This month’s daring bakers challenge was right up my alley.  I am an exteme chocoholic, and love dense, fudgy cakes.  This one was for Valentine’s Day, but I made it earlier in the month, as on V-day (which I don’t really celebrate anyway), the husband and I were traveling to Florida for a lovely winter retreat.  Which was fabulous, by the way.

I totally understand why people leave in the winter.  If I could, I would totally be a snowbird.  Spend the nicer months up North, and go somewhere warm after Christmas.  A girl can dream, right?

Anyway, onto the challenge.  It was a simple cake, with only a few ingredients.  I used a combination of a whole bunch of chocolates, all dark, and since there is no sugar, I probably should have thrown a milk chocolate in there somewhere.  I also chose to make individual cakes, as I didn’t have a heart shaped pan.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that I made small ones, but they were somewhat dry, and I definitely didn’t overbeat my eggs, which was a warning in the recipe.

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 didn’t have the ice cream making capacity, so I chose to skip that.  I did make my own whipped cream though, so I hope that counts for something.

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 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.   In the case of the minis, I watched them as soon as I put them into the oven to see when they were done.
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.