Preparation time: 1 1/4 Hours
Cooking time: 2 1/4 hours
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 8 Servings
For cake layer:
â€¢1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for brushing pan
â€¢3/4 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
â€¢1/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising) plus additional for dusting
â€¢1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for dusting
â€¢1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
â€¢1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
â€¢1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
â€¢1/2 teaspoon salt
â€¢5 large eggs, separated
â€¢1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
â€¢1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
For filling and topping:
â€¢1 1/4 cups heavy cream
â€¢1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus additional for sprinkling
â€¢1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Make cake layer:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of a 15- by 10- by 1-inch jelly-roll pan with foil, dull side up, and brush with melted butter. Dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.
Finely grind pecans with cake flour, cocoa, spices, and salt in a food processor. Beat together yolks, brown sugar, and molasses with an electric mixer at high speed until mixture is very thick and pale brown and forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 2 minutes with a standing model and 5 minutes with a hand-held.
Fold in pecan mixture gently but thoroughly. Transfer 1 cup batter to another bowl and fold in 1/4 cup melted butter, then fold butter mixture into remaining batter gently but thoroughly.
Beat whites with cleaned beaters in another bowl until they just hold soft peaks (do not overbeat). Stir one fourth of whites into batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Spread batter evenly in jelly-roll pan and bake in middle of oven until set and firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack and cover with plastic wrap.
Beat cream with sugar until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold in 6 tablespoons crystallized ginger.
Put an 18-inch length of foil on a work surface and sprinkle with some sugar. Invert cake onto foil sheet and gently peel off foil from top. Spoon three fourths of whipped cream over cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges.
Beginning with a short side and using foil as an aid, roll up cake, jelly-roll fashion, and transfer, seam side down, to a platter.
Just before serving, spoon remaining whipped cream on top of roulade and sprinkle with honey-glazed pecans and remaining crystallized ginger.
Cooks' notes:â€¢ Cake layer can be made 2 days ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
â€¢ Roulade may be filled and rolled 1 day ahead, then chilled, covered.