Saturday, February 28, 2009
Daring Bakers - Chocolate Valentino
This flourless chocolate cake recipe, called Chocolate Valentino, is meant to be baked in a heart-shaped pan. I have an excess of single-serving disposable aluminum cups that Dave bought at the dollar store as a gag because I generally despise anything involving hearts. Barf. Usually, I use them as a vessel to bake eggs, but the Chocolate Valentino provided an excellent excuse to use some of them up. I halved the original recipe and came out with 8 individual cakes. I adore flourless chocolate cake, one of the richest and most decadent treats I can think of, but this particular variation came out dry and cakey. I was a little disappointed, as I had hoped for a fudgy texture. Perhaps my egg whites were too stiff? I'll try it again some time, since the ingredient list is only 3 things.
I've been reading about ice cream a lot lately. It's one of my favorite things to eat, and I'm becoming obsessed with making a perfect version at home. The custard-based recipe included in this challenge is similar to many homemade formulas. I infused the cream with Mexican vanilla bean to keep the flavor simple. The ice cream is very good, with extremely pronounced, floral vanilla flavor and gorgeous speckles of black beans. A sprinkle of cocoa nibs added a crunch and contrasting flavor.
I've learned that using an inverted sugar, like honey, molasses, or corn syrup in place of some granulated sugar helps to reduce crystallization in ice cream. Adding powdered glucose to the mix adds pliability to the finished product, so it is scoopable right from the freezer. My biggest beef with homemade ice creams are that they are more ice and less cream until they've had a few minutes to thaw. It's impossible to scoop them straight from the freezer. I've bent a spoon or two trying to do it.
So, I'm on the hunt for ice cream formulas that already include an invert sugar and glucose. Let me know if you have any thoughts!
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.