Daring Bakers for February 2009

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.

Wendy is at wmpesblog (Arizona) and Dharm is at Dad – Baker and Chef (Malaysia). They both are passionate about baking for our families. 


For the Love of Chocolate Daring Bakers’ February 2009 ChallengeChocolate has many associations – godliness, health-giving, mood altering, & addicting. Bless the ancient Mayans & Aztecs for developing the cocoa bean into the delicious luxurious chocolate drink that the Spanish explorers brought back to Spain. How the Spanish kept chocolate a secret for 100 years is a mystery that perhaps can only be explained by the lack of the internet!
It is no wonder that February, the month for honoring love on St. Valentine’s Day, is best represented first by the heart & then by chocolate or better yet a chocolate heart. The potency & power of chocolate can only be rivaled by vanilla, & then they make a wonderful combination!
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
What we Want You to Do:
the following recipe
-Serve with – The original recipe calls for the cake to be served with whipping cream. BUT we decided to make this more of a challenge & ask you to make your own Ice Cream. You can choose any flavour you want & any recipe. But we are giving you a little freedom here & will allow whipped cream as a topping as well or of course non-dairy whip. Be as creative as you want with your topping. Any fruit puree or sauce would be lovely with this cake.
– Use your favorite chocolate – the finished cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use. Be creative with your chocolate, if you like a sweeter cake use milk chocolate or a combination of the semisweet & milk chocolate. If you like bittersweet chocolate use that & add sweetness by mixing the semi sweet with bittersweet. If you are daring, try white chocolate.
– A higher cocoa percentage increases the bitterness of the chocolate.
-Equipment – it is optional to use a heart shaped pan. For a real Valentino, bake it in a heart shaped pan or cut it out into a heart shape. An 8” spring form pan works with great results as do smaller pans or ramekins.
-An instant read thermometer highly recommended.
Note on recipe – the recipe consists of 3 simple ingredients & how you interpret them is part of the challenge. The simplicity of this recipe gives credit to the ingredients much in the same way of French baguette.
-This recipe comes together very quickly with a hand mixer.
-This is a very decadent cake that will sink a little as it cools but will still hold its shape.
-Very dense & fudgy cake that tastes divine.
-The top forms a light crust kind of like a brownie
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 & butter in a heatproof bowl & set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) & melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan & line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites & put into 2 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 & 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 ¾ of the way full, & bake at
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60F.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie & a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
I used Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan Flourless Chocolate cake recipe with a couple of changes. Her is her link: http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/a-matter-of-luck/


Lucky Chocolate Cake Adapted from Epicurious

2 Cups Cooked Black-Eyed Peas I used 1 15-oz can black beans
1 12-Ounce Package Extra-Firm Silken Tofu
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Natural Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder omitted
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch Salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Toss both the black-eyed peas and the tofu into your food processor or blender, and let it run until the mixture is completely smooth. Give it a good long time to work, since it would be rather unpleasant to find any whole beans in your cake. Add in the sugar and coffee powder, and pulse to combine.

Separately, melt the chocolate and stir well until smooth before adding into the food processor, and then let it run for a minute until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides to make sure you aren’t missing anything, and give it another minute to process. Finally, add the cocoa, coffee powder, baking powder, soda, and salt, and pulse to combine.

Spread the mixture into your prepared pan, leveling off the top with your spatula as best you can. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. I know that’s a bit vague, but it will still be ever so slightly wet since it’s such a moist cake- Just make sure it doesn’t look like it’s covered in raw batter. Let it cool completely in the pan before serving.

This came together quickly and easily & tastes GREAT!!! Thank you so much to Hannah sharing the recipe. Don’t worry, you can’t even taste the beans and they give you healthy fiber and nutrients.


I debated on what kind of ice cream I wanted to make. One DB’er made a ginger ice cream, another made an Earl Grey & Honey. But in the end I decided on making a Vanilla & Red Hots, & boy am I glad I did. It tastes sooooo good! I started with this base, and just added ¼ cup of red hots. Oh, & thank you to Vegan Ice Cream Paradise for the recipe: http://veganicecream.blogspot.com/2006/10/two-vanillas.html

Fancy Pants Vanilla

2 c. soy creamer (or any non-dairy milk)
2 c. soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 vanilla bean
¾ c. sugar
2 T. arrowroot

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

Mix the soy creamer and soy milk together in a saucepan. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the seeds into the milk. Drop the bean shell into the milk too. Bring to a slight boil, then lower the temperature and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean shell. Stir in the sugar, and bring to a boil again. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

img_3061.jpg  Soy creamer, milk, & vanilla cooking

img_3083.jpg  freezing


Okay, so I made the ice cream and put it into my ice cream maker and an hour later, it still hadn’t set up. Mine usually only take 20 – 40 minutes. I was making this at night, and was getting tired, so I didn’t want to wait any longer. I think the problem was that I didn’t have enough ice. Well, I put the mixture into a container & into the freezer it went. I ended up staying up for another 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 20 – 30 minutes & hoping for the best. It actually set up nicely, so you really don’t need a fancy machine to make ice cream (but it usually is faster).

This is a totally make again recipe (the cake & ice cream!), as well as being somewhat healthy.

Double Daring Bakers

I am continuing to catch up on the previous Daring Baker challenges & this months extra challenge is: 

Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart!


I had bought a tart pan a couple of years ago, but never used it, so I was excited to get the chance to use it. I actually got to this challenge a little early! Yeah! I always hate putting things off to the last minute & having to cram it in (not sure why I always do it), so I was determined to finish this one early. The substitutions for this challenge were pretty easy, nothing too hard to figure out. This one I will totally make again! It tasted great. A bit rich for my hubby, so he just ate smaller pieces, but he loved the flavor. Next time I would roll the shortbread thinner & use a bigger tart pan (mine was an 8” one), because I had extra filling. At least I have some extra mousse to eat on the side, yum. This one is pretty easy to make as well. You do need to let the shortbread pastry chill overnight, so keep that in mind while you’re planning.


Daring Bakers Challenge #10: Milk Chocolate & Caramel Tart (August 2007)

Hosts: Veron (Veronica’s Test Kitchen) & Patricia (Technicolor Kitchen)

Recipe Quantity: One (1) 9″ Square or one (1) 10″ Round tart


Allowed Modifications:

1. Caramel fragment toppings are optional but make sure that the caramel-cream & chocolate layers are true to the recipe

2. If you have no luck with the dry method of making the caramel, you may use the alternate method shown at the end of the recipe.

3. You may eliminate the cinnamon if you don’t like cinnamon.

4. High altitude modifications are allowed as long as you stay “true” to the recipe.

5. Conversion for certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. is allowed.

6. Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.


Chocolate Shortbread Pastry

Note: The Chocolate Shortbread pastry can make 3 tart shells. So, if you want to cut that recipe into thirds then do so but Veron & Patricia are not promising it will scale down properly. (I made all 3 & put the other 2 in the freezer for future use)

Prep Time: 10 min Refrigeration: overnight Makes 3 tart shells: 9 ½“ square or 10“ round

1 cup (250g ) unsalted butter, softened ½ cup earth balance, ½ cup silken tofu

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 g) confectioners’ sugar

½ cup (50 g) ground hazelnuts leftover hazelnut prailine

2 level teaspoons (5 g) ground cinnamon

2 eggs Ener-g egg replacer

4 ½ cups (400 g) cake flour 2 ½ cups cake flour, 2 cups whole wheat

2 ½ teaspoons (10 g) baking powder

1 ½ tablespoons (10 g) cocoa powder

A day ahead:

1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together

3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly

4. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.

5. Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight.


Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Preparation time: 40 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Refrigeration time: 1 hour

½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe above)

1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar

1 cup (250 g) heavy cream (30-40% butterfat) or crème fraiche soy creamer

¼ cup (50 g) butter earth balance

2 whole eggs 2 TBSP flax meal w/ ½ cup water

1 egg yolk ¼ cup silken tofu

2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour

1 ¼ cups (300 g) whipping cream silken tofu

½ lb (250 g) milk chocolate 62% dark chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).

2. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes.

3. In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel color. Incorporate the heavy cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, then incorporate the flour.

5. Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.

6. Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

7. Prepare the milk chocolate mousse: beat the whipping cream until stiff. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.

8. Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Alternate Caramel Method: used dry method

If you have problems with the dry method, you may use this method.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon corn syrup

Set mixture in a pot over medium-high heat and stir slowly. When the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring and leave it alone. Wait till desired color is attained .

Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Caramel Fragments: Melt ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar in a saucepan until it reaches an amber color. Pour it onto waxed paper laid out on a flat surface. Leave to cool. Break it into small fragments and stick them lightly into the top of the tart. (didn’t use)

Verdict: I will definitely be making this one again.  It was easy & super delicious!


Recipes 2 Rival for January 2009

This month Kat from http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com is hosting the challenge with Giz & Psychograd from Equal Opportunity Kitchen. They chose a Ukrainian dish called Holopchi. It’s a big like a cabbage roll but its not. It seemed like a good comfort dish for winter.

This month’s challenge sounded really interesting & I couldn’t wait to try it. Well, I guess I could because I didn’t get to it until the 31st! We had to make the bread dough, but we could use other leaves, depending on what we could find. Well, no beet leaves at my grocery store, the Swiss Chard looked like it had been steamed & the Kale wasn’t any better. So, cabbage it is. I chose to bake the Holopchi in the sauce because that seemed to be the favorite flavor choice for everyone. The Holopchi soaked in the flavor of the sauce instead of just a pop of flavor with the sauce poured over the top. I also choice to make an 1/8th of the recipe. Most people quartered the recipe & said it still made a ton, & since I would be eating this myself (hubby will taste it, but not too excited about it), I didn’t want to be eating it all month. The tale of my Holopchi making. I got up in the morning, did my exercise, ate breakfast, got ready for the day & started in on my Holopchi. I made the bread dough & set it aside for the first rise. I then made & ate lunch, cleaned up & then, I got called in to work. So, into the fridge went the Holopchi. I worked a double the next day, had a date day with my hubby, then I finally was able to make it today. It actually went really well, considering it was in the fridge for 3 days. It still rose beautifully, & cooked up great. See the verdict below.  Not real photogenic, & I should’ve added a sprig of dill to the top, but forgot to save one out.


Here’s the recipe along with some notes from Giz:
Beet Leaf Holopchi
from The Keld Community Ladies Club in Ashville, Manitoba. The last publishing of this cookbook was 1976 and I doubt it’s even in circulation anymore.

This is not your usual cabbage roll – can you imagine a bread dough wrapped in beet leaves & baked in a creamy, garlic, onion & dill sauce.

Bread Dough:
2 pkgs. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups scalded milk soy milk
4 cups warm water
1/4 cup melted butter Earth Balance
8 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten Ener-g egg replacer
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
a couple bunches of beet leaves cabbage leaves

Note: When I first saw this recipe I thought it was wrong – how many recipes need THAT much flour. I used the recipe & indeed had to add more to get the right consistency. AND I ran out of dough before I ran out of beet leaves.

1. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in ½ cup tepid water, sprinkle with yeast & let stand for 10 minutes.

2. To the milk-water liquid add the melted butter, dissolved yeast & 8 cups of flour. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 hour)

3. Add salt, beaten eggs, sugar & remaining flour.

4. Knead well until dough is smooth & top with melted butter or oil.

5. Place in a warm place & let rise until double in bulk. It will take about 2 hours. Punch down. When dough has risen to double in bulk, place a piece of dough, the size of a walnut on a beet leaf & roll up (leaving sides open)

6. Place holopchi loosely in a pot to allow for dough to rise to double in bulk again.

7. Arrange in layers, dotting each layer with butter.

8. Cover tightly, bake in a moderate oven of 350 F for ¾ to 1 hour. Serve with dill sauce or cream & onion sauce. (I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don’t have to. You can add it later – just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.) (I baked mine longer – about 1 ½ hours & was happy with the result) 

1/2 cup butter Earth Balance
2 cups whipping cream soy milk
8 small onions (I used chives)
2 handfuls of chopped fresh dill (this makes the whole dish)
2-4 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onions (chives) garlic, dill & cream.
Let it come to a boil & then turn down the heat.
I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don’t have to. You can add it later – just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.

This is not a 5 minute recipe. When you commit to making it – it’s an adventure – most definitely a worthwhile one. This recipe filled an open roaster & a turkey sized roaster.

You can find her original complete post (with pictures) about it here.


Verdict: We both loved it. What great flavor. Actually, this would taste really good with some spaghetti & a side salad. I really liked the cabbage leaves with it, nice mild flavor. I think the beet leaves, or Swiss chard would be great too, less mild in flavor, but really good. I recommend everyone trying this at least once. Thanks so much for the great challenge.