Friday, February 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Valentino

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.

Yay! I'm officially part of the Daring Bakers, a group of extraordinary bakers who "Knead to Bake!".

The challenge they chose for the month of February was an easy task but delicious nonetheless and this is a good thing for a novice baker like me. However, I've been known to do things at the last minute and it didn't help that I've been busy the whole month of February so I decided to bake the cake on the day that I'm suppose to blog about it.

I set my alarm for 5AM the night before but I woke up at 7AM instead. Panic mode kicking in!

I decided to bake half of the cake in a 10 inch tart pan because I thought it looked prettier. (The rest of the cake batter I baked in another pan.)
I filled the tart pan 3/4 full and after a few minutes I went "Uh-oh!" when i saw the batter rise to the rim of the tart pan. I thought it was gonna overflow but luckily it didn't.

The star in this dessert is actually the chocolate so it is important to use really good chocolate when making this cake. Since I used bittersweet chocolate, the ice cream (with generous bits of flourless chocolate cake) and the dulce de leche gave the cake the sweetness it needed. It's not too sweet, not cloying.
Best served with a cup of coffee, I think.

Here is 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. {link of folding demonstration}
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.

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)

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.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your dessert looks delicious!



bébé de sucre said...

thanks Rosa :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thanks for passing by! You can find these tonka beans online... See the link I gave in my comment section.

ARLENE said...

Welcome to DB. Great job.

Amy said...

Welcome welcome! Everything looks so good. I completely agree about the coffee, btw!

Jenny said...

Looks very pretty! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

bébé de sucre said...

thanks Arlene, Amy & Jenny :)

MaryMary said...

You set your alarm for 5am to bake? That is dedication. It looks fabulous! Welcome to DB!

ice tea: sugar high said...

dulce de leche.. my favourite. your cake looked absolutely divine!

bébé de sucre said...

@marymary : yes i did but i didn't hear the alarm so i ended up baking two hour later. thanks much

@iced tea : thanks for the compliment. dulce de leche is amazing :)

Maggie said...

Congrats on your first completed challenge! I personally believe that anything is made better by topping it with dulce de leche.