Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Daring Bakers: Valentino Cake and Homemade Ice Cream

After missing out on last month's challenge, I was determined to make this month's daring recipe.

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.

I've never made a flour less cake before, so this month's recipe really peaked my interest. The recipe looked simple enough and only 3 ingredients!

A traditional Valentino cake is made in a heart shaped pan, or cut into a heart. But, I don't own such a pan, and didn't want to mess up the cake by cutting so I decided to pay homage to the cake by making a heart in the center with strawberry puree.

The cake came out beautiful. I used 12 oz. of bittersweet chocolate and 4 oz. of semisweet. We were warned that the cake would taste exactly like the chocolate we used, I made sure to use what I liked in quantities I knew would mesh well.

I was more worried about making the ice cream, because I don't own an ice cream maker. After reading the helpful hints from fellow DB'ers I knew I could do it.
The cake came together easily, I used a 9 inch spring form pan and when it came out of the oven, it had risen beautifully. After about 20 minutes or so, it kind of shrank. But it still looked pretty.

The ice cream, to my surprise was very easy to prepare even though I modified a bit (instead of a vanilla bean I used 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract).

I ended up using a 12 inch cake pan (tips said to use a shallow pan to freeze in) and it froze in under 4 hours. It tasted very custard-y, but I loved it.
~The Recipes~
Chocolate ValentinoPreparation 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/190C9.
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 RecipeClassic Vanilla Ice CreamPreparation
Time: 30 minutesRecipe 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
6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
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 infuseLift 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)
Thank you Dharm (Dad~Baker and Chef) and Wendy (A Charmed Life) For a fantastic challenge!


Junie Moon said...

This was a fun challenge and I've enjoyed reading the story of your own adventures with it. As this is my first challenge with the Daring Bakers, I am having a really delightful time reading the posts of the other Daring Bakers and learning little tricks here and there. Thank you!

Audax said...

Looks like this challenge was a triumph – I especially like the heart shape on the cake. Yes I made my ice cream by hand and it was a lot easier than expected. Your ice cream looks perfect to me. The cake isn't the prettiest but it is the best tasting/ Great job on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cake and ice cream! Very well done!

Anonymous said...

That looks so good with the strawberry puree on top!

Shirley said...

I like your strawberry heart... I didn't want to have to cut up my cake either!

Baker at Law said...

Your strawberry puree looked so refreshing on top of the chocolate cake. Yum-yum. Great job on the challenge.

Dragon said...

Great job on this month's challenge!

Ally said...

Yes! I am Lebanese! I wrote you a note on one of your posts, the nougat. : )

Ally said...

Yes! I am Lebanese! I wrote you a note on one of your posts, the nougat. : )

Olga said...

I was also impressed how such an awesome cake only has 3 ingredients!

Andreas said...

Your cake and ice cream both look gorgeous.

ice tea: sugar high said...

Love the heart detail on your cake. Simple and elegant. Bet your cake is delish too.

Cakelaw said...

I love you cake with its big red heart - it's gorgeous!

Sara said...

Yum, this looks super tasty...I love how you decorated it with the sauce!

anchan said...

Looks fabulous, especially the strawberry puree heart! Nice work!

Celeste said...

You did a fantastic job on last month's challenge...bravo! I love the red heart in the middle!