For our last recipe this month, I chose something that is a bit more complicated than Michele Iadarola’s Cherry Crostata and Tara O’Brady’s Sticky Double Ginger Cranberry Cake, but not too difficult that you won’t want to try it. Sarah Coates, the author and creative mind behind the Brisbane-based blog, The Sugar Hit!, has combined chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream into a roll which she calls an Arctic Roll, and has topped it with hot fudge. I think this is a super decadent way to celebrate Christmas or bring in the New Year. If you’re looking for savory food to precede the Artic Roll, you can see Sarah’s Sweet Potato Chips with Rosemary Salt, or her Frenchie Burger. A perfect meal! —Kristina
Why Sarah loves this cake: In Australia, it’s the middle of summer come Christmas, yet we have strong ties to old world British roots. The one flavor that seems yet to have broken through into the Australian holiday psyche, however, is peppermint. We have peppermint candy canes, and maybe the odd obsessive person who hunts down a peppermint latte, but the rest of Oz is still pretending to enjoy mince pies, or eating nothing but tropical fruit throughout December. It’s time that this refreshing, delicious, and totally appropriate flavor made its way onto our holiday tables. This Peppermint Arctic Roll — a chocolate sponge, rolled around peppermint ice cream, and topped with hot fudge sauce and crushed candy canes — is my attempt to win over a nation!
During the holidays, the key to maintaining one’s sanity is to know when to take a shortcut. And I feel like this Peppermint Arctic Roll is the perfect example of that. There’s three components here – the cake, the ice cream, and the sauce. I propose that you make the cake and the sauce, but go ahead and buy the ice cream. There are so many good-quality brands available, it’s hard to go wrong. And once you’ve rolled it in homemade cake, smothered it in chocolate sauce and scattered it with candy canes, who will know or care?
For the cake:
– 3 eggs
– ½ cup (110g) sugar
– ½ cup (75g) plain flour
– 2 tbsp cocoa powder
For the filling:
– 2 cups (500ml) peppermint ice cream
TIP: If you can’t find a good-quality minty ice cream, you can always add about 1 tsp of good-quality peppermint essence to vanilla ice cream.
For the sauce:
– 1/2 cup (125ml) cream
– 2 tbsp liquid glucose
– 6 ounces (150g) dark chocolate
– Crushed candy canes, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 13x9inch (or similar size) rimmed baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Place the eggs and sugar into a large bowl or stand mixer and whip on a high speed until the mixture is tripled in volume and very pale. Sift over the plain flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently, until incorporated. Scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet, and spread out gently into an even layer — try not to mess with it too much, you don’t want to lose all that air! Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until dry and springing back when touched. Lay another sheet of baking paper on another tray, and flip the cake upside down onto it. Peel off the baking paper from the underside (now the top) of the cake, and tightly roll it up inside the fresh sheet of paper. Set the rolled up cake aside to cool completely.
When the cake is completely cooled, get your ice cream out of the freezer for about 5–10 minutes to soften slightly. Unroll the cake, and spread the ice cream over the cake, leaving a thick border at the far edge. Re-roll the cake back up, wrapping it in the paper, and quickly get it into the freezer to set. Leave it in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When you’re ready to serve, make the sauce by melting the cream, glucose and chocolate together. Place the artic roll on a serving dish, pour over some of the sauce and scatter with crushed candy canes. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
About Sarah: Sarah Coates is the creator of The Sugar Hit! — and author of a cookbook by the same name –blogger, photographer, writer and food stylist from Brisbane, Australia. Her favorite foods include pizza, donuts and fries, which she tries to offset with large amounts of raw carrot and hummus (but often fails). When she’s not constructing layer cakes or sneaky snacks for The Sugar Hit, she is trying to learn how to skateboard. Follow her on Instagram!