Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers' Feb challenge! Flourless chocolate cake and ice cream

This months Daring Bakers challenge was a flourless chocolate cake, paired with our choice of ice cream. The cake recipe only had three ingredients. Butter, chocolate, and eggs. Easy peasy. I kicked mine up a bit with the addition of some coffee, which worked well with the ice cream I made. Last month when I was in NYC with my sister, we stopped in some place that had cardamom coffee. It was delicious, sweetened probably with condensed milk and tasted a lot like chai, but it was coffee. I've been thinking about it a lot. I decided on coffee ice cream immediately after reading what the challenge was, but didn't decide on cardamom coffee until later. I stumbled upon David Lebovitz's (who else)
recipe for Vietnamese coffee ice cream, and it was decided. 

I would make coffee cardamom ice cream, with a vanilla bean thrown in for good measure, and I would use regular milk (2%) and condensed milk instead of cups upon cups of cream, like in the ice cream recipes I've made in the past. I was all cocky and confident starting out, and then my ice cream maker quit working halfway through (it just doens't freeze enough to turn the cold liquid ice cream into churney delicious ice cream), so I finished by hand. Don't have an ice cream maker? Check out David Lebovitz's method here. I topped the whole thing with caramel sauce, and ooooooh yum. I wouldn't recommend eating the cake (with added coffee) or the ice cream anytime before bed, they both pack a punch of caffeine. 

This cake is cool because if you eat it cold, it is dense and like a truffle, but if you heat it up a bit it gets light and almost spongey. I plop a bit of caramel sauce (recipe below) on top and heat it up until the caramel melts. 

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 posting the vanilla ice cream recipes because I didn't make them, check out the hosts blogs or any of the many other participants blogs

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

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time:  20 minutes
This recipe took me less than 20 minutes to put together. 
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
(I only used 1 stick)
5 large eggs separated
My addition- 2 T finely ground coffee

1. Preheat oven to 375. 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. I melted mine in the microwave, stirring ever 20 seconds until smooth. Stir in the coffee at this point if using. 
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan (I used 8" round) 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.
I just whisked mine briskly for a minute or two with a fork.
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 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. I baked mine until it stopped being jiggley
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
My cake fell a bit, but was still fine

Cardamom coffee ice cream

1 1/2 c water
a generous 1/2 c dark roast coffee plus 1 T
6 whole cardamom pods, smashed a bit
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
1 can condensed milk
1 t ground cardamom
1/3 c milk (I used 2%)

Bring water to a boil, then add 1/2 c coffee, cardamom pods, and vanilla bean. Cover and remove from heat, let steep at least 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or coffee filter, and scrape the vanilla beans into the coffee. You'll need 1 cup coffee. Whisk together condensed milk, ground cardamom, milk and coffee. Chill until very cold, then churn in your ice cream maker or freeze by David Lebovitz's directions, as I did. 

Caramel Sauce 

1 c sugar
6 T butter
1/2 c cream
optional 1 t vanilla

Heat the sugar in a medium saucepan until melted, stirring often. Once the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring and just occasionally swirl the pan. Continue cooking until sugar is a fairly dark amber, then add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted, then turn off the heat. Add the cream (careful! it will bubble up!) and optional 1 t of vanilla and whisk until smooth, then pour into a Mason jar that you have run under hot water for a minute to heat up. Sauce will thicken when kept in the fridge, just heat up a bit before use. 


  1. OMG, what mouth watering photos! Love the coffee-cardamom ice cream, and I'm not even a coffee fan! Yours I'd try! Nice job!

  2. I effin LOVE cardamom! Great ice cream recipe! Soooo, I def made some interesting ice cream and a caramel sauce too.

  3. Anonymous1:53 AM

    Lovely photos - drool worthy! I love cardamon especially with caramel! Great idea about heating up this cake, we will have to try that next time!

  4. Anonymous4:48 AM

    I love flourless chocolate cake! This recipe sounds great - pure and simple. I cook my cake in a water bath to keep the outside from burning or getting too hard.

    I've had cardamom ice cream in restaurants and really loved it. I'll have to make it at home now that I have a good recipe! Thanks!

  5. You take one hell of a picture! You múst be a professional cause they look amázing!! Love the cardamom ice cream too

  6. What an awesome presentation! That ice cream looks mighty delicious and must pair wonderfully well with the cake!



  7. je craque sur ta crème glacée ! quelles belles saveurs tes photos sont très belles :)

  8. Anonymous8:47 AM

    It looks delicious!

  9. Your cake looks FANTASTIC! That ice cream looks AMAZING! Wow! Great job!

  10. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Mmmmm. Cardamom coffee ice cream? Soooo good! And yes, you discovered what I did - the cake tastes great warm (but not so much when cold. Boo!)

    Check out my blog sometime- I'm focused on gluten-free baking/cooking, too.

  11. cardamom, coffee and caramel...very interesting!! nice pictures too

  12. Mmm, your cake looks wonderful!! I love the caramel sauce and ice cream flavour =D!

  13. OMG, that ice cream is really delicious looking. And the cake look so god too.
    Well done.

  14. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Great job! I love the combination of flavors you used.


  15. thanks, jill--we haven't tried those multi grain chips yet!

  16. Oh. My. Goodness.

  17. Wow, such great flavours!!

  18. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Another cardamom and coffee ice cream, loved it a lot!
    Your dessert looks delicious!

  19. these photos are too good! I love coffee ice cream!

  20. Wow, that looks so decadent and yummy. I'm not a coffee drinker but your ice cream sounds good.

  21. Oh my goodness this looks amazing!! YUM.... Great site! :)

  22. Great job on yor challenge and the ice-cream flavour sounds delicious.