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 made the cake with 70% bittersweet chocolate, following the recipe but adding just a little Grand Marnier for additional flavor. I used a heart-shaped cake pan.
The cake turned out fine, although I’m not sure this is a recipe I would use again. It seemed to be a bit crumbly and was difficult to cut. Perhaps I baked it a little too long? It was in the oven fewer than 25 minutes but the instant thermometer read somewhat over 140 degrees.
The ice cream was a basic vanilla custard with lots of vanilla bean flavor. It was not too sweet (only ½ cup sugar for 2 ½ cups of milk and cream and four egg yolks), which is fine with me, and was a good complement to the chocolate cake, cutting some of the richness of the bittersweet chocolate.
I decorated the cake with several scoops of ice cream and some mandarin orange sections which I poached in butter and caramel and Grand Marnier. Tactical error – the oranges were warm when I placed them on the scoops of ice cream, so there was some melting going on while we were taking the pictures!
We served the cake and ice cream to guests and the plates were scraped clean, so I think the combination was a success.