Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino, a Flourless Chocolate Cake.....

The Daring Bakers challenge this month was a wonderful flourless chocolate cake! This was way too easy; and I really appreciated the fact it only had three ingredients! Who new something so good would go together so easily. I can't have any until Saturday night, so DH is the taste tester for this post.

I used my square muffin pans to make individual servings and the pans worked out very well. I saw these pans at Target and waited till they went on sale, so of course I bought two! Used Bakers Joy to spray the pans and they released perfectly, no buttering, flouring or papering required. They rose nicely in the oven and fell just like a flourless cake should, nice and dense.

Chocolate Valentino Cake Recipe, adapted from Chef Wan.

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

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.While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.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).With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.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.

Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190CBake 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.Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

After seeing these beautiful strawberries, at my local stand, I just knew I had to make Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream. I was very happy I bought a half flat because I ate quit a few berries while I was baking. OMG, this was so good, and I only get one serving with my cake. I made the custard base the night before and churned it the next day; I think this helped bring out the flavor of the strawberries. This recipe calls for the juice of one lemon and one orange; I was hesitant to use this much juice, but it really brightened the strawberry flavor. The recipe I used was from The Chocolate Gourmand. I followed the recipe as written except added the milk and cream together instead whipping the cream separately; I also added about one cup of chopped strawberries during the final 10 minutes of churning. I used my silicone heart pans to mold the ice cream into perfect portions.

The verdict? DH loved it, his only suggestion was to cut the strawberries a bit smaller; they were very hard in the ice cream. Strawberry ice cream is not his or my favorite flavor, BUT this is really good stuff!!! The Choloate Valentino is an absloute keeper, dense and very chocolaty; will make many times again.
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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Caramel Crunch Bars.....

This weeks TWD recipe, caramel crunch bars, was chosen by Whitney of Whats Left on the Table, great choice. Since I like caramel or toffee anything these bars were a big hit for me! These were easy to make and by using my 9 x 9 silicone pan it made the pan prep easy, there was none and the final product popped right out. I figured a little thicker crust would be just fine and it really worked out well. I used Skore toffee bits and used more than suggested, imagine that, LOL. The dough bubbled and did its percolating thing just like Dorie said, it looked a bit like lava. I would definitely make these again, quick, easy and very good!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dorie's Devil of a Cake.....

What a fantastic cake! I know, I have indicated that I am not a chocoholic, but this is one chocolate cake I will make again! Straight forward and easy to make; I used the full recipe but made small heart shaped bites and heart shaped cupcakes. It was my birthday on the 15th and even though I am in training I had ONE small heart to celebrate. I made a cream cheese frosting because it was MY birthday and I love cream cheese frosting. I used Nestles semi-sweet chocolate chunks that I chopped into smaller pieces and really liked the pockets of chocolate in the cake. Many thanks to Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for a great recipe!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dorie's Peace Cookies.....

I made these cookies last week, but sometimes life just happens, LOL. I am posting these today and I am passing on the Floating Islands; hopefully I will be back on track this week. Anyway, Dorie's World Peace Cookies were GREAT! They tasted like chocolate velvet, yummy. Easy to make, bake and way too easy to eat the whole plate of cookies. I froze half the dough and will wait to bake the rest in a month or so. Big thank you to Jessica of cookbookhabit for picking a winner.