February has reached its end, and that means it’s time for another round with the Daring Bakers. This month we were to make a flourless chocolate cake and pair it with a homemade ice cream, and I’m afraid my cake turned out to be a flop, literally. I was impatient in waiting for the egg whites to form stiff peaks, and I went ahead and folded in the soft-whipped egg whites. My “cake” turned out to be one giant dark chocolate cookie. Fortunately, it tasted just fine, as as Wendy and Dharm mentioned, it tasted exactly like the chocolate used.
Making the ice cream was a complete experiment for me. I’ve never made ice cream before (frozen yogurt – yes, just not ice cream), but I was determined to make a peppercorn ice cream to pair with the dark chocolate cake. I used a recipe for pink peppercorn ice cream and substituted in black peppercorns, and I was pleased with the results.
I would eat neither the cake nor the ice cream on its own, but when eaten together, it truly is perfect harmony. Tim even described it as a very “adult taste.” Whatever he meant by that, I’ll take it as a complement.
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 Valentino Cake
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.
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 375 degrees F.
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140 degrees F.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
Black Peppercorn Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Chika Tillman
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
8 egg yolks
1. Heat the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
2. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and beat well with a wire whisk.
3. Return the cream mixture to medium heat and bring to a simmer again. Remove from heat. Temper the hot mixture into the eggs by slowly pouring the cream into them in a thin stream, while constantly whisking the eggs with a whisk.
4. Strain the egg-and-cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Return it to the stove and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the custard base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
5. Cool the custard in an ice bath until it is completely cold.
6. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in a covered plastic container and store in the freezer overnight.