Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake and Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Flourless Choc Cake Saffron Coco IceCream (01) by MeetaK

February, a month that really raced passed us! It was a bit of a busy month for us and as I knew there were plenty of things that needed my attention this month I decided to tackle this month's Daring Bakers' challenge quite early in the month. Here we are - the last day of February already and it's time to reveal the decadent creation this month.

We only needed three ingredients to make the challenge this month and I was also relieved that it seemed fairly straightforward to make.

The challenge, hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef, was a Chocolate Valentino cake, which is basically a rich flourless chocolate cake. A recipe created by Malaysia's eccentric chef - Chef Wan. Our extra bonus challenge was to make any ice cream of choice that would pair well with the cake.

The flourless cake recipe has only three ingredients and after I read the instructions, I went away to ponder on how I could play around with these ingredients.

"The finished cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use" was the sentence from the instructions that stuck to my head. Currently I am really enjoying discovering all the fantastic flavors the Lindt Excellence series offer and one of my favorite is the A Touch of Sea Salt bar.

The bar contains a 47% dark chocolate blend and 3% sea salt crystals. Now it does not sound like much of sea salt but once you have tasted the piece of this chocolate you will experience the sea salt crystals melting on your tongue. Simply delightful. However, I only used approx. 200g of this chocolate, for the rest I used a 70% dark chocolate bar (also from Lindt) to give the cake more moisture and richness.

Flourless Choc Cake (01) by MeetaK

The cake has a bit of a fudge-brownie like texture, dense, rich and gorgeously moist in taste, making it a perfect dessert to enjoy in smaller bites. I decided to bake the cake in my square spring form to cut it in smaller bite sized squares. The decoration was a simple creamy chocolate butter frosting I have made on several occasions for cupcakes and muffins. You will find the recipe here.


Reminder

  • MM Caribbean Cooking1The Monthly Mingle this month is partying on the beaches of the Caribbean. Come join me for a fun filled time with great food.
  • All you need to do is cook up a Caribbean dish and bring it along to the mingle. Your dish could win a spectacular prize too.
  • Submit your entries using the easy MM Submission Form
  • All details can be found here.

Deadline: March 9th, 2009!


Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Recipe adapted from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

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

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 your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.

  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.

Note about the chocolate I used:

I used approx 200g Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt and 255g 70% Cocoa bittersweet chocolate.

With the cake taken care of my attention turned to the ice cream. I have been playing around with several flavor combinations recently and one product I love experimenting with is saffron.

I thank my mother for always supplying me with some of the best saffron I have ever cooked with. She usually buys delicate Kashmiri or Persian saffron strands from her favorite spice shop in Dubai and along with Iranian yellow raisins, pistachios and other nuts I get my little luxury packets in regular intervals. I had just received one of these packets with two delicate silver boxes filled with the beautiful spice and straight away I began imagining all kinds of desserts.

Saffron Coco IceCream (02) by MeetaK

I have always loved our Indian ice cream style dessert Kulfi, in particular Kesar Kulfi, Saffron kulfi. Using this as my inspiration I decided to combine the Kashmiri saffron with the flavor of South Indian coconut.

Besides the vivid yellow saffron gives this ice cream it adds an enticing yet subtle flavor to the custard, pairing beautifully to the exotic taste of coconut milk.

Saffron Coco IceCream (01) by MeetaK

Generally I find it extremely tedious to photograph ice cream, however this time was almost impossible. I found it hard to resist licking the spoon and had to keep taste-testing again and again - just to make sure it still tasted as good as it did the last time I checked.

Recipe: Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

250 ml unsweetened coconut milk
160 ml heavy cream
60g Muscovado sugar
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.

  2. Reducing the heat simmer the mixture for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Then place for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator .

  3. Once thoroughly chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according the manufacturer's instructions. 

  4. Scrape out any saffron threads that might be sticking to the bowl. Transfer to a freezable container and freeze till ready to use.

Serving suggestions:

  • If you are making this ice cream on it's own (without the flourless chocolate cake) you can add pistachios or almonds to the custard. For an extra big flavor gently toast the nuts. Place the custard into the ice cream maker and allow it to churn for a while. As it thickens throw in the nuts nuts.
  • Grate some fresh coconut over the top - it adds a beautiful texture to the ice cream.

 


Verdict

Flourless Choc Cake Saffron Coco IceCream (02) by MeetaK

Yet another challenge I really enjoyed. The simplicity and the endless possibilities made this a special challenge. Soeren and Tom both enjoyed the chocolate cake with the hint of sea salt extremely. It was dense and rich and the smaller serving bites made it perfect for a tiny decadent treat. I personally loved the ice cream. It was an exclusively luxurious indulgence and while it paired really well with the chocolate cake I was quite happy with an extra helping of the ice cream. I loved the color contrasts of both the creations.

Would I make this again?
Oh yes. The cake is easy to whip up and gave no hassles so I see this as a great dessert option for on-the-spur-of-the-moment chocolate cravings. I love all the possibilities one has with it. Using a different chocolate flavored bar or another serving variation you could sell this as a different dessert every time you serve it. The ice cream will definitely be made again in my kitchen. I was very pleased with the texture, flavor and color. The next time I will do a little more playing around and add a few nuts etc.

What did I learn from this challenge?
That 3 ingredients give you a rich and decadent dessert with enticing endless possibilities!

With this I wrap up my own 3 years blog anniversary celebration week. Hope you enjoyed the Wholegrain power breakfast, which kicked off the party week and the party cake Coconut White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries on Coconut Joconde to really get us going. There will be quite a few changes ahead this year and these changes will certainly effect the way I cook and blog. It will be fun and exciting so I hope you will stick around and carry on supporting and motivating me as you have for the past three years!

Thank you to the handsome Dharm and adorable Wendy for February's moist, chocolaty, rich, and fudgy challenge. To see more flourless chocolate cakes with 1001 ice cream flavors please visit my fellow Daring Bakers.

You might like these ice cream ideas from WFLH:

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream 01 framed CherrySemifredo01 ApricotPistachioIceCream05
Crème Fraîche Strawberry Basil Ice-Cream Cherry Semifredo Cake Apricot and Nutty Pistachio Ice Cream

 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

68 comments :

  1. Meeta,
    I think you outdid yourself with your superb Saffron ice cream! So glad you enjoyed this challenge and that Tom and Soeren did too!

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  2. The color combination of your chocolate cake and saffron ice cream is truly stunning!

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  3. Sumptuous! Your presentation is amazing, as always! A wonderful ice cream! Nice flavor combo...

    Sheers and have a good weekend,

    Rosa

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  4. Fabulous!Squared chocolate cakes look so decadent with the buttery frosting.Kesar kulfi is such a cool idea,coconut milk must make it more richer.

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  5. Love the sound of the coconut saffron ice cream. I can imagine it would go so well with the rich chocolate cake. Intregied by the salt chocolate too, never seen this before. Beautiful photos

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  6. That ice cream sounds so interesting! I love love love one of the final pics with the ice cream alone. Gorgeous! Great creativity on this one!

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  7. Saffron coconut ice cream looks sooo gorgeous!!!

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  8. The ice cream sounds absolutely enticing and fascinating. Beautiful cake too!
    Phoo-D

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  9. Wow, what an intense colour your ice cream has! My saffron is clearly far inferior to ours... no matter how I infuse it, it's never so vibrant.

    A gorgeous take on this month's challenge, Meeta!

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  10. Hard to imagine something better than this cake, but your saffron coconut ice cream might just be it. Lovely post and photos as usual. Happy third blog anniversary Meeta! Yours is one of the ones that endlessly inspires.

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  11. Mmm, your cake looks wonderful!! I love the idea of saffron coconut ice cream too =D!

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  12. fantastic, meeta. love the photographs too!

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  13. Meeta, yet again your desserts look superb!!! MMMMMM.....the Saffron ice cream looks so yummie:)!!!

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  14. Oh wow that ice cream is so Meeta! and perfect. and how many times did you need to taste that;)
    I think I might just make this my "brownie" recipe, sounds good to me.

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  15. hey Meeta...the desserts look divine, sounds like a great combo...lovely photos too...

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  16. I'm always drooling when I'm visiting your blog. Wonderful cake and ice cream!

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  17. How did I know you would sneak that coconut in somewhere with this chocolate cake. Love the saffron-colored ice cream. Only a few more weeks and I can actually eat some of these things we've had to make.

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  18. Ohh the touch of sea-salt must have been fantastic! And the Saffron ice-cream, looks gorgeous!

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  19. Wow, there are no words. That just sounds and looks absolutely perfect. I have to get some of that chocolate though - salt is becoming something I *need* in my chocolates. Beautiful job!

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  20. I like your cake but Oh Meeta I am just in love with your icecream!! the moment I saw the picture I was thinking jafrani Kulfi, & later I read that u did draw inspiration from that. what a lovely match with coconut milk. Irrestible! I will surely make this in summer.

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  21. That ice cream! The color! Just WOW! I really need to make it :)

    Wonderful challenge, as always!

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  22. this looks delicious I love the saffron and coconut ice cream looks so colourful and I bet the taste is so good :) Nice presentation!

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  23. Great looking chocolate cake! And the ice cream; what an amazing colour!

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  24. Meeta, I love the idea of saffron and coconut ice cream. And, oh, I used Lindt chocolate too, except that I used all 70% dark chocolate! Love how you decorated the cake too!!

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  25. Wow! That ice cream is stunning! And I could use a piece of the cake now.

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  26. The color of the saffron ice cream is stunning. I'm sure the two tasted amazing together.

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  27. I love saffron but I never even thought about using it in a sweet recipe - which is funny since I often use do combine sweet and savoury elements. Now that you've got me thinking about saffron this way, I think it would be sensational in a mango dessert.

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  28. they're individually great and dynamite together. I'm trying to imagine the flavours as I read your post...and the combination seems divine.

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  29. Your cakes look delicious, I love the square shape and the buttercream teardrops. The ice cream is stunning in flavor and color!

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  30. Love the colours and the ice-cream sounds amazing!!

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  31. Meeta, your version of this month's DBC is SPECTACULAR!!!


    By the way, I'm still enjoying the calendar that I purchased from you - so gorgeous!!

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  32. I have to say, your mighty creativity (of the combination) shines over the original cake. Bravo!

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  33. Thank you to everyone. The ice cream is really incredible and I am sure you all will love it. The saffron was of a great quality, giving this an incredible flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

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  34. You're cake looks awesome!! and I must say the saffron ice cream looks amazing!! I love the bright yellow!

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  35. That ice-cream is sensational Meeta & is screaming to me! It's just too much. I've got some asffron straight from the fields in Kashmir, & I know where it's going now! FABULOUS lady, you are fabulous!! xoxoxo

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  36. i can only imagine how wonderful the cake would be with a hint of salt. yum! the contrasting colors of the cake and ice cream are spectacular!

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  37. I can imagine how wonderful both tasted and your presentation as always is stunning.

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  38. I love love your pics :) Beautiful, Meeta!

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  39. Congratulations Meeta,on completeing 3 years of great cooking and gorgeous photography here.
    It seems a befitting way to celebrate with this month's challenge.
    I love the unusual flavours in your ice-cream.

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  40. Lovely color/flavor contrast!! I want to lick my screen! :)

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  41. Hmmm, saffron ice cream...
    I was actually thinking about making a Kulfi to pair up with the tuiles last month.

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  42. Your cake and ice cream both turned out looking wonderful, and I'm particularly keen to try you kulfi, something I've always been fond of.

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  43. Three and a half words for you...

    "Meeta, you're fantastic".

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  44. I can understand that you kept licking your spoon while taking the pictures. I am tempted to go to the kitchen and try it right away. I only have saffron powder though and it probably far from your quality.

    also I am on a quest now - for the sea salt chocolate bar. Our grocer has a few Lindt bars, I will have to see which ones. Otherwise I have to wait until the summer when we visit Germany.

    Thanks for sharing this great combination!

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  45. The ice cream color is gorgeous! The combination of saffron and coconut sounds delicious.

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  46. That ice cream is simply gorgeous and with that cake, pure bliss, at least for my eyes, wish to taste some

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  47. Interesting flavour combination. Wonderful job Meeta. I love your presentation too. Puurrrrty =)

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  48. wow...tht looks superb!!
    beautiful contrast - both in color and taste..

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  49. Your ice cream is what makes it extra special.

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  50. Yum, this sounds SO delicious!! That salted chocolate sounds terrific. :)

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  51. Once again, gorgeous photos!!!
    I can't believe you added more chocolate on top of the cake :)

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  52. saffron is sheer brilliance!
    excellent work.

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  53. Oh my! Saffron ice cream sounds so incredible.

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  54. Beautiful and delicious, Meeta! The ice cream sounds absolutely fantastic!

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  55. Oh, I haven't been here in ages!!! And I miss you! And your cake ... and your ice cream ... oh!!!

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  56. amazing

    I am very interested to try the Saffron ice cream, i just opened a new container and this is a good excuse to use it...
    the photos are very professinal
    thanks for sharing

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  57. What an unexpected combination. Fabulous!

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  58. Well done and great job on your challenge. Love the colours and the stunning pictures/presentation.

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  59. Forget about the cake! I'll take just that wonderful sounding ice cream!

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  60. After being a DB for a year I stepped out because of too many commitments. How sorry I am that I missed this challenge!

    As usual your creations are top notch. :-)

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  61. Hi
    Two contrasting colours, looks brilliant. Will try definitely.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta