Chocolate Roulade with Hazelnut Filling
Pinwheels of chocolate filled with light cheese and crunchy hazelnuts served with a smooth chocolate sauce are an unbeatable combination. This elegant dessert is very easy to make, and serves a large number of people. The cake can be made up to two days before serving, and the sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for two weeks.
- Unbleached All-purpose flour - 3/4 cup, sifted
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup
- Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Eggs - 4
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
- Hazelnuts - 1 cup
- Ricotta cheese - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks), at room temperature
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3/4 cup, sifted
- Half-and-half - 1/3 cup
- Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- Chocolate Sauce
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 1 pound, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/4 cups
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Cocoa Powder - 1 cup, sifted
- Light Corn Syrup - 3/4 cup
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Fresh Raspberries - 1 pint
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is very thick and lemon colored, and forms a ribbon when dropped from the beater, about 10 minutes. Add the water and vanilla to the egg mixture, then add the sifted dry ingredients in two stages.
Line a 10-by-15-inch sheet cake pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly over the paper. Tap on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles. Bake the cake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan, still on the paper, and trim to an even rectangle.
To prepare the filling: Toast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes in a 350 F oven. Remove the nuts from the oven, place in a tea towel, and fold the towel over them so they are covered. Let them steam for 5 minutes, then rub the skins off while they are still inside the towel. Chop and set aside.
Cream the ricotta, butter, and sugar together with a mixer, beating until light and fluffy. Add the half-and-half and vanilla, then fold in the nuts.
Spread the filling over the cake and roll the cake up tightly, using the paper to guide it. Place seam-side down on the pan and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the sauce: Heat the butter, cream, and milk in a saucepan. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate, salt, cocoa, and corn syrup. Put over low heat again and whisk gently until the mixture is combined and glossy. Set aside to cool; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To serve: Cut the cake roll into thin slices with a serrated knife or an electric knife. Drizzle chocolate sauce on the dessert plates. Place two slices in the sauce on each plate. Garnish with a few raspberries. Dust the tops and plates lightly with confectioner’s sugar.