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.
My brain was elsewhere this month and I ended up leaving this challenge until the very last minute. This month our hosts gave us the task of making a flourless chocolate cake and ice cream to go with it. For the cake we were given the recipe for Chocolate Valentino from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan, Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador". I've made similar flourless chocolate cakes before so I decided to make a small batch of the required recipe and try a new raw cake recipe as well. If you haven't tried one before, raw cakes and brownies are the perfect way to get your feet wet in raw food. It's amazing what you can do with cocoa, nuts and dried fruits. The results are delicious, very satisfying and rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants.
For my ice cream I went raw as well. I bought an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer last year and while I love the homemade sorbets I've been disappointed with the soy milk and soy creamer recipes for ice cream I've tried. However the raw ice cream recipes have been fantastic. For the challenge I went with a bookmarked recipe for Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse Ice Cream. This recipe doesn't require an ice cream maker but I thinned the base a little with water and used mine anyway. I also added a good pinch of salt, because chocolate and avocado both need salt to bring out their flavors. I also added some not raw mini chocolate chips and a tablespoon more agave, to make it more appealing to my son.
I also had some homemade caramel ice cream made, a work in progress which is semi raw. I paired that with the original flourless chocolate cake. This ice cream recipe is still a little too heavy but I promise to share the recipe as soon as it meets my exacting ;) standards. For the base, I'm playing with the raw Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Everyday Raw, a recipe I highly recommend.
The quality of chocolate is key in these recipes. For the flourless Valentino cake I used Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate. For the ice cream and raw cake I didn't use raw cocoa. Raw cocoa is fine but can't match my favorite cocoa, Green and Black's Organic cocoa. You'll taste the difference in everything you make with this cocoa and it's fair trade to boot!
The Valentino cake was a decent flourless cake but I have to tell you that I much preferred the raw cake. It's more like a square of fudge than a cake per se but the chocolate flavor is excellent! It's just sweet enough and it was wonderful with the creamy avocado ice cream and fresh strawberries. Another Daring Baker challenge accomplished, thanks to the hosts and to the great bloggers whose recipes I used.
*photo swiped from G&Bs website, the pretty brown and gold container was ridiculously hard to photograph well
-The original recipes for the challenge are provided by Wendy at WMPE's Blog or Dharm at Dad - Baker and Chef. A 2/5 recipe makes a perfect dozen mini cakes in this Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan.
-I used Shelly's recipe for Raw Flourless Chocolate Cake, please visit her wonderful blog Musings from the Fishbowl. Her cake recipe comes from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. I molded Shelly's cake in a 6-inch springform pan and it worked nicely.
-The recipe for Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse Ice Cream comes from Vegan Cookbook Critic, who adapted the recipe for chocolate avocado mousse from Renee Loux's Perfect Chocolate Mousse. I recommend trying this as mousse as well, it was very good unfrozen.
-You'll have to wait for the caramel raw ice cream recipe but you can find the recipe for raw mint chocolate chip ice cream in the book Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney. A link to the book can be found in my post Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy-free, raw and fantastic!)