll in a piece of plastic wrap. Twist ends of wrap to secure round shape of roll. Freeze  roll while making chocolate glaze.

7. Make glaze: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, corn syrup, and butter to a gentle boil. Pour hot cream mixture over chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute to melt chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth. Cool the glaze to 86ºF to 88ºF until it starts to thicken slightly.

8. Unwrap roulade and place it on a wire rack set over a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Slowly pour glaze evenly down center of roulade, allowing glaze to cover  roulade completely. Return to freezer.

9. Make crème anglaise: Place milk, cream, and vanilla bean in medium, heavy saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring just to boil. Reduce heat to as low as possible, cover, and infuse milk with vanilla bean for 20 minutes or so. Remove vanilla bean, wash it to use again, and reheat milk/cream to boiling.

10. Place yolks and sugar in medium bowl and beat until thick and light, using a wire whisk. Whisk half of hot milk/cream into yolks until blended and whisk mixture back into remaining hot milk/cream. Heat gently, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until custard thickens slightly. Draw your finger across back of spoon — it should leave a clear trail. (Note: Do not overheat or it will curdle.)

11. Take custard off heat at once and strain into a bowl. Let cool completely, cover tightly, and chill. The custard will keep three days in refrigerator.

12. Serve cake: Slice ends off of roulade. Slice cake into 1/2" slices. Place a spoonful of crème anglaise on dessert plate, top with cake slices and garnish with toasted pistachios. Alternately, place pistachios on top of glazed cake.

Next Article:  Strawberry Bombe

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