Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino

At the beginning of every month, the Daring Bakers hoss(s) of the month choose a top secret recipe for us DBers to bake, and at the end of the month, we reveal our results!

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.

The link to Dharm's blog goes straight to the recipe. A chocolate Valentino cake is supposed to feature heart shapes.
Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
So . . .

Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
I made sure that mine did. Photo by Chris Wass.

Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
The cake is supposed to be a heart. You can't say my cake doesn't have a heart! I served it during my monthly Savories and Sweets dinner party the day after Valentine's Day, so it was appropriate.

Our hosts also asked us to make our own ice cream to serve with the cake, and I opted for David Lebovitz's Fleur de Lait from his book, Perfect Scoop, which I've had from the library for many, many months now because it's just that good. This recipe is my favorite. I won't write it here, but you can find it here.

Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
Photo by Chris Wass. I used a combination of unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate, and the cake was very rich and chocolatey, so the fleur de lait made a great foil.

What I learned:
Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
I'm not afraid of folding ingredients together, unless two of those ingredients are chocolate and egg whites. Maybe the fat in cocoa butter messes me up. Maybe it's all in my head. But whether it's chocolate meringues or macarons, my mixture seems to go totally flat. This time, I managed to fold it all together just right--knifing the spatula straight down the middle to the bottom of the bowl, then sweeping it up the inside of the bowl, dredging up ingredients from the bottom to gently lay over the top, over and over. I once read somewhere that you shouldn't fold ingredients for longer than a minute. Another source said to use no more than 100 folds. I just kinda make sure I don't make more than 100 folds in over a minute . . . =)

Daring Bakers, February: Chocolate Valentino
The batter came out well.

Stencils are a great way to decorate cakes--cocoa powder sifted over light-colored cakes, or powdered sugar over dark. Doilies are commonly used as stencils because they're so beautiful and intricate, and a lot of my fellow DBers took that route. I love making art stencils, though, so I gave my own spin on hearts and took the anatomical road.

This cake is only as good as the chocolate you use.

Check out what my fellow DBers did by tracking them down through our blogroll.


Lisa said…
I love that you made your own stencil, and quite an amazing job at that. Very well done, and beautiful!
Anzj said…
You are so smart for making a heart shaped stencil; the right way. Must have taken you some time! It looks nice!!
Ahmad said…
Haha that is so random! I love it :)
Zita said…
Wow..that's a creative heart! Superb :)
kat said…
Your heart cracked me up!
Michelle N said…
I love the stencil idea! Looks great! Good Job!
Anonymous said…
Love the heart stencil! I'm very impressed by your creativity with it. I used a stencil too, but just something decorative and literally out of the box. I bow with deference to your clever idea.
Junie Moon said…
What a wonderful way you approached and succeeded with this challenge. I love the creativity behind the stencil which made the whole endeavor extra special and unique. Thank you for sharing it all!
anna said…
I love the heart idea! Your sense of humor rules. I always look forward to your posts. :)
Amy said…
What a fun stencil - it made me laugh! Great job on the challenge.
Anonymous said…
Love the heart stencil! Great thinking! :)
Jenny said…
Adorable heart. But... Thanksgiving?
Julie said…
D'oh--thanks, Jenny! It's good to know people actually read my ramblings. ;)
heartkorean said…
heart stencil... kind of awesome
Christina said…
Love the heart stencil! Very creative. Great job!
oneordinaryday said…
Oh, you are clever. The heart stencil is a fun idea.
Great job1

Popular Posts