Sunday, March 1, 2009

Daring Bakers - Flourless Chocolate Cake and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

It's Daring Baker time again! Actually, it's a day past Daring Baker time - Feb 28 slipped past me yesterday without me doing my post. Oops! But I made the recipe earlier in the month - over Valentine's weekend with my parents visiting.
February's recipes were chosen by Wendy of WMPE's Blog and Dharm of Dad~Baker and Chef.
Part of this month's challenge was a flourless chocolate cake - called a Chocolate Valentino. It was inspired by Malaysia's most flamboyant chef, Chef Wan, and can be found in Sweet Treats by Chef Wan. The second part of the challenge was a homemade vanilla ice cream. This recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis.
I made the Chocolate Valentino using some delicious chocolate bought at the Whole Foods in Raleigh. I knew the chocolate cake would taste exactly like the chocolate used, so I splurged and bought some Callebaut bittersweet and milk chocolate. I used half of each kind in the recipe.

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.

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)

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)

I loved this month's challenge! The cake was dense yet not heavy, and I loved the taste! The ice cream was easier than I thought it would be - I don't have an icecream maker - and tasted rich and creamy. I'll be using these recipes again!
Thanks Wendy and Dharm for a great month's challenge! Please check out their blogs, and all the wonderful Daring Bakers who create yummy baked treats and take wonderful photos of them.


Pamela said...

Cakes look great, and I know they were yummy

Dragon said...

Great job with this month's challenge!

chou said...

I'm glad you loved the challenge!

Dharm said...

Glad you liked the challenge! Thanks for joining us this month...!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

I love that heart-shaped mini cake tin you used. Too cute!

Great job on this month's challenge!

Me! said...

looks good!

Sweet and Savory said...

The hearts are so cute. The flourless cake is a dream for someone who eats gluten free.

necmettin celik said...

Wonderful! My CSA is giving me more lettuce than I know what to do with, so we're having salads at breakfast, lunch and dinner!
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dolly said...

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Culinarian said...

This all look fabulous!