Oh, Sweet Jesus

Oh, Sweet Jesus

This is what said when I took my first bite of this decadent flourless chocolate cake that was our Daring Baker challenge this month. I plated up one serving before dinner (when the light is still good) for photo purposes only. We planned on eating it after we ate dinner, but I was compelled to take just one bite. We ended up eating the whole beauty plate instead. Talk about ruining your dinner!

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. Check out the other Daring Bakers here and all of my past challenges here.

I’ve made other flourless chocolate cakes, but this one turned out so light and yet so flavorful at the same time. I used a combination of dark and milk chocolate for my husband… He’s not a big fan of the bittersweet chocolate that I love so much. The combination was very tasty… not too sweet for me, and not too bitter for him. Marriage is all about compromise. This is one of the easiest desserts to make and yet so sophisticated, and I plan to make it again. Can you believe that only 3 ingredients go into it??? Crazy, eh? I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce and chocolate piped filigrees.

Chocolate Valentino Recipe

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 (6″ X 8″ or close to that) or ramekins 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. 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). With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

4. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate. 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}

5. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C. 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.

6. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Makes 6-8 servings

Note: I did half of the recipe and it made 4 small ramekins. It only took about 15 minutes to get to 140 degrees.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

3/4 c sugar
1 c whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald it (bring slowly up to boiling point). While this is heating, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick in a small bowl. Pour about 1/2 cup of the scalded milk into the egg yolks and sugar and stir well. Then pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently, stirring until the custard thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Do not allow to boil, or it will curdle.

2. When you can run you finger over the back of your spoon and the custard leaves a streak, it’s time to remove the saucepan from the heat. Immediately, strain custard in a fine mesh strainer and into a metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl into an ice bath, and stir until it has cooled. Stir in the vanilla and heavy cream. Pour into a container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

4. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 2 pints of ice cream.