Daring Bakers: It sounds like a birthday party in here!

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.

See? A birthday party. Cake and ice cream.

Okay fine, cake and ice cream for grown ups then!

While the Daring Baker's have made flourless chocolate cakes before, this is the first time we've been encouraged to make our own ice cream. Something I like to do, when it is warm outside. Which it isn't right now. (Actually, right now, as I write this, I could probably chill my ice cream machine canister much quicker by putting it outside than by putting it in my freezer.)

Still, I like cake, I like chocolate, and I like ice cream. And no one said I had to put coffee in my cake, they said I could use whatever chocolate I wanted, and I could make whatever ice cream I wanted.

So I did. (They also said I could use whatever size I want, so I went with 8 mini cakes in my ramekins instead of one big pan, even choosing not to use my heart cake pan. I like mini's.)

I have to say, when making this cake, I really did not think it was going to come together. Not because I distrusted the recipe, but as I was mixing things up, it just did not look right. I went with milk chocolate, which melted down fine, but when I began mixing in the 1/3rd of the egg whites, it really looked like it was going to break and I would have to start all over again.

Patience and persistence paid off, folding in the rest of the egg whites, things did smooth out and the batter nicely flowed into my prepared ramekins.

The cakes themselves were tasty, a little gooey on the inside but not so gooey as to be lava cakes. And very rich, which made me glad I went for little ones for portion control.

My children, of course, loved them!

While Wendy and Dharm were kind enough to supply us with an ice cream recipe each, I did not use either of them. Neither really appealed to me, though I did want to go with vanilla as a flavor, something that could stand its own against the strength of all that chocolate. I didn't have far to go to find my chosen recipe, getting it from fellow blogger Peabody, her recipe for Vanilla Bean Creme Fraiche ice cream.

Small problem, though. I have not been able to find creme fraiche here in Ottawa, and asking some other Ottawa based bloggers resulted in a recipe, but no location for finding creme fraiche. And I have to be honest, the idea of making the creme fraiche, well, while not difficult, knowing how it was made, it sounds disgusting. So I didn't do it.

Instead I made my own variation of this ice cream, using some Double Cream I found at the grocery store.

Btw, who thought up this idea of Double Cream to begin with? Thicker than sour cream, almost all fat, it screamed out to me as I pulled off the lid, "Aha! Another victim, straight to her thighs!" I ignored it, used it anyways, and will never be the same.

Back to the Daring Bakers....

Anyways, sorry about the horrible pictures this month. I actually made this early enough in the month that I was not rushed, and would have time to remake if I felt I'd done something wrong the first time, took alot of pictures as I made it (with 3 kids hovering over me waiting for their own portions) but didn't look at the pictures early enough to see if I needed to remake them just so I could take new pictures. Oh well, I didn't really need more ice cream anyways, and have run out of block milk chocolate.

Big thanks to Wendy and Dharm for this months selection, as well as for the freedom of choice in these recipes. Plus big thanks to Ivonne and Lis, our lovely leaders, for their ongoing work with the Daring Bakers. (Hey did you know you could make a donation to help support the Daring Bakers?)

Don't forget to go check out all the other flourless chocolate cakes, and their ice cream. Birthday party hats and noise makers are optional!

Vanilla Bean Double Cream Ice cream
based on Vanilla Bean Creme Fraiche Ice Cream from Peabody

1 cup double cream
1 1/4 cup half and half cream
2/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 vanilla bean pods, scraped, pods saved
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks

Place half and half in a medium, heavy bottomed pot with the vanilla beans and the pods. Bring to a boil and then immediately take off the heat. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before removing the vanilla pods.

Gently add the double cream, heavy cream, butter milk, extract and the sugar to the pot with the infused half and half. Warm the mixture ove medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is warm to the touch and the sugar has been dissolved.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended. Use some of the warm cream mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly, until about half the cream has been added to the eggs. Return this mixture back to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-12 minutes.

Strain this custard into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let cool to room temperture before freezing, for at least 3 hours, though over night is better.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machines instructions. When finished, transfer the ice cream to an air tight container and freeze until set - I found this ice cream was rich enough that an over night freeze was best.


Di said...

Wow, that looks like some really rich ice cream. Mmm. And I like the mini cakes, too.

Elle said...

Jenny, you crack me up with your comment about the double cream :)
Lovely little cakes and clearly an awesome ice cream...bring on the party hats!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Maybe you could re-label this one: Straight to the Thighs Ice Cream - wow I guess that was good.
Yes, I did love this cake. Couldn't imagine how those 3 ingredients would make a cake until I saw it coming out of the oven.

Camille said...

Looks fantastic! I went for smaller portions, too.

Leslie said...

I too made minis..great job on the challange

Sweet Bird said...

I love the idea of using the ramekins. I wish I would've thought of that and then froze some for a later date. Instead I made a 6 in. springform and ended up throwing away half the cake. Boo.

Peabody said...

Cake looks good but I am loving the ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Double cream ice cream sounds wonderful. I'm a little igged out about making my own creme fraiche. Luckily for me, I can just buy some.

Your cake and ice cream look great.

natalia said...

ciao ! I love your minis !! To be sure I wuoldn't eat too much I gave it to neighbours !!

Dharm said...

Yumm! Your ice cream sounds and looks great as does the cake! Thanks for joining us this month!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

that ice cream looks creamy. the choc cake was insanely intense!well done!

Sara said...

such cute little cakes! nice job.

Dewi said...

What a clever idea to serve them in individual mini cake like that. They look prettier and neater for sure. Ice cream sounds so delicious too.

Anonymous said...

Oh lovely, and just how I like it- With a mountain of ice cream! :)

Anonymous said...

Very cute cakes in the ramekins! Love the ice cream! Beautiful job!

Deeba PAB said...

BIG party time here jenny...& yes all the double cream heads south to the thighs!! LOL...love your post, brilliant challenge & great ice-cream! Well done indeed!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of individual mini cakes, great presentation. Lovely blog you have too.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

cute little cakes...and a very decadent ice cream!!

breadchick said...

Jenny, you are hysterical. I'm serious, I really need to quit drinking and eating stuff when I come over here because it ends up on my monitor...

Your cake looks great and I'd be right over that ice cream!

creampuff said...

Nice ice cream ... and good idea with the ramekins!

Anonymous said...

What's gross about creme fraiche? The letting it sit part? Lol, you should look up how to make double cream :) Cakes look delish though.

Bumblebutton said...

Double-cream is really hard to find state-side--your ice cream sounds delicious! Fabulous job--sounds like just the texture it was supposed to be! Yum!

Amy said...

Yummy! This looks scrumptious. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Your cakes turned out so cute, and that ice cream sounds divine!