So it's Daring Baker's Challenge time again! This month, the February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. They 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.
The Valentino cake is a flourless chocolate cake and it is very dense, moist and rich. Instead of making one large heart shaped cake, I wanted to make a bunch of small ones. I've had this cast iron pan for ages, which I've made muffins in, and I thought the cakes would look cute if I baked them in this:
Part of the challenge was to serve the cake with your own homemade ice cream, which wasn't a problem for me since we make our own ice cream fairly often in our trusty ice cream maker. I used the vanilla ice cream recipe that I've used for years. Make sure you make it with a real vanilla bean - so much better than vanilla extract - try it!
Valentino Cake with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
for a printable recipe click here
16 ounces (1 pound) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
5 large eggs, separated
Place 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. Do not overheat this mixture. When it is just melted, take off the heat and let slightly cool.
While the chocolate/butter mixture is cooling, butter your pan and line it with a parchment circle then butter the parchment. I used a totally different kind of pan, so I just buttered and lightly floured it. You can also use an 8" spring form pan for this or ramekins.
Separate the eggs into two large bowls. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry). With the same beater, beat the egg yolks together. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
Fold in one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining egg whites. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan. The batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes . The top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake test will appear slightly wet. In the mini heart shaped pan I used, it took about 20 minutes because the cakes were smaller.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups half n half
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and heat, slowly, until all the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Take off from heat, pour in a container (I use a 4 cup Pyrex measuring container) and place in fridge. Stir from time to time until the mixture is very cold. Place in your ice cream maker and process according to your maker's directions. (In my Cuisinart, it takes about 20 - 25 minutes.)
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