Sunday, March 22, 2009

my version of a peanut butter cup... only it's a cake

So Mel's favourite things are chocolate and peanut butter. All of her friends know that combining those two flavours together will always mean a successful treat. As you know, last weekend was Mel's birthday weekend - and so not only did I make those brazil nut cookies, but I also attempted my very first roulade. Yep, I baked a cake, rolled it up, unrolled it and filled it with a delightful filling and rolled it back up. Then I covered it in chocolate. Sounds difficult, but it really wasn't . I don't recommend making this more than a day in advance - the cake is so thin that it dries out quickly. But I would make this again.

This recipe was inspired by the chocolate-orange roulade from my Party Cakes recipe book. I swapped out the orange for vanilla in the cake batter and totally altered the filling. This cake really was made specifically for Mel.

Chocolate Roulade
1/2 c. self-rising flour
1 tsp b. powder
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. ground almonds
5 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 375F. Butter a 17 x 11 inch jelly-roll pan (a large cookie sheet that has at least an inch high side). Then line the pan (base and sides) with waxed paper - you need to have some overhang with the paper so that it's easy to remove the baked cake.

Sift the flour, b. powder and cocoa into a bowl and mix in the ground almonds.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 10 minutes with a handheld mixer. The result should be a thick batter that has tripled in volume. Fold in the dry ingredients using a large metal spoon.

Pour the batter into the jelly roll - spread it out evenly, make sure that all the corners are filled and even. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes (depending on your oven... mine took 14 minutes). The cake should be firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, soak a tea towel in cold water and wring it out. Lay it on a clean work surface, place a sheet of waxed paper on top and sprinkle white sugar on top of the wax paper.

Once you remove the cake from the oven, let is cool for 1 minute. Now, turn out the cake onto the sugared wax paper. Peel the wax paper that was lining the cake off (best to remove it in strips so that you can be more gentle with the cake). Now starting at the short side closest to you, start rolling the cake. Only roll the wax paper - keep the damp tea towel on the surface. Set the rolled cake aside and allow to cool completely.

While it's cooling you can then make the filling :0)

Peanut Butter Tofu Frosting
1 box silken tofu
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. peanut butter

Blend the tofu in a food processor until it becomes very smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend until everything is well combined.

Now - unroll the roulade, discard the wax paper and spread the tofu frosting over the entire cake using a spatula. Roll the cake back up carefully and as tightly as possible and place it on whatever serving plate you are going to use. Set aside.

Almost done... but not quite! Now for the Chocolate Frosting.
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 c. powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water. Allow the melted chocolate to cool for 10 minutes. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth - then add the chocolate and combine well. Set the frosting aside for 20 minutes - it needs to firm up a little. Spread the frosting over the roulade with a metal spatula (I don't have a metal spatula, so I use a large knife and carefully use the metal blade to spread the frosting).

As it sits the frosting will get firmer - almost forming a ganche effect over the roulade. If you want a dessert that impresses people - this is it. :0)

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