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!
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!
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!
Chocolate Valentino Cake
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.
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)
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
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.