Grab your chocolate and your whisks; It’s time for a special Valentine’s Day Daring Baker 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.
Flourless chocolate cake is a staple recipe that should be in any decent baker’s repertoire, so while I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat, dying for a chance to make it, this certainly was a good excuse to perfect my own approach… And eat some over-the-top, decadent, rich chocolate cake in the process. Not a terrible deal, I’d say!
Still buzzing from the excitement of having been in Johnny’s pastry kitchen, I jumped on this challenge almost as soon as it had been announced; Within the first week of February, to be sure. Drawing inspiration from Jean George’s own molten chocolate cake, I decided to construct and plate mine in a similar fashion (although this recipe doesn’t yield a flowing center.)
Happy to see that the black-eyed pea cake I made to celebrate the new year was actually a perfect fit, I made a few simple changes to make the batter smoother, and a bit richer. All you need is more chocolate, pretty much! This intense cake is definitely a chocoholic’s dream, and it wouldn’t take a big serving to satisfy even the most voracious sweet tooth.
However, it seemed to me like the coconut chai ice cream that I made as an accompaniment really stole the show, adding a much needed refreshing component to the plate. It certainly doesn’t need to be served with this decadent chocolate bomb to be delicious, either… Although a light drizzle of extra ganache certainly doesn’t hurt!
Coconut Chai Ice Cream
1 3/4 Cup (14 Ounces) Coconut Milk
1 Whole Star Anise
10 Whole Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
2 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Roughly Chopped
10 Whole Black Peppercorns
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 12-Ounce Package Extra-Firm Silken Tofu
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
In a medium sauce pan, combine the coconut milk, spices, and sugar. Scald the mixture (bring it just to the brink of boiling) and then turn off the heat. Cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tofu and place it in your food processor or blender. Completely puree, scraping down the sides so that no pieces remain. Add in the vanilla and salt, and pulse to combine. Once the coconut milk has been infused with the spices, strain out the solids and add the liquid into the food processor. With the motor running, sprinkle in the xanthan gum. Scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times to make sure everything is incorporated.
Let the mixture cool completely in the refrigerator before churning in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.