I finally got my hands on my own copy of the Sarabeth's Bakery: From my hands to yours by the amazing professional baker Sarabeth Levine. She is a very well known baker in New York and I could not wait to get this book and start learning all of her amazing tricks. When I got this book I literally read it from front to back as if it was a text book and I picked up so many amazing tips. Since she is a professional, she does use many things that the home baker is not used to having on hand. For example, she uses fresh vanilla beans, pastry flours, and a multitude of liquors and special tools. But, I will do my best to include the modifications that you can substitute if you do not have these things. So do not be surprised if you start seeing things life a fresh cheese danish, or chocolate babka show up on this blog!
So typically, I am not a fan of roulade or jelly-rolls simply because I am a perfectionist and they always seem to crack on me and break, and that kills me. But this one looked so elegant and delicious that I thought I would give it a try. Originally she used a hazelnut buttercream, but I thought that would be too sweet so I just made an espresso buttercream. You could switch this up with just a vanilla buttercream or you could use different buttercream for the filling and the outside, I just used the espresso buttercream for both.
This cake is not one that I have ever made or heard of before. It is called a Genoise and is an Italian sponge cake. It was a bit more time consuming then a cake, so what I would suggest if you do not have time to make a genoise but still want the hazelnut flavor, is to make a vanilla cake and just add 2 teaspoons of a hazelnut liquor to the buttercream or cake to bring in the hazelnut taste. The flavor of this cake is very strong and very sweet and I think that if you love espresso flavorings this would be a good cake for you to bake and impress with.
Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery:From my hands to yours
makes one 15 by 10-inch cake
For the Hazelnut Genoise:
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz.) hazelnuts, preferably toasted and skinned (see below)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. pastry or unbleached cake flour
4 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. superfine sugar
Seeds from one vanilla bean or 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 15 by 10 inch cookie sheet and line the bottom with parchment paper. (If you do not have a 10 by 10 inch cookie sheet, which is a jelly roll pan, just use a regular cookie sheet)
-Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
-Grind half of the hazelnuts with 1 Tbs. flour in a magic bullet blender or a coffee grinder until the mixture is very finely chopped, almost like a powder. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining hazelnuts and 1 Tbs. flour. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining 3/4 cup flour.
-Bring a large saucepan of water to simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to very low to maintain the simmer. Whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer (or a very large bowl). Place the bowl over the water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. If you have an instant read thermometer it will read 118 degrees F. Do not overheat mixture or it will turn into scrambled eggs.
-Attach the bowl to the mixture (or get your hand held mixture ready) and fit it with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Beat on high speed until the egg mixture has almost quadrupled in size , is very pale yellow, and fluffy. This took me about 10 minutes but with a hand held mixture it will take longer. You'll know when it is the right consistency when you lift the whisk attachment a couple of inches above the bowl and the egg mixture creates a ribbon that falls back on itself and holds it shape for at least 5 seconds before sinking. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
-Transfer the flour-nut mixture to a medium-mesh wire sieve. In four equal additions, sift the flour-nut mixture over the egg mixture and use a whisk to fold it in. You want the batter to maintain its fluffiness and lightness, so be as gentle as possible. Transfer about one-fourth of the batter into a medium bowl, and fold in the cooled butter. Now pour the mixture back into the remaining batter and gently fold with a whisk.
-Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it evenly with an offset spatula, bring sure that the batter fills the corners of the pan. Back until the top is golden brown and it springs back when pressed gently with your finger in the center, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely in the pan before removing.
-To remove: run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake. Get a towel, that has a great amount of powdered sugar on it so the cake will not stick and place it on a cutting board larger then the pan. Placing the towel and cutting board on top of the cake, invert the two together so that the cake is now resting on the towel. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Now roll up the cake and towel together, starting with the narrow end and refrigerate until cool and ready to assemble.
For the Espresso Buttercream:
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. whole milk
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. brewed espresso, cooled
-Using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the salt until combined, then add 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and the milk. Beat until combined.
-Scrape down the bowl, and add the other 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and the espresso. Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides.
-Beat on high for 5-6 minutes or until fluffy.
**You will use half for the filling and half for the outside.**
Assembling the roulade:
-Remove the roulade from the fridge and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Carefully unroll and remove the towel. Spread 1/2 of the buttercream over the cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the top long side. Starting at the bottom long side, roll the cake jelly-roll style. As you roll, use a towel to lightly compress the roulade.
-Place the roulade on your serving platter and carefully slip a few strips of clean parchment just underneath the roulade to keep the platter clean while applying the buttercream. Now take 1/3 of the remaining buttercream and create a thin layer using an off set spatula. Refrigerate until the butter cream is set; about 10 minutes.
-Spread the remaining buttercream over the roulade, using long strokes next to each other. Slide the parchment out from under the roulade.
*If desired, use any remaining buttercream to pipe alternating swags down the top of the roulade. Do this by placing the remaining buttercream in a pastry bag and use a star tip to pipe the swags. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on the swags or on the roulade and refrigerate again until buttercream is firm. Another 20 minutes. It can be refrigerated for up to one day. Remove one hour before serving.
-Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees. Stir occasionally until the skins are cracked and the nuts underneath look toasted. About 10 minutes. Wrap the nuts in a clean kitchen towel and cool for a few minutes. Using the towel, rub of skins.
-I could not find whole hazelnuts so I just bought already chopped hazelnuts at the store (skins still on) and just toasted them in a pan over the stove. I left the skins on for character and color.