Another First

February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino

Chocolate Valentino

February is my first month as a member of an outstandling online community called Daring Bakers.

Each month, a baking challenge is issued and bakers across the world unite in producing the chosen treat and posting about their experience doing so.

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.

A valentino is a flourless chocolate cake, to be served with baker’s choice of homemade ice cream.

The challenge stated that with only three ingredients, the valentino would come out tasting exactly like the (one pound of!) chocolate used,  so of course I wanted to find an interesting and tasty chocolate.  My first thought, of course, was bacon chocolate, which I would pair with eggnog ice cream, but I was serving my valentino as a Valentine’s Day dinner for four, including a pastry chef who teaches at Le Cordon Bleu and a connoisseur whom I love too much to subject to my silliness.*

I also considered and dismissed the idea of chocolate spiced with cayenne and various others available at the regular grocery store, in favor of my favorite chocolate as a kid, Ice Cube candies.  I wondered if the cold sensation would carry over to the Valentino.

Then, the night before my dinner and baking extravaganza, I tried one of the 42 Ice Cube candies I had to buy to make a pound, at $.50 apiece. Yeah, not so much happening. Despite what I paid for it, this was not $21.00/lb chocolate.

After spending about 45 minutes debating in front of the chocolate display at Whole Foods, I ended up with Dagoba organic Lemon Ginger bars and went home to try my luck.

It came out of the oven looking just like the showroom model:

Looks can be deceiving

Looks can be deceiving

But crumbled upon release. Plus, the 63% cacao, or whatever the Dagoba bars were, came out way too bitter, even this non-sweets-lover.

But I'm not bitter...

But I'm not bitter...

Luckily for me, with 3 hours until dinner guests arrived and no other options, I still had my Ice Cube candies, so I got to work on v2.0.

This cake is so easy, the hardest part may have been unwrapping 41 candies

This cake is so easy, the hardest part may have been unwrapping 41 candies

Plan B worked a lot better.

Upside down, but still heart shaped and all in one piece

Upside down, but still heart shaped and all in one piece

I served my valentino with two kinds of ice cream:  homemade chocolate butter almond, which I have been dying to try to replicate since I first tasted it circa 1986, and, in keeping with the childhood memories theme, Ovaltine ice cream, which came out malty, salty, and good.



Everyone loved this cake, and the ice cream was a perfect pairing. Having baked two, I think the cake comes out a little less sweet than whatever choclate is used, so the darker stuff is a bit of a risk if you don’t love it. I definitely still want to try it with bacon chocolate, and the ice cream maker I found ($24.99 Big Lots kismet, I like to call it) is already being used in almost weekly ice cream experiments. Help me.

Thanks again to the Daring Bakers for the opportunity to participate in this great group, and special thanks to Wendy at wmpesblog and Dharm at Dad – Baker and Chef for hosting this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge.

* Yes, I see the irony of serving my fancy friends candy bar and Ovaltine based desserts. They loved them.

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.

26 Responses to “Another First”

  1. Shirley Says:

    Congrats on your first! Looks great.

  2. lisamichele Says:

    Beautiful job, chickie! Perfect execution, presenation and photos! Great job!

  3. Mandie Says:

    Looks delicious! Great job!

  4. Tina Says:

    Congratulations on completing your first challenge.
    Great job!

  5. This looks great!welcome to daring bakers!Thank you for the support 🙂

  6. Lauren Says:

    Mmm, your cake looks wonderful!! Great job!

  7. Arlene Says:

    Oh, wouldn’t I love your Ovaltine ice cream. Unwrapping all those candies…you ARE dedicated.

  8. Ovaltine ice cream (this is very Australian) and candies in chocolate cake what a combination. I made mine from 95% cocoa chocolate (with 1 tablespoon of sugar whipped with the egg whites) and it was excellent for adults. Yes you are right you can easily adjust for the tastes of the people eating the cake.

    I have never hear of bacon chocolate (this sounds like something Elvis would like) and what could eggnog ice cream taste like, it feels like a heart attack though the good sort of attack.

    Great job on this challenge. Yours Audax

  9. Lori Says:

    Impressive. I probably would ahve ditched after the first attempt and ended up at the store, buying a cake. Bravo for you. I never would have thought the ice cube chocolates would have worked. Great job. I just love thos ice cube chocolates.

  10. Tartelette Says:

    I am in love with your ovaltine ice cream! What a brilliant choice for this cake!
    Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  11. qeftsg Says:

    wow your heart shape cake looks perfect! Great effort for the first challenge! It is my first too, isn’t it fun?! Good to hear u went all the way and bought the ice cream maker, cant wait to see your version of pistachio ice cream soon. 🙂

  12. cookiedoc Says:

    I’ve never heard of ice cube candies. The second cake does look a little bit moister, though both look good. Great job!!!

  13. Amy Says:

    Welcome Daring Baker! Such a great job – I love your enthusiasm.

  14. Jude Says:

    I’m liking your way of thinking right there buddy. You got my attention with bacon chocolate. I’ve tried it before and it was good stuff.

  15. Christi Says:

    ooh, i really like the idea of Ovaltine ice cream, fabulous!

  16. Olivia Says:

    This looks great! I’ve never heard of ice cube candies…

  17. lauren Says:

    Your cake looks wonderful. I’ve also never heard of ice cube candies before too.

  18. Kitchen M Says:

    Looks fantastic – it definitely shows your great effort!

    (So have I – never heard of ice cube candies before. )

  19. fatboybakes Says:

    any chance of you sharing the recipe for your almond butter chocolate ice cream? sounds divine. yeah, i think the best part of this challenge was rekindling a love for home made ice cream.

  20. Andreas Says:

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers.
    I like the plating with the oozy ice cream and the tulip(?).

  21. Mary Says:

    The cayenne idea sounds genius–perhaps next time. And the Ovaltine ice cream…how fun! Your challenge looks fabulous…welcome to DB!

  22. JennyBakes Says:

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers. You fit right in, a little whimsical goes a long way here. 🙂

  23. Tammy Says:

    congrats on your first challenge! that ice cream sounds fabulous (both kinds)

  24. Welcome to the group! You did great on your first challenge. I really love the sound of your 2 ice creams, yum!

  25. vivnidhi Says:

    WOW! the combinations look great and you unwrapped all those small candies!! Great job and welcome to the Daring Bakers!!

  26. Laurel Says:

    Bravo on your first challenge! I love your adventurous spirit in trying out different flavors of chocolate with your valentino. Your ice cream pairings were fun as well!

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