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.
February was another busy for me and I was a bit relieved to see that, like January's Daring Bakers Challenge, February's was simple too. We were to make a flourless chocolate cake and serve it with homemade ice cream. It was optional for us to use a heart shaped pan. I went with a traditional 9-inch round cake pan, but because it's called a Chocolate Valentino, I decorated the top of my cake with a powdered sugar heart :)
I checked my cake after 25 minutes of baking, as instructed in the recipe, and was shocked to find that it was already 170F! Oops! Apparently the 140F must just be a minimum temperature, because my cake turned out just fine. It was still intensely moist, dense, fudgey, and chocolately. I suppose it reached 140F quicker because I baked it in a dark pan. Next time I will start checking the temperature after 20 minutes.
I served this cake with some coffee ice cream, using a recipe from The Perfect Scoop. It was the perfect complement to this cake. In fact, I found the cake to be too sweet on its own, but great with the ice cream.
A big thanks to Wendy and Dharm, for choosing this month's challenge. I made the cake for my husband's birthday today (I procrastinated this month, what can I say?!) and he loved it. Make sure you visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see how others enjoyed this seriously decadent chocolate treat!
* Recipes notes:
- 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.
- 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. I used a 9" round cake pan and it seemed to work well.
- This cake that will sink a little as it cools but will still hold its shape.
-The top forms a light crust kind of like a brownie, but I inverted my cake after unmolding it for a smoother finish/presentation.
from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 25 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
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.
While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
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).
With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
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.
Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
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.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)
Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.
Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.
Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yield: One quart.