Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Daring Bakers Challenge: Chocolate Valentino Cake

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.


  1. I love the pretty lace pattern you made with icing sugar. Yes as your husband danced this is one of the BEST chocolate cakes I have ever had. Wonder description of the taste and the texture of this recipe. Lovely photo of you challenge. Great job on this challenge. Yours from Audax in Australia.

  2. I love the decor on your cake, so pretty!

  3. looks delicious!!

    I would bet you $10 the reason your ice cream didn't set is that there wasn't enough rock salt in the ice chamber. I made ice cream several times last year, and every time it didn't set it was because I had tried to scrimp and save on the rock salt. Just go ahead and prepare to use most of a bag of salt every time! And you can't just leave it alone. You have to keep adding ice and salt until it's done. PLUS, you really MUST let it ripen in the freezer before you try to serve. If you scoop straight from churning, it will be soupy. Ice cream isn't very easy to make, but it is SO worth it! I have some great recipes if you ever want one. Good luck!

  4. Audax: Thank you so much!

    Ally: Thank you!

    Tara: Thank you! I used an electric ice cream maker (Cuisinart) that doesn't require any salt. I think the problem was the recipe I used told me to pour the mixture into the ice cream maker straight from the stove while it was still hot. I knew in my head that it probably needed to be chilled before it went in, but I did what the recipe said anyway. Next time I'll trust my instincts! :)

  5. I love how you dusted the top of the cake with the powdered sugar. Very elegant!

  6. I too made the Salted Butter Carmel but I cooled the mixture over and ice bath before freezing and it came out perfect. It is soo yummy it's worth another try, I'm addicted!
    Great job on the cake my hubs loved it too

  7. Too bad about the ice cream! But I'm sure no one noticed, what with such a great cake! :)

  8. Your cake turned out so pretty :) I love the name of your blog.