Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers - February 2009 Challenge: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Daring Baker's Challenge:

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 missed January's challenge deadline, so I was intent on getting this one done.

The cake was amazing. I baked it in a springform pan and then cut small hearts out with a cookie cutter. It would have helped if the cookie cutter was deeper, but it still turned out great.

I'd never made ice cream before even in an ice cream maker, so this was really interesting. I loved how it came out. It was REALLY rich and really good. Now I want the Cuisinart ice cream maker REAL BAD.

Also, getting my hands on some vanilla beans was the best thing I've ever done. They made the ice cream SUPER yummy. You get find them online so much cheaper than you can in the grocery store.

Now that I've done it, I wish I had altered the recipe a little. I just wanted to see how it came out. I'm sure I will next time. I'm actually hoping the March challenge is a little HARDER... this was pretty easy to be honest.

Happy Valentines Day (Cakes)!

Chocolate Valentino

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons 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

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
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}
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)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leftovers.. A PB&J Story.

I'm not going to include a recipe because I'm evil.

But I WILL tell what these are.

Magnolia's Vanilla Birthday Cake
with Smitten Kitchen's Peanut Butter Frosting and Neverbashfulwithbutter's grape frosting, which is not linkable anymore. BUT that is buttercream with grape jelly mixed in. :)

Superduper awesome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Iron Cupcake Earth February - Coffee

I created a coffee themed cupcake by making a tiramisu cupcake! I used my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and added all the glory that is tiramisu to it. YUM!

As an Iron Cupcake participant, I am competing for the following *fabulous* prizes:

February ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

* DIANAEVANS - as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES.
* PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!

As an added bonus for February, SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY will be tossing in a variety of cupcaking supplies.

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers.

If you want to know more about Iron Cupcake:Earth, visit: