Saturday, 28 February 2009

Chocolate Valentino - Co-hosting the DB Challenge



The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
They 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.

What’s that? Did it say that I was co-hosting! Yes, Indeed! Cant you tell how excited I am!!! Now please sit back and watch the opening credits:


Location: A house somewhere in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia sometime in September 2008.

Camera focuses on a bedroom door. Pan back to reveal the door opening. An unshaven (but terribly good looking!) man walks out, rubbing his eyes. He makes his way to the bookshelf and moves a cookbook. A panel opens up revealing a small DVD player. Camera focuses on the screen and then shows the reflection of the (extremely good looking) man’s face as a voice over says….

Good morning, Mr. Navaratnam. My name is Wendy. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves co-hosting the February Daring Bakers challenge with me. You and I need to select a recipe, any recipe, but it should include Chocolate and Ice-Cream. That’s what I think anyway. You have forty-eight hours to help me choose and decide on a recipe. Once we have decided on the recipes, you will need to test it out and then compare notes with me. We will then have to inform Director Ivonne and Commissioner Lis, the founders of the DBs on our choice of recipe. As always, should you mess up the recipe, be caught or be killed, we will all disavow any knowledge of your actions – or even your existence.

And Mr. Navaratnam, the next time you come out of your room, please be good enough to wear a shirt. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

Camera pans back. Man covers his face as the DVD screen blows up.



And that in a nutshell is how I came to co-host this February Challenge of the Daring Bakers – with a little bit of literary and artistic licence of course!


In all seriousness, it was way back in September 2008 that I got an email from Wendy asking me if I would like to co-host the February Daring Baker’s Challenge with her. I was really thrilled that Wendy had asked me and without any hesitation, I said yes! Can you believe that we actually started planning all this way back in September?

Both of us knew we wanted to do something with chocolate. After tossing up various ideas, we both decided on a Flourless Chocolate Cake paired with Ice Cream. Wendy liked the idea of using a recipe from someone in this part of the world and that’s when we decided we would use the recipe from Chef Wan. For all Malaysian’s and those who are fortunate enough to get to watch the Asian Food Channel, I am sure you have heard of Chef Wan from Malaysia who claims to be “Asia’s most flamboyant food ambassador”. For those of you that have never heard of him, trust me when I say he is an extremely entertaining person to watch and his recipes are firm favourites in this part of the world and especially in my household!

February’s challenge is a Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Chef Wan’s Recipe from his book Sweet Treats.

The thing that I really liked about this recipe was that it was very straightforward but gave lots of room for interpretation. We decided that we would give the Daring Baker’s lots of room for variation by not limiting them to the chocolate they would use. We also decided to let them pair it with any kind of ice-cream or whipped cream or any topping they so desired actually! We provided two ice cream recipes too.


So this is my take on this months Challenge.

I felt the cake wasn’t really all that difficult to do. I think the trick was in getting the egg whites to beat up nice and stiff and then to not let them collapse too much while folding into the chocolate mixture.

I made the cake in a Heart Shaped pan just as a Valentino is supposed to be. I also made a few smaller cakes in ramekins just to keep the Lovely Wife and the Kids happy. They were so eager to have a taste of the cake before it was served later that night for a few friends. I also did that so that I could test how baking individual cakes would turn out. You see, hosting a challenge means you need to test these things out!

Both the heart cake and the mini cakes turned out superb! The texture of the cake was very dense and rather fudgy.





Next of course came the ice cream. I DO have an Ice Cream maker but I decided NOT to use the ice cream maker for two reasons. First, I wanted to simulate how people without ice cream machines would handle this and secondly, my ice cream maker requires overnight freezing prior to use and of course I didn’t do that!!

I think the hardest part in making a custard based ice cream is in getting the custard just right.




After making the custard, I had to let it cool. I decided to take some fancy pictures using the recipe book as a prop!



The next hardest thing is making ice cream without a machine. For this, I had to whip cream till it was nice and thick and then fold it into the custard mixture.

Doesn't that look all creamy and delicious?

Then it was time to pour the cream into containers and freeze them.


I took the freezing ice cream out of the freezer a number of times and whipped it lightly. This is important and also can be a little tricky as if you don’t beat the mixture often enough, it will form lots of ice crystals and then the ice cream will be really hard and icy.

As I mentioned earlier, the kids couldn't wait to eat the cake and so I served one of the ramekins to them - complete with ice cream and a fresh cherry!



You can see that my official tasters really enjoyed this cake with ice cream!




Later that night, I served the cake at a dinner party and the guests all loved it. The vanilla ice cream went really well with the dark chocolate and the flavours were really delightful. One of our friends said it was the best chocolate cake she had ever eaten! This recipe is definitely one to be made many, many times. The only trouble is that with the amount of chocolate in it, this will be an expensive cake to make. I would also advice anyone who makes this to use only the Best Quality Chocolate - and use eating chocolate and not baking chocolate!



Although I tested the cake and ice cream recipes, Wendy went a step further and tested the cake 4 times and also provided a more detailed version of the recipe based on her experience. It’s a good thing she did because that alleviated a lot of the questions that would definitely have arisen had we only provided the recipe as is. Here, I provide for you the original unedited recipe exactly as it is in Chef Wan’s Sweet Treats. I also provide the Ice Cream recipe just as it is in the book - just so you can see how much more of a challenge it could have been!!

I really hope all of you Daring Bakers enjoyed this challenge. I must say it was a load of fun choosing and testing this recipe as Co-Host. It was also a lot of fun answering questions on the Forum and I'm sorry if I wasn't able to answer questions to any ones satisfaction. Finally, a big hug and another word of thanks to Wendy for asking me to co-host with her on this challenge!!

Here are the unabridged, unadulterated recipes.


Chocolate Valentino by Chef Wan from his book, Sweet Treats
453 grams of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
140 grams butter
5 eggs separated

Method

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Cool
Grease a 22cm spring form pan. Beat egg yolks and stir into cooled chocolate
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold on quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites
Pour batter into a pan and bake for 25 minutes at 190C/375F or till done. Cool.

Chefs note: The Valentino is a heart-shaped version of this cake. Bake a Valentino in a heart-shaped pan. This is a very dense chocolate cake.



Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis


Ingredients
1 Vanilla Pod
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy.
3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice

By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)



92 comments:

Jennywenny said...

Wow, delicious, extra points for making the ice cream without an ice cream maker! I didnt have the energy although I did freeze some ganache, which is nearly like ice cream!

Thanks for a great challenge!

Bellini Valli said...

Sounds amazing Dharm 007 and your taste testers approved so that what matters the most:D

Ivy said...

The recipe sounds amazing. Congratulations for hosting. Pity I am not a daring baker.

Andreas said...

Hi Dharm,

the man with the licence to churn ice cream. :)
Thanks for hosting this Challenge, it has been great fun.
It's about 10 PM on the evening of Feb. 27th here, and I'm still working on the fine points of my write-up.

Tammy said...

thanks for hosting this great challenge. Your ice-cream looks delicious!!!

Chris said...

Thanks for a great challenge. I never thought I would make ice cream without a maker. Thanks for hosting!

toontz said...

I liked your first version of choosing the recipe the best! ;) I have to bake mine tonight, yikes!

Cakelaw said...

LOL, I am glad that you survived your Mission: Impossible experience! Your cake looks fab, and I love the fact that you made the icecream without a machine for the benefit of those without one. Thanks for co-hosting this month - this cake was devoured by the troops.

Jeanine said...

A fantastic choice! Thanks so much for that. Looks like I'll have to try that vanilla ice cream yet, I did a few other flavours (a few hours until posting for me). Thanks again for hosting, couldn't have wished for a better recipe for Valentine's Day. :)

Passionate About Baking said...

YAY for you Dharm.What a great challenge Wendy & you hosted my dear. FABULOUS!! PAN, WAN...& I'm a FAN!!! LOL...love your kids. They're beautiful. Please talk me into making ice-cream with egg yolks Dharm; yours looks fab & I need to get over my eggphobia! Sorry I'm late; completely forgot today was the 28th!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

007 You do take the cake . . . well and bake the cake too! This was a most wonderful challenge. Very many thanks for this recipe!
I'm working on my post now.

adli said...

Wow, thank you so much for the challenge! I had so much fun doing it even tho it was almost a disaster at the end. hahaha. Weel, that's what ppl call experience eh?

Junie Moon said...

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge and what a wonderful introduction I've experienced. The cake and ice cream recipes were fun and the result ever so delicious. It's still the 27th here, but in a few hours, I'll be able to share my efforts on my blogs. Thank you so much for co-hosting February's challenge. I look forward to many more great baking opportunities.

Aparna said...

Thank you Dharm for picking out a fun challenge and answering those questions.
I enjoyed every bit of it, even though my cake didn't lookas good as yours.:)
Good to see that handsome man is still around on and off.:D

Lisa Michelle said...

Thank you so much for a great challenge, Dharm! Love how your cake turned out, and although I didn't use either of your ice cream recipes, I've got them boomarked to try soon! Your ice cream looks and sounds decadent! Thanks again!!!

glamah16 said...

Fun challenge, and great job Dharm. I always love reading your DB posts.

Wendy said...

Dharm!!! What a great post!!!! It was too funny -LOL. Your cakes look delicious and your kids look super happy and super cute too! It was a lot of fun, Dharm, working with you and I am sooooo glad you said yes!!!! Excellent post to a man with a big heart!!!!

Mary said...

Thanks so much for this month's challenge recipe. I love that something so easy could result in something so delicious.

Katie said...

Thanks for choosing such a delicious intensly chocolaty cake. 007 does it again!

chef_d said...

Thanks for this challenge

Marija said...

Thank you for the great challenge Dharm! I loved it!

fatboybakes said...

great job dharm.... your ice cream looks yummy.
countryman punya pasal, i mati mati pun had to do it and post it by today bro.

Ruth E said...

Dharm I love you for this month's challenge - I'm making it again!

giz said...

I love that this challenge wasn't a 2 day ordeal and the end product was really fabulous. Thanks for hosting.

Anzj said...

Look at that lucious ice cream; and without a machine even! Adorable little Dharm's Angels!

Jude said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge, Dharm. Had no idea it took this long to host a DB challenge. Great story :)

jillian said...

Looks great! Thanks for hosting!

Yasmeen said...

Awesome! love the smiling kids, chocolate does delight all us,thanks for picking such a decadent cake for the challenge.

newlyweds said...

Thanks for hosting this month. I throughly enjoyed this challenge! It was a special treat!

Elle said...

Dharm, not only are you obviously as handsome as Valentino (or 007), your writing is wonderful, and this challenge was excellent! It does use a lot of chocolate, but isn't that great? Thanks for choosing it and for hosting! Wendy made a good choice.

MeetaK said...

Dharm thank you for hosting and coming up with this d'lish cake. and you testers are true winners. give em a hug!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thanks for the great challenge! I really loved that scrumptious cake! Yours looks really beautiful!

Cheers,

Rosa

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

YAY Dharm! And what a great challenge it was! Probably my favorite ever! Thanks so much for co-hosting!

Love the intro as well! ;)

Heather B said...

Thanks for the amazingly delicious challenge! Your cake and ice cream look so good!

Rachel said...

Thanks for one of the yummiest challenges....

Medhaa said...

Thank you, the cake was really good.

Lauren said...

Thanks for hosting this awesome challenge!! Your cake looks wonderful, and the ice cream looks delicious =D!

Michelle said...

Thanks for a great challenge!!

Arundathi said...

hi - looks delicious. would've loved to have done this - too bad i'm not a DBer. I still wanted to make the icecream. If I used vanilla essence instead of the vanilla pod, how much essence should I use? thanks!

Arlette said...

Hello Dharm
thanks for the sexy challenge
perfect.. thank you

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I loved your ice cream recipe for this month's DB! I never made ice cream as I thought I needed a machine and the method you gave worked like a charm and it was sooooooo good!

Thanks!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Thanks for hosting such a delicious DB! It was lots of fun. Your cake looks amazing and the ice cream, decadent!

Kat said...

Thanks so most for hosting this challenge. It was my first one and I was pleased with my results of my cake and no ice cream maker ice cream!

sunita said...

Thanks Dharm, for this yummy challenge...it was pure bliss for chocoholics like me :-)

Claire said...

I really enjoyed this challenge. Your version looks wonderful and that ice cream is certainly VERY CREAMY!!! Looks like the boy enjoyed the ice cream more than the cake! :-) I just used Toll-House morsels, which worked well.

Namratha said...

:) Thoroughly enjoyed your post :) Thanks for hosting this lovely challenge Dharm, we loved the cake!

Chickiedoodle said...

Thanks for hosting this fun and informative challenge! You have the cutest taste testers EVER!

marye said...

Dharm-this was a great challenge and I loved this recipe..Nice job on yours...

:)

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Your cake looks phenomenal, aka, perfect! Thanks for hosting - great pick!

Esi said...

Thanks for picking this challenge. Mine didn't work out so well, but I hope to try it again!

Leslie said...

Thanks for the best challange I have made to date!!!!!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

Thanks for a great challenge recipe, Dharm. Your cake and ice cream look wonderfully decadent and delicious!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

great choice--thanks for being such a good host! your cake looks great--the ideal valentine's dessert!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thank you for hosting this month! Your cake is lovely!

Lillian said...

Wow -- making ice cream without my little freezer machine is way more work than I'm willing to do. I'm impressed by your dedication. Thanks for choosing this cake -- my family loved it!

CECIL said...

Dharm, oh how I love the ice-cream!! Could not believe I made home-made ice cream. I was grinning while polishing off my whisk. ;) Even sent some photos of it to my 80 years old grandma, since they (my late grandpa and his brother) used to make home made ice cream, but none of the children or grandchildren ever (bother to) learn about it.

Thank you so very much for hosting this challenge!

Kimberly Johnson said...

Thanks for hosting the challenge this month - great choice! Your mini cakes are adorable!

Jenny said...

I made a different kind of ice cream, but still want to try your recipe. Love your taste testers, as always. Thanks for helping host a great challenge!

OLGUIS said...

this cakes looks so yummy

Janet said...

Thanks for co-hosting this fun challenge. I LOVE making ice cream in my ice cream maker, and this was a great excuse to make ice cream when there's still snow on the ground outside ;)

Treehouse Chef said...

Thank you for yoru selection. The challenge was very fun for me.

Sandra Avital said...

thank you for co-hosting this challenge: the cake was delicious!
P.S. Your kids are so cute

Jenny said...

A good, simple choice for this month, well timed for our shortest month.
Thanks for hosting Dharm!

Ally said...

Thank you for a wonderful (and tasty) challenge this month! : )

-Ally

Ash said...

Thanks for the great challenge! This cake was amazing!

pixie said...

Wonderful challenge! Thanks for sharing great recipes!

Bumblebutton said...

Thanks for the super challenge, it was great fun. Looks like your kids thought so too!

Di said...

Great pick, this month, Dharm! I really enjoyed it. Good for you for making the ice cream without an ice cream machine. I've never tried that.

culinography said...

Thanks for a wonderful challenge! Truly enjoyable!

Sara said...

great pictures! thanks for the challenge.

Half Baked said...

Thanks for hosting this month's challenge! I loved the cake and making the ice cream was a fun added challenge!

Maggie said...

Thanks for a great challenge! Your kids are adorable!

alana said...

Thanks for a fabulous challenge! I loved this, and your's looks great.

aisha said...

Thanks for the great challenge! I hope one day to actually make the ice cream!

ice tea: sugar high said...

Hi Dharm,

Thanks for the delicious challenge!
Your cake looked fabulous too =)

Jacque said...

Mmm, yours looks especially good! Nice job and thank you for a wonderful challenge.

Cynthia's Blog said...

It is hard to bake in Malaysia (ovens are rare!!). It is even harder to make Ice Cream in Malaysia (freezer space is scarce!!). Good one. I accept the challenge with grace, but didn't pull it off very well.

Peabody said...

Yum, yum. What a great pick. And when the little ones are happy, that is even better.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I too made the ice cream without an ice cream maker, in fact it never reached the freezer! Lovely challenge, thank you :)

~Amber~ said...

Your dessert looks amazing! Thanks for hosting a great challenge.

ThePurpleFoodie said...

Dharm, thanks for hosting this months challenge. All credit goes to you guys for helping me discover my new favourite dessert! :D

breadchick said...

Dharm, What a fun challenge this was and thanks to you and Wendy for a great recipe and tons of fun!!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Thanks for a great, but not too hard, challenge. It's been a complicated winter and I was ready for easy. I always love seeing your children eating what you make.

Nikki said...

Halo Dharm :) as I was reading thru ur post, the pics of your cake n ice cream and ur kids' happy happy faces made me think, now why didnt i make this cake as it is?! I turned mine into almost completely different (albeit still delicious) beasts. I think I'll remake this cake AND use your ice cream recipe. Looks sooooo yummy!! Thanks for hosting!

zorra said...

Thanks for this great challenge! I loved it and as soon as it gets warmer I will try the ice creams too.

Nico said...

thanks for hosting the DBC!!!

Jo said...

Great job and thanks for hosting this month's challenge. It certainly was an interesting one at that.

TeaLady said...

Thanks for choosing this cake. It was very chocolatey. Love the pic with the cherry on top. Perfect! Cute offspring.

natalie said...

Thanks for hosting Feb.'s challenge! I really love the ice cream recipe!

BC said...

Your Bond posts crack me up - I love them! Your sense of humour brightens my blog surfing. I loved the challenge even though it didn't turn out - we ate it warm, doh. But the ice cream, ohhh the ice cream!

Donte said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Joannah

http://transcendmemory.net

putra said...

thanks for share your recipe.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin