Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge, February 2009: Chocolate Valentino (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

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.

Nothing says February quite like hearts, flowers and chocolate. And Birthdays if you live in our house. Rolling (quite literally) off Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years comes February, host to 3 birthdays and Valentine's Day and all the associated merry-making that goes along with it. I've not dropped off the face of the planet, by the way, I've just been a little, ah, busy of late.

I looked at this recipe and it was similar to one that I already make, but in this one the egg yolks and whites stand in opposite corners and then come to play separately in the form of egg yolks mixed directly into the chocolate and the egg whites beaten into stiff peaks and then folded into the batter. Ok - I'm up for something new.

Since I didn't want to use the whole POUND of chocolate the recipe calls for I halved it. I added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper powder to give it some interest. The batter was tasty and it had lovely golden fat blobs floating about in it, shimmering like molten sunlight. Since I was using individual pans, I reduced the baking time significantly and dropped it to about 10-15 minutes. I decided to use this cake/recipe for The Little One's birthday cake since I was cupcaked out from making a batch for school. My DS had given me these mini springform pans years ago and I've finally used them. We were going to have a small gathering of 8 people for his birthday "party" so I cut these little babies in half - each person got to eat half a cake! We really know how to celebrate around here.

Since these were such unique sizes/shapes I dug out 2 platters that were probably supposed to be used for appetizers or dips or somesuch, and repurposed them as party plates. I went for the homemade whipped cream topping option - I have made ice cream before - but transporting all this and 3 kids with ice cream was a little out of my league at the moment. Two cakes, a blob of whipped cream in the middle and a light dusting of cocoa powder to keep everything for looking so stark and Bob's your uncle.

Thanks to Wendy and Dharm for selecting this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge. You can find the complete recipe on their sites.

To see what all the other DBer’s did, you can find the blogroll here and if you’d like to join the monthly party, info about that can be found on that page as well.

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  1. This looks beautiful! Gorgeous photos. :)

  2. Nice job on the plating. =) Whipped cream sounds really good. They definitely need something to counteract the chocolate a bit.

  3. Beautiful presentation and pictures. I love the little springform pans1

  4. I love the way you presented everything. Your cakes look wonderful and you can't go wrong with whipped cream.

  5. LOL@ and Bob's your uncle - never heard that one before, but I like it! With that said, your mini cakes turned out superb, love the presentation too!

  6. what a GORGEOUS presentation! how fancy--I just love it.

  7. As others have said, wonderful presentation. I love those mini springform pans. So many toys, so little time.

  8. Oh LISA, this is marvelous, it looks utterly fab! Guess what, I joined and March is my first challenge... = ) Yippee..

  9. Nice job on this challenge. The cakes are gorgeous!

  10. Great job on your challenge and well done.

  11. Woo hoo -- it's like a 5 month party in your house! This cake looks like a great way to cap it off -- it looks divine!

  12. Love the "party plates" :) Nonstop parties are definitely an excuse for being slightly absent, so kudos on finishing this one up - it looks fabulous!

  13. It has been forever it seems since we have talked through our comments! Love your party plates and the cake looks so tasty! I want to try that now.

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  15. They look divine! And I love the mini pans and the way your served them. Delish!


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