Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino - Baking Challenge

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I'm officially a member of Daring Bakers starting from this month. It's an online community of people who share their passion for baking. Every month, they host a baking challenge, where hundreds of people try the exact recipe and share their result on their own blog all on the same day. Doesn't that sound fun? Here is the challenge of Februrary 2009.

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.


Flourless Chocolate Cake

The original recipe uses whipped topping instead of ice cream which was optional for people who wanted more complex challenge. Since I don't own an ice cream maker, I opted out on that one.

It was simply decadent. Because there is no additional sugar in this recipe, the sweeteness only comes from the chocolate which you choose. I actually didn't have enough semi-sweet chocolate on hand, thus ended up using 20-25% dark chocolate, which turned out perfect for my taste.

You can't really mess up this cake as long as your measurements are correct and you remember to remove the cake from the oven when it's done. It consists of three ubiquitous ingredients, so you don't have to make a trip to speciality stores or to plan in ahead of time.


Chocolate Valentino
Flourless Chocolate Cake


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.

28 comments:

  1. I'm a new Daring Baker, too, so I'm tickled to read your experience story. Your results are simply gorgeous. I love the presentation detail of the hearts around the plate rim. Beautiful!

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  2. Great job on your first challenge! Welcome to Daring Bakers! I love the sepia effect on your photos as it gives it an old fashioned but artsy look without taking away from the cake, ice cream and sauce. Beautifully done!

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  3. This looks divine!Great pictures too.

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  4. Great job on your first challenge! Great pictures! Well done!

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  5. Hi, I'm also a new Daring Baker. Wasn't this a great first challenge - so tasty! I really love your presentation and pics - those hearts around the plate are so beautiful!

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  6. Welcome to the group, beatiful pictures ;)

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  7. Wow, you did a wonderful job for your first challenge! Loved your pics. And I remember the time I did my first challenge last year the same month...!

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  8. Very lovely photos. I like the food styling. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

    -Sea

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  9. Wow, you really captured the essence of this deceptively simple cake.

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  10. Welcome to Daring Bakers!! Looks like another Bay Area baker to me. Woohoo!!!

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  11. Welcome to The Daring Bakers! Your cake looks fantastic and I love your presentation :)

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  12. So impressive...you did a great job on the plating. I think that, after this challenge, I've decided that plain white is such a great background for food...everything just pops on it.

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  13. congrats on the first challenge! Me myself is first timer too and I had to say it is actually very stressful! LOL. lovely cake and presentation there.

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  14. What pretty pictures! You did a great job! Nice cake...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  15. Oh, trust me - you can mess this cake up. :) You did a great job - looks just beautiful.
    Michelle
    http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

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  16. Holy cow! I've never received so many comments! Thank you everyone!

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  17. love your photos! what a wonderful presentation, i'm bookmarking your blog right now!

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  18. CONGRATS on a fabulously done first challenge - beautiful photos :)

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  19. Wow.. love the heart details on the plate. Please share how you do that =). I'm still learning how to plate my dessert, and hadn't had too many successes.

    Your cake looks delish too. Welcome to the daring baker =)

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  20. Thank you for more comments!

    >ice tea: sugar high

    1. Pour thin layer of sauce to cover the base of the plate.
    2. Pipe a continuos, zigzag line of the contrasting sauce (in this case, chocolate).
    3. Using a toothpick or skewer, drag the center of the line all the way around in a continuous motion.

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  21. Your pictures, your plating, just spectacular. Welcome to the Daring Bakers

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  22. Great Job, beautiful photos

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  23. Simply stunning presentation!!

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  24. I can't believe how few ingredients there are. Looks absolutely devine!

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  25. Delicious looking cake! Congratulations on your first completed challenge! And welcome to DB!

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  26. Great job on your challenge and I couldn't believe that this is your first. It all looks so well done.

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  27. What beautiful plating technique you used for this challenge! You truly are a daring baker! Congrats on your first challenge :) Keep up the great work, the cake looks amazing!

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  28. Congratulations on your first challenge! Your presentation and photography is wonderful!

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