Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring to do it: Swiss Roll Bombe

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.

My first thought when I saw this month's Daring Baker's challenge was "WOAH..." followed very closely by "Ice cream? But I can't have ice cream!!" This looked absolutely amazing, fairly complex, and utterly horrible for the digestive tract of a lactose intolerant person like myself. At no point, though, did I think about skipping out on the challenge. I knew that there would be a way to make it work, as the recipes have to be adaptable for people with dietary restrictions. I know that there are vegan Daring Bakers who would come up with some amazing recipes, and that inspired me to give some extra thought to how I would pull this off....
One of the best parts of this challenge was the fact that Sunita, our wonderful hostess, was really open to having us play. She seemed interested in having us experiment with flavors, styles and combinations. We had to make a Swiss roll of some sort, two "ice creams," and a "fudge" sauce. Notice the quotes though- freedom was not only allowed but encouraged!

I first assumed that I would be making frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. This was just as intimidating a process, though, considering I do not have an ice cream maker... Lots of research on the internet ensued, leading to a bit of frustration, as so many recipes for both ice cream and frozen yogurt give you ingredients and a process, then instruct you to freeze according to the instructions on your machine. What to do...

I finally decided to attempt a dairy-free dessert (though not vegan, as I used eggs in the Swiss roll). Instead of chocolate and vanilla, my bombe would be strawberries and cream. Perfect for the season, and (hopefully) easily accomplished without milk...!

I started with the vanilla ice cream. I found a recipe for Fancy Pants Vanilla soy ice cream and adapted it for my own use. First off, I halved the recipe. Second, I used only soy milk, as I don't keep soy creamer around. Third, I used part brown sugar. Finally, I used corn starch instead of arrowroot, as, again, I don't keep arrowroot around. The ice cream base came together easily, and I was kind of excited to improvise my freezing process. I had put my bowl into the freezer, so I added the cooled mixture to an icy cold bowl. I then knew that I was going to have to mix the ice cream about every hour or so to try to keep it creamy. I think I wound up stirring and whisking my mixture three or four times before it was time to call it a night... I just had to hope this would work!

For my strawberry ice cream I used a recipe, or a vvariation of a recipe, that I kept seeing. A way to make ice cream quickly and easily. For this Five Minute Ice Cream I used silken tofu instead of cream, and I froze fresh strawberries instead of using store-bought frozen berries. Toss everything into the blender, give it a good whir, and there we were. I think I might not have let my strawberries freeze long enough, or I should have frozen the tofu a bit, because my mixture seemed a bit soft, but, again, I mixed it part-way through freezing and hoped for the best.
The next step to conquer was the Swiss roll. Because I was not making a chocolate roll as the given recipe was for, I decided to call upon something from my past. I called my mother and asked her for the recipe she used to use for jelly roll. The recipe came from the Kosher Gourmet cookbook, and it came out just as well as I had remembered from my childhood! I have no idea why we stopped making these, but I think it might just work it's way back into my dessert rotation!

The final element needed for this challenge was the fudge sauce. Sure, strawberries and chocolate go great together, but I wanted to keep this a purely strawberries and cream treat. So instead of fudge I made a strawberry jam/compote layer to put between the two ice creams. I needed a little more corn starch than anticipated to get my mixture to jell, but it did turn out, so all was just fine.
Finally, after making all of these elements, it was time to assemble the bombe! (Thankfully, I had given myself three days to accomplish everything, knowing that this was not a dessert to make day-of!!) Into my plastic wrap lined bowl went a layer of jelly roll slices. On top of that went the vanilla ice cream, then the whole thing went into the freezer.
The next morning I took the bowl out of the freezer and added the strawberry "fudge" layer. Then the whole thing went back into the freezer...! After a couple of hours I took the bowl back out of the freezer and added the strawberry ice cream. (I will note - my ice creams were... well, not creamy... I let them soften a little bit and then mixed them in my mixer for a couple of minutes each to try to lighten them us and break up the ice crystals.) Once the strawberry ice cream was on I used the remaining slices of the jelly roll to form a base for what would turn into the bottom of the bombe. The (finally) finished dessert then went back into the freezer, not to be touched again until it was time to eat it!!

Dessert time arrived, and it was time to unmold the bombe. I was really excited to see it plated - the swirls of the jelly roll were really inviting, and the hint of ice cream peaking through looked great!

Slicing into the cake, I knew that I would have to work on my ice cream recipes. It was hard. Even after letting the bombe sit out for a while and using a knife dipped in warm water, the ice creams were fairly, well, icy! But I was able to cut some good slices, and all of us really enjoyed eating them!!
All in all, this was a successful venture in many way. The jelly roll and the vanilla ice cream were GREAT. The strawberry "fudge" turned to ice, but tasted pretty good, and the strawberry ice cream, while not bad, didn't have as much flavor as I would have liked. But this was fun to make, and opened my eyes to the idea of making ice cream - dairy or not! - without an ice cream machine. I am already thinking of things I want to try so that next time I will get a better result consistency-wise.
Thank you so much, Sunita, for challenging us with such a complex, intricate and beautiful dessert! This was lot of fun to make, and was definitely a learning experience!
If you want to see the amazing creations made by my fellow Daring Bakers, take a look here!


  1. I'm amazed at how creative you could get! Well done on this challenge!

  2. Wonderful job! It looks fantastic! Great job on doing all the research to find recipes that would suit your needs! I'd love to take a bite!!

  3. I love your ice cream variations....and your jelly rolly roll looks delicious. What a great job!

  4. Never heard about milk-less ice cream before, I'd love to taste that. As for the cake part, your roll looks extremely fluffy. Well done for your execution!

  5. Great creation!
    You deliver a piece here?

  6. Your bombe is literally the bomb! I love jelly rolls in lieu of cream filled rolls and yours looks to be perfection! Great creativity too! Phenomenal job all around - your photos are making my mouth water!

  7. Love da bombe and the flavours pairing. Well done on the challenge. It's wonderful to see how enthusiastic you are.

  8. Wow, well done on making the challenge work for you. I don't have an ice-cream maker either, but I regfrigerated the custard base overnight before putting it in the freezer, it helped speed things up, but only by a little bit :)

    The finished bombe looks very pretty pink and tasty.

  9. I think your cake must have tasted very good with strawberries and cream.
    I find restrictions a blessing, sometimes, because it makes me explore options I wouldn't normally have. :)

  10. Good job! Lots of great info here and your cake looks incredibly delicious! I'm a new follower and so glad to find your blog with all its great recipes!