Pistachio Roulade with Raspberries
Oh so delicious and easy roulade to make and serve with seasonal berries. There were only four of us for dinner but I made two roulades because I knew where this was going. I had some leftover to share with our lovely neighbours and for my husband ( “is there some more of that cake left?”) for whom one piece is never enough. The recipe is adapted from Laura Calder’s Hazelnut Roll in her book French Taste, Elegant Everyday Eating. Her recipes are always fabulous and they always work. You cannot say that about all cookbooks. I also love the simplicity of her foods, elegant and sophisticated but understated and unpretentious.
Cake rolls are very versatile. Back in the “renaissance” I was making a dessert that was kind of my signature dessert at the time. It was made from a pistachio roulade, not rolled up but rather cut into strips and assembled on the platter in a spiral fashion as one large cake. I won’t go into the details here but perhaps will make one up again and post it here. It was a bit of a show stopper in those days just for the sheer size of it (I used to make it for a crowd). This time I simply rolled the roulade over whipped cream and then served each slice over a small pool of creme anglaise, a sprinkling of candied hazelnuts and a few fresh raspberries strewn here and there. It is similar to how I serve Oeuf a la Neige or Floating Island (different names, same dessert) but without the spun sugar. You don’t have to serve it with the creme anglaise as it is perfectly good served on its own as a cake, perhaps dusted with powdered sugar. Laura Calder makes her cake with hazelnuts and dust it with cocoa powder.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground pistachios
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whip[ping cream, whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar
Creme anglaise (recipe below)
Heat oven to 375℉.
Grind the pistachios in a food processor together with the flour.
Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Lower heat and keep the water warm with barely any bubbles around.
Place the eggs and sugar in a glass bowl that could sit on top of the pot without touching the water.
With an electric mixer or by hand begin beating the eggs and sugar. Continue for about 8-10 minutes until the eggs are tripled in volume.
Remove from heat and add the nut-flour mixture all at once.
With a spatula incorporate the nuts into the batter without deflating it too much.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it all the way to the edges.
Place the pan into the preheated 375℉ oven and cook for 12 minutes. The cake should feel lightly springy to the touch.
While the cake is baking spread a damp towel out on the counter.
When the cake is ready turn the pan over on top of the towel. The cake should release easily with the parchment side up.
Gently peel off the parchment and turn it over and lay it back onto of the cake.
Begin rolling the cake jelly roll style together with the parchment and towel.
Set the cake aside to cool.
When the cake has cooled unroll it gently, remove parchment and spread with the whipped cream.
Roll the cake over the whipped cream jelly roll style, beginning with the narrow end.
Place on a platter with the seam down. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place each slice of cake on a dessert dish with the spiral pattern up.
Spoon creme anglaise around, sprinkle with caramelized nuts, coarsely ground and garnish with a few raspberries.
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon cornstarch optional
2 cups milk (not skim), boiling
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped into the milk or 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the eggs in a bowl and begin beating with a whisk. After a minute start adding the sugar gradually and continue mixing until the mixture is pale yellow and a ribbon forms when you lift the whisk.
At this stage continue beating and gradually add the hot milk, in drops at first, then in a slow stream.
Transfer the mixture to a pot set over low-medium heat and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon scraping from the bottom and sides of the pot until the sauce become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don’t let the custard come near a simmer as the eggs would curdle.The starch helps but don’t go over 160℉.
When the right consistency is reached strain the sauce through a fine sieve.
Let cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold.