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.
Oh, man. If you love chocolate, this is the dessert for you. It's rich, smooth, velvety, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. Simply divine.
This was the dessert I made for my hubby on Valentine's Day that I mentioned in this post. My husband even broke out into dance and song... I kid you not. And then he said it was better than the chocolate souffle at one of our favorite gourmet restaurants in town. So, it gets pretty high praises! Make sure you use really good chocolate, since it is the main ingredient. I use Guittard Semi Sweet, but use what you love.
Another part of the challenge was to make homemade ice cream to go with the cake. The ice cream is almost essential to "cut through" the richness of all that chocolate.Since the valentino is so simple, I decided to take it up a notch and tackle salted butter caramel ice cream. As you might already suspect by the lack of the ice cream's appearance in the photo, it did not turn out well. For some reason, it wouldn't set up, no matter how long I churned it. Hopefully, I'll have better luck next time.
Chocolate Valentino (aka Flourless Chocolate Cake)
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.
It is vital to the success of the cake that you not overbeat your egg whites, and also that you do not deflate them at the folding stage. Also, you do not have to use a heart shaped pan. I think a standard 8 or 9 inch cake pan would work, or you could also use ramekins to make individual cakes.