Daring Bakers Challenge ~ Chocolate Valentino Cake with Egg less Caramelised Banana Ice-cream Recipe

chocolate cake

When I joined the Daring Baker’s group a few months ago, I knew it wasn’t for the faint hearted. I also knew that I would spend much time each month, wondering whether I would do the challenge or not. It has been a two out of five for me so far. The first challenge I did was a brilliant success. And I was glad I did it. The next two months of craziness in my life meant I missed the next two, I realized I had to do this one. With posting day being the last day of Feb., I finally did the challenge a few days earlier. I didn’t manage to post it till now though. But as they say ‘better late than never’. I have to thank deeba for the nudges she gave me. It was so easy to let this one go. I am just so glad I did it. Hopefully I will aim for a better track record this year with the Daring Baker’s Challenges!!

“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.”

February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan.

The cake came together easily enough although I was terrified after reading on the forum that many had disasters with the cakes sinking and some ending up with dry cakes. I am not an accomplished baker. And whatever I bake are always no fuss recipes. There’s nothing like “whipping till it stands in stiff peaks” and “fold in gently without deflating” to send me into a tizzy. I just decided to take a call once I actually had a disaster rather than hyperventilating before something happened.

chocolate cake banana ice cream


For the ice-cream, since I had little time to experiment, and I wasn’t sure what to pair chocolate with, I reached back for my trusty caramelized banana ice cream that I have made with much success and is a firm favourite at our house. This time, I used cream instead of condensed milk and omitted the raisins. It turned out to be the perfect pair for the Chocolate Valentino cake. I garnished it with slivered almonds and a sprig of mint.

to serve, i placed the small chocolate valentino cake on a plate, dusted some icing sugar on it with a cookie press design as a stencil. placed a scoop of caramelised banana ice cream next to the cake, added a few flakes of almonds and a sprig of fresh mint.

This was a smash hit. The cake sat for about 36 hours before we ate it. so by the time we got to it, it was moist and dense and fabulous. I cannot describe the texture. It was velvety on the tongue. I used a locally available brand of dark chocolate called Marko. It is a no frills brand. And I use it for my chocolate making as well as baking. I must say I loved it. it could give any chocolate valentine made with fancier chocolate a run for its money. I quartered the recipe and made two small cakes in 3 inch pudding ramekins. Firstly because I am on a diet, and we aren’t a very chocolate craving pair. Rather than have a large scale disaster (as I was sure it would be) I wanted to cut my losses.

This I will definitely make again. It was that good. Thanks Wendy and Dharm for a wonderful challenge.

Caramelised Banana Icecream


1 cup ripe bananas peeled and sliced

2 tbsp sugar

200 ml cream ( I used low fat)

2 cups of milk

1 tbsp salted table butter


Put the sliced bananas in a heavy bottomed pan, sprinkle with sugar and 1 tbsp salted butter. Mix lightly and cook till the bananas are caramelized and coated with the melted sugar and butter. Do this on a low flame so as to avoid burning them.

Cool for a few minutes. Bring the milk and cream to a boil and cool this as well. when both the caramelized bananas and milk and cream are at room temperature, blend in a blender jar. Transfer to a plastic or metal container (I used metal) and freeze for 2 hrs. Blend 2-3 times every 2 hours and freeze till set. Scoop out into bowls and serve, plain or with chopped nuts.

Chocolate Valentino

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.

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.

Dharm’s Ice Cream Recipe

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)


1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)

300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.

4 large egg yolks

75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}

5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}

300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)

{you can easily increase your cream’s fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted – cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed.  Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways.  Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse

Lift the vanilla pod up.  Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.

2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy.  3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time

4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl.  Cool it then chill.

5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon.  Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container.  Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)

By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

Wendy’s Ice Cream Recipe

Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)

1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream

2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar

Dash of salt

1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla

Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer

Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. manila says:

    Looks amazing and delicious.
    Great effort and good result.

  2. Poornima says:

    OMG!!The cake looks divine…just wanna dig in…awesome pic. First time here…you have a great collection.

    hi Poornima, thanks…welcome to escapades…… 🙂

  3. You read Nags’ right? I was Nags’ colleague at Google. This is N, from A&N ( too bored to log in from the other account!)

  4. ARUNDATI!!!!!
    😦 Made the banana icecream last night…and it was YUMMY! (used cream instead of condensed milk) Except for one, little, teensy detail…i didn’t have enough time to set it and we ended up eating more banana-pudding-with-bits-of-ice-cream. But thanks, loved it!

    i just left a comment on your blog and sent you a mail…. sorry it didnt turn out good…. 😦

  5. A&N says:

    Wow! I came here from Deeba’s. But you know I think I’ve seen you before. I was in Hyd for over 4 years. Gosh, I cannot figure out where or how!

    wow!! awesome…i wonder where and if our path’s crossed…. would love to know this a bit more….

  6. Dunno if am up for the challenge…but the banana icecream sounds delish…since I have a great weakness for bananas… will definitely try and give you a shout out…

    oooo…if you have a thing for bananas!! 😉 then this is a must try and pretty easy too!!

  7. Arundathi says:

    can i also just say WOW! sigh. would love some right now.

  8. Swapna says:


  9. Anu Sriram says:

    Looks lovely! Delicious! Nice click..

  10. vaidehi says:

    you really are a daring baker!! 🙂 cake looks delicious..and icecream!! ..jst yummm..


  11. Happy Cook says:

    I alaways admire avery darring bakers, i don’t have the courage to join 😦
    also i like to choose myself what i want to make as i know what my family likes,
    The cake looks so beautiful and so delicious.

  12. Aparna says:

    I checked here earlier and thought you’d decided to sit one this oou!
    Good you did not, seeing how good the cake looks. Caramelized banana and almonds, nice combination.
    See you at the next challenge.:)

  13. Madhumathi says:

    Cake looks impeccable..Icecream is very tempting..Good work!!

  14. deeba says:

    FINALLY…better late than never. I grew roots waiting for you to post…LOL!! That is beautiful & the ice-cream looks delish. My daughter just looked at your post & said ‘PRETTY’!!!

  15. Asha says:

    Perfect looking cake! 🙂

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