Saturday, February 28, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake and French Vanilla Ice Cream with a touch of Raspberry

Daring Bakers' Challenge this month was a delight to create and to feast upon. I have been eagerly waiting to share it with you since nearly the beginning of the month(!). Without further ado....

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 Valentino is aptly named -- it made a perfect Valentine dessert. I prepared it for My Valentine as the finishing crown to a delightful dinner of sirloin stir-fry.

I formed it in a small heart-shaped baking dish, cutting the recipe by a third. I used only one egg. I think two would have been a better choice, as the finished product was a tad on the dry side.

I drizzled it with warm raspberry preserves before serving. It was deliciously rich.

I would like to try it again with another brand/flavor of chocolate. (I used Ghiradelli's Semi-Sweet this time around.) The flavor of your cake DOES wholly depend on the chocolate used. It was good but I know some that could make it stellar.... ;-)

As I was short on time the night I made the cake, the ice cream didn't come until last night. I followed David Lebowitz's directions for making it by hand. I highly recommend following them if you decide to embark on the adventure of making your own ice cream sans machine. It produces impeccable results.

After the custard reached the desired consistency on the stove, I placed it in an ice bath (fill a deep dish with ice water and place the bowl of custard inside) to cool the custard. After whipping the cream until just before it turned into a stiff whipped cream, I folded it into the custard. Then, the custard cream went into the freezer for about 45 minutes before its first stir. Every 45 minutes or so, I would take it out and stir it around, breaking up any ice chunks. The first couple stirs I used a whisk, then turned to a large spoon when it became more solidified. After about 3 hours, it was ready to serve.

As I was about to scoop some for my dad, he commented he would just take the rest of the bowl. Haha. ;-p Again, out came the raspberry preserves...and a touch of dark chocolate. I had to tie it into the valentino somehow.

I can't wait to share this ice cream with My Valentine. (He was working late last night. :-( ) Ice cream consumption is his passion; vanilla is his favorite; raspberry preserves are his vice. I think I found the ideal combination.

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation 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/190C
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 (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
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / 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 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)
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)


Lisa Michelle said...

Mmmmm, french vanilla ice cream with raspberry..awesome pairing with the flourless chocolate cake! Great job!

Chickidoodle said...

Looks so good! I have a heart shaped baking pan, but I covet your little heart baker!

Leslie said...

Sorry yours turned out a bit fry. Still looks good to me!

Claire said...

Sounds like you won't be getting much of that ice cream! Yum!!! Great job.

Tartelette said...

Well done on this month challenge! The ice cream flavor/sauce is perfect for this cake!

Rysheda said...

The picture of the ice cream mixed with the raspberry sauce looks absolutely devine! I wish I could read out through the screen and grab it. Great pictures and Great job on the challenge.

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Your heart shaped cake looks lovely and your ice cream is so velvety. Must have been delicious with the warm raspberry preserves!

Jaime said...

nice! i was pleasantly surprised by the instructions on how to make ice cream w/o the machine too!! i was amazed and thrilled i could finally make ice cream!! but luckily i also got a machine for christmas last year :)

Jenny said...

Seriously, I don't think you can go wrong combining raspberries and chocolate. Looks great!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I love your baking dish! And your ice cream looks just perfect!

Rye-Rye said...

Are you trying to win me over with a perfectly paired flavors? Because it's working...

The Cherub's Craft Blog said...

Oh yum my favourite flavours vanilla and raspberry :)

Nidhi said...

Such a cute small heart pan! The ice cream is so good, I tried it too (without the preserves). Raspberry would be a great addition next time:-)

MaryMary said...

Dark chocolate and raspberry preserves are on of life's greatest combos. This looks fabulous!