Finally I can post about the dessert we enjoyed on Valentine's Day. I couldn't share as it was a Daring Baker challenge and had to wait till today's posting date. Here is obligatory verbiage so I can be counted as participating for 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.
So yes, a flourless chocolate cake with homemade ice-cream. Pretty perfect for a quite Valentines night in with my two loves. LittleA and Tim were both happy to once again serve as my royal taste testers.
The cake is comprised of only three ingredients - so it does you well to choose them wisely. Chocolate, butter, and eggs mixed together....This is a picture of the chocolate that I melted in a double boiler. Now I just used store brand bag-o-chocolate chips and the results were fine...I can see how they would have only been better with better chocolate. The yellow liquid is my blended eggs (from a local farmer I just found - I am told "natural" local eggs are more yellow...hmmm seems true).
Then it all bakes and that is it for the cake. I did end up not having the ideal sized pan to bake this in - so I think my middle never baked all the way and then the outer edge seemed to be getting close to too done. No problems though - we ate it anyway - kind of like underdone brownies.
I was dreading making the ice-cream. I have heard you cannot make it well without an ice-cream maker. I am not a huge fan of accumulated appliances - and I don't like ice cream enough to consider the maker a necessity...so we have always just store bought. Then I remembered making some ice-cream in coffee cans back in my scouting days...I was ready to go that route when I read a little further in our instructions. It said you could make the ice-cream mixture, freeze it, and then occasionally use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals and make it creamy. I gave it a go and it was amazing. The hand blender worked really well and I loved having control over the ingredients and flavor.
In the initial step you bring the milk and a vanilla pod to a boil and let the flavors infuse. Instead of a vanilla pod I decided on two honey chai tea bags and a couple tablespoons of honey (a secret stash from a dear friend who is a beekeaper). The scent in the kitchen was amazing. This tea is one thats flavor only benefits from the adding of some fat and sweet.
Eggs sugar and cornstarch get whisked and then added to the milk mixture (tea bags removed). The entire thing gets heated until it is thick and rich. Then fold in the custard.
Here are both components served up together. My poor family always having to wait to take a first bite so that I can snap a blog photo. Their patience was rewarded well with this one. The tastes were great together. This may be my new favorite ice-cream. I am thinking about next time scooping it between two chocolate chip cookies for homemdae ice-cream snadwhiches.
Once again looking forward to next months challenge. Come see what other bakers have made this month and consider joining in on the fun.