As the morning unfolds on this the day of the February Daring Baker’s reveal, I’m proud to say I finished my challenge a few weeks ago, which could imply that this post was written and ready to auto publish at midnight. But no. I guess that with respect to me, it is possible to be too organized. Best laid plans, right?
So here I am on my oldest son’s thirtieth birthday (shhhhh…..) writing about chocolate cake and strawberry banana ice cream, which, now that I think of it is incredibly appropriate since the chocolate cake I’m thinking of is flourless and my son’s food allergies and celiac’s issues make it a perfect birthday cake. Unfortunately, he’s not supposed to eat dairy products, either, so the ice cream is a rude accompaniment, packed full of heavy cream and milk. But he doesn’t care at this point, and a mother can’t exactly tell her thirty-year-old how to live his life. Actually, she can, but I wouldn’t be that mother, choosing instead to enjoy my son’s company whenever I can and hoping that some day, he’ll take his health issues seriously.
This February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef who 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.
Clearly I chose to have some fun with my ice cream. I couldn’t resist the idea of coming up with flavors that remind me of a banana split.
A chocolate valentino cake is completely flourless and with very few ingredients: semi-sweet chocolate, butter and eggs. Period.
To make it, the procedure is fairly routine: melt the chocolate with the butter and cool. Separate the eggs and whip the whites. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate, and fold the whipped whites in controlled portions into the chocolate mixture. Bake, cool only slightly, turn out, and voila!
The ice cream is a whole different matter — not challenging, just more steps. Each time I want to make ice cream, it’s an involved search for a different kind of recipe: gelato, frozen yogurt, with fruit, without — ;you name it and we’ve tried it. Although we used to use an old hand-cranked ice cream freezer I found at a garage sale for five bucks, we now have a Cuisenart and an extra quart container that I keep in the freezer all the time. It’s truly made it simple to make ice cream whenever we want it and have some fun with the flavors in the process.
I usually try to find a recipe that isn’t quite as saturated with fat, but failed miserably this time, and because I couldn’t find quite the right combination, I altered what I did find to allow for the method I normally use.
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream Recipe
2 c. whole milk
2 c. sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, beaten
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 c. fresh strawberries, mashed
2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
- Combine milk, sugar, and salt in heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring mixture almost a boil (about 200 degrees F) stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
- Pour about one cup hot milk into eggs, whisking rapidly as you pour. Pour egg mixture back into hot milk, whisking as you pour and return saucepan to the heat, stirring constantly cook until thick or a minium165 degrees F. Do not boil or custard may curdle.
- Remove the egg mixture from the heat and stir in mashed bananas and vanilla. Cool by setting in an ice bath and stirring frequently.
- After it’s completely cool, stir in strawberries, milk and cream and stir well. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool completely before freezing. Will make a bit more than two quarts (two separate batches) using an electric ice cream maker. Each batch takes about 30 minutes to freeze.
- Pour into a freezer container and smooth out. Occasionally, stir the ice cream to break up any crystals that may form. Two or three times should to it: Once after you add the second batch to the container, and then again about and hour or two later. This will also help the ice cream from becoming hard and difficult to scoop.
To serve: Enjoy a scoop with a piece of Chocolate Valentino Cake and a bit of strawberry coulis!
- The heart-shaped pan I used for the cake is 8″ across at its widest point. I used some old metal molds for the leftover batter because I didn’t want to overfill the heart.
- The heart baked for 20 minutes, and the smaller molds about 13 minutes. They popped out of the containers with no trouble.
- I made both the cake and the ice cream for a Valentine’s dinner and invited my mother and her sweetheart. They left before dessert, though, so I ended up cutting the valentine cake into squares for us the next night, and for my son’s lunch throughout the next week. They cake keeps well if kept tightly sealed at room temperature.
- If I hadn’t baked this cake, after biting into it, I’d have thought it was a dense brownie — just not as chewy. My son agrees but would prefer brownies.
- The flavor is good, but I’m not sure I love the consistency. I’ve made other flourless cakes which are better, or because flour is not an issue for me, nearly flourless cakes which are truly excellent.
- On the ice cream — this recipe is the closest I’ve found to something that tastes purchased — in a good way!
- Often, the cream leaves a coating in my mouth, but this recipe didn’t do that.
- Holds its shape well after scooping and is relatively slow to melt compared to other recipes I’ve tried.
- The taste is far more on the banana side than strawberry.
- I’d love to try this again with chocolate chips or nuts. Maybe some coconut? Really a nice ice cream recipe. Perfect with the cake. Sprinkle the crumbs over your ice cream and you have a whole new treat.
Until next month, all, but don’t forget to check out the other Daring Baker’s Valentino Cakes and Ice Cream. You are bound to find some amazing creations with this one!