Friday, February 27, 2009

For the Love of Chocolate & Ice Cream

"A box of surprising brandy cherry chocolates"
For the Love of Chocolate
Daring Bakers’ February 2009 Challenge

This box of chocolates holds a surprise for your love it is a flourless Chocolate cake coated with brandy cherry ice cream

Side View of the chocolate cake with the brandy ice cream coating
Cake coated in brandy-cherry ice cream
Coating the cake with ice-cream and berry sugar
The brandy cherry ice-cream waiting to be frozen to the correct shape
Close up of the flourless chocolate cake
The flourless chocolate cake

February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. The recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

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.

Chocolate has many associations – godliness, health-giving, mood altering, and addicting. Bless the ancient Mayans and Aztecs for developing the cocoa bean into the delicious luxurious chocolate drink that the Spanish explorers brought back to Spain. How the Spanish kept chocolate a secret for 100 years is a mystery that perhaps can only be explained by the lack of the internet!
It is no wonder that February, the month for honouring love on St. Valentine’s Day, is best represented first by the heart and then by chocolate or better yet a chocolate heart. The potency and power of chocolate can only be rivalled by vanilla, and then they make a wonderful combination!

It is over 40C (105F) in Sydney so I decided on a heart-shaped 90% cocoa chocolate cake coated in brandy-cherry ice-cream.

I tasted a small piece of the cake scrapes it is so so so good - try to use the best ingredients because you will taste the difference - it was moist and so chocolate, since you don't use flour you only taste the chocolate and butter and the eggs just hold the air. A great cake it's texture is dense yet light it's hard to describe but it's wonderful. It sort of melts in the mouth and all you have left is chocolate on the tongue and on the mind - this is one cake I will be making again and again. I used 90% cocoa organic rain-forest chocolate and the best cultured butter (1% water content) I could get and freshly-lain eggs from a neighbour, I did only half the recipe and I baked it for 18 mins at 180C and it wasn't dry or wet just chocolate suspended in texture. A great cake.

We had the cake at a dinner party and the verdict was two thumbs up even a notoriously picky friend of mine stunned everybody by saying it was "good" (this silenced the group because she never says anything usually). My comments are that the cake tastes exactly the same as the chocolate you use so do use the best chocolate you can afford. And it is one of the best chocolate cakes I have had. I had frozen the cake overnight this didn't seem to make any different to the taste or texture that I could tell. It still was delightful. The combination of the bitter 90% cocoa chocolate and the brandy-cherry ice-cream made for a very adult (sophisticated) taste.

I used finely puréed brandy-cherries for the flavour base of the ice-cream (add 1/2 cup of finely pureed brandy cherries to the recipe below). Making the ice-cream - I did it in the freezer, I let the mixture sit the in frig overnight and placed it in a very heavy ceramic bowl that was pre-cooled in the freezer then I waited until a thick layer of ice had formed then scarped that into the centre of the mix and used a hand-held beater to beat air into the mix I repeated this 4 times every 1 hour and then I let it cool overnight in the freezer. It was a great colour and tasted of brandy and cherry and wasn't too sweet. I used thickened cream (easily available in Australia it has added gelatin) which stops ice crystals forming in the ice-cream.

The ice-cream was simple (I used thickened 40% fat cream) even if the heat was melting it too quickly.

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (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. {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.
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 unmould.

Note on recipe - the recipe consists of 3 simple ingredients. The simplicity of this recipe gives credit to the ingredients much in the same way of French baguette.
-This recipe comes together very quickly with a hand mixer.
-This is a very decadent cake that will sink a little as it cools but will still hold its shape.
-Very dense and fudgy cake that tastes divine.
-The top forms a light crust kind of like a brownie.

Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of flavour base (in my case finely pureed brandy cherries)

Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer
Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.

If you need any tips on making ice cream WITHOUT an ice-cream maker see

Summary of main points
Step 1 – Follow the recipe then taste it and adjust to your liking. Remember when ice-cream is frozen it is a little less sweet.
Step 2 – Home-made ice-cream is smoother if it is frozen quickly because it has less ice crystals. So use chilled ingredients and containers and place the finished mixture if hot in the refrigerator until cold. If the finished mixture is whipped and cold place into freezer immediately.
Step 3 – Use a shallow container and surround the container with other frozen items to speed up freezing. The first stirring should take place (about 20 mins if mixture was cold when placed into freezer) when the mixture has a thick layer of ice crystals on the inside of the container. Use a scraper to scrape the ice into the centre and then beat with an electric hand-held beater to prevent more ice forming and to add air into the mixture. Repeat the scarping and beating process about 3 or 4 times every 20 mins until ice-cream is creamy smooth and fully frozen.

Ageing or ripening the Mix
The ice cream mix is best if it is aged or ripened (stored in the refrigerator) overnight. This improves the whipping qualities of the mix and the body and texture of the ice cream. If time does not permit overnight ageing, let the mix stand in the refrigerator for at least four hours. After the ageing process is completed, remove the mix from the refrigerator and stir in the flavouring.

A tip to avoid ice crystals: Add 1 envelope of unflavoured gelatin per 6 cups of ice cream mixture. Let the gelatin soften in 1/4 cup of the mixture, then gently heat it until it is dissolved. Add to the remaining mixture and proceed.

In Australia you can use thickened cream (it has added gelatin) and this will stop ice crystals from forming.


Chris said...

Great job! Brandy cherry ice cream? yummy!

Anonymous said...

Wow it looks amazing. One of the best icecreams I've ever tasted was a cherry one and it's been on my list for a long time to try a recipe for one. Just checking on the instructions - did you just add pureed brandied cherries to Wendy's Ice Cream recipe? It looks lovely.

glamah16 said...

Beautiful cake and beautiful work. Im a sucker for cherries.

Eat4Fun said...


Wonderful looking cake. The first picture looks like a fancy box of chocolates. I like how you encased the cake with your brandy cherry ice cream. Great job on your challenge!


chef_d said...

I like the way you presented the ice cream and cake...creative!

Anonymous said...

Very nice.. I think we were thinking along the same lines. I used a cherry brandy on mine, too, but not on the ice cream :)

Anonymous said...

I remember you were one of the first to finish the challenge back in early Feb, and I marveled over what a great idea it was to coat the cake in the molded ice cream :) Brandy cherry ice cream with a dense, fudgy doesn't get much better than that! It looks beautiful too! Nicely done!

Anonymous said...

I love your idea of coating the cake in ice cream!

Anzj said...

I am just lovin' that pink heart cake!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a wonderful idea! Your cake looks scrumptious and must pair really well with that delicious ice cream layer! Very well done!

I hope that you'll be able to find toka beans in Australia...



Jeanine - The Baking Beauties said...

Beautiful job! Brandy goes so well with chocolate, I'll have to try that next time. ;)

Sugar Daze said...

Oh WOW! this is too much...what a decadent-looking desert and an original take on the simple chocolate cake!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cake looks beautiful! I love the idea of coating it in the ice cream =D!!

Amy said...

This looks divine! I can't wait until we have cherries here in California.

zorra said...

I love your pink heart! :-)

Anonymous said...

What a unique and gorgeous presentation! I'm coming back to try your other recipes, too!

Bumblebutton said...

How clever you were with this challenge--It looks luscious. I'm jealous of your fresh laid eggs, for sure--you are so right that the eggs just 'held the air,' but it would seem yours did the perfect job. Bravo!

Joey Biscotti said...

that looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

Maggie said...

The cake looks wonderful coated in ice cream, what a great idea!

Anonymous said...

great job! It looks beautiful.

Baker at Law said...

I love that you made the cake and ice cream look like a box of chocolate. I had to take a double look. Great job!

kat said...

Woah, it looks awesome topped with the ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Wow - original idea! Love it!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the heart, so cute :) And I absolutely love cherry with chocolate - if I could have found frozen cherries that would have been my choice, but I had to settle for raspberry!! Great job :)

Kimberly Johnson said...

Beautiful job! The ice cream sounds amazing.

Jen said...

I felt the strangest sense of deja vu reading your post...

Your Valentino looks lovely and I really like the idea of putting an ice cream layer on top- especially since yours is pink. Even though my cake didn't come out I am really inspired to try again as everyone else's sounds like it was delicious.

Arlette said...

nice job with the cherry ice cream box

Anonymous said...

Very innovative encircling it with ice cream! And I think I have that exact same heart shaped dish. It sounds absolutely delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Wow - I love the idea of the ice-cream wrapped cake. The cherry-brandy combination for something frozen sounds like something perfect for a southern-hemisphere christmas pudding, actually!

Ally said...

You are amazing. Brandy cherry ice cream? Amazing. Thanks for all the helpful tips, is sure came in handy! The cake looks beautiful, I just wish I could have tasted it!

Anonymous said...

Wow-- what a lot of work for some ice cream, however, that being said, it does look amazing! Bravo!

Lori said...

I love all the componenets of this cake. I love how you covered it in ice cream. THat took some patience I think! And I love the flavors, cherry and brandy. I would love to try this one!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful ice cream flavour choice!

Anonymous said...

Amazing, you did a great job on this challenge !

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I remember your cake was one of the first ones made this month. Pink and chocolate, perfect valentine's colours!
Its getting warm here too. Last sunday was 39C, unusually so. I'm scraed to think of summer.:)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Fabulous!! I love the idea of coating the heart in the ice cream...brilliant, really -- perfect complement to the deep chocolate flavor. And...I need to tell you how jealous I am that your neighbor is able to provide you with fresh eggs! That's amazing.

Great job...I definitely want to give your ice cream a try. It sounds delicious. :-)

Rue said...

Wow!! Your cake looks *fabulous*!! I love the brandy-cherry ice cream coating!! What a wonderful idea!

vibi said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! How creative... I don't think I ever saw anything like it! Love the colors!

Very, very imaginative... and beautiful done challenge!

Tara @ Feels Like Home said...

I saw your photos on the Daring Bakers boards, and I thought you did a spectacular job. Well done!

And the cherries were a wonderful addition. I'll have to try that next time. I'm also thinking about adding a little orange to the ice cream. My family loves chocolate with orange. :)

Loie said...

Looks amazing! I love that it's pink!

Deeba PAB said...

Perfect, creative & beautiful. Brandy cherry ice-cream get my vote!! WOW!!

Chou said...

What a fun take on a cherry cordial. :)

Andreas said...

Yummy-looking cake. I must try brandy-cherry ice cream sometime this summer.

breadchick said...

How inventive! Well done on the challenge this month.

Ago said...

Audax your cake is FANTASTIC!
What great idea! I love the cake into the ice cream, is amazing!
Ago :-D

Vera said...

This ice cream is to die for! Beautiful work!

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment you left on my blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi, that's a great idea covering the cake in icecream! 2 of my fav. things :)

Lisa said...

It's so pink and cheerful! Lovely work. :)

Beth said...

I very much enjoy the way you shaped the ice cream to correspond with the cake, especially the way the sides are a bit crinkled from the cellophane.

Faery said...

Gorgeous and delicious, oh I need a piece of this cake yum yum :9. I made my challenge but I could not post it...I was not in the mood :(

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Just wanted to say that I used your carrot cake recipe (from the DB Kitchen thread), adapted it slightly and it made a me a very nice cake which we really liked.
My carrot cake post is on my blog at

Faery said...

Just to say hello :)....
I don't know why but I need chocolate right now

Unknown said...