I know that it has been a long time since you saw a new post in here and some of you even wondered about my whereabouts. So to cut the story short I might say that 2012 was a bad year for me or should I use the word awful instead of bad. Despite all odds brought by 2012, the only good news is that the Mayan apocalypse failed big time: I am writing these lines after 21st of December! Now we all can take a deep breathe and expect the new year to bring all the goodness and joy of life for everyone.
For those who want to celebrate the ending of 2012 like me, these are the last few days to complete the preparations. If you are planning to throw a new year party at home or better to attend a party at someone else’s home to save the first day of 2013 -otherwise you’ll spend it to clean up the mess at your place- you need to get faster, and roll out your plans.
My assumption is that you made a smart choice to attend another one’s party and you are not going to make a celebration outside at a restaurant or a club which will cost you four times more than it would cost on any one of the remaining 364 days of the year. By the way, paying more does not guarantee the level of service and quality of food, on the contrary everything would be worse than regular.
So, what to do? First of all you need to make a list of your friends who own a large apartment and are quite hospitable to accommodate people at their place. Step two: try to engage in conversations about their plans for that night and let drop the fact that you don’t have anything in mind but quite open for suggestions. My second assumption is that you are such a fun person to be with-if you are not, do your best for a week or two- so that your name will be among the ones he/she will invite for the party.
As a nice and thoughtful person, you can not attend the party as if you got a ticket for the show. You need to bring something to eat or drink according to your choice. At that point you have a chance to attract the party crowd with the stuff you prepared. And here comes my turn: the recipe of chestnut-rum cream roulade that I am going to share below will be a real thrill for palates of the people at the party. This will also guarantee your place on the next year’s list in every potential home-party organizers mind!
If you could not succeed in finding a party to attend or may be just not in the mood, just bake the roulade for your very own pleasure and expect the new year to be at least as sweet as this cake. Happy new year! (As my annual tradition, you can find this year’s greeting card at the end of the post. Feel free to use it while spreading the joy!)
Ingredients (For 12 servings)
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups chestnut puree at room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Hazelnut oil for coating baking sheets
For chestnut puree
- 325 g.(11,5 ounce) roasted chestnuts
- 1 ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
For chestnut Puree:
Combine milk and chestnuts in a saucepan. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, and toss in pod. Bring to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until chestnuts are very soft and about 1/2 cup of the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, reserving chestnuts and cooking liquid separately and discarding vanilla pod. Process chestnuts in a food processor until very smooth, adding reserved cooking liquid (and additional milk if needed), 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is the consistency of a thick spread. Cover with plastic wrap.
For the whole cake:
For the whole cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Line two 30cm by 37,5 cm (12-by-15-inch) rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; generously coat with hazelnut oil. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together into a small bowl; set aside.
Beat yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk until pale yellow and thick. Beat in vanilla; set aside.
Beat egg whites in the clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg-white mixture into yolk mixture in 3 additions, folding in flour mixture with the last addition of whites. Divide batter among sheets; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cakes are springy to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, lay 2 clean kitchen towels on work surface; sift cocoa over towels to lightly coat. Immediately run a knife around edges of cakes; invert onto cocoa-dusted towels, and carefully remove parchment. Starting with a long side, gently roll each cake in a towel (as if towel were the filling). Keep cakes rolled cakes to cool completely
Put chestnut puree, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, rum, maple syrup and pinch of salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle; mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form; fold into chestnut mixture. Unroll cooled cakes; spread 1 ½ cups chestnut mousse in an even layer on top of each. Carefully re-roll cakes, using towels to help bring cake up at each turn (do not roll towels into filling). Remove towels; wrap cakes well in plastic wrap. Freeze until mousse is firm, at least 1 hour.
You may spread remaining mousse over cakes; to serve, trim ends with a serrated knife, and cut each log into 6 pieces.