Jen’s Mid-Life Birthday Cake & Ice Cream

Thursday, May 5 2011 Adventures!, Cooking!

First, let me start by saying, Happy Birthday Jen!
You know I love you from head to toe. Cheers to you and your grand new year.
xox, Jenn

When Jen mentioned she was making flourless chocolate cake for her mid-life birthday, I remembered a recent pairing I’d seen for chocolate cake and lime sorbet. I attempted lime (coconut milk) ice cream last month for a dinner party and felt it just wasn’t tart enough. So, this time I amped up the lime juice. Jen’s surprise addition of raspberry syrup and fresh berries brought it all together, heralding the arrival of spring. And so, so pretty.

COCONUT LIME ICE CREAM
  • 1/2 c. + 2 Tbs. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Guar Gum
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 – 14 oz. can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Stir together the sugar and guar gum to break up any lumps. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, whisk together 1/2 c. lime juice, sugar + guar, eggs, water, and 1/2 c. coconut milk. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until just barely simmering. Mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees). Remove from heat and strain through mesh sieve into bowl, to remove any egg threads or guar lumps. Whisk in the remainder of the coconut milk. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until chilled thoroughly (if in a rush, can place in freezer for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes). Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mine takes 35 mins. In the last 5 minutes, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice.

Makes about 1 qt.

VIA JEN

Thanks, Jenn! The gift that kept on giving was that leftover lime ice cream. Tart-sweet spoonfuls were irresistible to me every night (and after lunch a few times) until it was gone. As for the chocolate cake – it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, and I have no hesitation in saying so. It has a light, almost molten center, and a chewy, crisp edge – but also packs the biggest punch of chocolate of any chocolate cake, ever. This is your favorite dark chocolate bar in cake form. I felt like a chocolate glaze as the recipe calls for was a bit overkill and I opted for Alice Waters’ raspberry sauce instead. Paired with Jenn’s coconut lime ice cream this is a holy trinity of flavors: bitter, tart and sweet.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE (modified from Bon Appetit)
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) (use the good stuff)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or waxed paper; butter paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, stirring often.

Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold lukewarm chocolate mixture into yolk mixture, then fold in vanilla extract. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until top is puffed and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall).

Gently press down crusty top to make evenly thick cake. Using small knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Sprinkle powdered sugar through a fine sieve over cake to finish. Serves 10-12.

RASPBERRY SYRUP
  • 1 pint (2 cups) raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Cook over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly, until the berries begin to break down and release their juices, about 4 minutes. Add:

  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer and skim off any foam that bubbles to the top. Cook for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine or cheesecloth-lined strainer, pressing on the fruit to squeeze out all the juices. Return the liquid to the pan and add:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refridgerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.