Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino

By the time this auto-post, I will be on a flight to Bangkok, Thailand for a long deserved holiday .... gosh it's been so long! I hope to post up some pictures of my trip and also to visit each of your blogs when I get back later in the week.

This month's Daring Bakers challenge comes to us from Wendy at A Charmed Life and Dharm at Dad-Baker & Chef. Both Wendy and Dharm are passionate about baking for their families and their blogs speak a lot about this. As hosts for this month, Dharm has chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan (recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan) whilst Wendy picked a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe to accompany the cake. (We were given the option of making any ice-cream of our choice though)

I was very excited by the fact that one of the hosts happens to be a fellow Malaysian. You can image how my excitment went on "over-boil" when I read that the recipe for the flourless chocolate cake is from Chef Wan, the flamboyant Malaysian chef. How much of a coincidence is this ...! I've watched Chef Wan so many times on television and he is a very talented chef. As this is February and the month where Valentine's Day falls, I guess it is timely that a chocolate cake had been chosen. Romantic lore commonly identifies chocolate as an aphrodisiac. The reputed aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate are most often associated with the simple sensual pleasure of its consumption. Thus it's no wonder that chocolate is one of widely given gifts to loved ones during this particular day, besides red roses of course!

I only managed to squeeze the last weekend to complete this challenge. The cake itself was pretty simple as the ingredients and steps were very minimal. I've not tried a flourless cake, be it baking it or eating one either, so I was quite keen to try this out. I did half the recipe for an 6" version. The cake very much resembled a brownie when it came out of the oven. However I must honestly say that I was not too keen about it and would have much preferred a conventional brownie or better still a chocolate cake. As for the ice-cream, I already had a couple of tubs of home-made flavours sitting in the fridge, so that was easy-pessy. The flavours were Raspberry Ice-cream, using a Strawberry Ice-cream recipe I had previously made (but substituted with raspberries instead) and the other was a Peanut Butter Ice-cream. I also decided to try out another ice-cream flavour for this challenge, a Lemon Curd Ice-cream.



Chocolate Valentino
(receipe from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

454g semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
146g unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

Method:

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.


Lemon Curd Ice-cream
(serves 6)
(receipe from Taste Australia)

Ingredients:

50g butter, chopped
2 eggs, lightly whisked
60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
300ml thin cream
250ml (1 cup) milk
4 egg yolks

Method:

1) Combine the butter, egg, lemon juice and rind, and half the sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Strain lemon curd through a fine sieve into a medium heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

2) Meanwhile, place a metal container in the freezer to chill. Combine the cream and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

3) Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar together in a medium heatproof bowl until thick and pale. Gradually stir the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture.

4) Pour into a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

5) Gradually stir the custard into the lemon curd and stir to combine. Place in the fridge for about 2 to 3 hours until completely cold. Then pour into an ice-cream maker and chill according to manufacturer’s instruction.

Note, if you are making this by hand, skip (4) and (5) above:

1) Pour into a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

2) Gradually stir the custard into the lemon curd and stir to combine. Place in the chilled container. Cover with foil and place in the freezer for 6 hours or until almost set.

3) Roughly break up the ice-cream with a metal spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Beat with an electric beater until smooth. Quickly return to the metal container. Cover with foil and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.


Peanut Butter Ice-cream
(recipe from Martha Stewart)
(makes 4 cups)

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup salted cocktail peanuts
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used smooth peanut butter and omitted the peanuts)

Method:

1) Heat cream, milk, and peanuts in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edges. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep at room temperature for 3 hours (or refrigerate overnight).

2) Prepare an ice-water bath. Uncover cream mixture, and reheat until hot but not boiling. Whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well combined. Return mixture to saucepan, and stir constantly over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. (Do not let the mixture come to a simmer.)

3) Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Set the bowl in the ice-water bath. Stir in vanilla, and let cool, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.

4) Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a large bowl, and fold in peanut butter until ice cream is swirled. Use immediately, or freeze for up to 1 week.





27 comments:

Phoebe said...

everything looks delicious and nicely plated!!! Cute~

Zita said...

So many ice-cream flavors...yummmm :)

Maggie said...

Beautifully done! I love the sound of the lemon curd ice cream and will have to try it soon.

Gigi said...

The cakes are lovely! Enjoy your vacation!

Ingrid said...

Sorry you didn't care for the cake much. Your photos are fantastic. I love how you layered the cake, ice cream, and then gananche.

Have a restful and fabulous vacation!
~ingrid

Jacque said...

Oh my! Both of your ice creams sound wonderful. The cake looks good too, sorry you didn't love it.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Stunning! I love both your ice cream flavors! What a scrumptious dessert! Very well done...

Cheers,

Rosa

Natashya said...

It looks beautiful! I love the raspberries and the pink curls.
And everything is better with Two ice creams!

Half Baked said...

Wow you really out did yourself on this challenge! Everything looks so pretty!

The Bahens said...

Lemon Curd Ice Cream sounds delicious. I'll have to break out the ol' ice cream maker again and try it!

Y said...

Gorgeous presentation! Oh and I long for a taste of that lemon curd ice cream!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Your cake looks delicious and I lveo every single one of those ice cream flavors. They all look mouthwatering!

Eat4Fun said...

Great looking results and variety of ice creams! The way you plated your results looks fabulous! :)

Rebecca said...

Your cake and ice creams look delicious--especially the lemon curd. I just love lemon curd. Great job on the challenge!

Em said...

How cute yours looks!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Wow, great pictures and presentation! The lemon curd ice cream sounds sooo good =D

fatboybakes said...

omigoodness, u're a PRO!!! have you written a cookbook?
lovely blog.... hope u had a wonderful holiday...

Lisa Michelle said...

Love the lemon curd ice cream, and absoolutely WANT the peanut butter! Your photos and platings are stunning. Are those pink tinted, white chocolate baby curls on the plate in the photo with the slice of cake?

Lori said...

Everything looks so good! I love the round with layers the best. I have been wanting to make a little round like that for forever and then I never do. I also really like the curd recipe.

Katie Barlow said...

I am so jealous! I just got back from a month in Thailand and I absolutely loved loved loved it. Have fun on your trip.

Pam said...

They all look so delicious and pretty too.

Andreas said...

Lemon curd ice cream sounds very tempting. Nice presentation and plating, too.

Chef E said...

Who says you have to diet without some goodies, I will just visit your blog and imagine I am having my treats!

Bumblebutton said...

Although you may not have liked the cake very much, your kitchen's ice cream shop is fabulous! Nicely done! Hope you have a lovely vacation!

Aparna said...

I'm not sure which to choos between your cake and the ice-creams. They look gorgeous. Lemon curd ice-cream- that is an unusual flavour.

BitterSweet said...

Really gorgeous pictures, and the flavors of your ice creams sound fantastic!

Celeste said...

Wow...you did a beautiful job on the challenge! You and I were both traveling abroad on post day...I hope you had a fantastic trip! :)

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