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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Valentino Cake

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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.

This is a flourless chocolate cake inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. The recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan, and was chosen by Wendy at wmpesblog and Dharm at Dad - Baker and Chef. It is a decadently rich and fudgy cake, reminiscent of a brownie. The depth and intensity of the cake's chocolate flavor is completely dependant upon the quality of the chocolate used. In other words, use a great chocolate and you'll get a great chocolate cake!

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The challenge for this month was to bake the cake and serve it with the homemade ice cream of our choice. Because of the complexity of this cake, I chose to go with an ice cream in its simplest and purest form: Fleur de Lait Ice Cream. Luckily, it also happens to be my all time favorite ice cream. The particular recipe that I used is one of David Lebovitz's from his fab ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop.

Fleur de Lait Glace or Fiordilatte Gelato, if you're Italian, is probably the easiest frozen dessert in the world to make, comprised of only four basic ingredients: Milk, cream, sugar and cornstarch as a thickener. But, when those ingredients collide and are swirled into this dreamy ice cream - watch out! The result is nothing short of sublime!

Fleur de lait and fior di latte literally translates to flower of milk in French and Italian, respectively. This ice cream is the perfect base for any kind of add ins you'd like. But, if you're a purist like me, there is nothing better than grabbing the biggest spoon you can find and just digging right in!

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Instead of making one large cake, I decided to go the mini route and made 6 small cakelets in 4"/10 cm tartlet pans. I cut the baking time down to about 17-18 minutes and they turned out fine. The only problem that I had was that the cakes were so dense and fudgy, they started to fall apart a little when I was unmolding them. Instead of taking any chances, I popped them in the freezer for a few hours. That seemed to do the trick.

The light and delicate flavor of pure, sweet cream permeates the Fleur de Lait Ice Cream and is the perfect complement to the deep, chocolaty richness of the Chocolate Valentino Cake. Try them both together and I swear, you will swoon. I know I did!

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Chocolate Valentino Cake

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

Fleur de Lait Glace (adapted from The Perfect Scoop)

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Combine the milk and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat to warm it up. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture to the saucepan stir.

Heat while stirring until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and continue to stir for a few minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to release the steam. Refrigerate until for several hours, until well chilled.

Once chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes about 1 quart.

(Printable Recipes)

56 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

WOW this is my kind of dessert :) chocolatey and served with a luscious ice cream. Photos are great. I ll have to try this one :)

Elyse said...

Yummy. Flourless chocolate cake has to be one my favorites, and I just love how you've done the fluted presentation. Plus, that ice cream looks fabulous. What a perfect pairing!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your cake and ice cream look delicious! Nice presentation...

Cheers,

Rosa

Cakelaw said...

These look great Susan. "Flower of milk" sounds just gorgeous - especially in French or Italian!

Meg said...

So beautiful! I am impressed!

5 Star Foodie said...

I love the idea of cakelets - they are gorgeous! And this ice cream sounds excellent.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Looks incredible Susan! I love the individual tartlets!

Jude said...

flamboyant food ambassador has a nice ring to it :) I like the pans you baked them in. the fluted edges look great.

squawmama said...

Wow Susan... This looks simply dangerous and sinful. I would love it so I am copying this recipe for sure... Thanks

HUGS,
Donna

Bellini Valli said...

I am swooning already Susan:D

Gretchen Noelle said...

MMmmm....lovely job! I love your adorable tartlet pans. Very cute!!

Arundathi said...

fantastic job! the last picture is amazing - could do with a scoop of that right now!

Heather B said...

I think if I look at your photos much longer, I'll have to make this cake again! Seriously...they look so good! And I'm trying to be good here! ;)

Maria said...

Your cake is stunning! I love the raspberries and ice cream on top!! The perfect dessert!

Ingrid said...

Your ice cream sounds fantastic! Ha, notice I went straight to the ice cream.

I know I probably say it all the time but your photos are truly outstanding!!! Each one better than the other.
~ingrid

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments! I'm thrilled that you all like my little cakelets. I'm glad I made minis, as this cake was soooo rich. A little went a long way, and I was able to share.

I really must stress how wonderful this ice cream is too. I love it plain, but it makes a perfect base for any kind of swirl, chunk or other mix in. Next time, I plan to try it with chocolate flakes. Yum!

Ingrid- I'm really touched that you enjoy my photos. I never tire of hearing it! ;)

I'll be doing my best this weekend to get around to visit all of you too. That's the hardest part for me.

Elra said...

Incredibly irresistible looking cake. Wow!

The TriniGourmet said...

mmm i love the taste of cream, never thought of cream ice cream either (lol). Definitely gonna give that one a try. Lovely photos!

Patsyk said...

Gorgeous (as usual!). Love the mini cakelets, with something as rich as this, that is a great way to go.

Lesley said...

Hello, Parisian pastry shop! Wow, so beautiful.

kellypea said...

Very nice -- the individual tarts are so perfect for this and your presentation is lovely!

Karen said...

Wow! These look spectacular... so fudgy and dense!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Lovely presentation! Your cakes looks delicious and your ice cream amazing!

Engineer Baker said...

Beautiful job! I love the mini cakes - I have those pans and am now kicking myself for not using them :) The fleur de lait ice cream sounds perfect though - simplicity is a beautiful thing.

Esi said...

Your mini cakes are so cute and the fleur de lait ice cream sounds really amazing!

Kevin said...

Those chocolate cakes look so good!

noble pig said...

They came out perfect. Choc flourless is always one of my favorite meals...it's just so amazing every time...especially the super chocolate buzz it gives!

Honey Pickles said...

Your cake looks divine!

Sara said...

Yum, so beautiful! That ice cream sounds divine. :)

Stephanie said...

Your pictures are sinful!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Spectacular as always, especially so, in those little tart pans!

pinkstripes said...

I love David Lebovitz's fleur de lait ice cream. It's so good!

Your cakes with berries look gorgeous!

Tangled Noodle said...

Making mini cakes was a great call - these look fabulous (the photography, as usual, is tremendous).

Anna at Mediocre Chocolate said...

Gorgeous photos! Sounds divine. And I'll have to give that ice cream a try--I always wondered how gelatin would hold up frozen.

Chocolate Shavings said...

The tart is a great idea - looks delicious!

culinography said...

Just... gorgeous! Yum!

Colleen said...

OH.MY.WORD........these are delectable and your photos are stunning as ever...well done Susan...im off to have some ice cream now....... :o) xxx

Jen Yu said...

You go, lady! I love the look of your sinfully rich cake. BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL! And I'm totally with ya on David's book. Love that boy. I've never tried the FdL ice cream before, but with your endorsement, that will go on my list next :) xxoo Happy to see you baking again!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Looks delcious. That chocolate is outrageous. I"m not generally crazy about unflavored ice cream (or even vanilla), but I can see how this would play against the rich chocolate.

Karen @ Mignardise said...

Sounds like a perfect combination. And your photos are amazing too!

creativecarryout said...

Your cakes look beautiful! Nicely done!
Michelle
http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

vibi said...

Nothing else to say but... incredibly nice looking! Bravo!

Perfect!

Maggie said...

I love your ice cream choice. It sounds light and refreshing against this dark chocolaty cake.

Tammy said...

wow, that looks so perfect! raspberries are the perfect accompaniment to chocolate cake!

Renee said...

gosh that looks amazing! Great job!

Half Baked said...

Great job on this challenge! Your photo's are making me drool!!

Michelle N said...

Your photos are beautiful! Amazing! This was a great challenge!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

OMG that looks so good, stunning presentation.

jen said...

I'm so glad you came to visit! I love your photography and all your fun recipes! I've been inspired by you to make some carrot cake :)

Olga said...

Love the individual portions! Raspberries and chocolate are a perfect combination.

Andrea said...

Those are just to die for, and I love how you made them in the tartlet pans.

Ash said...

I love how you made yours into little tarts almost!
Chocolate and berries... always a delight!
good stuff!

Passionate Eater said...

I have been meaning to make a killer homemade ice cream, and I think you just provided my inspiration! The cake and the ice cream look and sound good enough to be eaten on their own, but together, they are quite a lethal looking combo!

Vera said...

Gorgeous photos! And this ice cream sounds fantastic!

Linda said...

WOW - the presentation of your dessert is gorgeous!!!

Chez US said...

Oh my god, I just gained about 30 pounds by reading all your blog posts. Susan, your photos are brilliant - I love this mouth watering as well. Your challenge came out perfectly!!! I love the addition of raspberries!