February 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge – Chocolate Valentino and Coffee Ice Cream

This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge.  The Daring Bakers are a group of mainly food bloggers who make a “challenge” chosen by two members and blog about it.  It’s all secretive as far as they have their own private forum where they post info about the challenge and where members can discuss them.  We all have to post our completed challenge on our blog on the same day…no earlier!  It’s really fun!  I figured it would be a good way for me to try new recipes and perhaps meet some fellow bloggers. 

Here’s the gist of this month’s challenge:  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.

I was pretty excited when I got the info for this month’s challenge.  I’ve never made a flourless chocolate cake before.  Oh I’ve drooled many times over the thought of it, so this was a especially fun for me.  I couldn’t believe there were only three ingredients.  I cut the recipe in half and baked it in muffin cups.  It turned out well!  The finished product looked like a brownie, but it wasn’t nearly as dense.  That doesn’t mean it wasn’t rich :)!

Another component of the challenge was to make ice cream to serve with the cake.  They gave us recipes for two versions of vanilla ice cream to use or we could use a recipe of our own choosing.  I decided to make a different version.  I thought what would be better than coffee flavored ice cream to go with the rich chocolate cake?  I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I had to improvise.  They provided us with a link to the always awesome David Lebovitz’s website (a very good food website I might add) on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.  Worked like a charm!  Knowing how easy it is to make it this way I might have to experiment with other recipes.

I used two types of chocolate:  Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet and 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bars.  Here’s the chocolate and butter in the double boiler melting:


I couldn’t help but include this…the chocolate looked too good!

Here’s the finished product in the muffin pan:


 And here’s the cake and the ice cream together:


All I have to say is holy crap….this was sooooo good!  The cake was very dark chocolatey, which is my favorate type of chocolate, and the coffee ice cream had a subtle coffee flavor which paired well with the cake.  Overall, a great success!  I can’t wait till next month’s challenge.

Chocolate Valentino


  •  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.
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.
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.

Coffee Ice Cream (Adapted from All Recipes)


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 cups whipping cream


1.  In a saucepan, stir sugar, cornstarch, coffee and butter until blended.  Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds, and add both the pod and the seeds to the saucepan.  Stir in the milk.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat and cool completely.  Stir in the condensed milk.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into milk mixture.  Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Follow these instructions from David Lebovitz’s website on how to freeze the ice cream to complete the recipe.

Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love the individual muffin Valentino’s! Nice ice cream and plating too!

    • Thanks Lisa Michele! I figured making them individual size would help prevent me from totally pigging out on them :)!

  2. That coffee ice cream sounds right up my alley – nicely done.

    • Thanks Sweetbird!

  3. GREAT job on your first challenge! You did a fantastic job. I probably wouldn’t have even tried the ice cream if I hadn’t been at home. Yours looks wonderful.

    • Thank you so much, Claire! I’m surprised it actually turned out ok!

  4. Oh the coffee ice cream sounds great! i love the chocolate flavor of the cake also.

    • Thanks Sweet Pea! Coffee and chocolate together are one of my favorite combos.

  5. Welcome to the DB community. Congrats on your first challenge. And yes, this cake was quite good, wasn’t it?

    • Thank you, Aparna! I’m going to have to make your Spiced Carrot Ice Cream. It sounds delicious!

  6. You did a great job, and coffee ice cream is a nice pairing. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

    • Thanks, Jenny! I’m really excited to be a Daring Baker and can’t wait until next month’s challenge.

  7. Nicely done – and welcome to the DB!

    • Thanks, Jenny!

  8. wow! your cake looks so good, I may just have to steal a bite right now 😛 That is if there’s any left. Mmm, coffee ice cream sounds like a perfect combination. Congrats on your first DB challenge, you rocked it!

    • Hey thanks, Joanna! The cake and ice cream are nearly gone…it’s been hard to stay out of it! They went together really well, too well in fact!

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