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February Daring Bakers: Chocolate Valentino


It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a part of the Daring Bakers for a year now!  I started in February 2008 with Julia Child’s French Bread, which made me stretch my baking skills and built my confidence.  I am proud to say that I have yet to miss a challenge!  I’ve gotten to try a variety of different recipes that I may have not otherwise made.  I’ve even gone back and made some past challenges that were made before I’ve joined, and I want to keep trying to catch up!


This month’s recipe is probably my favorite Daring Bakers recipe.  I was really excited when I saw that this month’s recipe was a flourless chocolate cake.  I love how rich flourless chocolate cakes are (chocolate is NEVER too rich) and I wanted to see how it compared to the other flourless chocolate cake I made, which was also a past Daring Bakers recipe.  The first recipe made a very smooth, silky, fudgy cake.  I was happy with how it turned out, but it is nothing compared to this gem of a recipe.


With only three ingredients, it is a fairly basic cake.  It involves a few simple steps, which came together very quickly.  I was so excited about trying it that I had a hard time waiting!  But, it was well worth the wait.  It is difficult to describe how fabulous this cake is.  It was more reminiscent of a brownie, as it was thicker than the other cake and had a more cake-like texture.  One sweet treat I have missed enjoying lately is a brownie, but this satisfied my craving.  I am even planning on making some chocolate ice cream and swirling pieces of this cake in, so look for that post very soon!

We were also required to make our own ice cream.  I have gotten into making ice cream lately, so I had quite a few recipes to choose from.  I am a fan of white chocolate, and the white chocolate ice cream recipe on David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop intrigued me because I’ve never had ice cream like that before.  I decided to try this one, and I thought it would be a good contrast to the chocolate cake.  It was a great ice cream.  It was custard based, so it was smooth and silky.  It took a couple days for it to fully firm up in the freezer.  I was afraid when I took it out after a few hours and it looked like soup, but since French-style ice cream isn’t as firm, it just took longer and was just the way I wanted it after a little while longer.  I loved the sweet flavor of the white chocolate.  This was a great pairing, and a great challenge!  Thanks Wendy and Dharm!  I can’t wait to find out what March will bring!

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.

Here are a few of my favorite Daring Bakers recipes:

Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake– not a particularly challenging recipe, but this was an amazing cake that I’ve made several times in the past year.  It’s so adaptable and perfect for any occasion!

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream– this was a multi-step process that taught me some new techniques such as caramelization and how to be organized in the kitchen

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting and Bonus Caramels– this might tie with this month’s recipe for my favorite.  This was a great cake for a caramel lover like myself.  I couldn’t get enough of the frosting, and I just loved the caramels.  I will use aspects from this challenge again and again!

Daring Bakers Febrauary 2009 Recipes:

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.

White Chocolate Ice Cream (Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

8 ounces white chocolate

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

5 large egg yolks

2 cups heavy cream

Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


15 Responses

  1. This definitely makes me regret quitting the Daring Bakers – I need any excuse I can find to make flourless chocolate cake! Sweet white chocolate ice cream sounds like a great match for this bittersweet cake.

  2. Mmm…the white chocolate ice cream sounds yummy with this. Great job on a years worth of challenges!

  3. You Daring Bakers are amazing. This cake sounds absolutely fantastic and I don’t even like chocolate cakes!

  4. Happy 1 year anniversary as a DB’er! Time flies, doesn’t it? I’m loving the white chocolate ice cream with this cake. What an excellent idea. I’ve never tried it before so will bookmark your recipe — thanks! And good for you that you’ve taken the time to do past challenges. I never got around to it…I have thought of that crepe cake, though!

  5. Ooohh! The white choc. ice cream sounds so yummy! Your cake looks great! Sometimes I miss being a DBer!

  6. Awesome idea for the pairing – isn’t that book fabulous? Congrats on one year of Daring Baker-ishness!

  7. Yum! Your cake looks beautiful, and the description is making me huuungry! Plus, I love teh idea of a white chocolate ice cream. I bet the two paired fabulously together!

  8. Your cake looks great! It must have tasted like heaven with the ice cream!

  9. Your cake and ice cream look great. Prior to going online tonight, I actually tagged the white chocolate ice cream to make next. I’m glad it was a success for you.

  10. Everything looks wonderful! I’ve never had or made white chocolate ice cream–sounds interesting.

  11. That looks awesome! I’m swooning over here!

  12. Yummm! Your cake looks absolutely divine, the texture seems to be the best I have seen so far! Happy 1st anniversary too, I salute you for not having missed a single challenge!

  13. Thanks so much for this post! Passover is coming up, and it’s always a challenge to make a tasty dessert (that’s not super dense or a macaroon) to eat over the holidays. This will be on our menu this year, it sounds like something DH will love!

  14. […] chocolate ice cream, and I couldn’t wait to try this French-Style version.  I also had some flourless chocolate cake left from the February Daring Bakers Challenge, and I wanted to use it as a mix-in to this ice […]

  15. […] from Dinner & Dessert (but this was a recipe from the group Daring Bakers, so it can be found on a lot of blogs in […]

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