Bittersweet Mocha-Pecan Roll
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 4 HRS 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 10 to 12
This amazing cake from author Alice Medrich is rich and chocolaty but also ethereal and soufflélike.
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Vegetable oil spray
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70-percent, chopped
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- In a large bowl, combine the milk chocolate and instant espresso. In a saucepan, heat the cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate; let stand until melted, then whisk until blended. Refrigerate the mocha cream until cold, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 12-by-16-inch jelly roll pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper. Spread the pecans on a pie plate and bake for 7 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the pecans with the flour until finely ground.
- Put the bittersweet chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl; set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until the whites are firm and glossy. Fold one-fourth of the whites into the chocolate; fold the chocolate and the pecans into the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 9 minutes, or until springy. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Heavily dust the cake with cocoa powder and cover with a sheet of foil. Place a cutting board over the cake and invert it; remove the pan and parchment paper.
- Beat the chilled mocha cream at high speed until it is firm and holds its shape. Spread the cream evenly over the cake. Starting at a long side, roll up the cake as tightly as possible, using the foil as a guide. Tightly wrap the cake roll in the foil and slide it onto a cutting board. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Unwrap the cake and dust with more cocoa. Carefully slide it onto a long platter and dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into slices; serve.
The cake is lovely with Mumm Napa's lush, moderately sweet Cuvée M.