Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chocolate Valentino with Blackberry Coulis: Celebrating The Blog's Birthday with the Daring Bakers

Guess what? This blog was born 3 years ago today!

Where did the time go?

How many calories were consumed?

Why has my photography only marginally improved?

In any event, I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with the Daring Bakers; today's our posting date!

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.

A Chocolate Valentino is a flourless chocolate cake (mmmmmm) . Fortunately for me , we didn't *have* to make ice cream, just a topping to go along with the the cake. (We are still in the throws of winter in Upstate NY, and I just didn't have it in me to get creative with a cold dessert.)

So to accompany my cake, I made a simple blackberry coulis (adapted from this recipe).

I was faithful to the Chocolate Valentino recipe with two exceptions:
1) I melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 1 minute intervals on 40-percent power, stirring in between each go-round
2) I used a 9-inch, round springform pan.

And the result? A-MAZ-ING. It's like eating a fantastic chocolate truffle -- velvety, rich, decadent, fudgy -- and the coulis paired beautifully.

So thank you Wendy & Dharm for a fantastic challenge! This may be my favorite DB challenge thus far!

Chocolate Valentino

16 ounces of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

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.

While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.

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).

With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.

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.

Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C.

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.)

Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

- Use your favorite chocolatethe finished cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use. Be creative with your chocolate, if you like a sweeter cake use milk chocolate or a combination of the semisweet and milk chocolate. If you like bittersweet chocolate use that and add sweetness by mixing the semi sweet with bittersweet. If you are daring, try white chocolate.
A higher cocoa percentage increases the bitterness of the chocolate.

-Equipment - it is optional to use a heart shaped pan. For a real Valentino, bake it in a heart shaped pan or cut it out into a heart shape. You may use any shape pan that gives you an area of 50” - 6x8 or 7x7. An 8” spring form pan works with great results as do smaller pans or ramekins.

-An instant read thermometer highly recommended.


Elyse said...

Happy 3-year blogiversary! And what a great blog you have!! Seems like a perfect celebration cake--this Valentino. And I'm all for the coulis in place of ice cream. Yum, yum! Great creation; great blog!

Snooky doodle said...

this cake is decadent i m drooling. happy bogganniversay :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary! LOL@ Why hasn't my photographt improved? I ask myself that every single time I post an entry..LOL

Your cake looks decadent and I love it paired with the blackberry coulis :)

Anonymous said...

Wow 3 years, that's an achievemet by it self... the cake looks yummy:)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on three blog-years! Your valentino looks beyond delicious!

Arlene Delloro said...

Happy Blogaversary. Your valentino looks wonderful.

Unknown said...

Happy birthday to your blog! Great job on the cake...I think that the lace plate was the perfect choice for this cake.

Unknown said...

Happy blogiversary! I seem to always miss mine, so I'm glad you caught yours. Blackberry coulis sounds lovely with the valentino.

breadchick said...

AH my dear friend, congratulations on your 3rd Blogabirthasary!

And such a decadent way to celebrate too!

Anonymous said...

haven't visited in a while -- and this looks great,. as does the idea of heart shaped samosas. I am a real samosa fan , , ,