Daring Bakers Challenge- For The Love Of Chocolate

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The picture above shows you all the ingredients needed to make a flourless chocolate cake: eggs, butter, and a whole lotta yummy, creamy, scrumptious, delicious, decadent (Oh god I’m getting hungry!) chocolate!

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 was so excited when I found about this challenge because it included my two favorite things: chocolate and ice cream! I spent the first two weeks trying to decide how I was going to make my DB challenge unique. What king of ice cream should I make? Should I add chilies or cinnamon to my cake to add a little extra kick? Eventually I decided to leave it how it is because adding anything to this already amazing recipe would take away from the chocolate, which I felt was the star of this dish.

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To make this cake all you have to do is melt the chocolate with the butter over a double boiler, then whip in the eggs. So simple! Oh yeah I forgot to mention that before you whip in the eggs you have to separate the yolks from the whites, whip the whites until you see peaks, then whip the yolks until foamy. Then you mix the yolks into the chocolate and butter first and slowly fold in the egg whites. Folding in the eggs whites is the hardest part and will make or break your cake because it is the only ingredient that will add volume and fluffiness to this otherwise super dense cake. I would explain to you the correct way to do this only I have no idea! I was fairly lucky this time and was able to fold in my egg whites without mixing too much so my batter stayed fluffy. I have had other incidences where I spend the time to whip the whites only to see them completely deflate when I am trying to fold them into the batter!

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I decided to make this cake for a dinner party that I was going to for thirteen people. So I doubled the recipe and baked it in a large pan. Using a cookie cutter I cut out individual hearts. In order to cut out the hearts without completely destroying the cake I had to freeze it for about twenty minutes to firm it up. I served the individual cakes with homemade French vanilla bean ice cream and homemade creamy caramel sauce. They were so amazingly delicious. Everyone was raving!

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I am the type of person who hates to waste. So I rolled the leftover cake into balls, froze them, dipped them into melted white chocolate and topped them with a milk chocolate squiggle. These little balls were also a huge hit at the party. To make these little balls I decided to try to “temper” the chocolate. I found this awesome article on how to melt, dip, or drizzle chocolate. It has an easy thermometer free way of tempering chocolate. All you have to do is place your chopped chocolate in a bowl, place the bowl in a top of very warm water (100-110 F) and stir until melted. By the time the white chocolate finely melted my arm was dead from stirring so much. Man, what a workout! But it worked and the result was cute little scrumptious chocolate covered balls!

This challenge has been one of my favorite so far. And the recipes (listed below) are definitely keepers!

Chocolate Valentino


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.

Katie’s Creamy Caramel Sauce


1 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a large, deep, heavy duty saucepan or dutch oven, spread the sugar in an even layer.
  2. Cook the sugar over low to medium heat, watching it carefully.
  3. When it begins to liquefy and darken around the edges, use a heatproof spatula to very gently stir it to encourage even cooking.
  4. Tilt the pan and stir gently until all of the sugar is melted and the caramel begins to smoke and turns a deep amber color.
  5. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in half of the cream, which will steam and bubble up furiously.
  6. Carefully stir until the sugar is dissolved, then gradually whisk int he remaining cream and the salt and vanilla.
  7. If there are any bits of hardened sugar, whisk the sauce over low heat until smooth.
  8. Serve warm.
  9. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long. Rewarm gently in the microwave or stirring in a saucepan over very low heat.
  10. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it by adding a small amount of milk or additional cream.


Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
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)

18 comments:

billy said...

oh my, your cake looks really rich, an absolute heart stopper, how I would like a mouthful and send me to chocolate heaven! :P

Jude said...

You wouldn't think the balls were leftovers based on how well they turned out. Everything looks so damn good.

kat said...

Your cake looks beautiful & I'm so impressed by how you used the scraps!

gnslngr said...

This were freaking amazing sweetie. Let's make more tonight! - TDH

pinkstripes said...

Everything looks great! The caramel sauce sounds wonderful.

vibi said...

Woahhhhh, Katie! Everything looks soooooo decadent!
It must be the combination of textures and colors on your great pictures... MOUTHWATERING, really!

Chocolate Shavings said...

That's a great twist on the recipe! The bonbons look beautiful!

Olga said...

Love the first photo: perfectly represents how easy this recipe was!

Olga said...

love how this cake used only 3 ingredients.
This was a great challenge.

chuck said...

Love it, Love it, Love it! Man, these chocolate treats look good!

Pam said...

They look amazing - especially the bon bons! Great photos.

Jennifer said...

Well done!! Beautiful presentation!!!

LunaCafe said...

Love your presentation. Just gorgeous!

Vera said...

Yummy looking cake! And I love your idea of utilizing the cake scraps.

Jo said...

Well done and great job on your challenge. Love the idea of the bon-bons.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Such a cool idea to do cake balls with it! And the cake looks wonderful itself too!

Junie Moon said...

You certainly met the challenge with your beautiful cake and ice cream results. I love your idea for utilizing the leftovers. I'll borrow that idea, thank you very much, as it's wonderful and very clever.

Kat said...

Great job! The caramel sauce sounds like a nice added touch and I love how you used the leftover cake. Very creative!