Saturday, 28 February 2009

Daring Bakers February 2009 Challenge

Remember this picture?

Before you tell me off, no I haven't been eating chocolate already! At least, not since the start of Lent. All of this chocolate, all eight bars of it, was for one cake. This is K's favourite, but had I been making this for myself (which I probably will at some point, maybe Easter Sunday!) I would have gone for a dark chocolate, preferably Green & Black's Maya Gold...

The gauntlet was thrown down at the start of the month, and well it was just the perfect pud for Valentine's Day. And I can assure you it was soooo delicious that it didn't hang around for long after then.

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.

Actually, we were given freedom on the ice-cream to use whatever recipe or flavour we wanted. I chose to play around with Gary Rhodes' Tangerine Curd Ice-cream recipe, using mikan (mandarine oranges) grown by my father-in-law in Ehime, home to the best mikan in Japan. I also made a mikan syrup to drizzle over the top. Very nice it was too. Obviously, the ice-cream could be made in advance, and the syrup the day before, so it really wasn't any trouble to co-ordinate the final dessert:

Starting off with the curd:

Mikan Curd

zest and juice of 8 mikan
150g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
4 egg yolks

The recipe I saw suggested making the curd using a bain marie, however I've frequently make a successful lemon curd using the microwave so I went with my own method. Whisk all the ingredients together in a microwaveable bowl and zap for 2 minutes on 600 watts. Whisk again and zap for another 30 seconds. Continue whisking and zapping until it starts to thicken. Allow to cool.

On to the ice-cream:

Mikan Ice-cream

1 quantity of mikan curd
150ml sour cream
150ml natural yogurt
2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (I didn't use this as I was making this for my little Valentine's, too)

Whisk the ingredients together, pour into a container and freeze, stirring every 20 minutes to break up any crystals (or churn in an ice-cream maker, if you have one).

And the syrup:

zest and juice of 6 mikan
100g caster sugar
2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (again, I skipped this)
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon water

Put the juice, zest and sugar in a pan, heat and reduce by one third before adding the Grand Marnier (if using). Mix the cornflour and water, then add into the pan. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then allow to cool.

Finally, the cake!

Chocolate Valentino

454 grams of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (here we were told to use our absloute favourite chocolate, as the cake would taste exactly like it)
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.


  1. That looks amazing!! I can't believe you can cook that and not even lick the beater- willpower of steel!

    I didn't sign up for the lent challenge and that is very tempting....

  2. I thought those chocos were long gone!!! haha The cake looks so dense and moist, I bet it was, I bet it is all gone now! You made homemade ice too...WOO HOO!

    Lent? Huh?

    Oh A, I have so mock up photos of the house (partially done) and condo back a bit in the archives, I am going to post an update soon = ) Things are coming along slowly, so you can see why I jumped in and we moved into the condo first...

  3. Ahh I remember Ghana chocolate from my Japan days! I love the idea of a mikan curd ice cream too. Mikan are just delicious and great score using them from the best mikan area in Japan! :)

  4. I love when DBer's use exotic ingredients or ingredients from their country that are hard to find in the USA. The mikon ice cream sounds like a wonderful pairing with the fudgy cake! It all looks awesome!

  5. That is just beautiful! Gorgeous, well done!!
    Shikoku L