28 February 2009

Daring Bakers - February •



I am right under the wire this month with the Daring Bakers challenge. If one of your resolutions this year was to diet - stop reading right now! This challenge would definitely break that resolution. The flourless cake is very manageable and delicious. I made cherry vanilla ice cream with cherry sauce to accompany my very rich chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino •

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
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.

Cherry-Vanilla Ice Cream •

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 - 3 drops almond extract
1/4 cup tart cherry juice
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup chopped tart cherries

Mix all ingredients except cherries together. Make ice-cream following instructions of your ice-cream maker. In the last minute of churning, add cherries. Place in freezer until solid.

Tart Cherry Sauce •

1/2 cup tart cherry juice
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 -3 drops almond extract

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook slowly with low heat until thick and sauce is clear. Serve warm over ice cream and cake.

Shallot Sugar Crisps & Tangerine Orange Zinger Ice Milk •



What a very challenging (at least for me) Joust this month over at The Left-Over Queen Forum. Angela of Spinach Tiger was the winner of last month’s Joust and so had the honor of choosing the ingredients for the games this month. Her pick: Satsuma (or any other orange citrus), Shallots, and Edible Flowers. Edible Flowers?! In February? In Wisconsin? Fat chance.

I checked three of the local grocery stores with no luck. I was in the tea aisle (yes, they have a whole aisle of teas, but no edible flowers in the produce section) when my eyes fell upon that lovely tea package ablaze with hibiscus flowers. I threw it in my cart, determined to use it in a recipe for the Joust. Day after day went by, and I was stumped. I thought of making a salad, then stir-fry. I finally decided I would go where I am sure not too many would venture - a dessert recipe. The verdict? There is a reason cookies usually do not have shallots in them. On the bright side, the ice milk was delicious!

Sugar Crisp Dough •

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Contents of one Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger tea bag (crushed finely)
2-1/2 cups white unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine cardamom, tea bag contents, flour, cream of tartar, and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for one hour. Roll into 3/4 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Spread a scant 1/16th teaspoon of scallion topping on top of cookies. Sprinkle tops with a few grains of kosher salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheets for a few minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

Shallot Topping for Cookies •

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely minced shallots
7 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the rest of ingredients and mix well. Cook slowly over low heat until thick and carmelized.

Tangerine Orange Zinger Ice Milk •

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger tea bags
2/3 cup sugar
Juice of 2 oranges (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1 Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger tea bag, opened

In a small saucepan, combine milk and heavy cream. Heat slowly over low heat until very hot. Add sugar and mix well. Drop in the 4 tea bags and let sit until cool. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate overnight (leave in the tea bags). Pick out the tea bags and add the juice, extract, cardamom and orange zest. Add the contents of the opened tea bag. Refrigerate until very cold. Make the ice milk according to the instructions of your ice cream maker.