by Alice Medrich
This simple elegant cake can be varied by endlessly by subsituting nuts, adding chopped dried fruits and or liqueurs, or changing the flavoring of the whipped cream...in other words, have it your way, as they say.
6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
4 oz sweet butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup ground toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2-3 tablespoons Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, preferably not "ultrapasteurized" or "sterilized"
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2-2 tablespoons sugar
8-inch corregated cake circle
1. Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Line the bottom of 12x16-inch (or 11x 17-inch) jellyroll with parchment paper (or waxed paper or foil).
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a small bowl placed in a barely simmering waterbath, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Or microwave on MEDIUM (50%) power for about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth and completely melted.
3. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 C of sugar until pale and thick. Stir in chocolate mixture. Set aside.
4. In a clean, dry mixer bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry. Set aside just long enough to stir the nuts and flour into the chocolate batter. Fold about one-fourth of whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
5. Sieve a light dusting of cocoa over a 16-inch sheet of foil, reserving the remaining cocoa. Invert the cooled cake on the foil and peel off the pan liner.
6. Whip the cream with the espresso powder and vanilla until it begins to thicken. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until the cream holds a soft shape. Spread the cream over the cake and roll the cake the longway using the foil to help you. At first the cake with crack as you roll it. Do not worry, the cracking will get less sever as the roulade gets fatter and a little cracaking on the finished roulade ends up looking quite appetising...you'll see. Secure the roulade with foil and refrigerate it until serving time.
7. To serve, unwrap the roulade and transfer it to a platter. Sieve a little more cocoa over it, or a little powdered sugar for contrast. This cake need no embellishment whatever, but feel free to serve it with fresh raspberries or blackberries.
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