Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Chocolate Valentine for the DBs

Chocolate Valentino

This is going to be short because I don't tend to spend a lot of time at the computer these days since it's not very comfortable for me. I've been neglecting this space mostly because I haven't been eating anything exciting since pretty much everything that I eat is very healthy and very plain so as to minimize common digestive misfortunes of pregnancy which, I'm happy to say, is working pretty well right now. But no matter how much I neglect this place, I usually come back for the last hurrah of the month also known as the Daring Bakers' Challenge.

Fortunately for me and my current fatigue, the challenge this month was very simple. A chocolate Valentino cake and an ice cream of our choice (we were given vanilla ice cream recipes just in case). I can't eat either of those things at the moment, but other souls in this house are happy to partake. Originally, I had all sorts of ideas for what I would do with this challenge since we were free to choose shapes and flavors and things (we were left free to pick the chocolate we would use since this recipe consists simply of chocolate, eggs and butter and the resulting cake would taste exactly like the kind of chocolate we picked), but when push came to shove I was too tired to go with the whole shebang and the little one is getting to feel quite heavy now, so outside of my walks, I minimize the standing around when I can, thus the very simple and very plain endeavors you see here.

I made the cake twice, once for my beloved A.'s birthday a few days ago and then again yesterday. The first time the cake came out quite dense so I decided to make chocolate bars out of it with the help of a little melted chocolate and some cocoa powder, the second time the cake rose and then never deflated in the little cupcake containers I'd decided to bake it in. Both times I made pistachio ice cream to go with it, although the pistachio ice cream that went with the chocolate bar is a middle eastern version which is made without eggs and with mastica which gives it a slightly chewy texture that I just love because that is the texture of Persian ice cream, whereas the ice cream with the little chocolate valentino cupcakes is a normal Western custard recipe. When it's a little more comfortable to hang out here, I will give you the recipe for the Middle Eastern ice cream.
Anyway, that's about all I have to say about that. I apologize for the pictures, even with a tripod it's hard to maneuver around with a big watermelon in front of you, especially when you forget to take your pictures in the daytime! Only 4 more weeks...

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.

Chocolate Valentino
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.

Chocolate Valentino Bar

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Missed DB Challenge January

Nope, I didn't get around to making tuiles this month.

I'm getting quite big with the little person and having some stomach problems, so food is not my friend at the moment, and since I've made tuiles before, I knew I wouldn't be happy standing in the kitchen burning my fingers shaping them, although I do love them so.

I will definitely make next month's challenge and add some tuiles in there somehow.

For now you can go to our hostesses' blogs, Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x Umrühren Bitte to see what they've done and all the other Daring Bakers.

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