Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino

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Our wonderful co-hosts Dharm and Wendy gave us an easy and delicious flourless chocolate cake recipe called "Chocolate Valentino" for this month's Daring Bakers' challenge, but they also asked us to pair it with a homemade ice cream. Even though the challenge recipe was one of the easiest Daring Bakers' recipes we've had to date, I had to turn to Ben and Jerry for help with the second part of the challenge. It's been about 9 or 10 years since I've made my own ice cream and my ice cream machine was not stored in my garage as I originally thought, but actually stored at my parents' house. So my apologizes to Wendy and Dharm for failing the ice cream part of the challenge.

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The "Chocolate Valentino" recipe comes from Chef Wan, Malaysia's eccentric rock star chef and food ambassador. It simply contains chocolate, butter and eggs. I don't think a cake can get much easier than that. Because there is nothing to hide behind, the cake will taste only as good as the chocolate used, so I used my favorite brand for baking - Valrhona. I used a 70% cacao chocolate because I didn’t want the cake to be too bittersweet. Also, less cacao means more sugar and more sugar means more moisture added to the cake.

The batter was a breeze to whip up. Like with most flourless chocolate cake batters, the most technical part was making sure the egg whites were not over beatened. They should be beaten to stiff peaks but not dry (they should still be shiny and glossy). At this stage, the egg whites will provide the maximum expansion for a souffle-like result and excellent moisture inside when baked. Over beaten whites will make the cake dry. Of course folding the beaten whites into the chocolate-yolk mixture with minimal deflation is also key. You want to maintain the air you worked so hard to achieve. Deflated egg whites will give you a flat cake.

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soufflé-like


I divided the recipe into 3/5 which was the perfect amount to fill three heart shaped ramekins. It was also easy to divide the recipe into 3/5 since the original recipe called for 5 eggs. The cakes puffed up and then settled down a bit while they cooled, leaving a nice crust. I must say that they turned out great. It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and so delicious when paired with the ice cream.

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it melts in your mouth


Chocolate Valentino

Ingredients:
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

Note: For a real Valentino, bake it in a heart shaped pan or cut it out into a heart shape. You may use any shape pan that gives you an area of 50” - 6x8 or 7x7. An 8” spring form pan works with great results as do smaller pans or ramekins.

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.

The fine print:
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.

My 3/5 recipe ingredients:
9.6 oz (273 g) chocolate
3 oz (6 tbsp/87.6g) unsalted butter
3 large eggs, separated


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Ben and Jerry's pistachio ice cream to the rescue

36 comments:

MeetaK said...

Mary this looks great. Love the heart shaped mould. Perfect!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What cute little hearts! Very well done, once agin!

Cheers,

Rosa

VeggieGirl said...

Love the darling shape!! Excellent!!

Steph said...

It looks delicious with that huge scoop of B&J icecream on top. I was going to use storebought icecream too because I don'thave a maker, but I didnt end up using it because I didn't even get a chance to bake the cake!... and it was of of the easier challenges

Dharm said...

This looks just super Mary! Thanks for joining us in the challenge this month!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love the ramekins, they are adorable! Wonderful job! And pistachio ice cream sounds really tasty!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love the ramekins, they are adorable! Wonderful job! And pistachio ice cream sounds really tasty!!

AnticiPlate said...

My mom and I used to make ice cream when I was little. It was one of my favorite things to do! We had the kind with the crank that you had to turn every 10 minutes:)
I think I would like to start to make it again, but I just feel like the new machines are so bulky. So, I usually just get a pint from whole foods of something interesting:)

Heather B said...

Love your molds! Your valentino looks delicious! Ben and Jerry are excellent helpers in the ice cream department!

Rachel said...

Love it...

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Your cake looks gorgeous! I love the heart shapes, beautiful job!

Engineer Baker said...

Melt in your mouth is the perfect term for this, and I love the little heart ramekins. Beautiful!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Valrhona - that's the chocolate I used and will again. We really enjoyed this one.
As always Mary very beautiful.

Sweet Bird said...

I love those little dishes!

Jenny said...

Hey, B&J's make a perfectly good ice cream!
I love the hearts, btw.

Sara said...

Looks so yummy! Very cute photos. :)

Rebecca said...

I guess if you had to cheat on the ice cream, you couldn't cheat any better then Ben & Jerry's pistachio ice cream!

Great job as always, Mary.

Lesley said...

They look GORGEOUS. I love the presentation. But i really want a bite of that chocoalte cake below this post.

Claire said...

Mmmm, looks great! B&J do a pretty good job...too bad you had to let them. :-)

Juliana said...

I love the shape of your little cakes. Wonderful!

pixie said...

lovely lovely cakes! and love the heart shaped ramekins!

culinography said...

Lovely little hearts... and all hail Ben & Jerry! :)

Aparna said...

I am having a tough time choosing between your cake and the heart shaped ramekins. :)
They're both gorgeous.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That cake looks amazing. I love the simple ingredients and it doesn't get any cuter than that heart shape.

Half Baked said...

Yum! Your ice cream looks so delish. I love the heart shaped ramikns! too cute!

Not Another Omnivore said...

Ben and Jerry's is one of my favorite companies...don't feel bad!

NAOmni

TeaLady said...

Looks good.

ice tea: sugar high said...

Cute plate! Goes perfectly with the cake. Well done!

Elle said...

So cute in the heart shaped ramekins! You are right about the egg whites...yours looks perfect.

breadchick said...

Oh pistachio ice cream would be great on top of this cake!

That cake was wonderful wasn't it...

steph- whisk/spoon said...

nothing's wrong with a little ben & jerry's! great looking little hearts...the texture looks just perfect!

creampuff said...

Look at the texture on that cake! And who could not love Ben & Jerry???

Amy said...

Well done! This looks fantastic. I love your little ramekins.

Keegan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keegan said...

Hi Mary,

My name is Keegan Hurd with See's Candies. I happened upon your blog today, and would like to discuss with you an opportunity that I see to work together. If this is something you think you'd enjoy doing, please feel free to contact me, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Keegan
khurd(at)sees.com

Layne Adams said...

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- The chocolate enrober