Saturday, February 28, 2009

Decadent Chocolate in the Land of St. Honore'

As she sat by the fire somewhere in the Land of St. Honore', the old woman watched with amusement as the younger ones twittered on about the latest heartthrob.

They wouldn’t even know who she was talking about, but she remembered being a young girl and feeling that way about Valentino. They wouldn’t even know who she meant, despite the many sighs he had inspired in his career on the silver screen.

February being the month of romance and love, she decided to be daring and bake a Valentino Cake for the girls. Maybe over cake and tea she could share her memories, or at least find out who the latest version of Valentino was. After all chocolate reduces the generations gap significantly.

Such a simple cake.

Care must be taken to use the best ingredients. The chocolate, especially, is key because your cake will taste just like the chocolate you use. A mixture of bittersweet and semisweet Sharfenberger was her choice. Lots of chocolate!


and that wonderful chocolate are melted gently together. Doesn’t that look delicious?

Five egg yolks

Will be beaten with the cooled chocolate mixture

Five egg whites, beaten until stiff are folded carefully into the chocolate mixture.

Then the batter is put into a springform pan and baked just until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

After cooling in the pan 10 minutes, the pan sides are removed. More cooling is needed before the cake can be turned over and the parchment removed, then turned over again on the serving plate.

Drifts of whipped cream and dollops of raspberry jam, plus a scattering of fresh berries dress up this decadent dessert. Vanilla ice cream was contemplated, but time and energy ran out. Some old ladies really don’t have the patience to make ice cream after all.

The young ladies were impressed by the cake, but just giggled when she tried to explain why it was called the Valentino Cake. Cretins!

Yes, it's time again for the monthly Daring Baker's Challenge. Many Valentino Cakes (and ice creams) may be found using the Daring Baker’s Blogroll.

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.

The recipes may be found on their blogs: Dharm & Wendy

This was a truly decadent, ultra chocolate cake. Although best served in small pieces, because it is very rich, Sweetie, our daughter (home on a visit) and I managed to each devour a good sized wedge, which was made even more delightful with the berries, jam and whipped cream.

(The baker dog didn’t get any chocolate of course, but he enjoyed licking whipped cream bowl.)

The amazing thing about this cake is that it is restaurant quality and super impressive, but easy to make. Use the best ingredients you can and take care with each step, then enjoy the results. Sweetie claims it is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.

Thank you Dharm and Wendy for choosing such a wonderful challenge! Dharm is another Daring Baker who adds a little fiction to some of his monthly posts, so I hope he enjoys the story at the beginning of this one.


  1. Fiction? There's nothing fictional about MY stories Elle... LOL!!
    Great job on the challenge my dear, and a lovely story to go with your post as usual!! Thanks for joining us this month!

  2. simply luscious! the cake looks lovely and moist! perfect!

  3. I certainly enjoyed the story! Kind of makes me think of Mama from the Golden Girls - "Picture it, Sicily, 1913..." :-) Your cake looks great! I think that the berries were a great addition with such a deep flavored cake.

  4. Drifts of whipped cream and dollops of raspberry jam? Who needs ice cream! Absolutely beautiful!

  5. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Great pictures- You cake looks so fantastically moist!

  6. Very well done! Your cake and ice cream look fabulous!



  7. Hehe poor Baker Dog, no chocolate cake for him.
    I love this month's story, but seriously doubt you are old enough to remember Valentino. Heck, I'm too young to even know who you are talking about! :-)

  8. Wonderful challange! beautiful job

  9. I totally agree that the cake is restaurant quality without being difficult to make.

  10. Elle - I have been saving your posting in my RSS reader all day to enjoy just before I sign off for the night. It does not disappoint! Those luscious berries, the jam, the whipped cream? Yum! Totally worth the wait!

  11. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Well done! For me it's also one of the best chocolate cake I ever made.

  12. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Hi Elle! You always do such a nice job on the Daring Bakers challenges!

  13. Beautiful cake! I love the simplicity of the recipe and the gorgeous result.

  14. Mmm, so romantic! Yours looks delicious :)

  15. looks so good. Moist, silky and decadent. It's my favourite challenge thus far!

  16. I'm so glad to see we are back in the land of St. Honore!

    excellent looking cake my dear.

  17. Decadent and super impressive.. my sentiments exactly about this cake! :)

  18. Great job on your challenge, well done.