Saturday, February 28, 2009

DB February 2009: Chocolate Valentino Cake

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 apologise for being late to post the February 2009 challenge. I baked the cake earlier and had my post on "Save". Unfortunately, I had a very busy schedule the past 3 days. I was not able to complete it and post on Feb 28th. My better half came to visit and we had been so busy attending the 2-day Pre-Marriage course and stuff, I was unable to post it on the date that I was suppose to..... :(

I love this Chocolate Valentino Cake and so does my better half. I also love Chef Wan. Excellent chef and quite funny in his cooking shows.. I was really excited to know that Wendy and Dharm have chosen his recipe.... :)

Anyway, I baked the cake a few hours before he arrived here. Its his belated Valentine's surprise. I had to admit that the way I baked this cake was terribly wrong. It took more than 25mins. LOL... I think about more than an hour.. I was confused. I had the temperature to the lowest setting. The cake was still wet... so I raised the temperature a little higher and this cake still didnt baked... So finally I raised it to 150c.. It looked as if it was baked, because the top part looked dry. I tested it using a toothpick, the middle was wet. I baked it once more... I think when you bake cakes, you must not open the oven door, or the cake will sink in the middle. Which is exactly what mine did. The top part cracked and the cake sunk! LOL... Although with all these mistakes I did, you wont believe it, the cake still taste really really good! So instead of using the whole heart-shaped cake, I used a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter to make it looked more presentable....

Chocolate Valentino Cake
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.

Links to helpful tips:
Folding video demonstration.
Egg Whipping video demonstration.

For the ice-cream, I used David Leboitz's Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. It was very sweet but I still like it. Since I do not have a ice-cream maker, I had to do it manually and it takes about three and half hours to complete.
Here is the link to making ice cream without a machine.

1 cup milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
2 cup heavy cream
A few drops of vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.
2. Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Thanks Wendy and Dharm for the excellent challenge...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day.... Planning to bake something special tonight... Since my fiance is not here to celebrate this year Valentine's Day with me, I shall bake for my family... Hmm.. last year, he surprised me with flowers, teddy bear and chocolates... it was really sweet.. This year, I'll surprise him when he comes here end of the month....

Anyhoo, I'll post my bake later tonight... wait up yea.. hehe... :o)
Have a good weekends. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oatmeal Butter Prawns

Fresh live prawns!! Yummy!!!! We went to a fishing pond to catch prawns... no fish but prawns... I forgot the name of the place but I remember the place is in a golf range. There is a seafood restaurant. The owner charged for 1 hr its $15, 2 hrs $25 and 3 hrs $30 and you get 1 fishing rod. So within the period you paid, you can catch as many prawns you like.. So let say, you pay for an hour, you might get 3 or 4 prawns or even more or less... Fishing need a lot of patience. I even saw some people, after they caught some prawns, they could bbq right there and eat them there... the smell of the bbq made me hungry... yummy!!

My cousin and his gurlfren were already there and by the time when we got there they already caught some (as in the picture below)

After 4 hrs of of prawning... hehe.... I would say we caught quite a lot. So as soon as we got home, mom we cleaned the prawns with salt and water then deep-fry the live prawns.

My mom wanted to make Sambal Prawns but its too spicy so I suggest to cook Oatmeal Butter Prawns.. This is my favorite dish and everyone else in the family too...:)

Cooking with mom, well, she doesnt use the measuring cup or scale... just using estimations.. So I had to look in my recipe book for Oatmeal Butter Prawns and do some adjustments...

  • 300g big prawns, trimmed, washed and drained
  • 3 tbsp butter / margarine
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • 2 tbsp garlic and onion paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 5 tbsp quick-cooking oatmeal
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil for deep-fry
  • Chinese parsley and spring onion - garnish (optional)
  1. Heat up oil, add prawns and deep-fry for 1 minute Dish and drain.
  2. Level 1/2 cup of oil wok, saute butter/margarine and egg yolks till fragrant.
  3. Add garlic, chicken stock granules, sugar, curry leaves, chillis, salt and peppeter and continue to fry till fragrant.
  4. Add prawns and fry till aromatic.
  5. Lastly, add oatmeal and fry till dry. Dish up and serve hot.

Enjoy! :-)
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