With this month, I complete one year of Daring Baker challenges. I joined the Daring Bakers in January of 2008 but because I couldn’t do two of the challenges in between, this happens to be my twelfth challenge.
“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.” When I read these lines, at the beginning of this month, it seemed fitting that I would be celebrating this milestone using one of my favourites ingredients, Chocolate!
Given that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February, I was expecting to see something chocolate, but what was really surprising was that that this flourless cake required just three (yes, I said only three) ingredients! Now don’t ever assume that just because a recipe is minimalist means that it’s going to be a breeze. Experience has taught me to look at such recipes with a lot of respect.However, I am happy to report that this challenge caused me no real problems.
This is one cake that couldn’t be easier to make, with just one pre-condition. Make this cake only if you love chocolate (or have someone who loves chocolate to serve it to) because this cake is just that, almost pure chocolate!!
Our hosts also wanted us to serve this cake with home-made ice-cream. We had to make the cake with the option of making our ice-cream with the given recipes or using any other recipe and in a flavour/ flavours of our choice.
While we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in particular (as my husband says “why restrict to one day when we have the whole year?”), we are always ready to celebrate especially if it involves good food and then chocolate at that.
Never having made a flourless cake before, I decided not to experiment but follow the given recipe, eggs and all. I just halved the recipe and made the cake in my 6″ round cake tin. Everything worked out fine. I baked the cake for 25 minutes and the cake looked dry on top. I don’t have an instant thermometer so I just used a knife to check if it was done. The knife came out wet, so I baked it for another 7 minutes and it was done.
The cake rose quite well and it looked pretty good when it came out of the oven. I think the discovery that it was no longer in a nice warm oven must have come as a shock to my cake. It just decided to sit down! I know the cake was meant to sink a bit, but I never thought I would have a crater in the middle of my cake. So I tried to camouflage that a bit by dressing it up and filled the crater with some white, milk and dark chocolate curls.
We were also required to make one ice-cream to serve with the cake. Ice-cream is another thing we like and I make very often. It also helps that we live in a part of India where it is ice-cream weather all the 12 months of the year.I made egg free ice-creams in two delicious flavours – fresh mint and spiced carrot. This is the season for juicy and sweet winter carrots it seemed right to try turning them into ice-cream. I do not have an ice-cream maker and have always made them by hand. The recipes for both flavours are below.
I have developed this standard egg free recipe for my ice-creams and I adapt that to whatever flavour I am making at any given time. Most of the time, I leave out the cream but use fresh fruit to flavour my ice-cream (or gelato since ther’s no cream in it) as this makes for a much healthier dessert.