Saturday, February 28, 2009

DB: Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino


This month challenge was a flourless cake. I've tried making a flourless cake in the past but it didn't turn out, so I was excited to try this one. Since Valentine's Day was coming up and so were my parents---don don doooon---I decided to make mini ones with homemake peanutbutter ice cream. I had a whole meal planned, too. However, like most of my plans and dishes only a few things worked out. The menu:

Sundried Tomato Feta Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
Better-Than-Panera's Broccoli Cheese Soup
Garlic Couscous
French Bread (homemade of course)
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Mini Milk Chocolate Valentiono Cakes

Sounds good, huh!? Well, the couscous recipe I found turned out to be very bland. The soup was great though. My parents said that my french bread (which was my first attempt ever)was the best bread they ever had. My parents are rude..uhm...I mean blunt and super picky so this was the ultimite complain---(I can now die happy.) The chicken was AMAZING! BUT my cakes didn't turn out! I believe my problem lies in the pan I used. I tried using a muffin pan but they burnt on the outside and were googy on the inside. Next time I'm going to use the pan that is called for and just make one big cake. I definitely want to try this one again. The other DBers had such great luck, that I know that I can do this! I thought my ice cream rocked. I made it with homemade peanut butter, but my dad doesn't like "peanut butter flavor." Mom is never satisfied, so I take her comments with a grain of salt. But she did say it was "okay." Despite that, I considered our Vday dinner a success. We then concluded our day by spending two hours at our local Surplus Store! Well, at least my family is easy and cheap to entertain when they visit!

I got the ice cream recipe from LOVE TO BAKE at Allrecipes. It is by the easiest and most peanutbutterly. I strongly recommand it. I've included the other ice cream recipes provided by the DBers host this month. I'm not a vanilla fan but I'm sure that they are good.

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.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Love to Bake

1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until thick, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
2. Pour milk into a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
3. Gradually drizzle the hot milk into the eggs while whisking vigorously.
4. Then pour the whole mixture into the saucepan.
5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.
6. Remove from heat, and whisk in peanut butter.
7. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half and vanilla.
8. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
9. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
10. Fold in peanut butter cups when mixture is still soft, then transfer to a container, and freeze until solid.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)
By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).
2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer
3. Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.

Note: 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.


Leslie said...

Peanut butter ice cream was my second choice!

Jenny said...

Too bad the cakes didn't work out as you'd planned, but good to know you still had a good valentine's despite that.