Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Flourless Chocolate Cake

Do you know what time it is?

I think so, but how are we going to make pencils that taste like bacon? Or maybe we should make bacon that tastes like pencils? (Narf.)

(Ten points to anyone who understands that.)

It's Daring Bakers time!

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.

The flourless chocolate Valentino was mandatory, the ice cream encouraged but not required. Thank goodness, because I just did not have enough time this month to make ice cream. I don't have an ice cream machine and between spending nearly the first half of the month in Florida and the last half of the month with my nose buried in text books, I just didn't have the time.

Which is unfortunate, because I really wanted to try it out.

I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

I've always been intrigued by the mechanics of flourless cakes - it just doesn't seem right that delicate, wispy egg whites should be able to support such a heavy ingredient like chocolate. But they do, and they do so quite nicely. It creates a cake that veritably melts on the tongue. One of the best aspects of making a cake like this is the amount to which the chocolate is showcased. It's not masked or disguised with other flavors - the cake will taste exactly like the chocolate used.

This is all great and lovely if you are a huge dark chocolate fan, but I'm not. I was unsure of how to proceed until I had a great epiphany - mint chocolate! I love dark chocolate and mint together. And oh boy was it delicious.

It was like eating a slice of those Andes mints. Pure heaven.

If you've ever entertained the idea of making a flourless chocolate cake but haven't because it sounded too difficult or intimidating - try this recipe. I'm the worst whipped egg white folder in the universe and it worked perfectly for me. It's probably one of the easiest things I've ever made.

A big thanks to Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef for such a fun and novel challenge. Of course a big thanks to our lovely founders, Lis and Ivonne.

Please be sure to check out all the other Daring Bakers to see their amazing creations this month too.

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.
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.


Marija said...

Divine indeed! Awesome photos!

Katie Barlow said... chocolate! Great job! You have to try this with ice cream is amazing!

Esi said...

This mint version sounds amazing!

jillian said...

This sounds good with mint chocolate! Great idea!

Samantha said...

This looks amazing. I think I might try and make it tonight!

also, your link to DB is messed up.

Sweet Bird said...

Thanks for the heads up about the DB link - all fixed!

Samantha said...

Not a problem! I had the same trouble linking it in my blog too! Sometimes Blogger can be so silly!

Kevin said...

Nice looking chocolate cake! I really like the mint twist!

Jenny said...

I don't like dark chocolate but admit that this sounds good. A hint of mint is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Ooooo mint....I love dark chocolate and mint! I bet that was awesome. It certainly looks delicious!

creativecarryout said...

My DB challenge was such a bust, but you've convinced me to try again - this time with mint chocolate! I love the idea!

kat said...

your cake looks wonderful & I highly recommend the KA ice cream attachment.

Kristine said...

Oh, wow! Mint sounds like a great addition. I'm a sucker for that after-dinner taste. Will have to try this.

And also, what a beautiful blog you have here. Love the photos!

Anonymous said...

Wow i never knew you could get mint dark chocolate. Yum! Fantastic photos too by the way :)

Jude said...

Mmm mint chocolate. And I don't get the into so zero points for me :(

Andyboy said...

Mint... wow. Didn't even occur to me! Wonderful looking cake and I'm envious of the clarity of your photos. Wish I could do that!

anjelikuh said...

i love mint chocolate, especially "after eight"! Mmmmm, i'll have to try something like this next time, good job!

vibi said...

Besides being my favorite combo of all times, chocolate and mint... your challenge just leaves me breathless, with picture of such simplicity and perfection as well! WOW!

Kristin said...

No points for me, because that reference went WAY over my head.

I do not like mint in almost anything (I think it's the vague toothpaste-y reminder I can't get past), but two thumbs up for flourless chocolate cake. You're right--it's pure chocolate. The MiL makes a flourless chocolate roulade that is, hands-down, the best cake in the world. She claims it's really easy to make, but then, she also says that about things like Floating Island and apple pie, so I don't trust her anymore.

Sweet Bird said...

Thank you all for all the lovely comments!

I really thought the "narf" would give it away. It's a quote from Pinky and the Brain...

April said...

yum! I bet the mint tasted fantastic!!

Olga said...

I'm all about dark chocolate! This looks amazing. Definitely my favorite challenge since I joined in July.

Anonymous said...

Mint's a nice touch!

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