Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Roll with Black Cherry Ice Cream
Years ago I took orders for these during the holidays; I've made more than I can remember! They are simple to make, though they get prettier the more you practice. The cake bakes in no time, and once it cools, simply needs to be filled with your favorite ice cream and frozen. Make this up to two weeks ahead of time, and once it is frozen solid, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. It's great to have a couple of these in the freezer for last-minute guests or gifts. I like "pink" ice cream during the holidays; peppermint, black cherry, raspberry or strawberry, but vanilla, chocolate or salted caramel are awesome, too. Use your imagination! And a little drizzle of Chocolate Sauce is the perfect finishing touch!
For the cake:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grease a half-sheet pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Place the egg yolks into the bowl of the stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer) and beat until thick and lemon-colored; gradually beat in the 1/4 cup sugar; add vanilla.
(Transfer the mixture to another bowl if using a stand mixer. Clean the mixer bowl well with hot water and soap, rinse, and dry thoroughly. Use a clean, large bowl to beat the egg whites in, and thoroughly wash and dry the beaters if using a hand mixer, also. Egg whites need to be whipped in a totally fat-free bowl with a squeaky-clean beater attachment.)
Place the egg whites into the mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form; with the mixer running, gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat until very stiff peaks form, which means they hold their shape when the beater is lifted up out of the bowl and turned upright.
Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites gently, deflating the whites as little as possible.
Combine the dry ingredients and sift through a fine-mesh strainer over the egg mixture. Fold in gently until no streaks of the dry ingredients are visible.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter evenly over the parchment in the pan, then gently level with an offset spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until it springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
While the cake bakes, lay out a clean large woven (not terry) dish towel and dust liberally all over with confectioners sugar.
When the cake is done, run a knife all the way around the outside of the pan, then turn the cake out onto the prepared dish towel. Remove the parchment paper. Starting at the short end, roll the cake and towel together into a roll. Place the cake on a cooling rack and let cool completely inside the towel.
2 quarts ice cream of choice, softened slightly(black cherry was used in the picture, but peppermint, vanilla, caramel, or chocolate work well, too)
On a work surface gently unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel.
Beat the ice cream with a mixer just until uniformly smooth and spreadable, but still very frozen.
Quickly spread the ice cream evenly over the cake with an offset spatula. Re-roll the cake, using the towel to help roll it, removing it as the cake is rolled up. Gently coax the cake into a log shape if it is at all lopsided, being careful not to crack the cake.
Place on a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until frozen solid. The cake can be served at this point, or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and frozen for later use.