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daring bakers: chocolate valentino cake

Recipe: chocolate valentino cake

The Daring Bakers, founded by our super sexy ladies Lis and Ivonne, are here to make sure that you got enough chocolate in February. And if you di-int, then check it:

daring bakers: we knead to bake, yo

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.

chocolate and butter

stirring in the egg yolks

This recipe is unbelievably simple as Daring Baker challenges go. But I tend to find elegance and beauty in simplicity. That is certainly true for this cake which involves three ingredients: chocolate, butter, and eggs. Nice. I used Callebaut for the chocolate in the cake as Dharm and Wendy instructed us to use a good quality chocolate because the flavor would be front and center in the cake.

ready to fold in the whites

into the flower pan

I accidentally over-beat the egg whites as I like to multitask and sometimes the KitchenAid mixer does its job a little too efficiently. I was worried that this would dry out my cake (I believe the texture was indeed compromised). Refusing to purchase a heart-shaped anything, I had a moment of clever thinking and grabbed my flower pan, which if cut into fourths, yields four hearts. It’s not that I don’t like hearts, but… I don’t like owning heart-shaped things because I don’t use them… because I don’t like them.

kaweah likes to hang out under the table when i bake or cook

the thermometer left a noticeable hole

Point is, I didn’t blow a dime on a heart-shaped pan just for a once a year themed baking event. Right. But the cake was not the only part of the challenge. Dharm and Wendy wanted us to pair it up with some ice cream! You know, to “lighten” the chocolate cake. Ah ha ha ha. I’ve been an ice cream-making fool ever since I got my grubby paws on the Ice Cream Bible. It’s not called the Ice Cream Bible (except in my house, it is). It’s Mr. Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop and I love it and I love David for writing it, because now I know what to do with all of those egg yolks after making macarons or buttercream frostings.

piping ice cream into the bombe molds

My in-laws were coming to visit the weekend after Valentine’s Day, so I thought the challenge would be a perfect dessert after dinner one night (and apparently, FIL thought it was a perfect brekkie the following morning). For the ice cream, I decided to employ my silicone bombe molds, which I *love* in an almost obsessive manner. [Edit: Bekah asked where I got these molds – these are gastroflex professional silicone molds and they ROCK. You can purchase them here.] I brushed shells of tempered dark chocolate, then I piped in vanilla bean ice cream right after it had churned in the ice cream machine so that it was still pretty soft. While that firmed up in the freezer, I baked some chocolate short dough rounds for the base. They spread way more than I anticipated, so while they were still hot, I cookie-cuttered them. Next I churned some coffee ice cream and piped that on top of the vanilla ice cream in the bombe molds. While the coffee ice cream was still soft, I pressed the short dough base on top (so it sticks). Then I let the bombes set in the freezer, but not before I smacked the molds on the counter to release any air bubbles. Of course, I realize now how utterly stupid that was since I basically cracked every top in the chocolate shell. *sigh*

chocolate short dough base

topping off the bombes

Next time I make the bombes, I am going to use chocolate and vanilla or chocolate and coffee because you can’t tell the difference between the coffee and vanilla – they are practically the same color. Still, it’s so fun to play with bombes! I have made a flourless chocolate cake before and while this one was nice, I still prefer the other recipe. But it’s always good to cut your teeth on new recipes to expand your repertoire or to at least learn. Be sure to check the glorious Daring Bakers Blogroll to see more chocolate and more ice cream from this month’s challenge. Thanks to Dharm and Wendy for hosting this month!

a heart and a bombe

vanilla bean and coffee ice cream bombe (although it’s hard to discern)

Chocolate Valentino Cake
[print recipe]
from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

1 lb. semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 oz. plus 1 oz. of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

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. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls. 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). With the same beater beat the egg yolks together. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate. 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. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375°F/190°C. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140°F/60°C. 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. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

chocolate short dough
for the base of the bombes (you’ll have a lot leftover, so freeze it)

5.6 oz. flour
1 oz. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
5.25 oz. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature

Sift four, cocoa, and salt together in medium bowl. Beat butter on low speed with KitchenAid stand mixer until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the egg and vanilla to the butter and beat on low until combined (scrape down sides). Add the powdered sugar and ix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides. Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined, about 15 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 4 hours. It can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. When ready to use, press dough into pan or roll it between plastic or parchment. It should be about 1/4 inch in thickneess. If baking in pans, line shell with parchment and pie weights. Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes (less time if small), remove pie weights and parchment. Return to oven and bake 6-10 minutes. For the rounds I made, I baked them for 8-10 minutes then removed them and cut them into shape.

85 nibbles at “daring bakers: chocolate valentino cake”

  1. Chez Us says:

    Jen, you have out done yourself, again! Beautiful, stunning actually! I love the ice cream bombes, too. I need to get me some of those fun little pans – bombes away at Chez US!

    I am sure your in-laws were in heaven over this dessert!!

  2. Mei says:


  3. bekah jones says:

    Have you posted about where to get those amazing bombe molds? I am very tempted by them, but can’t seem to find them with a quick google search.

    Thanks for your wonderful site! It is one of my favorites.

  4. Meeta says:

    love that bombe! what a cool idea. great work jen!

  5. Rosa says:

    Your dessert looks fantastic! I love that bomb! A great idea. Very well done, once again!



  6. Cynthia says:

    Jen, your dessert was darling as usual. Your dog is smart to watch from UNDER the table.Good puppy. My late great dog, would always be underFOOT (I wish she still was).

    Bekah Jones…they look like the baby food molds from the recent William’s Sonoma catalog…but that’s just me.

  7. Aran says:

    your photos are so vibrant jen. those eggs going in the chocolate make me weak in the knees!

  8. zorra says:

    I love the ice cream bomb! Great idea!

  9. Kathy says:

    It all looks wonderful to me!

  10. Cakelaw says:

    Wowee – I love the icecream bombes.

  11. amy says:

    Beautiful, Jen! I need to get me one of those bombe molds.

  12. Jillian says:

    I love your ice cream bombes too! Your presentation of this is really impeccable. Love it!

  13. Kristin says:

    Oooh! I have some Perfect Scoop Raspberry Swirl ice cream hardening in the freezer for tonight. I think some chocolate would only make it better. Thanks Jen!

  14. Lori says:

    That looks amazingly good. I love the bombe!

  15. Kate says:

    When I first read this, I thought it said “darling” bakers. I thought, “Jen thinks we are darling!” Further reading corrected my first assumption. With that said, I would really like to try this cake, because it would be daring for me to do so. It’s much fancier than what I usually bake.

  16. Macie says:

    Your ice cream bombes are quite inspiring! I need one of those silicone molds, now.

  17. Amanda says:

    loving those bombs!!

  18. Marija says:

    Looks great! And keep using your bombe mold, I love it!!!

  19. Gretchen Noelle says:

    This looks really delicious! Wonderful idea with the bombe, I love it!

  20. Lauren says:

    Mmm, your cake looks amazing, and the bombes, well those I have to try =D!!!

  21. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    The cake is just lovely, Jen. Very clever way to make “heart” cakes. Your ice cream bombe is truly “the bomb”, too! What a terrific idea! The whole presentation is just perfect!

  22. charlane says:

    wow – you make it look so easy. beautiful

  23. megan says:

    I love your little ice cream bombes. Im going to look into those molds. And I’m with you on the heart shaped pans. To many pans to store for a once a year use. Beautiful pictures as always!!! :)

  24. Esther says:

    fantastic I love the ice cream bombes that is a great idea.

  25. Chocolate Shavings says:

    The ice cream bombes look amazing!

  26. Culinarywannabe says:

    Good to see the little molds are getting some use – turned out to be a great purchase after all! And nice trick with the flower pan!

  27. barbara says:

    Brilliant Jen.

  28. Caitlin says:

    Oh wow. I totally need to get bombe molds, just to make that. Coffee ice cream is my absolute favorite. And I agree – heart shaped things are unitaskers, and I refuse to have them around. Sounds like the perfect breakfast to me :P

  29. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    Your cake is lovely, simplicity really is beauty. And those bombes are gorgeous and tempting. Beautiful!

  30. Mrs Ergül says:

    Jen, you’re always so smart! I don’t think I will have thought of splitting the flower pan into 4 to get heart-shaped portions! And serving the ice-cream in the bombe is brilliant! You rock!

    Beautiful beautiful!

  31. cindy says:

    i love when you use your bomb molds! they are super cool. and nice improvising with the flower pan!

  32. White On Rice Couple says:

    Since everyone has already used all of the great superlatives to describe your culinary creativeness, “Beautiful, stunning, tempting!, wonderful, delicious!, amazing, terrific, gorgeous”, can I just say “f-yea!” The flourless looks super tasty, even if you humbly decry it compromised. I’ll take your compromised over most other’s perfect any day. Savvy use of the pans, you clever girl. The bombes are the bomb (can’t believe I’m the first cheesy enough to say that!) Just call the cracks intentional. Artistic styling representing all of the broken hearts from Valentines. Give Kaweah a “good dog” head rub for us. Todd -WORC

  33. clumbsycookie says:

    Those bombs are the bomb! And I love your “smartness” of transforming a flower into hearts! Clever!

  34. Hannah says:

    Oh I love your ice cream bombes! I just bought a hemisphere mold and have been dragging my feet on using it, but you’re giving me lots of great ideas.

  35. Tartelette says:

    Whenever you post chocolate melting and butter or cream, I want to swim in it!!
    The cake and chocolate bombs rock da house chica! Beautifully executed and the crack tops only add character…kinda like a semi broken open surprise :)

  36. StuffCooksWant says:

    You’re killing me with this. Gave up sweats for Lent and I was doing fine, really. Until now. Honestly, this is my Easter dessert. Easter morning.

  37. sara says:

    Yum, looks delicious! Great idea with the ice cream bombe. Lovely photos!

  38. Michelle says:

    LOVE the ice cream bombes! What a creative interpretation. Kudos.

  39. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    WOW! I even managed to use a superlative Todd didn’t list!

    Thanks for the info on the bombe mold….I went searching for the flower pan with no luck, any chance you can tell us where you got that? I also don’t own a heart shaped pan, but I think I would use a flower shaped one.

  40. Treehouse Chef says:

    Your photos look awesome!! You really kicked it up a notch!

  41. Collette says:

    Oh, how I love the Perfect Scoop. When it first came out, I got a copy at Williams Sonoma because I couldn’t wait (the two measly days) for Amazon. Then, I got one for my dad. Then, one for a friend. At my friend’s house one day while looking through her bookcases (doesn’t everyone do that?) I discovered that her copy was hardback while mine was only a paperback. Quel horror! You’ve guessed where this is going, right? Yep, I now have 2 copies. One to read and one to destroy (I’m very messy) while actually making the recipe. In fact, tonight I made the Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream and the salted butter caramel sauce. Yum. And truly, I don’t usually even like ice cream. I love me some David Lebovitz.

  42. Michelle says:

    Love, love, love the bombs…. beautifully done, as always!

  43. Bumblebutton says:

    I love how your Valentino coordinates with your puppy’s throne! Beautiful execution! Bravo!

  44. Shirley says:

    I’m just echoing everybody else — bombes were a neat idea!

  45. Jenny says:

    Hi, new Daring Baker here stopping by to say that wow, this looks absolutely amazing. I love your photos of the whole cake-making process. And you have a very pretty dog too! I need to go look at those silicone molds now, cuz I want some…

  46. bache says:

    I L-o-v-e the ice cream bomb!! Congrats!

  47. Andreas says:

    Hi Jen,

    great post. I’ve been eyeing these bomb molds since your chocolate mousse bomb post.
    must. resist. temptation. ;)

  48. Lynn says:

    Wow!! That is stunning. I love your creative way to come up with a heart-shaped cake. And the ice cream bombs? Beautiful.

  49. Madeleine says:

    amazing job!! I love the ice cream bombs!!!!!

  50. Jaime says:

    wow, everything looks wonderful, love the ice cream bombes!

  51. Melissa says:

    Now I have “Heart Shaped Box” in my head.

    You know, yours are the only baking posts I read every time Jen. :)

  52. Lisa says:

    I’ve also used enough ‘amazing’, ‘beautiful’, ‘gorgeous’ etc in my comments on other blogs. Let me just say, you are one talented lady! Your cake, ice cream, presentation, photography is amazing, beautiful, gorgeou…Ooops. ;D

  53. Maggie says:

    I gotta get that bomb mold!! I love how wonderfully thin you got the chocolate shell.

  54. Kathy says:

    I’ve run out of adjectives to call your savory food and desserts, your outrageous photography and humerous expressions. You’re the bomb!

  55. Dragon says:

    Simply stunning. Great job on this month’s challenge!

  56. Nikki says:

    beautiful! I also made a bombe but didnt bother about buying a proper mould (expensivo over here!). Hence the not so nice shell. I love yours!

  57. Margie says:

    Beautiful! I love the bombes and the step-by-step instructions (they remind me of a favored ice cream treat from my childhood, the Dilly-bar, with an added treat…cookie, YUM!).

  58. morgana says:

    Wow!!! I love your ice cream bombes!!! Good idea, can I copy?

  59. Passionate Eater says:

    You are getting a lot of use out of that bombe mold, but I am glad that was a good purchase. Beautiful, as always!

  60. Dharm says:

    Great Stuff Jen! So glad you joined us for this challenge. Cutting hearts out of a flower shape was brilliant!

  61. snjezana says:

    simply beautiful!
    what a great idea to present the ice cream!:)))

  62. GastroFlex Half-Sphere Silicone Mold | says:

    […] UseRealButter tells you, step-by-step what to do, but I’ll give you the condensed version.  You have this […]

  63. Kelly says:

    This is totally unrelated…. but I’m looking for a custard filling recipe for a cake, and you have made some of the most beautiful cakes I’ve seen on the internet. Plus, you explain things really well. Basically, my husband is wanting a layer cake and he specifically requested a “custard” filling. And I’m not really sure where to go with that, other than that there are hundreds of recipes out on the internet. I think he’d prefer vanilla flavored, but I’d be thankful for any pointing in the right direction.

    At any rate, love the blog, love the photos – keep up the good work!

  64. cate says:

    adorable and perfect. does that mean adorably perfect? yes, i think it does. seriously, what a great presentation, and terrible tease for someone stuck at her desk on a monday morning. i want this NOW.

  65. Courtney says:

    So pretty and looks delicious!! Your effort does not go unnoticed!

  66. nico says:

    very nice, I love those bomb molds!! I have to get one of those. I love your pictures

  67. Hillary says:

    Love your heart shaped cake! I think this was a great Daring Baker’s challenge.

  68. Katie says:

    Have you disabled right clicks? How am I suppost to copy the recipe. What’s the point in sharing a recipe if you’re really not going to share it!? I would never take it and publish it without your permission. Please let us right click so we can use it for our own satisfaction!

  69. Holly says:

    I love love love what you did here. You are officially a genius for rockin’ this challenge with the flower pan. I now obsessively love your bombe molds as well.

  70. breadchick says:

    How incredible and lovely that looks! I had no idea how bombes were made so thanks for showing that.

  71. Ivonne says:

    Well, you get points for calling me “super-sexy” for starters. But then your creations just put you all over the top!!! Lovely!

  72. jenyu says:

    Everyone – thanks for the comments!

    Bekah – I’ve edited the post to include where to buy the bombe molds. You’re welcome dear, and thanks for your comments!

    Tartelette – most people want to eat the melting chocolate, except for you… You want to SWIM in it?! :) crackpot! That’s why I love you so…

    Lisa@TCEoO – Oh hon, I got this flower pan many many years ago at Williams-Sonoma and I have been unable to find another one like it (I wanted to get one for my MIL a few years ago). You can contact them and see if they have any more or know where to get them. It’s really nice – removable bottom. Best of luck!

    Kelly – I’ll see what I can dig up!

    Katie – hopefully the simple solution I emailed you will work. In the meantime, no need to get your panties in a wad.

  73. bekah jones says:

    While perusing the site you posted for the bombe molds – WOW! I could spend a lot of $ there! – I found petal pans similar to the one you used for this. They don’t seem to have a removable bottom and are in a set for making multi tiered cakes, but if someone was really desperate for a petal pan . . .–PETAL_p_1466.html

  74. Y says:

    Love the ice cream bombes. I have those molds but would never have thought of lining the mold with chocolate first before filling it with ice cream. Oh the endless possibilities!

  75. jo says:

    Well done and great job on your challenge. Beautifully presentation and lovely pictures as always.

  76. Olivia says:

    The ice cream sounds so wonderful…especially coated in chocolate.

  77. steph (whisk/spoon) says:

    that looks so nice! love how you made perfect hearts out of what you had. and a bombe…very elegant!

  78. Sweet Tooth says:

    Nice presentation and gorgeous sounding flavor combination. I do have those molds and I do have the book too, so what am doing here right now? I should get started ;-)

  79. Holly says:

    Great idea making the ice cream into bombes! Love it!

  80. Rysheda says:

    Your challenge dessert looks absolutely yummy. Thanks for the vanilla bean tip. I will definitely have to look into that very soon!

  81. Junie Moon says:

    Wow, you really met this challenge in a big way. I’m loving what you did with the chocolate short dough
    base for the bombes, too. I’ll have to give that a try. Thank you for sharing that detail as well as the recipe.

  82. Jessica says:

    I recently discovered your blog and it is absolutely amazing! I know this is quite a time ago, but I just had a question to ask concerning the bombes. Were they easy to slide out of the molds or did you have to do anything special to them? Like I know most people line molds with cling wrap for easy removal later or if there were a removable bottom, etc so I was wondering how you were able to remove the chocolates from the mold or the silicone made it that easy to remove? Love your blog!

  83. jenyu says:

    Jessica – The silicone molds are really nice because you just *carefully* invert them (push the mold inside out gently) and the bombe will pop out. Just watch that it doesn’t fly out (some of mine have been near disasters, they pop out so fast). Don’t line with plastic, it will make it look worse than if you just use the silicone bombe molds.

  84. Chris says:

    Do you have other bomb recipes that you use? I recently got some of the semi circle molds and want to use them to the fullest capacity. I made the German Chocolate Bombs and am hooked. I love the ice cream idea!

  85. jenyu says:

    Chris – yes, if you go to my recipe page and search “bombes” you will find a few.

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