Matina’s Birthday Cake: Daring Baker’s Challenge

cake, Chocolate, Dairy, Daring Kitchen Challenges, Dessert, Special Occasion, Tutorial

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.- (Please click here for her original recipes and guidelines)

When I first looked at the challenge, I have to admit, I was not excited. I don’t like ice cream cake, as it usually involves way too many flavors, the quality of the ice cream is all funkified, and it is just too cold. It also looked extremely time consuming to make and put together!

But… I put on my positive hat and decided to make the most of it and really go all out and make it amazing. There was no holding back on this, it is an all around Matina-style heaven! It had to be, for it to be worth all the time spent preparing and assembling it. Why does it take so long?

  1. Prepare Swiss Roll cakes
  2. Prepare the Swiss Roll filling
  3. Prepare 1st flavor Ice Cream
  4. Prepare 2nd flavor Ice Cream
  5. Prepare a rich-fudgy core for the cake


It took me 3 days to put together. And to top it all, I, of course, used the most time consuming ways of doing each step! But, you know what? It is my birthday tomorrow, so I decided I deserve all the time it would take to prepare this for the celebration of my 27th birthday!! 🙂 OK, now are you ready to hear what is in this amazingness???

Swiss Roll cakes – Chocolate

  1. Swiss Roll filling – Fluffy Meringue
  2. 1st flavor Ice Cream – Creamy Coffee
  3. 2nd flavor Ice Cream – Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Sorbet
  4. Rich-fudgy core – Salty Dulce de Leche
  5. A little Crunch – Hazelnut Praline


Despite my whining, I ended up adding an extra step to the cake! Also, with altering the contents I managed to take out about 3 cups of heavy cream and instead blast the flavor on loud!

Now close your eyes and imagine all those amazing flavors tickling your taste buds. Sensational right?? EXACTLY!! The best part is you can make a separate dessert with each, or combine them as I will explain below and make your own bombe!!




  • 6 medium sized eggs
  • 1 C / 225 gms caster sugar + extra for rolling
  • 6 tblsp / 45gms all purpose (plain) flour
  • 5 tblsp/40gm natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
  • 2 tblsp /30ml boiling water
  • a little oil for brushing the pans



  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups / 330gms caster sugar



  1. Preheat the oven at 200˚C /400˚F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
  4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
  5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
  6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
  7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
  8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.
  9. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.



  1. Place the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler, and start whisking the egg white lightly so that they are reach a hot temperature without getting cooked. (I brought in an electric mixer on low to keep movement going, making sure to scrape the edges continuously).
  2. Once egg whites mixture feels hot, transfer to a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until double in volume, shiny and forms stiff peaks.



  1. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine). {The less filling you put in the swirl, the tighter you will have to roll the cake}
  2. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.



David Lebovitz Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe Adjusted to Coffee Flavor. He is hands down my ice cream hero, and his book “The Perfect Scoop” is a must if you want to think of making your own ice cream!


  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp whole coffee beans
  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 heaping tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



  1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Add coffee beans to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
  2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Remove the coffee beans from the milk, and rewarm the milk. Then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
  5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
  6. Freeze the custard in a tupperware container for an hour. Remove from the freezer, beat ice cream mixture with an electric mixer, to remove all hardened chunks and return to freezer. Repeat 3-4 times hourly, and ice cream is ready.




  • 400gr (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp Salt – fleur de sel (salt flakes)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract



  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
  2. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a glass baking dish. Stir flakes of sea salt.
  3. Set the making dish within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the baking dish.
  4. Cover the baking dish snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
  5. Once its is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth and store in open mouthed jar.



I used Chocolate & Zucchini’s excellent “Dark Chocolate” recipe. Who again, adapted her recipe from my hero from The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz.


  • 550 mL (2 1/4 cups) water
  • 80g (2/3 cup, packed) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 190g (7 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt



    1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, cocoa powder, and sugar. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking continually. Remove from heat, and add the chopped chocolate. Let rest for 30 seconds as the chocolate begins to melt, add the vanilla and salt, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool on the counter, then refrigerate until chilled.
    2. Whisk the mixture again just before pouring into a tupperware and place in freezer.
    3. As with the previous ice cream, freeze the chocolate sorbet for an hour. Remove from the freezer, beat with an electric mixer, to remove all hardened chunks and return to freezer. Repeat 3-4 times hourly, and sorbet is ready.



  • 100gr (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 150 gr (1 cup) whole hazelnuts
  • pinch of salt


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put it to the side.
  2. Roast hazelnuts until fragrant in the oven and remove skin. Coarsely chop.
  3. Heat sugar over medium heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Do not stir, leave the sugar to melt and caramelize on its own. Swirl the pan if needed.
  4. Add coarsely chopped hazelnuts to the caramel mixture, stirring quickly to evenly coat all the nuts. Transfer mix to prepared baking sheet.

GRAND FINALE – The Assembly

  1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 2 cm slices.
  2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
  3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
  4. Soften the coffee ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
  5. Add the salty de leche over the coffee ice cream, cover and freeze till firm. ( at least an hour)
  6. Soften the chocolate sorbet and spread it over the dulce de leche. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.
  7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining.
  8. Break up the praline and decorate the edges so that it looks finished all around!
  9. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.


20 thoughts on “Matina’s Birthday Cake: Daring Baker’s Challenge

  1. OMG – your dulce de leche looks amazing. Good work on making this your birthday cake – there’s nothing better than celebrating your own birthday with an awesome cake!

  2. Nice work! That hazelnut praline looks absolutely divine and WOAH… that chocolate ice cream. Amazing. Nice work and congrats on a successful challenge!

  3. Wow. How beautiful. I love your flavors and am really impressed by the finished bombe. Happy birthday, too – what a great way to celebrate! Great work on the challenge.

  4. First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    Two: This looks amazing and so rich in flavor and positive energy! Good work Mati! I hope you have lots of fun people to celebrate and share this with!
    Your pictures are amazing! You owe me a chat to learn about the lighting and all else you learned at the Irish embassy.
    Have a wonderful day!

  5. OOhhhhhhh!!! Mati, will definitely be a delight celebrate this day with you and also celebrate this challenge. Really really looks amazing, delicious, tasty, yummy. Rico, dulce, antojable y hasta caprichoso jeje. Felicidades por tu cake!!! 🙂

  6. Hope you had a wonderful birthday but I’m sure you did with a cake like this! Love the flavours you choose, some of my favourites. Much better than the ‘boring’ tastes I did (had to make it child-friendly).

  7. Thank you very much for all your wishes and huge compliments, they made my special day even more special!!!!

    All I have to say, is that this dessert has changed my opinion of ice cream cake, I LOVE IT!!

    @fsafdeye – I have been working on a post, and it is coming about my on photography, but we will chat soon about it for sure 🙂

    @Juls – Hope you also enjoyed your beautiful cake!

  8. The cake was delicious! Everyone (close to 20 people) last night enjoyed it. And I am a very lucky one, having the last two pieces of cake sitting in the fridge…care to join me? jeje

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