daring bakers chocolate valentino cake

For awhile, I’ve been finding the same recipes on the same day all over different blogs. The one thread they had in common was “Daring Bakers.” When I Googled it, I realized that I was looking at the results of a monthly “challenge” where bakers get together and bake a specific recipe. What I love about Daring Bakers is the way each baker interprets the recipe. There are always unique and creative variations on the particular recipe given. This month, I finally decided to participate.

This month’s challenge was to create a flourless Chocolate Valentino Cake. I never baked flourless cake and the only time I’d eaten one was in Hobart, Tasmania. That recipe was chock full of nuts, but it had an indescribable chocolate intensity since the cake was so dense. From that experience, I knew that I wanted to create a smaller type of cake.

There are only three ingredients for this recipe- chocolate, butter, and eggs, which makes it so wonderfully easy to bake. Notice how there’s no sugar. That means that the type of chocolate you use will directly reflect the taste of the cake. So if you want a sweet cake, use milk chocolate, less sweet, use dark chocolate, and so forth.

The recipe also calls to be served with homemade ice cream. On the day that I was baking, I didn’t have time to make ice cream, not having an ice cream maker and all so I bought some heavy cream, whipped it up and added a bit of sugar and cocoa. Instead of directly spreading the whipping on the cake, I dipped the cake into the whipping.

But then a few days later, I did have time to make some ice cream. So while it’s not pictured with the cake, the ice cream is definitely a better side to serve, rather than the whipped topping. I ended up making Stracciatella, and the recipe can be found here. You don’t even need an ice cream maker!

I halved the original recipe, so the following makes two 4 x 4 inch cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound (226 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) plus 1 tablespoon (163 grams total) of unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs separated

Recipe:

  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. {link of folding demonstration}
  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.
  10. Cool cake for 10 minutes.

Side Notes:

  • 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.

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.