Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers February Challenge!

So I almost forgot to post!

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 used 60% dark chocolate, which yielded a very rich, bittersweet cake. In lack of need of a cake, and because I love them, I decided to make cupcakes. I was going to just make little cakes in the cupcake pan like I saw that many people did, but my pans are kind of beaten up and I wasn't sure how great my success would have been to get them out. I topped them with shaved white chocolate and smooshed it around when it melted.



I wouldn't say that I had overwhelming success with the cake. It was good, but I think I either over-beat the eggs, or let the chocolate get too stiff or something, because the texture was just a little off.


We enjoyed it though.


Here is the recipe for the cake.

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 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. {link of folding demonstration}
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.

I, sadly, didn't have a chance to make ice cream, but think I still might.

Thursday, February 26, 2009



Tonight for dinner I sauteed a red bell pepper with some mushrooms seasoned with a pepper spice blend and some salt. Added in a little tomato juice at the end to make it saucy, and stirred in some cheese at the end, just to get it melty. Served over little disk pasta about the same size as the pepper pieces. It was delicious!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Healthy AND Delicious!

Photo 197

Sarah and I are having delicious parfaits! Yogurt that was plain that we sweetened just a little, and stirred in a little vanilla. Then we layered it with pineapple, blueberries, mini chocolate chips, and granola. Delicious!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Life update

Hello internet. It's been a while. I've been baking a lot, but photographing little, so here's a picture of a doodle from the other day....


I thought it was perhaps time to post something other than a Daring Bakers challenge (though there's another one of those coming on Saturday.

So what's new in my life, you ask?

Well, I have a job! *applause and cheering* It's part time (20 hours a week), and pretty okay so far. It's at a soup-and-sandwich place in the City called "Cravings on Main Street." They have soups (usually three or four different soups and three kinds of chili) and one of the most extensive sandwich and salad selections I've ever seen. They also have stuff like pizza, fish fry on fridays, nd other such things. As with most things, I think it will get better as I get more settled. I just started my fourth week, so I am starting to get to know things, I'm still not comfortable in my knowledge of the way things work, there is still much to learn, but I know a little more what I'm doing. It definitely has a lot of thumbs up- my hours are 10 to 2, Monday through Friday. The shop closes at two, so I have all afternoon to myself and will never have to work late. The shop is also only open M-F, so I'll never have to work a weekend. About 85-90% of their clientele are regulars, so that's fun, and I'm getting to know some of them by face, and some even by name.

More exciting (and slightly more tenuous) than the job- my senior art show is in a month and a half. OH DEAR I HAVE WORK TO DO. It's mostly exciting, but there is the "it's not guaranteed that you will show" threat over all of our heads. We have an all-faculty critique on Thursday that's going to be a big part of their deciding if we are worthy (if our thesis and work is clear, etc.) to show in April. This one is going to be slightly informal, mostly milling around, eating some munchies and talking about our work when professors come to it. In a few weeks we have the more intense crit where it's them, me, and my artwork for fifteen minutes. "Defend this." Ah. Overall, I have a lot of work to do, but I have a pretty clear idea of where I'm going, I just have to push myself some more.

Oh, also exciting. As of the 15th of March, I have health insurance. Woo. So after that point, feel free to break my bones or infect me with hopsitalizable disease.

Exciting, but not in my life, is that my sister is going to Central America for two months this summer to work with a few different organizations and churches. Prayer (and monetary support) would be great. In preparation she has decided to fast from sweets until she departs. I think that this is awesome, and would be pretty much impossible for me. However, in prayerful support of her, and to implement a little more spiritual discipline in my own life, I have decided to fast from meat until she returns.


There's something else exciting in my life, but it's too early to tell the internet-based-world. Just so that you're kept in a little bit of suspense, and if you feel like it and want to pray for me so that I approach this wisely.