*** 01/08/2010 - added some more informative text! ***
I didn't really factor in what the final product would look like with the colour combinations, I was thinking purely about the flavours, so it was a delightfully gruesome and amusing surprise when I released the cake from its frosty prison to discover ... Brains!
Recipe source: Inspired by the Swiss swirl ice cream cake from the Taste of Home website.
The recipes for the cake, filling, eggless ice creams and the fudge topping have been developed by myself.
Blog checking lines: 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.
The Master challenge recipe can be found here.
The original challenge called for a triple chocolate hit but after last month's extremely rich monstrosity and because I had made double chocolate cookies twice in the last 2 weeks, I wanted to go for something a little less rich and a little more delicate.
I split this challenge up over two weekends as there seemed to be a lot of waiting around to be done amongst all the components! I made the ice-cream one Saturday and the cakeage and assemblage was completed the next Saturday. The ice-cream flavours I made were green tea and black sesame. The cake was green tea with red bean cream filling and I substituted the fudge sauce with an ad hoc red bean "sauce".
$12.50 buys you a whole buttload of matcha powder. I'm envisaging a lot of green tea flavoured treats in the next couple of months. Also, because I don't have a mortar and pestle (one day *sigh*) I went with some dodgy leftover packets of "Instant Sesame Paste" instead of roasting and grinding some black sesame seeds as I wasn't sure if my stick blender could process seeds into powder.
Making the custard for the ice-creams
Having never made ice-cream before, I did what any ignoramus does and Googled around to find the simplest possible recipe and decided to improvise with this one. I made the custard component as instructed then ...
... halved the custard into two Ikea containers and added my flavourings: a respectable amount of matcha powder (about 1 tablespoon dissolved in a small amount of hot water) and a substantial amount of "instant black sesame" powder (2 packets! I tried one but after tasting the mixture it was rather underwhelming so I added the another packet).
I then started the wonderful process of freezing and stick blending the crap out of them every hour until I got bored (about 2 hours in ...) and left them to freeze overnight before blending them a final time. (I ♥ my stick blender! 800W of power baby!)
In the end, the flavours were totally there but the texture was not perfect, no big ice chunks but definitely a little on the crunchy rather than creamy side. After a couple of minutes in the open air, the ice-cream did soften up a little but I would definitely try to improve the texture in the future.
In retrospect, some things I should have found out/not ignored before making the ice-creams:
- David Lebowitz is the go-to guy in such matters and has many good tips for noobs. He suggests blending the mixtures every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours.
- I should have let the mixures cool before sticking them in the freezer.
- I should have cooled the containers before putting the mixtures in them. (Haven't found any resources to suggest that plastic containers are the wrong thing to use but in case they are, someone please let me know!)
- I should learn the Art of Zen and not open the freezer every 15 minutes and be disappointed when the mixture is still 'soupy'
- I used skim milk which probably upped the water content which I totally did not consider at the time. Boo to me.
Swiss roll making
I used the recipe as laid out in the Master recipe but had to do some elementary maths to figure out the dry ingredients as I have heard that matcha powder is extremely intense in flavour and I didn't want the sponge to overpower everything else (ice-cream is king in my house!). In the end, I halved the whole cake recipe and instead of 5.5 tbsp of flour + cocoa, I used 4.5 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp matcha.
Red bean sauce and cream filling
More shortcuts! (c'mon! there were like 5 components to this beast!). I'm guessing there's a more traditional way to make red bean paste than buying a packet of red bean paste but ... meh! And because I thought there just wasn't enough Asian-ness going on in the dish, I forked out $1.95 for a block of palm sugar while I was at it.
I think at this stage there was just too much oven watching (baking a thin-ass cake is stressful people!) and blending and gas stove flame-age going on so I didn't take any photos but I heated up a little bit of cream and mixed in about half the packet of red bean to it to make the filling for the cake (yes, I am entirely precise in my measurements :P). The store bought paste already contained sugar so I skipped adding anymore sugar to the cream filling. I then rinsed out the saucepan and melted together some red bean paste and a healthy dose of palm sugar to make the red bean sauce. I was really starting to wing it here ... I had no idea what would happen by chucking the paste and sugar in the saucepan but luckily I was spared any smoke alarms going off (flashback to my first attempt at making caramel ...). However, it looked a bit gluggy so I splashed a bit of water in there for good measure. Mmmm ... saucy ...
Not happy! I wasn't too concerned about the burny bits (all the better to tide me over until the dessert is ready!) but as I was releasing it from the baking paper bits kept sticking and one bit just REALLY didn't want to come off. Guess which bit. Greaseproof my ass.
Rolling, rolling, rolling ....
I knew there was too much cream filling but I just really REALLY hate wasting food so I chucked it all in there anyway.
Into the fridge for an hour and then slicing. Success! Huzzah! A little on the 'flattened' side but nothing a firm, loving hand won't fix.
With all components complete it was time to unite! I made one cereal bowl sized version for my main cake and two single serves in a couple of ramekins as I reasoned that they would be ready for consumption that night rather than having to wait til the next day for the big one to be frozen through. Patient one aren't I?
Black sesame ice-cream. Then an hour in the fridge. Then red bean sauce. Then an hour in the fridge. Oh no, wait. I was too impatient! I put the green tea on straight after the sauce! And then I didn't take a photo because I didn't want you to know! Oh well, my cover's blown and now you know why in the innards shot at the end of this post the sauce is all raggedy (because it was still liquid when I smooshed the green tea ice-cream over it!)
To me the single serves looked nicer but obviously the brain sized one looks more impressive just for sheer size and brain-likeness.
What's my favourite kind of challenge? Why a tasty, tasty challenge of course!