Daring Bakers February: For the love of chocolate

Mmm, chocolate.

For February, Daring Bakers hosts were Wendy at wmpesblog and Dharm at Dad – Baker and Chef. In keeping with the theme of Valentine’s day, this month’s challenge was to make a Chocolate Valentino, and pair it with some sort of ice cream of our choosing.

Chocolate ValentinoWhat’s a valentino, you might ask? Well, it’s a lovely flourless chocolate cake. The recipe consists of eggs, chocolate and butter, and that’s it. No flour, no sugar, no other flavouring. The end result is a dense, moist cake that tastes exactly like the chocolate you make it with, so it is important to choose one that you like. In my case, I chose Green & Black’s baking chocolate, which is organic and has 72% cocoa content. I wanted dark chocolate but nothing too bitter, so I figured that bar might do the trick.

The recipe itself is pretty easy to follow: melt your chocolate and butter together, separate the eggs, whip the whites, beat the yolks, then combine and bake in a buttered pan. In my case, I made only 1/3 of the recipe, which yielded 2 nice ramekin-sized servings.

As for my ice cream, I made a vegan coffee-flavoured version with soymilk. As I’ve mentioned before, Rich can’t eat regular ice cream, so making milk-free versions is best. The end result tasted like a soy latte. Next time I think I’d put more coffee into the batter, to give it a stronger flavour.

As always, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll for more versions of this month’s challenge! The flourless chocolate cake recipe and my soy latte ice cream recipe are both posted below.

Chocolate Valentino

Chocolate Valentino – From Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

These amounts make the full recipe (with a 7″ or 8″ square, round, or heart-shaped pan).  As mentioned, I found making 1/3 of the recipe yielded 2 ramekins worth.

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.
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.

Soy Latte ‘Ice Cream’ – Original recipe from Vegan Ice Cream Paradise, modified by me.

2 cups soy creamer (or any non-dairy milk)
1½ cups soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
½ cup strong brewed coffee
¾ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

Mix the soy creamer, soy milk, coffee and sugar together in a saucepan. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

Stir in vanilla extract.

Put mixture into your refrigerator to cool, then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
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.

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