Daring Baker’s Challenge, For the Love of Chocolate
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 finally succumbed. How could I resist? Each month I would feast my eyes upon the wonderful works of so many bakers, their lovely successes sat before me in all their splendor. Could I do this? Would I do this? And then one day I received a note from a sweet and very dear mentor, Susan, of all things wild and yeasted (wildyeastblog): “Are you going to become a Daring Baker?”
Hmm…let me think?
Everything about this wonderful monthly event seemed shrouded in secrecy. I set about to learn how I might enroll, what the requirements were, and whether or not I felt I could perform some of the magic. Did I say that I dug deep to unravel the mystery? I did. It was that important to me. Now it is time for me to give thanks to those lovely ladies, Lisa, La Mia Cucina @ adelphia dot net, and Ivonne, from, Cream Puffs in Venice @ gmail dot com.
Initially, I was a nervous wreck. I printed off the rules and regs and set-up a notebook of all things, Daring Baker’s. I must have re-read the contents 47 different times, each time realizing that it wouldn’t be until the baking was completed that I could rest a bit easier. And then there were those haunting doubts that always love to unfold themselves before me when I set about to learn something new: OCD, it’s not for the faint of heart, heck, its not even for the bravest of souls, but why should I change the course that destiny has given me. Being older does have its advantages, number one being: Did the sun rise this morning, and if it did, what can I make of it?
The Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, is said to have been inspired by Malaysia’s, “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan, and is offered in, Sweet Treats .
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped. (I opted to use a 72% bittersweet chocolate by Guittard.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated (I opted to use room temp eggs fresh from the market.)
1. Put chocolate and butter in a heat-proof 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 that has been buttered.
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, but 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 the 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 then bake at 375F/190C.
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60F.
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, but not runny!!!!
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan.
* I followed the recipe according to the directions with the exception of baking within a parchment lined pan(s). I had heart molds (paper/foil) that were leftover from my Valentine’s supplies. I greased and filled four of them to 3/4 full and baked at 375F for 20 minutes. Checking with an instant read thermometer, I noted that the cakes were registering at 166 degrees so I immediately removed them and allowed them to cool on a wire rack.
The second part of the challenge asks us to also make an ice cream to accompany our cake. Two recipes were given, one by Dharm (Dad - Baker and Chef) of Malaysia; Classic Vanilla Ice Cream, by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis from the Ice Cream Book. The second recipe, submitted by Wendy (wmpesblog) Arizona,was for a Vanilla Philadelphia Style ice cream.
While both recipes tempted me, I would find myself powerless over one that I had discovered via the website, Recipezaar.com for Vanilla Custard Ice Cream, submitted by Susan L. It makes one quart of a very delicious and decadent frozen wonder:
Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk (I opted for 2% milk)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 dash salt (I opted for Kosher)
2 egg yolks, light beaten (again, I used room temp eggs, fresh from market)
2 cups heavy cream (ice cold)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Madagascar)
1. Place milk in a small pan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly until bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pan. Beat in sugar and salt and dissolve fully, continuing to beat milk.
2. Remove from heat and add 1 to 2 tbsp. of the hot milk to the egg yolks, stirring egg mix constantly. Add more milk to eggs and bring it up to temperature.
3. Pour egg mixture back into pan and continue to cook over low heat, still stirring constantly. Mixture will begin to thicken; using a thermometer to measure, cook this mixture until it reaches 160 degrees. (About 10 minutes.)
4. Place the pan into the sink or a basin of ice water. Continue to stir, allowing the custard to cool to a lukewarm temperature.
5. When the custard has cooled, add the cream and vanilla and blend fully.
6. Refrigerate mixture until you are ready to use. (My first batch of ice cream was cooled within the refrigerate 30 minutes before I placed it in my electric ice cream maker. My second batch was allowed to refrigerate overnight before I froze it in the maker. Each effort yielded consistent results. There was no noted difference between the two.)
Rhubarb & Blueberry Coulis
2 packages frozen rhubarb (16 ounces, each)
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of ginger
Place rhubarb, water, salt and sugar into a heavy duty pan and slowly bring to a low simmer, stirring from time to time to be sure that all sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking for one hour, at the end of the hour, add one cup of frozen blueberries and continue cooking only until mixture arrives back to a low boil. Transfer fruit to a clean glass bowl and cool before refrigerating or freezing.
*I made this coulis to compliment the dark chocolate and vanilla flavours of February’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. It was not a requirement, but seeing as though the items in my freezer were begging to be used before this years new bounty, I relented. I’m glad I did! I previewed this dessert for my husband, layering the chocolate cake and vanilla custard ice cream with a heavy drizzle of coulis for the finale.