February 28, 2009

For the Love of Chocolate


The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
They have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
It is days beyond Valentine's day but I am still in the mood for chocolate. If I were stranded on a desert island, I would hope to have a large supply of chocolate on hand. Even a small piece of nice chocolate is a wonderful elixir. Feeling deprived? Savor a piece of your favorite chocolate.0
Co-hosting this month's challenge with Dharm was a privilege. We worked through different time zones and a date line and Dharm kept me laughing the whole time. It was an honor to choose a recipe with Dharm (especially a celebrated recipe from his part of the world) that so many other talented bakers baked. Check out all the talented Daring Bakers' who baked this cake on the blogroll on my side bar.
February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

- Use your favorite chocolate – the finished cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use. Be creative with your chocolate, if you like a sweeter cake use milk chocolate or a combination of the semisweet and milk chocolate. If you like bittersweet chocolate use that and add sweetness by mixing the semi sweet with bittersweet. If you are daring, try white chocolate. (Dharm used all bittersweet and Wendy used a half bitter/half semi sweet chocolate).
- A higher cacao percentage increases the bitterness of the chocolate.
-Equipment - it is optional to use a heart shaped pan. For a real Valentino, bake it in a heart shaped pan or cut it out into a heart shape. You may use any shape pan that gives you an area of 50” - 6x8 or 7x7. An 8” spring form pan works with great results as do smaller pans or ramekins.
-An instant read thermometer highly recommended.

Note on recipe - the recipe consists of 3 simple ingredients and how you interpret them is part of the challenge. The simplicity of this recipe gives credit to the ingredients much in the same way of French baguette.
-This recipe comes together very quickly with a hand mixer.
-This is a very decadent cake that will sink a little as it cools but will still hold its shape.
-Very dense and fudgy cake that tastes divine.
-The top forms a light crust kind of like a brownie

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

Ingredients
1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla

Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer
Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.
David Lebovitz link for making ice cream if you do not have an ice cream freezer.

65 comments:

Mary said...

Thanks for hosting this month. I really enjoyed the cake and it's so easy that will be making it over and over again.

Katie said...

Thanks for choosing such a yummy chocolate intensity cake. Had fun with this one.

Lisa said...

Wendy, thank you for cohosting and coming up with such a great challenge! n To say it was more than appreciated by all who sampled it, is an understatement!

With that said, your cake and ice cream are flawless and beautiful - not to mention mouth watering! Wonderful job!!

Marija said...

I love this cake! Thank you for choosing it for the challenge this month!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful presentation! The recipe is so simple, yet so diving!! YUM!!!!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for hosting this month Wendy - a delicious challenge!

bache said...

yum.. chocolate, vanilla, strawberry.. i wish it was summer here!

Dharm said...

Ahh.. but Wendy, the pleasure was ALL mine!! Thanks again so very much for choosing me to co-host with you. More than the pleasure of hosting with you, I have found a new friend - You! Your challenge turned out wonderful!

Jude said...

Thanks for hosting DB this month, Wendy. So glad that I could make use of my ice cream maker once again after so long :)

jillian said...

Thanks for hosting this month! i love your chocolate dipped strawberries!

newlyweds said...

I loved this challenge so much. Thanks for hosting you did a great job!

MeetaK said...

Wendy thanks to you and Dharm for hosting this month. loved the intense choc cake. yours looks delightful.

Elle said...

Wendy, you make a great host for the month and you and Dharm chose a wonderful cake for the challenge. Thank you!

Yasmeen said...

I enjoyed making the chocolaty cool challenge,thanks for the awesome pick,Wendy:)

Passionate About Baking said...

Thank you for cohosting such a wonderfully addictive challemge Wendy. IT WAS GREAT!! That's a beautiful post too...

Kat said...

Thank you for hosting! This was my first DB Challenge and I really enjoyed it :)

Junie Moon said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, my first with the Daring Bakers. The recipes were easy and the outcome delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your own beautiful results and for co-hosting with Dharm. I look forward to March's challenge and new skills to learn.

Shirley said...

Your presentation is beautiful, and that berry sauce looks really good.

Rachel said...

Thanks for hosting a yummy chalenge.

Lauren said...

Thanks for a great challenge!! Your cake looks beautiful, and those strawberries look divine =D!

Medhaa said...

Thank you for hosting this lovely challenge

Michelle N said...

Thanks for hosting this month. Great challenge!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wow! I do love yours with the strawberry!! Actually, I just loved this "cake". Would you cry if I told you I may just make this my "brownie" recipe ;)
Thanks for the recipe and hosting!

Megan said...

your pictures make me want to do it all over again!

Aparna said...

Your cake looks delicious. Its risen so well. I second your sentiments about chocolate. Anytime is chocolate time (and ice-cream time).:D

Thanks for choosing this cake and also answering the questions.

Heather B said...

Thanks for the delicious challenge! Great job on your cake, it looks delicious!

Claire said...

So pretty! Thanks for hosting...it was a great challenge. I love the heart shaped plate you used.

Chickiedoodle said...

Thanks for hosting this decadent challenge! It was definitely something new for me that will carry on for years to come.

Namratha said...

Awww pretty pretty, that's one gorgeous looking cake Wendy! Thank you very much for hosting such a lovely challenge! :)

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I concur! Thank you for hosting - you were wonderful! And,... of course, your cake looks deliciously divine!

Esi said...

Thank you for hosting! Even though my cake didn't come out so great, I had a lot of fun making the ice cream. :)

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

Thanks for a great challenge this month!

Your cake looks lovely and the presentation in the final picture... just glorious!

Maggie said...

Thanks for hosting a great challenge! I really loved that you had us work on an ice cream.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

a stunning cake! thanks for hosting and picking a great challenge!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thanks for hosting this delicious challenge! Wonderful!

Lillan said...

My family thanks you for this cake -- they all loved it. And I would have loved it if I'd used milk chocolate instead of dark. Your dipped strawberries are gorgeous!

CECIL said...

Thanks for hosting this month, Wendy! It's super fun! I gave a piece of it to my client as thank you gift and she pretty much did not even bother to eat it with fork. Just took a bite and it was all gone! :)

Kimberly Johnson said...

Thanks for hosting this month's challenge! I love your presentation with the berry sauce - so pretty!

Jenny said...

Thanks for hosting a great challenge, that last picture makes my mouth water!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A very pretty presentation! Your cake and ice cream look fantastic! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Jenny said...

Such a pretty display on the platter with the fruit.
Thanks for hosting this month.

Jeanine said...

Thank you so much for co-hosting this month! We loved this cake, and topped with the champagne ice cream & strawberry sauce, it was perfect! :)

pixie said...

thank you for a wonderful recipe! it was such a treat to make sucha simple yet decadent chocolate cake!

culinography said...

Thanks for a wonderful challenge! Truly enjoyable!

Di said...

Thanks for a great pick! I really enjoyed this month's challenge.

Bumblebutton said...

Thank you, most wonderful hostess, for a really fun challenge this month--and so very Valentiney! Your own creation looks lovely, dense and moist!

Half Baked said...

Thanks for hosting! This was a fun challenge! I loved your ice cream and so did my dinner guests.
Your cake looks beautiful!

katskitchen said...

Thanks for the awesome challenge this month! I really enjoyed making and especially eating this dessert (along with the homemade ice cream!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous cake and luscious ice cream! Beautiful vibrant strawberries topping your cake too. Thanks for hosting a very rich and delicious challenge!!

Martha said...

Thanks for the recipe! I'll definitely use it again. Happy March.
Martha

Simone (junglefrog) said...

I've just discovered the daring bakers and will definitely be in next months (or the months after) challenge. Great read and that recipe sounds amazing!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Thanks for a great challenge Wendy. I had great fun and making a 'no freeze' ice cream was an excellent challenge for me too.

~Amber~ said...

Your cake and ice cream look amazing. Thanks for hosting this month!

breadchick said...

Thanks Wendy for a wonderfully fun and creative challenge!

Stephanie said...

Thank you sooo much for a wonderful challenge!

karuna said...

wowowo, u sure were the right person to host the challenge. awesome cake.

Nikki said...

A great opportunity for lots of creative work, this one was. Loved it, and love your cake too. It looks dense n yummy

Nico said...

Thanks for hosting my first DBC!!!
Everybody like it at home
thanks

Lynn said...

Beautiful cake, beautiful presentation! I'll be making this one over and over.

Gabe's Girl said...

Simply beautiful! I really like this recipe. It is very elegant, simple, and with the times!

bonnie said...

a beautiful cake, i wish you lived next door so that i could have a piece.

Anita said...

What a lovely choice in the cake and ice-cream. It seems so many people loved the cake, that I will definitely have to try it!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow no flavour cake.....Looks soft and yum...As a chocolate lover will surely try this.....Awesome pic...

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