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.
February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan.
Wendy and Dharm were the lucky Daring Bakers who selected this month’s two-part challenge: a decadent, fudge-like chocolate cake and a complementary ice cream. They each supplied an ice cream recipe for us, although we could improvise if we wished.
The cake was so simple to make – it only required three ingredients, chocolate, butter, and eggs. It’s really magical how those three things can be transformed into a delicious cake.
Now, to be honest, we weren’t really sure we cared for the cake at first. On the first day, the texture was rather powdery. I wrapped the cake well in plastic wrap and foil and placed it in a storage container. I sort of forgot about it for a few days.
But during those few days, something interesting happened to the cake. The texture began to change and the cake morphed into a kind of fudgy, brownie-like cake. We all felt this was a great improvement, so the cake quickly began to disappear.
I have to say, though, that my favorite part of the challenge was the ice cream. After great thought, I chose my flavor: Turrón Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop, a take-off on the Spanish sweet treat, turrón.
To prepare, I first made some candied orange peel, using some of my freshly harvested blood oranges.
Next, I made the crème anglaise base, departing from the book’s recipe by whisking together the eggs and sugar, then adding the half & half, honey, and salt. At that point, I put the mixture on the stove top and heated it to about 170°F before combining it with the cream. In place of the orange flower water, I used orange oil. After chilling the mixture overnight, I put it into my ice cream maker and watched as it turned into a creamy frozen delight. Just at the end, I added the toasted almonds, pistachios, and candied orange peel.
What a delicious ice cream! I had to be very strict with myself not to consume the base before freezing it, so I made sure to pack the newly-made ice cream into the freezer as soon as possible.
When paired with the Chocolate Valentino, it was a tasty combination of chocolate and orange, and not too overpowering.
If you have a chance to look at some of the Daring Baker’s blogs, please do. Each one will have a different ice cream or frozen concoction to go along with the cake. Thanks, too, to Dharm and Wendy, our hosts, and to Lis and Ivonne, the DB masterminds.
The recipe for the cake may be found on the hosts’ blogs.
Turrón Ice Cream
(The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)
1 ½ cups (375 ml) half & half
½ cup (100 g) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) good-flavored honey
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups (375 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
2/3 cup (75 g) almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup (30 g) shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
Warm the half & half, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan. Zest the orange directly into the mixture. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm half & half mixture into the eggs yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
(Note: I made my ice cream base differently from these instructions. See above.)
Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream to cool. Add the orange-flower water and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove it from the machine, fold in the candied orange peel, almonds, and pistachio nuts.
Makes about 1 quart.