Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring Baker Challenge: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

**A special thanks to my brother for the great pictures! You can definitely tell which ones I took myself! ;D
The finished product. Gorgeous!
WELL... [wipes brow with corner of apron]

I have finally completed the July Daring Bakers' Challenge, and I am pooped.

This is only my second month participating in the Daring Bakers' group, but I am having so much fun with it! This month we were challenged to create a Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake -- essentially a swiss roll cake (jelly roll) sliced and frozen with layers of ice cream and hot fudge sauce to make sort of a bombe glacĂ©e. The inspiration for this recipe can be found here.

Sunita gave us a lot of creative latitude, which I appreciated because I'm a little chocolated out
(GASP! I know.)
I decided to create mine with a vanilla/raspberry/lemon flavor combination to keep it light and summery. And can I just tell you that I have never made a dessert with so much WOW factor! My family went crazy over it at Sunday dinner. The cake was a nice textural contrast with the creamy vanilla ice cream and slightly gooey lemon curd, and the raspberry sorbet rounded things off with a tangy, refreshingly summer-like flavor.

Vanilla Raspberry Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

It was a lot of work, but I was bursting with pride at my family's reaction, so it was worth every minute!
For those of you following along at home, let's get started. We have 5 components to make -- all from scratch:
Raspberry Curd
Lemon Curd
Sponge Cake
Raspberry Sorbet
Vanilla Ice Cream

Let's start with the fruit curds. I know, the name isn't particularly appealing, but the final result is scrumptious. A fruit curd is kind of a butter/jam/custard combo; it has the consistency of pudding, kind of. It can be used as a filling or topping for cakes, eaten with scones for afternoon tea, or just eaten by the spoonfull (because I can't help myself -- don't judge).
I used a recipe for rasberry curd courtesy Tea, of Tea and Cookies. It turned out fantastic -- the most beautiful shade of purple. I won't list the recipe here, but click over to her site if you are interested.

Lovely, lucious raspberry curd. Mmmm...
Lemon Curd
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 3 lemons)
1 tbsp. lemon zest ( the zest of one lemon will do. freeze the zest from the others with a little water for later use in cakes, etc.)
pinch salt

The easiest way to make this is to combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl (I use my pyrex measuring cup, 1 quart size) and cook on high for 30 second intervals, stirring well with a fork or whisk between each interval until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (or the fork you're using because why dirty another utensil, am I right?). In my microwave, this took maybe 3 minutes -- but as microwaves vary, keep going until the consistency is right. It will be a tad runny but it will thicken as it cools.
If you find you have one or two clumps of egg white in your curd, just pick them out or pass the mixture through a seive and discard solids.
Easy right? Now, set it in the fridge and ignore it for a bit. When it has cooled completely, cover it with a lid or some plastic wrap. (I won't tell if you just have to eat some, promise.)

Now make your sponge cake.
A sponge cake is an old fashioned cake that uses only whipped egg whites for leavening. Traditional sponge cakes use no added fat and very little flour. I chose a basic recipe which turned out very well:

My sponge cake/jelly roll ready for chilling

Vanilla Sponge Cake
7 eggs
Pinch salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cake flour (I put 2 Tbsp. conrstarch in my measuring cup and filled it the rest of the way with AP flour.)
*For chocolate sponge cake: substitute 1/2 cup cocoa powder for 1/2 cup cake flour.
Line jelly roll pan (mine is smaller than a standard half-sheet pan, about [measurements] with parchment paper. Set oven at 400°F. Separate eggs; beat egg yolks together with vanilla 1 minute.
Add pinch of salt to egg whites; beat until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating whites until they cling to bottom and sides of bowl, then beat 1 minute longer.
Fold beaten egg yolks into egg whites gently but quickly. Gently fold in sifted sugar and flour. Do not over mix. (I like to use a wooden spoon, it seems to work better than a spatula)
Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly from center out with a spoon or spatula. Tap pan several times on table to break any air bubbles.
Bake in center of oven 8 to 10 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.
Remove from oven. Immediately loosen sides with a table knife and turn cake out onto prepared dish towel. Roll tightly while still warm and let cool 10 - 15 minutes.
Carefully unroll cake and fill as desired (I used my raspberry curd). Reroll immediately and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use.

Are you tired yet? Me too. Go take a nap and come back.

Are you feeling rested? Good.

Next I made ice creams. Yes. Ice creams. Plural.
If you have an ice cream maker, these next steps aren't so hard. If you're like me, this will take a long time and some elbow grease.
{For great tips on making ice cream without an ice cream maker, go here. And also here.}

I made Vanilla Ice Cream using David Lebovitz's recipe, and raspberry sorbet (to keep it light and save my arteries from more cream...) as outlined below:

Raspberry Sorbet
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 pounds frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved -- about 3 or 4 minutes. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside.
In food processor or blender (I used my immersion blender), process thawed raspberries with their juices until smooth. Strain the berry puree through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Discard the solids.
Combine the berry puree and cooled syrup and process/blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and chill thoroughly.
Transfer the berry mixture to an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions for making sorbet. Pack into a freezer container and freeze until firm, about 3 to 4 hours.
(Or do like I did and make your ice cream and/or sorbet without the machine. See links above.)

Here comes the fun part. Slice your jelly roll into 1/4" thick slices and place along the bottom and sides of a small mixing bowl lined with plastic wrap. Pour in your vanilla ice cream, cover with more plastic wrap and place a second mixing bowl inside to create a well. Place in freezer to harden. Remove plasitc wrap, pour in lemon curd (no need to leave a well this time), replace plastic wrap, and let freeze hard. Finally, fill the rest of the space with your raspberry sorbet, cover tightly with platic wrap and let freeze again until you're ready to eat it.

Work in progress...
When you're (finally) ready to serve, flip out onto a platter or plate and remove all plastic wrap. Run your knife through hot water before each cut, slicing your dome into wedges. (like a cake, see?)

I was so nervous to cut that first slice! But it came out beautifully.

Et Voila!
I won't lie to you, I literally licked my plate clean at the end of dessert. Literally.

**The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.


  1. Perfect rolls, divine flavors and colors! Very well done!

  2. That dessert is the most beautiful edible item I have ever seen! You may have just created a new genre: food art! How could you even bring yourself to cut into that? I'm highly impressed.

  3. @ Renata: Thank you! Yours turned out beautifully as well!
    To see Renata's challenge, go here:

    @ Rachel: Thanks love! I could only bear to cut into it because I couldn't wait to EAT it. Good thing it has now been immortalized in the blog-o-sphere and it can last forever. In infamy... She says so humbly... ;D

  4. Kristyn; what a delightful description of a memorable dessert. Just glad I was participant of the heavenly premiere of this beautiful creation. I love your blog.


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