Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino with Caramel Ice Cream

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.

I've recently joined an online baking community called the Daring Bakers. About 70% of the food blogs i browse through are members of the Daring Bakers so I thought I'd join and see what all the fuss is about. Basically it's a community where bloggers/bakers get together every month and bake from the same recipe. You've got a whole month to prepare the assignment and there's also a forum where the bloggers can exchange tips and thoughts, guiding you step by step down the road of success. How could i say no to that, of course I was in! I finally have a forum to belong in... and can now leave JLo and his daily 3-hour NASIOC stare in peace. Lucky him =) .

My first Daring Bakers' challenge was a flourless chocolate cake (Chocolate Valentino) that contain only three ingredients, THREE! I was amazed at the final result, didn't know eggs could hold up so well. Still had some problems though; my cake was still wet and wobbly when the thermometer read 60C and had to bake an extra 10 minutes. The cake didn't set until it reached 85C. Hmm, dunno what happened there... i'll blame it on the crappy oven again, mehhh. Anyhoooo I'm not really a chocolate person so this cake wasn't for me. But for the die-hard chocolate lovers out there, this is definitely your slice of dense, fudgy heaven.

As for my first ice cream-making experience... I came to realize that ice-cream is just nothing but a big tub of FAT. I guess I've been in denial my whole life thinking ice-cream is just frozen milk... but when there's 3 cups of 10-30% cream sitting in front of you, you know you'll never enjoy a carefree, spirit-lifting scoop ever again. AHHHhhhh!!! I'm sticking to sorbets/yogurt from now on. =( But if you set the ass-doubling issue aside, being able to make your own ice-cream with a texture similar to the ones store-bought is gonna make you one happy person. Can't wait to experiment on more flavors, eeek!

Chocolate Valentino (Flourless Chocolate Cake)
a Daring Bakers' Challenge
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
    (use milk chocolate for a sweeter cake)
  • ½ cup 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 [picture 1, 2, 3].
  2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling, butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment [picture 4].
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls [picture 5].
  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) [picture 6].
  5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together [picture 7].
  6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate[picture 8].
  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 [picture 9].
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C [picture 10].
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C [picture 11] (my thermometer read 85C when done). 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 [picture 12].
  • This recipe comes together very quickly with a hand mixer.
  • This is a very decadent cake that will sink a little as it cools but will still hold its shape.
  • The top forms a light crust, kind of like a brownie.
  • The cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use, so use your favorite!

Flourless Chocolate Cake: Chocolate Valentino

Caramel Ice Cream (without a machine)
a Daring Bakers' Challenge and serving ice cream
  • 2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (or 10-18% fat cream)
  • 1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream (30% fat cream)
  • 2/3 - 1 cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla
  1. Place the sugar in a saucepan and set over low heat until it melts and turns honey-brown (DON'T BURN IT!). Remove from heat [picture 1, 2].
  2. Slowly and carefully, add the 10-18% cream to caramelized sugar [picture 3]. Be careful- the mixture will splatter and the sugar will turn hard. Don't worry!
  3. Stir mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth again [picture 4].
  4. Mix in the heavy cream and stir until well mixed and smooth [picture 5].
  5. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool [picture 6].
  6. Once cool, chill mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour [picture 7].
  7. Place the chilled ice cream mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes [picture 8].
  8. Beat ice cream mixture with an electric mixer until smooth (you can use a fork instead of an electric mixer, but the ice cream will be less smooth and creamy) [picture 9].
  9. Place ice cream in the freezer for 40 minutes- then beat with an electric mixer [picture 10].
  10. Repeat "40 minute freeze-then-beat cycle" 3 times. This should total 2 1/2 hours of freezing.
  11. You can choose to either beat your ice cream mixture every 40 minutes until frozen or let your ice cream mixture freeze on its own. Either method works fine. The more you beat it, the softer it will be. Total freezing time can take anywhere between 3-5 hours.
Caramel Ice Cream (without a machine)


  1. Mmm, your cake looks awesome!! Beautiful photos!

  2. Welcome to the Daring Bakers - this looks scrumptious!

  3. Love the detailed step by step picks. Glad to have found your blog through DB :)

  4. Thanks everyone, i really enjoyed this month's challenge :D

  5. Wow .. a whole series of deserts:) When are we getting back to main dishes? ;) Btw thought u might be interested in this website

  6. That caramel ice cream sounds divine. Add a sprinkle of fleur de sel and I'm in heaven!

  7. nice work on the challenge! I like the way u've put so many pictures..nice blog :D

  8. hfng: thnx for the website, it's pretty useful! I havent been making much main courses recently... just been cooking from my past recipes. But i have another curry recipe coming up, will update soon :D

    Sweet Bird & Plutosangel: Thanks for the nice comments :D

  9. Welcome to the Daring Bakers! You are so right about how some times, when you know exactly what you are eating [ice cream, for example], it makes it harder to eat it! But I usually just write it off by telling myself that its healthier without all the commercial additives anyway =D Well done with the challenge, everything looks fab =)

  10. Beautifully executed first DB challenge. Your caramel ice cream looks divine, although it is fattening for sure. Welcome to the group!

  11. haha i was thinking today i want to ask u how to make green tea ice cream!! remember i made it one time be4,it was a disaster..become shaved ice! hahaaa

  12. The Irreverent Cook: hahaha, you're right, it is healthier than the commercial stuff, i feel better already :D

    Bumblebutton: Thanks, i look forward to making more fattening food on DB!

    Lolo: really! Haha, well as you can see making ice cream w/out a machine is pretty easy. Just add your flavorings with ALOT of cream and beat them from time to time while freezing ;)

  13. Hi,
    welcome to the daring bakers.. I joined up last month, but already late for the second challenge. Love your cake! the melting ice cream drenched in chocolate sauce makes my mouth watered. yumm..

  14. Hi anjelikuh,

    thanks for your comment =).
    I just post the february challenge. I manage to make it anyways, eventhough it's 2 days late. Better late than never, right?

  15. Welcome to the land of D.B. That last pic on the spoon. To die for. Great job. Hope you enjoy the 'club'.

  16. Ice Tea: ooh yay, i'm gonna check it out right now :D

    TeaLady: thanks for stopping by!

  17. Hi Angelica and welcome to the DB!!! :-)
    I'm very glad to know u and your blog!

    Your challenge is deliciousss! What's the syrup on the top? caramel?
    YuMMMYYYY!!!! I think that everything have to had a very good taste!
    Ago :-D

  18. Congratulations on your first challenge with us! Your cake looks perfect and caramel ice cream...yum.

  19. Your cake looks so fudgy! Mine was a bit too dry. The caramel ice cream sounds delicious, but whoa - it's all cream?! That must be so rich.

  20. Your cake has a perfect texture! Well done!

  21. oooo caramel ice cream sounds sooo good right now! Way to go on your first DB challenge... can't wait to see what you bake up for next month :)

  22. ANgelikah!!
    Hao hao chi de yang zi..hahaha..
    this is Christina

    Oh yeah, btw, I met David Wood and Pablo this week!! AHhaha..

  23. Wow -- what a good looking blog -- congrats on it and the DB