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Another challenge and well it didn’t go so well!!  As for taste and overall ease it was a good one.  As for what I envisioned and what I executed that is another story, which I choose not to bore you with at this time.

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.

As is typical of DB challenges we were given a bit of leeway with what we could do with a particular element and the ice cream in this challenge was where I chose to play.  Aside from steak my all time favorite flavor on earth is dark chocolate and orange, so I decided to use a recipe I ran across awhile back but had yet to have reason to make.

Chocolate-Studded Grand Marnier Ice Cream Recipe

from Fern Glen Inn B&B

I followed the recipe to the letter with only an addition of 1tsp. of orange extract.   Fan-freakin’-tastic!!  This stuff had the power to hide a multitude of sins and considering what I did to the Valentino, I guess I made the ice cream work overtime!!!

Now for the sad sad details of a simple 3 ingredient cake!!! I had on hand some Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate,  so I didn’t run out for the bitter chocolate that I wanted.  I figured I would add just a smidge of the hersheys special dark cocao I had as well, that would give me more the flavor I wanted.

RED FLAG #1

(don’t change that which you have never done before)

I melted the chocolates together and well I ended up not with that lovely molten chocolate texture I know and love but something a bit more paste like.  It hadn’t seized but it wasn’t right, it just was too dense for those delicate egg whites to stand up to.

RED FLAG #2

(listen to yourself, you know damn well better than that)

So on to the folding of the egg whites I went, yea I deflated them more than I knew was good but they still had enough lift that I figured it wouldn’t be a total loss.  Which to tell the truth it wasn’t.

The end product was a little “shorter” than expected and hoped, as I was going to split the cake and create a lovely layered look.  And since that didn’t happen, please see the above photo of a snowy screen.

What I planned for and what I ended up with are polar opposites but the overall taste factor was very good.

Here now are a few photos of the progress before I realized my vision was for naught.

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The not so smooth chocolate!!

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The egg whites awaiting deflation!

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The not as short as expected end result!

Folding the chopped chocolate into the ice cream.

Folding the chopped chocolate into the ice cream.

As for a final photo of the finished product….  truthfully I wasn’t about to waste the pixels!!!!!   It tasted great but it “weren’t” so pretty.  Please though look here for other great and talented bakers who managed to bring their vision to the plate.

Luckily for me there is next month!!!!


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We're waiting!

15 years is a long time yet it passes in the blink of an eye.

The first time I saw my little “pussy girl” was after asking Ray what he had under his jacket.  He grinned sheepishly and opened the zipper a bit and out popped the cutest fuzziest little head.  Immediately I said “no!”, but the battle was lost.  So the selection of a name began, we had to come up with something original, we had to find the “purr”fect name.  A few days passed with no progress.  Poor precious little girl with no name.  More we thought and still nothing.  We kept saying “she was too precious to have no name”… then we knew…Precious.

Ray and I grew up with her.  A couple of apartments, 2 houses, good times, bad times…life.

She was a typical cat…when she was in the mood for us she’d let us know, when not, well she knew we’d wait.

One thing about her was she never stopped purring.  Literally her engine revved non stop.  Hopefully, this was an indicator of contentment and a good life.  Early this morning, however, the purring came to an end, at least for a little while  as Ray and I wait for her to let us know she needs a little more Love!!

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you...

You all may recall Carol, well she managed to turn “36”  on Jan 28th and of course I did whip up a little something something for her.  Carol and Scott, of course, both LOVE chocolate…truthfully I don’t think they “do” anything but chocolate, save the occasional peanut butter; so I went to my favorite go-to chocolate cake and thought I would top it with some sort of peanut butter icing.  After perusing multitudes of PB icing recipes I settled on this one, from Blondie and Brownie, and boy am I glad I did.  This stuff was peanut butter silk!!!  It came together like a breeze and OMG was it good…imagine the center of a Reese’s cup but light fluffy and… well all I can say is MAKE IT!!!  Now some of you may laugh at this one as you already may know this but I discovered something while making this, kind of a John Eureka moment.  I have always made Swiss Buttercreams the old fashioned way…pot of simmering water, bowl with egg whites and sugar and a hand whisk, well not no mo’!!!!!  It was late, I was tired and I didn’t have the energy to whip that merengue by hand, so enter stage right my handy dandy hand mixer with whisk  attachment in tow.  Yes, the most obvious often eludes us at times.  Now I am not saying I will never make Swiss Buttercream by hand again but now I know there is really no need to do so.

Just before the Peanut Butter addition

Just before the Peanut Butter addition

Ok, this is a quicky post and I am off.  Once again Happy Birthday Carol and you guys enjoy Florida we will see you soon!

Almost Done!

Almost Done!

Done and Dressed

Done and Dressed

First Cut

First Cut

and lastly the innards!!!

and lastly the innards!!!

Keeping the Flour Flying!!!


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