This is what I was waiting for, the reason - without knowing it - that I joined the Daring Bakers. Not for the endless rolling and resting of pastry, not for fiddling, getting out and putting back in the fridge, not for beating curdly buttercream icing and making toffee to pralinate in the food processor, or in fact for icing of any kind. Especially not for piping bags.
Three ingredients. Chocolate, butter, eggs.
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.
(Never mind the ice cream. I made pistachio and served it another time. But it turned out such an ugly colour that I haven't got a good photo yet! so you won't see it in this post.)
Cared I that it was Valentine's Day? I wouldn't have noticed except for a certain teenager I know feeling the aloneness of couples all over the world doing coupley things (as far as she knew.. or defying the contrivedness of such a Hallmark holiday.. or not even caring enough to defy).
Chocolate is the answer!
It was a good distraction for my teenage friend, anyway. And an excellent one for me.
And an even better dessert the next day.
Who needs flour, honestly. The TEXTURE.
Chocolate Valentino (Australian adaptation)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
454 g chocolate, roughly chopped (I just used 450. Aka 16 ounces)
146 g unsalted butter (Imperialists! Just measure it. Or use 125 g like me, quarter of a block.)
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 the choc-butter mixture is cooling, butter the pan and line with baking paper.
2a. Put on Ray LaMontagne, Bob Dylan, or whatever music you feel like. Dance around.
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. (Hooray! same beater. Clever 'un who wrote this owns the key to my own chocolate heart. Hear me Daring Bakers, our usual recipes use far too many dishes. Don't you have something better to do than wash up?)
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. 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..
It needs a good chocolate, because with no added sugar, nuts, flour or that, this cake tastes exactly like the chocolate you use. But even better, because it's cake.