Saturday, February 28, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Coconut Sorbet

When you think Valentine's day, you think chocolate. So it is only appropriate that for February's Daring Bakers Challenge, a chocolate cake and ice cream was in order. The challenge was pretty straight forward: to make a flourless chocolate cake and homemade ice cream.

Blurb'o-the-month: 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.

I'm not going to lie, I was not too excited about this challenge. I'm not wild about flourless chocolate cake in most forms, I usually find it too intense but kind of boring. And ice cream? I've never liked ice cream. Which didn't stop me from considering buying an ice cream machine for the challenge. I nearly rationalized by hey sometimes, like every five years or so, I like a couple bites of sorbet. Or gelato. Which would make it TOTALLY WORTH $50, right?

I managed to talk myself out of it and will probably spend the money on an absurdly expensive strightening iron instead.

I'll admit, I used a different recipe for the flourless chocolate cake. There was a chocolate bĂȘte noire recipe in The Sweet Life that I've been eying for awhile and it appealed to me more than the one given. And I'm glad I did because it was AWESOME. I loved it. It's a bit like a chocolate pudding cake. You can see the recipe I used here. I apologize to your thighs in advance. But it had to be done.

Most of the Daring Bakers did like the posted recipe though and I feel guilty not posting the recipe I was supposed to use so here it is:

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 unmold.


I like sorbets far more than ice creams so that's what I decided to go with. I settled on either espresso or coconut and ultimately decided on coconut so my dish wouldn't be all brown. Plus, I just made espresso shortbread.

I'm usually too lazy to type up recipes I get from cookbooks but this one is so easy that I remember everything. Here's the basic recipe I used:

Coconut Sorbet, Adapted from the Millennium cookbook

1 can light coconut milk
6 tablespoons fructose
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Dash vanilla
Dash salt

Combine the above ingredients. I used a hand blender so that the coconut flakes would be better incorporated. If you don't have one, I would either blend it in a food processor or finely chop the coconut before hand. To make by hand, pour the liquid into a large glass pan and freeze. Take out of the freezer every 30 minutes or so and blend with a whisk or large wooden spoon before returning to the freezer. Repeat until desired consistency is reached.


Can you use regular sugar instead of fructose? Dunno. Joe happened to get me some fructose from the local health food store, otherwise I would've used regular sugar. But it was soooo easy, the recipe doesn't make a whole lot so it freezes really fast. Tasted lovely, though I prefered the unfrozen coconut liquid. Because I am a heathen and I DON'T LIKE ICE CREAM. It balanced really well with the cake though, especially when it was piping hot. The cake, not the ice cream.

Glad I did this month's challenge, I'm not sure I would've tried making ice cream by hand otherwise. I'm not sure I would make it again for myself but I would serve it to company.

Hahahhaa. Like I have fancy dinner parties and don't spend my Friday nights baking and watching Pokemon with Joe. Hahahahah. Company. More like force feed it to Brian immediately after he comes back from working out.

Looking forward to March's challenge!


Lisa Michelle said...

Stunning plating, and that coconut sorbet looks amazing! Great job all around!

junko said...

looks delicious! coconut sorbet sounds yummy. Off topic....what kind of hair straightener are you gonna buy cause Im looking for a really good one. It takes me an hour to straighten my hair and I want to cut down time! :)

Tara said...

You took chocolate cake and drizzled more choc on it? Yous crazy!

Also, you are hilarious... I saw your previous post about slowly advancing a fork toward your skull. Lol.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your dessert looks mighty good!



Linsey said...

hahahahaha! I loved that you went with your own recipe. I played fair, but I wish I hadn't. I ended up giving my entire cake away to friends. Your cake looks really delicious.

Sophie said...

Lisa -- Thanks so much, especially considering the quality of your pictures!

Junko -- Thanks! Right now I'm eying this model, the Chi is notoriously amazing.

Tara -- The drizzled chocolate was primarily for decoration for the cake and sorbet, anything else was just a happy accident. ;)

Rosa -- Thanks so much!

Linsey -- I cannot lie. I figured at least I was making a flourless chocolate cake! Make what you love, right?


alaskagrrrL said...

Until today, also not a fan of the flourless (or really any other run of the mill) chocolate cake. Had a version this evening made with MACADAMIA nuts that was possibly the best chocolate "cake" I've ever had--will forward recipe as soon as I have it in my drooling little hands. Looked like a regular layer cake, but airy, fudgy and macadamia-ey. Save me! Oh, it was also made by a man, which makes it doubly amazing.

alaskagrrrL said...

Okay, since that last line may have sounded sexist, and I do not want to offend any men folk (esp. Joe--an extraordinary cook). Let me just say that in my experience men are often loathe to produce a baked dessert and the aforementioned cake made by a man looked like something out of Martha Stewart on a good day, was brought in a special layer cake transporting tupperware and with heavy cream that had to be whipped just before serving despite our offering the no-labor kind from a can. I believe this attention to detail would be notable no matter the gender of the baker :)

Jenny said...

You cheated and didn't make the challenge recipe! It looks good though. I hope you can put that $50 appliance to good use - maybe for those palate-cleansing not-necessarily-sweet sorbets I'm always seeing.

Bridgett said...

Oh my, that is pure decadence! This looks wonderful.

meeuh said...

you don't eat ice cream either? all this time and i never knew! i do have some time to time, but that dessert is so not my jam. maybe it's a recessive gene.