My very first take on the daunting Daring Bakers' Challenge. I didn't know what to expect, except follow some rules, and bake a cake! I love cake, I love desserts, and I love chocolate, so I wouldn't mind to join in the fun. And my first challenge is to bake a chocolate cake, well a flourless chocolate cake, to be exact... and with ice cream.

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
They 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 flourless chocolate cake is pretty much set, all I have to do is just follow the recipes provided and bake it. I actually cut the ingredients by half, so I can just make 2 small cakes in ramekins instead of a whole big one. As I prefer to work with small dessert on the presentation. When the cakes come out of the oven, it was nice and puffy, but then it shrivels a fair bit once cool down, leaving huge dents on the top and the sides.

Despite the ugly looking cake, and my heavy coated disguise to "beautify" it, it actually taste delicious! The flourless is very rich and moist, almost like a brownie. I've used half dark chocolate, and half milk chocolate to make the cake, so it is not overly sweet and still rich with cacao. I finished it off with chocolate sauce, and white chocolate pomegranate coulis.

As for the ice cream part, I've decided to make a pistachio ice cream to go with the cake. Seriously, I am addicted to  pistachio! I can just sit down and eat a whole full bag non stop! When come to making ice cream, you simply can't go past David Lebovitz's recipes of course. I basically followed his vanilla ice cream recipe, then adding pistachio into it, simple as that and it works out perfectly! I also added some pistachio brittle for extra crunchiness :P

I never thought making ice cream can be so simple especially with the help of an ice cream maker. I was like a kid in the candy store, watching the mixture churning in the mixer and slowly goes harder and creamer, and turning into yummy ice cream! Now I can see myself getting an ice cream maker and start making my own yummy ice cream in all wild crazy flavours! Mwahahahahah!!!

Chocolate Valentino - chocolate flourless cake, recipe adapted from Chef Wan

Ingredients 110 grams  of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
110 grams of milk chocolate, roughly choopped
70 grams of unsalted butter
3 large eggs separated

Method 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 4 ramekins (9cm diameter).
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 ramekins, the batter should fill the ramekins 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.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Ingredients 75 grams pistachio, roasted then chopped finely using an electric grinder
1 cup milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cup heavy cream
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum

Method

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.
2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Add half of the pistachio into the mixture.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Pour the custard into the heavy cream. Chill thoroughly, then add the rest of the pistachio and stir until well combined.
6. Add the rum and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, try this method instead.

Pistachio Brittle

7. roughly chopped the pistachio and spread across well buttered baking sheet.
8. add one cup of sugar and 2 tablespoon of water then bring to boil.
9. boil until golden brown and thicken, carefully pour the toffee on top of the pistachio and let it set.
10. once cool, break into pieces and use immediately. Moisture and humidity will make the brittle sticky and melt again.