I'm baaaa-aaaaccckkkk. Colorado was wonderful. I was brave enough to stick my camera in my pocket (wrapped, wrapped again, and sealed in a ziploc bag) to take some pictures from 12,000 feet above the world. You just haven't lived until you've experienced oxygen deprivation as beautiful as this.
Speaking of oxygen deprivation, it was time to navigate my way through another Daring Bakers challenge the other week. My track record has not been anything worth writing home about (or blogging about, for that matter, but part of the deal is that I have to blog about it. Your loss. :-), but this time I have to say I kind of knocked it out of the park (or out of the kitchen, more appropriately).
This month's challenge was a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador,” Chef Wan. To quote The Daring Bakers: 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.
Mmmm...Chocolate. I decided to bust this one out earlier in the month to entertain my Valentine's Day guests. I've made a flourless cake before, and I think I liked this recipe even a bit more. What's important when making one is that the cake will taste exactly like the chocolate you use, so choose wisely (I chose Ghirardelli bittersweet). It also means there will be folding of egg whites into your batter, a trick you may need to practice to get perfect but kudos to to The Daring Bakers for posting a great "how to" video link on the topic.
I chose to half the recipe; based on the comments I was reading on The Daring Bakers message boards I could see that would yield more than enough for me and my four guests. It also wouldn't be a Daring Baker challenge without me doing something spastic. Like planning to bake mini cakes, then realizing ten minutes before you're about to pop them in the oven that you never bought a cupcake tray for the shore house. Sigh.
So I improvised, because somehow I *did* buy cupcake tray liners. Go figure.
And 18 minutes later, I had delicious results: