Daring Baker’s Challenge: Chocolate Valentino (flourless chocolate cake) & homemade ice cream.

This months’ Daring Baker’s challenge wasn’t really all that much of a challenge for me because I’ve already made flourless chocolate cake, so I was familiar with it. Of course, this one is very different from the one I made. This one, popularized by Chef Wan, is dense and fudgy and brownie-like, mine was more light, delicate and melt-in-your-mouth soft. Flourless chocolate cake is a rich, indulgent dessert and is great for celiacs and people who just want to avoid gluten/wheat as well. Details on the creators of this challenge, as they said on the super-secret Daring Baker’s forum, are as follows:

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We 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.

We had to make the cake and an ice cream to serve with it. Being that I don’t have an ice cream maker, I used this link combined with the below recipe. The heart shape was created by using cookie cutters to cut the finished cake into smaller cakes, then topped/sided with the fresh ice cream. Alternately, you can use a heart shaped pan, or a few heart shaped pans. Either way the result is yum! I used 8 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces Baker’s semi-sweet and 4 ounces Baker’s German (sweet) chocolate. This cake ends up tasting exactly like the chocolate you use, so keep that in mind. My cake had a rich, sweet taste cut with a slight bitterness from the bittersweet chocolate, so it wasn’t too sweet. If you use all bittersweet, your cake will be exactly that. There is no added sugar in this cake, so just remember that when choosing your chocolate.

Talk about simple. Three ingredients, and no time to complete it. The ice cream was a bit more challenging, but hey, thats part of the fun. I know, next time I should really take pictures of the process. I tried, but the picture of my melting chocolate didn’t come out so I threw in the proverbial towel.

If you do make the ice cream, just remember that using the vanilla bean isn’t required, but it adds those cool black vanilla seeds in the ice cream and adds a better flavor than extract.

CHOCOLATE VALENTINO
Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:
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 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.

Want to see the ice cream recipe? Well, then ….

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 ¼ 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)

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31 comments

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    That cake and ice cream looks divine. I need to try make this ASAP!

    I’m curious – does the cake need to be served immediately, or can be kept for a while? XD I’m so tempted to make that as part of my future weekly college bento stash.

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