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Chocolate Hazelnut Roulade Recipe

1/4 C. hazelnuts, toasted and cooled, skins rubbed off

2 T. all-purpose flour

6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 eggs, separated

3/4 C. sugar

1/8 t. cream of tartar

2 to 3 T. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder


1 C. heavy cream, cold

2 t. instant espresso or coffee powder

1/2 t. vanilla extract

1 1/2 to 2 T. sugar

Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

To make the roulade, in a clean, dry food-processor bowl, combine the nuts with the flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Set aside.

In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water or in a heat-proof bowl set into a skillet of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Or microwave on medium (50 percent) power for about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth and completely melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture. Set aside.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry.

Using a rubber spatula, fold about a fourth of the egg whites and all the hazelnut mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan or on a rack.

Sieve a light dusting of cocoa over the cake, reserving the remaining cocoa. Lay a sheet of foil on cake and invert; peel off the pan liner.

To make the filling, whip the cream with the espresso powder and vanilla until it begins to thicken. Sprinkle with sugar and beat until the cream holds a soft shape. Spread the cream over the cake and, starting at a short edge, roll the cake using the foil to help you. At first the cake will crack as you roll it. Don't worry -- the cracking will become less severe as the roulade gets fatter, and a little cracking on the finished roulade looks like tree bark, quite appetizing. Wrap the roulade in foil and refrigerate until serving.

To serve, unwrap the roulade and transfer to a platter. Sieve a little more cocoa over it, or use a little powdered sugar for contrast.

Serves 8 to 10.


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