Cake and Ice Cream...Hold the flour - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Cake and Ice Cream…Hold the flour

February 28, 2009 at 1:08 am | Posted in Cakes, Candy, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Frozen, Fruit | 113 Comments
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Yes, it’s that time of the month again – the Daring Bakers Challenge! Yesss, it’s another challenge where the difficulty factor wasn’t high, once again making it easy for me to participate without having to set knee in the kitchen, or for my helpers to have to set foot in the kitchen more than a few times. The main component of this month’s challenge contains only 3 ingredients, yep, just three ingredients – chocolate, butter and eggs. The second component (which I’m absolutely sure isn’t second to most people) is something I could cook, but it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Well, I guess the title kind of gave it away, but hey, I need some kind of intro.

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First off, I must add this paragraph so the DB-BOT will sense my participation and put me on it’s good baker list. It knows if I’ve been bad or good so I’ll be good for goodness…oh, wait, I’m confusing ‘it‘ with someone else. Here goes…

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. Thank you for a great challenge, Dharm and Wendy! (That’s me thanking them – NOT part of THE paragraph).

OK, done! Seriously, though, I think it’s a great idea, and it’s so helpful to Lisa and Ivonne in keeping up with who’s still in it, and who isn’t, not to mention those who have ‘cut class’ without a note, more than several times!

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of dark (bittersweet) or even semisweet chocolate, I can tolerate semisweet, but I don’t know what it is, other than being born without a dark chocolate gene. Regardless, I still bake with both quite a bit because people like it, they really like it! For this challenge, I decided to keep the dark chocolate to a minimum.

I baked two flourless (Valentino) cakes, the first being a white chocolate-dark chocolate layered dealypoo.  I split the master batter in two, 8 oz of each chocolate, and just dropped alternating spoonfuls of white chocolate and dark chocolate batter into the pan,, for Valentine’s Day, and last week as yet another thank you gift to some of my helpers who came for dinner, a milk and dark chocolate Valentino, not layered or split, just melted together with the butter.

White chocolate really isn’t suited for a flourless chocolate cake because well, it isn’t chocolate and the cocoa butter content is very high. However, not being one to give up before actually testing something (unless it resembles a grenade or has a skull and crossbones on it), I went ahead with it. Guess what? It worked. You just need to work that confection like a cheap slu..ok, I’ll keep it G-rated – like  cream to butter.


Here’s the main caveat when you use white chocolate – the chocolate separates and curdles when you incorporate the egg yolks. Don’t be alarmed and give up, just keep mixing it and it’ll eventually come back together. The second caveat is that as it comes back together, it starts to firm up.

NO worries, because once you fold in the egg whites, it loosens up again. The last caveat is that the white chocolate batter is much looser than the batter using real chocolate. I originally wanted to do a zebra drop layering, but the dark chocolate batter didn’t spread nearly as much as the white chocolate batter, so I ended up (as I mentioned above) just alternating heaping tabelespoons of batter on top of one another in a rustic (aka sloppy) manner. I kind of left it up to the baking gods after that.

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The end result was most of the the dark chocolate batter sinking to the bottom while most of the white chocolate batter rose to the top. It was perfectly fine though, as it still resulted in a pretty presentation and most importantly, tasted great! Surprisingly  it set up really well. I was initially apprehensive due to a few daring DB’ers encountering runny interiors when cutting into their white chocolate Valentino’s after it seemed set. No idea why it worked for me, but here’s what I did in my attempt to tame that cantankerous confection for this preparation…

  • I used Callebaut white chocolate (actually, it was all I had on hand)
  • Mixed the heck out of the white chocolate-butter amalgamation after adding the egg yolks.
  • Lightened the batter with a little more than a third of the egg whites, then folded in the rest
  • Baked it for 30-32 minutes instead of the 25 stated in the recipe, and after letting it set at room temperature, refrigerated it overnight.

That’s it, and it was perfect – perfect enough to stick with a Valentine’s Day motif by cutting hearts out of the cake. I got a total of four 3-inch whimsical hearts from the 8-inch round cake, and the scraps were up for grabs!

Flourless White and Dark Chocolate Heart Cakes with Strawberry Lime Cream Cheese Ice Cream

The next part of this challenge was to make an ice cream to go along with the cake. We were given two great vanilla ice cream recipes by Wendy and Dharm, one a precooked custard, the other a no cook mixture, prior to freezing. However, we were given free reign to use any ice cream recipe or come up with one of our own. Naturally I chose a no cook recipe as simplicity is exponentially key for me now, and not sure my electric fondue pot would have held all the ingredients for the cooked version, lol!

The recipe I chose was one I’ve been using for years from my old standby site, – a simple cream cheese ice cream that’s uber creamy and so incredibly smooth on the palate. I felt the light tang of the cream cheese would pair well with the extremely rich, dense cake. I put my own take on it by adding chopped strawberries, a touch of lime, and a small amount of VERY finely cracked pink peppercorn for a surprise bite of peppery heat.

I also decreased the sugar since I felt it didn’t need as much as the recipe listed. Unfortunately, my ice cream bowls had been placed in a part of the freezer near the door where they never freeze up enough since the door is opened quite a bit. I didn’t realize this until I heard that liquidy sound during the churning. I removed the bowl and took some photos of the liquid ice cream anyway, not thinking I would use any of them, but one of the photos came out kind of cool, so I did (see above, next to the frozen heart by itself).

After taking the photos, I poured the ice cream into a container and stuck it in the fridge so I could freeze it the next day, after the bowl was properly frozen in the RIGHT part of the freezer! Thankfully, everything turned out well, and the ice cream froze just fine the next day.


I packed some of the ice cream into heart shaped molds for the final freeze (not that it mattered, since my frozen hearts started to melt into a puddle of goo the minute I started taking pictures), since I was going for Valentine kitsch. OK, kitsch is an understatement! Everything about my presentation was less than original, everything epitomizing Valentine’s Day – from the chocolate dipped strawberries to the heart shaped cakes and ice cream to the chocolate straws and strawberry-raspberry coulis.

Red, pink, chocolate, hearts GALORE!! It doesn’t get anymore Valentine than that! However, I was a little more creative with the dark chocolate-milk chocolate cake, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that one, since I plan on blogging about it next time!

Speaking of presentation, I topped each heart with chocolate ganache, then placed it on a grid of 4 chocolate straws. I placed the ice cream heart on it’s side and gave it a drizzle of strawberry-raspberry coulis (HA! A bleeding heart – I should have called the plate ‘MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOOOU!), with a few extra dots outside the chocolate grid. A white and dark chocolate dipped strawberry was the final touch. Original or not, it reeked of love and was enjoyed immensely. In the end, that’s all that mattered.

Chocolate Valentino

For a real Valentino, bake it in a heart shaped pan or cut it out into a heart shape. You may use any shape pan that gives you an area of 50” – 6×8 or 7×7. An 8” spring form pan works with great results as do smaller pans or ramekins. An instant read thermometer highly recommended. Also, this cake will (obviously) taste exactly like the chocolate you use, so use a good quality chocolate.
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.

Strawberry Lime Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1  teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon very finely cracked pink peppercorns (optional)


1. Blend cream cheese, milk, lime  juice, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in cream, strawberries, lime zest and cracked peppercorns. Freeze cream cheese mixture in ice cream maker.

2. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Let ice cream soften 5 minutes before serving.

Be sure to check out the magnificent creations by my fellow Daring Bakers by clicking on the links to their blogs at the Daring Bakers Blogroll site!

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  1. The marbled look of your Valentino is really very lovely. Truly a Daring Baker here. Congrats!

  2. Man, I love what you did with this challenge. Your cake and ice cream both sound fabulous and so creative! Everything looks gorgeous!

  3. Holy crap you went all out! I WAS going to do white choc and had figured out the changes, but my stepmon LOVES choc so I made the reg recipe for her bday. Geat work, and ood explanations!

  4. Did I mention I cant type? Yeesh, sorry…

  5. Gorgeous photos, lady! Isn’t Callebaut chocolate lovely? It’s one of my favorites. Fabulous job.

  6. I love the pictures! Everything looks wonderful! Great work!

  7. Kudos for trying a white chocolate variation- I thought about it, but then thought better of it, knowing it would be much more tricky. Yours looks great though! And your photography is wonderful, with or without tons of fancy equipment. ;)

  8. Good job on the cake, especially because you tried it with white chocolate. Nice photos too.

  9. […] parsley, sage, desserts and line drives […]

  10. The ice cream sounds fabulous and the cake looks so decadent and mist. Beautiful plating.

  11. Cream cheese ice cream sounds AWESOME. Bet it was really smooth and creamy too! I can never get the ice crystals out of my hand-made ice creams =P Also, I think the layered cakes are a stroke of genius, even if I do LOVE my dark chocolate =D

  12. Oh wow!!!!

  13. Stunning photos and I love your curvy heart shape! :) I particularly like the photo of the piece and the fork. Although it’s made me crave it ;)

  14. A great idea! Your dessert looks fantastic and so delicious! Very well done!



  15. I love your zebra Valentinos! You did great!

  16. It is great to hear that somebody got the white chocolate version to work. Your photos look so great love the comments that you made. Even if the cake only has 3 ingredients it is the BEST cake I have made. Good job on this challenge.

  17. As per usual, I am blown away with your creativity and mad baking skillz.. you so rock :) How’s your knee?

    HEY – I commented (really super late, but nonetheless) on your challenge last month and it didn’t show up.. hope this one does!!

    Check out your “spotlight” next week…….. *squeeee!*


  18. Wow! I love how it layered itself! Quite a beauitful cake and mmmmm strawberries!

  19. Beautiful work and so creative :)

  20. magnifique défi que tu as réalisé ! tes photos sont absolument géniales :)

  21. What a sexy-looking cake! I love that you were aring and went right ahead and tried out the white chocolate and made it work! Gorgeous plating, too, Lisa!

  22. I love that you added the white chocolate! Beautiful!

  23. Lisa, loved reading your story!! :-) Your cake looks awesome, totally professional, esp with the white choc and dark choc layers..Kudos to you for experimenting!! Strawberry cheesecake icecream sounds divine, and everything seems to have come together really well…HIGH FIVE!!

  24. Stunning hearts & beautifully plated. Loads of love in there!!

  25. cake is stunning. I would have never thought to mix the white and dark chocolate. and you dont like dark chocolate??? oh dear lord, I dont think I could live without it!!!
    To answer your question on my blog. Nope not married to an athlete. And glad not to be. We have so many living here in Tampa and the majority of them live so high on their pedestal it turns me off!!!LOL

  26. I love the layer idea, I will definitely have to try that, as I love both dark and white chocolate! Great photos and dialog!

  27. Loved your post, very entertaining. Great job on your marbled Valentino and strawberry cream cheese ice cream, WOW!

  28. Excuse me while I drool all over my monitor! Love the way you layered this cake. I am a white chocolate fan and I will need to VERY SOON try your delicious recipe! :)

  29. I will have to try the white chocolate! Your hearts were beautiful!

  30. It looked genuinely decadent…like a gussied up snack cake of my childhood, but about 1000 times better. Yum.

  31. What a beautiful job you’ve done with this challenge. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas behind your creations. They are all beautiful and I’m so inspired. As a new Daring Bakers member, I’m discovering I have much to learn about … well, everything.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment about my own Daring Bakers challenge effort.

  32. Mmm, your cakes look beautiful!!! Especially with all that ice cream and chocolate =D.

  33. Love the two tone effect!

  34. very inspiring! you really did a great job with the marbling and the ice cream! YUM! was considering doing pink peppercorns too but my mom asked for caramel sauce and vanilla… =)

  35. Looks utterly delicious and what a presentation. Beautiful!

  36. I’m in total awe of what you do OUTSIDE of your kitchen!! You’re amazing, seriously. When I grow up I want to be you…..did you take culinary classes? I can’t remember reading if you had or not but you are so creative and on top of it you take outstanding photos!

    So, what are the Yanks 2 & 1? You posting about your (& Jason’s) take on the A-Rod deal?

    Btw, I might be going up to NYC in March…think you could get out to meet for dinner? I’m not sure if I’m going (boys might be going to play ball in Cooperstown & that’s going to cost me) but if I am & your interested let me know!

  37. Oh, the Twins, Joe, and their buddy are going to a Yanks spring training game on Monday. I have to work. :-(

  38. Whoa. Mind officially blown over all you did. Just the ice cream recipe has me in a tizzy. Unbelievable job!

  39. Love the dual tone of the cake.and the icecream flavour is so intriguing that I want to give it a try soon.

  40. Great job this month! I really like the look of your white/chocolate cake. Thanks for the entertaining post, as well!

  41. Looks beautiful! I wish I had some white chocolate to try this. Yum.

  42. Love the layering! So beautiful

  43. Wow! I already told you how much I love’d your take on the recipe, but I have to say it again! I love your pictures, post, and everything!

  44. Gorgeous photo, perfect styling (love those chocolate curls) and my very favorite–your slightly tilted heart. What a way to make a simple cake an interesting challenge. Bravo!

  45. I love your presentation! Beautiful. And the ice cream, mmmm delish!

  46. Geez you get an A for courage. And the result is cool. As a child I loved white chocolate and not chocolate at all. For Easter I got a white bunny. Now, I love dark chocolate, any kind of chocolate. Funny, huh?

    Great job on the challenge. Looks great!

  47. Thanks for stopping by my challenge post.

    Your not set ice cream photos is awesome and I love the layered white and dark chocolates in your cake.

    I think the kitsch and humor in this post was great.

    Here is to the next challenge!

  48. Wow…this is beautiful! I was just waiting to see someone use white chocolate. And I love your oh so slightly twisty hearts. This looks just divine!

  49. I really like the photo with the freshly coated strawberry still dripping chocolate! Yum!

  50. I. WANT. SOME.

  51. oo.. your cake and ice cream looks divine!

  52. You are right, it doesn’t get much more Valentino that this! I love that you tried with white chocolate. I was going to, but chicken out. I really like the sound of that ice cream!

  53. Goodness gracious, what a delicious job!! Beautiful presentation Lisa, love the hearts, the photos are great :) It must have been yummy indeed – love the flavours!

  54. Wow that looks simply amazing – brilliant job!

  55. That looks beautiful. I used dark chocolate for mine (I LOVE dark chocolate), and wasn’t really a huge fan of it in this particular recipe. I’ll definitely be using milk chocolate next time. Great Presentation!

  56. oh wow! yours look scrumptious! And amazing presentation! Great job!

  57. So beautiful! I love your presentation, and that ice cream sounds to-die-for! Yum. :)

  58. I love that you dared to use white chocolate. I want to complete this challenge again and try to marble the two chocolates together. Great job on the challenge.

  59. I am so loving your presentation! I love the separate white and dark chocolate even though you didn’t intend it to be that way and the cream cheese ice cream sounds divine!

  60. wow! that looks really unique. I love it!

  61. All your variations looks fabulous & I love the idea of cream cheese ice cream!

  62. love the layering – great job!

  63. I love the layering…and your whimsical hearts are perfect!

  64. looks like you had a ton of fun with this challenge :D Gorgeous!

  65. Wow! Your cake and ice cream look amazing. I need to take it up a notch in March!

  66. That ice cream recipe sounds fabulous – so creative with using pink peppercorn. I may need to steal that from you some time soon.

  67. Such a beautiful presentation. Well done!

  68. Wow! You put A LOT of work into this challenge. Gorgeous work!

  69. you did a nice job which deserves to be posted with the good talented bakers….I did use callibaut too…

  70. i love how you did both flavors and “marbled” them! I wanted to try white chocolate too as my boyfriend loves white chocolate. That’s my next try!

  71. loved ur cakes and ice cream

  72. Beautiful pics — your cake looks and sounds sooooo dreamy! And I must try that ice cream!

  73. Goodness, it all looks fabulous! I love how you played around with the recipe and got creative – really inspires me to work a little harder on the next challenge! I’ve a lot to learn…

  74. Very original & great pics ! I do love lime Ice-cream !
    have a nice synday,
    Bea (from France)

  75. Hi Lisa – great job on your valentino cake! You were very creative with this challenge and it looks wonderful! I also like the sound of the ice-cream recipe and must try it soon.

  76. You went all out as usual… I admire your effort!! and doesn’t it look delicious!

  77. simply stunning! such innovation! love your ice cream recipe!!!

  78. Wow, your heart shaped cake (and decor) look amazing! The bite on the fork had me drool a little, lol.

  79. It is great to hear that you had success with the white chocolate. I was contemplating it, but not yet daring enough:) I love the addition of peppercorn to your ice cream. Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  80. All you Daring Bakers should send whatever you bake every month to fellow Yankee fans :D

    Waiting for that A-Rod post!

  81. I’m so glad I found your blog (thanks for stopping by mine so I could find you :-) because baking and Yankee baseball?! Swoon… ;-) And A-Rod…don’t get me started. I’ve been P.O.’d since the day they signed him.

    ANYHOO…I love the idea of layering the hearts, and am happy to see your batter cooperated. I agree with you…the white will separate but if you’re willing to stick in there and beat the heck out of, it clearly will work. I’m wondering if your chocolate had a lower cocoa butter content?? Hmmm…whatever the case, they came out perfect!

    I’ll be back…for A-Rod and baking. :-)

  82. Truly beautiful with the different chocolate versions. I think this is even nicer than the original.

  83. Love the combo with white chocolate! Your dessert looks delcious! Creative ice cream flavour combination!

  84. I was glad this challenge was relatively quick!But so tasty! I’ll have to try a white choc one!

  85. Pink peppercorn, lime and strawberries? Sign me up!

    I know you think you did blah work, but still: great job with the challenge!

  86. Great job with this challenge! I love the chocolate combination… looks delish!

  87. Beautiful presentation! My mouth is watering looking at the photos…

  88. Very creative! I like the name of My Heart Bleeds For you :)

  89. beautiful contrast between the choc and white choc part, even if you didn’t intend it that way ;) i don’t like dark chocolate either, to be honest w/you! semisweet is ok – and i usually sub semisweet or milk choc in everything!! :)

  90. Stunning. Both your cake and ice cream looked fabulous. Love the choc and white contrast. I especially love the heart shaped ice cream.

  91. Thank you all for the lovely comments. I enjoyed reading all of your blogs so much, and drooling at your magnificent creations! That is definitely the best part about being a Daring Baker :)

  92. What a great idea, Lisa! The cakes look wonderful!

  93. What a fabulous idea Lisa! Gorgeous presentation too.

  94. I think it’s good to go for the cliche once in a while… and yours looks so good. I love the chocolate straws, and great photos.

  95. Cream cheese ice cream sounds awesome! And I love how you did half white chocolate and half chocolate. The runny ice cream really did make a great picture.

  96. Oh my goodness! If this was a class and I was the teacher, you’d be gettin’ an A+ all the way. Wow, it sounds fantastic :) Nice job.

  97. I’m so excited by your success with the white chocolate! Thanks for posting all the tips from your experience.

  98. I love your two-layered cake and the strawberry ice cream.
    Thanks for your advice for posting on WordPress.

  99. Oh my gosh, your presentation is so beautiful, I’m feeling like a total slacker!

  100. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

  101. Hi Lisa!

    What an outstanding daring baker challenge! So elegant and your whole presentation is so professional –I learned a lot by reading your post!

    My husband and I are big Yankee fans too! Lived in Brooklyn my whole life and I blog a lot about it along with food and other topics. Nice to meet you and add you to my list of blogs to re-visit again!

  102. Your Valentino looks amazing! I love the layered look. I’ve never had cream cheese ice cream before but given how much I love cream cheese frosting, I think it would be dangerous for me to try. Maybe if I dished up a small scoop and made my hubby take the rest far, far away….

  103. Oh man, strawberries and chocolate, I love that combo. I’m saving your ice cream recipe for use this summer, yum!

  104. Lisa… Wow! You really went all out with this challenge being all experimental and that. Very nice results!

  105. Great job on your challenge. Love the colours and the pictures as well.

  106. Cool! I wouldn’t have thought to use white chocolate to make this cake. Glad to hear that it works out ok, and I love the visual effect you got at the end, with mixing white and dark mixes.

  107. Hi Lisa

    I had to come back after your comment about selling our first born to attend a Yankee game at the new stadium! We were so upset recently that we had to pay over $80 each , for $12 bleacher seats for a game in June through Stubb Hub! grrrrr. My son will be visiting (another rabid fan)and he wanted to see the new stadium so we wanted to surprsie him.
    Oh well! Waddayagonnado?

  108. Wow. You went above and beyond, and it really shows! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  109. Lovely presentation, but what was especially great was your explanation of differences using white chocolate for the challenge and how the white baked up versus the dark.

  110. Wow…your cake looks amazing!!! Fantastic job!!!

  111. Aw Lisa…that’s just so pretty. I had a great time reading your post…it’s so happening!!

  112. […] parsley, sage, desserts and line drives […]

  113. […] ice cream, and used store bought strawberry ice cream.  Oh, the shame, but hey, I’ve made a strawberry ice cream for a Daring Bakers challenge before, so that affords me a pass, […]

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