Saturday, February 28, 2009

For the Love of Chocolate

This month we were sentenced to death by chocolate, courtesy of the Daring Bakers.
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.
For our challenge, we were required to follow the Chocolate Valentino cake recipe, but were allowed to stray when it came to our ice cream.
I know I have said it before, but I just LOVE ice cream. So hearing about this challenge sent my mind into overdrive!
I knew I would be making this treat for Valentine's Day, so I figured there was no better way to celebrate a day devoted to love than with an ice cream flavoured with an aphrodisiac.
I am always drawn to sweets flavoured with herbs, so it wasn't difficult to settle on rosemary as the base for my ice cream. Having made chocolate rosemary tarts previously, I knew it would pair with our Valentino cake beautifully.
Using David Lebeovitz basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe as a jump off point, I steeped the milk and cream with sprigs of fresh rosemary. The woody herb left the ice cream with a wonderful pale green hue.
I made small chocolate cups to house the ice cream, and topped it all off with crushed caramelized cocoa nibs.
As for the cake, I used 85% cocoa chocolate - a little too dark and rich for this cake, I think (although I didn't hear any complaints). I think if I were to make it again, I would use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate.
I've got to say I thoroughly enjoyed this month's challenge and as always, I am anxious to see what the DB crew has lined up for us next!

Chocolate Valentino from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan
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.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful plating, love the chocolate flower cup:)

Leanne said...

2 unique things about yours that deserve an *mmm*-- cocoa nibs, and rosemary (how unique-- but I bet it was good)

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cake looks amazing, and I love the flower cup =D!!

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely presentation! Love your creative ice cream recipe, too, and your descriptive writing pulls it all together so nicely.

lisa (dandysugar) said...

I love your chocolate cup and your use of rosemary. Very original, I love unique flavors like this. Beautiful job!

Misty said...

The rosemary ice cream was delish!!! Great job again Tina.

billy said...

great presentation, omg, the chocolate egg cup with ice cream in it is to die for!

Jude said...

Gotta try David Lebovitz's ice cream recipe too. A few other DBrs made it too :)

Amy said...

Sounds like the chocolate cup was a hit! Thanks for sharing such a creative ice cream with us.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your cake looks fantastic! Love the flower cup!

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous plate of chocolate goodness. Great work!

Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful! Bravo on using herbs, I am just too afraid. See you next month!

Anonymous said...

Lovely! I'm also a fan of using herbs in desserts, so your ice cream sounds amazing.

Jo said...

Well done and great job on your Feb challenge.

Y said...

I love those chocolate cups. Your cake looks great too - 85% probably is quite bitter and dark for an already very rich cake, but paired with ice-cream, I'm sure it worked beautifully :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

That chocolate cup is great! You did a wonderful job!