Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daring Bakers March '09 - Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna

I was ready to roll up my sleeves for this month's DB challenge. I'd never made lasagne before (aside from the lasagne that you can get frozen from the supermarket :P) so this challenge was going to be interesting. I'd been stressed out for most of this month because I had to complete a 25 page paper for my Pediatric Nursing course and also work on a group project for Nursing Research! AAAHHH!! Thankfully, baking and cooking helps me de-stress so this challenge was great. I made the different components (the sauce, meat and pasta) on 3 separate days, so I had three days of decreased stress which I was so thankful for. The best de-stressing part of the challenge was kneading and stretching the dough... perhaps I should have saved a piece of the dough so that I could pound and mash it whenever I need to take my frustration out on something :P Anyways, on with the challenge...

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna (Lasagne Verdi al Forno)
(Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 to 8 as a main dish)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes to assemble and 40 minutes cooking time

- 10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
- 1 recipe Spinach Pasta cut for lasagna (recipe follows)#1
- 1 recipe Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)#2
- 1 recipe Country Style Ragu (recipe follows)#3
- 1 cup (4 ounces/125g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Working Ahead:
The ragu and the béchamel sauce can be made up to three days ahead. The ragu can also be frozen for up to one month. The pasta can be rolled out, cut and dried up to 24 hours before cooking. The assembled lasagne can wait at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit) about 1 hour before baking. Do not refrigerate it before baking, as the topping of béchamel and cheese will overcook by the time the center is hot.

Assembling the Ingredients:
Have all the sauces, rewarmed gently over a medium heat, and the pasta at hand. Have a large perforated skimmer and a large bowl of cold water next to the stove. Spread a double thickness of paper towels over a large counter space. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Oil or butter a 3 quart (approx 3 litre) shallow baking dish.

Cooking the Pasta:
Bring the salted water to a boil. Drop about four pieces of pasta in the water at a time. Cook about 2 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook about 4 minutes, taste, and cook longer if necessary. The pasta will continue cooking during baking, so make sure it is only barely tender. Lift the lasagne from the water with a skimmer, drain, and then slip into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking. When cool, lift out and dry on the paper towels. Repeat until all the pasta is cooked.

Assembling the Lasagne:
Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange a layer of about four overlapping sheets of pasta over the béchamel. Spread a thin layer of béchamel (about 3 or 4 spoonfuls) over the pasta, and then an equally thin layer of the ragu. Sprinkle with about 1&1/2 tablespoons of the béchamel and about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with béchamel sauce and topping with a generous dusting of cheese.

Baking and Serving the Lasagne:
Cover the baking dish lightly with foil, taking care not to let it touch the top of the lasagne. Bake 40 minutes, or until almost heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until hot in the center (test by inserting a knife – if it comes out very warm, the dish is ready). Take care not to brown the cheese topping. It should be melted, creamy looking and barely tinged with a little gold. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the lasagne rest for about 10 minutes. Then serve. This is not a solid lasagne, but a moist one that slips a bit when it is cut and served.

#1 Spinach Egg Pasta (Pasta Verde)
Makes enough for 6 to 8 first course servings or 4 to 6 main course servings, equivalent to 1 pound (450g) dried boxed pasta.

Preparation: 45 minutes

- 2 jumbo eggs (2 ounces/60g or more)
- 10 ounces (300g) fresh spinach, rinsed dry, and finely chopped; or 6 ounces (170g) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3&1/2 cups (14 ounces/400g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour (organic stone ground preferred)

Working by Hand:
Mixing the dough:
Mound the flour in the center of your work surface and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs and spinach. Use a wooden spoon to beat together the eggs and spinach. Then gradually start incorporating shallow scrapings of flour from the sides of the well into the liquid. As you work more and more flour into the liquid, the well’s sides may collapse. Use a pastry scraper to keep the liquids from running off and to incorporate the last bits of flour into the dough. Don’t worry if it looks like a hopelessly rough and messy lump.

With the aid of the scraper to scoop up unruly pieces, start kneading the dough. Once it becomes a cohesive mass, use the scraper to remove any bits of hard flour on the work surface – these will make the dough lumpy. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Its consistency should be elastic and a little sticky. If it is too sticky to move easily, knead in a few more tablespoons of flour. Continue kneading about 10 minutes, or until the dough has become satiny, smooth, and very elastic. It will feel alive under your hands. Do not shortcut this step. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let it relax at room temperature 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Stretching and Thinning:
If using an extra-long rolling pin work with half the dough at a time. With a regular-length rolling pin, roll out a quarter of the dough at a time and keep the rest of the dough wrapped. Lightly sprinkle a large work surface with flour. The idea is to stretch the dough rather than press down and push it. Shape it into a ball and begin rolling out to form a circle, frequently turning the disc of dough a quarter turn. As it thins outs, start rolling the disc back on the pin a quarter of the way toward the center and stretching it gently sideways by running the palms of your hands over the rolled-up dough from the center of the pin outward. Unroll, turn the disc a quarter turn, and repeat. Do twice more.

Stretch and even out the center of the disc by rolling the dough a quarter of the way back on the pin. Then gently push the rolling pin away from you with one hand while holding the sheet in place on the work surface with the other hand. Repeat three more times, turning the dough a quarter turn each time.

Repeat the two processes as the disc becomes larger and thinner. The goal is a sheet of even thickness. For lasagne, the sheet should be so thin that you can clearly see your hand through it and see colours. Cut into rectangles about 4 by 8 inches (10 x 20 cm). Note: Enza says that transparency is a crucial element of lasagne pasta and the dough should be rolled as thinly as possible. She says this is why her housekeeper has such strong arms!

Dry the pasta at room temperature and store in a sealed container or bag.

#2 Bechamel

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

- 4 tbsp (2 ounces/60g) unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp (2 ounces/60g) all purpose unbleached flour, organic stone ground preferred
- 2&2/3 cups (approx 570ml) milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Sift over the flour, whisk until smooth, and then stir (without stopping) for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time and keep the mixture smooth. Bring to a slow simmer, and stir 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a hint of nutmeg.

#3 Country Style Ragu’ (Ragu alla Contadina)
Makes enough sauce for 1 recipe fresh pasta or 1 pound/450g dried pasta)

Preparation Time: Ingredient Preparation Time 30 minutes and Cooking time 2 hours

- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (45 mL)
- 2 ounces/60g pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 medium stalk celery with leaves, minced
- 1 small carrot, minced
- 4 ounces/125g boneless veal shoulder or round
- 4 ounces/125g pork loin, trimmed of fat, or 4 ounces/125g mild Italian sausage (made without fennel)
- 8 ounces/250g beef skirt steak, hanging tender, or boneless chuck blade or chuck center cut (in order of preference)
- 1 ounce/30g thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces/160ml) dry red wine
- 1 &1/2 cups (12 ounces/375ml) chicken or beef stock (homemade if possible)
- 2 cups (16 ounces/500ml) milk
- 3 canned plum tomatoes, drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Working Ahead:
The ragu can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. It also freezes well for up to 1 month. Skim the fat from the ragu’ before using it.

Browning the Ragu Base:
Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch (30cm) skillet (frying pan) over medium-high heat. Have a large saucepan handy to use once browning is complete. Add the pancetta and minced vegetables and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes, or until the onions barely begin to color. Coarsely grind all the meats together, including the prosciutto, in a food processor or meat grinder. Stir into the pan and slowly brown over medium heat. First the meats will give off a liquid and turn dull grey but, as the liquid evaporates, browning will begin. Stir often, scooping under the meats with the wooden spatula. Protect the brown glaze forming on the bottom of the pan by turning the heat down. Cook 15 minutes, or until the meats are a deep brown. Turn the contents of the skillet into a strainer and shake out the fat. Turn them into the saucepan and set over medium heat.

Reducing and Simmering: Add the wine to the skillet, lowering the heat so the sauce bubbles quietly. Stir occasionally until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Scrape up the brown glaze as the wine bubbles. Then pour the reduced wine into the saucepan and set the skillet aside.

Stir ½ cup stock into the saucepan and let it bubble slowly, 10 minutes, or until totally evaporated. Repeat with another ½ cup stock. Stir in the last 1/2 cup stock along with the milk. Adjust heat so the liquid bubbles very slowly. Partially cover the pot, and cook 1 hour. Stir frequently to check for sticking.

Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Cook uncovered, at a very slow bubble for another 45 minutes, or until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper.

The craziest things about this challenge?? Well, first off I'm so not a cook... baking is my thing. So when it came to buying the meat I was so totally lost, I simply brought the recipe to the market and asked around for help. Dude... it's so embarassing :P Also, I'd never bought so much meat in my life. The pancetta, prosciutto, beef, pork and italian sausage!!! Ai Carambe!! Although the sauce was very tasty, I tried not to think of all the meat that was in it. Perhaps I'll substitute mushrooms or some other veggies for 1/2 the meat next time, if there is a next time.
Secondly, I didn't have a meat grinder or food processor, so I had to manually mince all of the meat with my handy-dandy cleaver. Woah, was that ever back-braking labor. At first it was sort of difficult trying to make the pieces as small as possible, but once the pieces began to resemble minced chunks I had the most fun "hacking away" at the puddle of meat sitting on my chopping board.
Thirdly, my arms were totally dead after pulling and stretching that crazy dough. I ended up making nice and thin pasta, but woah was I super tired after. Also, my kitchen was looking green all over... notice my above pics with the lasagne pastas draped over the kitchen faucet and the handle of my non-stick skillet :P

This challenge was a lot of fun, and the lasagne turned out beautifully. I was very happy that the slices were actually intact upon their removal from the baking pan. Yeah! Whenever we buy the frozen lasagne from the supermarket, bake it and dish it onto plates it always ends up as an oozing puddle of messy pasta, sauce and cheese... but this recipe was brilliant. The lasagne was easy to cut with a knife, easy to remove and looked lovely on our plates. My mom and dad were really impressed that I could make pasta, and my sisters gobbled it up... spinach-pasta and all. Hmm.... it's a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies! I think I'll definitely make the pasta again, that was really fun. But maybe I'll try making other dishes with the dough, maybe cannelloni or some stuffed pasta shells?? or maybe dumplings or something... who knows? We daring bakers are crazy and creative when we need to be :P

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rainbow Butterfly: A Review

It's not often that my family takes a chance and ventures out to try a new dim-sum restaurant, but I guess my parents just didn't feel like having to drive all the way to Richmond for some good old HK breakfast. Instead, we decided to dine at this quaint little Chinese restaurant in Port Coquitlam called Rainbow Butterfly. I'm usually pretty wary of a restaurant that uses strange imagery within their name, but since this place did not use the words "panda" or "dragon" or "authentic Chinese cuisine" I was all for dining there. The following is a picture show of the amazing dishes that they served, with commentary of course :P

All of the dishes below were $2.75, except for the special dishes which were $3.75 or the "Chef Specials" which were $4.75.

As always, we ordered a bowl of congee... nothing amazing, but certainly tasty. It was considered a "Chef's Special" and in my opinion, not worth $4.95

Another dim-sum fave... lor bak gou. Again, tasty but nothing to rave about.

Can't go wrong with chicken feet... I thought these were really flavorful, and not too salty.

Their gyoza was nicely fried and crisp. Although, the skin was more doughy than I would have liked, and it cost $4.75!

I really enjoyed this chiu chow fun quor, it had pork, peanuts and chives... mmmm quite yummy.

Xiao Long Bao, another yum cha classic... my sisters devoured these and literally drank the red vinegar! Crazy kids.

Steamed rice rolls with scallop, $3.75

The beef omasum was soft and gingery

Their satay honeycomb tripe was also very nice and soft. It's one of my favorite dishes and they did not disappoint.

When we first received this dish, we weren't quite sure what it was. Then one bite into it and we could taste the seafood and pumpkin. These were a delightful addition to our lunch

I love my egg-tofu, and when combined with shrimp it's even better.

One of the best dishes at the Rainbow Butterfly has got to be their fried eggplant with pepper, salt, garlic and dried shrimp. They were crispy and spicy and just all-round delicious! And although it was a "Chef's Special" and costing $4.95 per dish, it was totally worth it.

I would definitely get this again, it was AMAZING! These fried bitter melon sesame balls, filled with black-sesame paste were ooey-gooey and oh so sweet!

My sister loves her mango pudding, in my opinion it's not as good as the one our mom makes but it was still better than the cheap, imitation mango puddings from sushi restaurants :P

My mom really loves her baked sago, and so she got one of these warm, rich puddings. I had to try a little, and really enjoyed the taro-paste they filled it with. It was a great alternative to the traditional red-bean paste.

I'm also a sucker for agar-agar. I had to try this chilled lychee and longgan agar-agar cake. It was very refreshing and had a nice, crisp bite to it. The wolfberries inside were a great addition to the cake... I'll have to see if I can make this one at home!

Yes, I called this one as well. I'm a sucker for the dessert section of dim-sum. This rich, flaky butter pastry was filled with a lotus-seed and ginger paste and had a century egg in the center. It was so rich and tasty... I felt so guilty eating two!

All in all, I would definitely recommend a visit to Rainbow Butterfly. The service is friendly and very quick. They are very attentive and accomodating to your requests if you are kind and friendly yourself. They have a great variety of traditional and specialty dim-sum dishes and they are, for the most part, relatively decent in price. I plan on making a return visit to Rainbow Butterfly, and ordering all my favorites plus a few other specialties that caught my eye last time. Sadly, neither my stomach nor my wallet are big enough to accomodate what my eyes beg for me to try :( but that just means I'll be back for more!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Searching for my perfect cookie...

I am a sucker for the soft, thin and chewy/bendy chocolate chip cookie. I've always been envious that Safeway can make them so perfectly, but whenever I try to bake a batch of cookies they always turn out either thick and cakey or thin and crispy.... grrrr the frustration! But after weeks of searching, and batches of "failed" thin-chewy cookie attempts (failed is in quotations, because my sisters actually found the cakey ones to be a success :P) I thin I have stumbled upon the perfect recipe. And the best part of it is, that it doesn't use any egg... meaning that I can half the recipe to make a small batch for myself whenever I want!! (I hate trying to divide an egg in half :s).

The Thin and Chewy...

- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Beat together butter and sugars in a bowl. Gradually add in 3 tablespoons of water, and the vanilla until the mixture is smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this into the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Add in the chips, nuts and berries.
3. Drop the batter by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, or until the edges are crisp but the center is still pale.
4. Remove from tray from oven and allow cookies to firm up a bit on the tray (approx 5 minutes). Carefully use a spatula to release the soft cookies from the tray and transfer cookies to cooling racks.

I just have to say that these cookies were aaaaammmaazing!!! My sisters simply fell in love with them. After they picked out the cranberries, they gobbled up almost the entire batch! Actually, it was a good thing they ate most of them because otherwise I would have been shoving all the cookies into my mouth :P This is a must save, frame and always use recipe! I think next time I'll try different combinations of mix-ins... hmmm, oatmeal? raisins? dried dates? who knows...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brown Rice with Chicken and Sausage

So, it's Spring Break for my little sisters and my parents decided that they'd jet-off to Mexico, leaving me to take care of the silly girls. Alas, I wish I were Mexico-bound and tanning on the beautiful beaches but I am stuck here in BC with the crazy Canadian weather pelting me (literally) with a melange of weather conditions. This morning, my sisters and I woke up to a fairly decent day... the sky wasn't blue per-say but at least it was clear and there were no grey clouds. But then came noon, and the weather gods decided to grace us with a couple hours of rain... and then they showed us some more love by following the rain with snow (would you believe it!??! In mid-March!!?!?). After the snow let up, the weather changed drastically again. The sun came out around 4pm and my sisters even asked to play outside. Sadly, they only managed about 30mins of fun in the sun when the clouds rolled in AGAIN!!. I didn't think that the weather could be any more strange than it was already, but then came the hail! Seriously??? Mr. Weatherman, what are you doing to us Vancouverites?? We just want the blisteringly cold weather to disappear... it is SPRING break after all.

Well, to cheer up my sisters from some really bum weather and the inability to spend their well-deserved Spring Break outdoors I decided to cook up a hearty meal that would warm them. I prepared For more information visit this recipe from and it turned out to be spectacular! It reminded me of jook from some really great HK restaurant or something, except this recipe contains sausages and is more of a paella-style dish rather than congee-soup.

My sisters loved this rice. They helped themselves to 2-3 bowls of it!! I will definitely be keeping this recipe for future use, and I will have to prepare it for my parents sometime when they get back. Those lucky bums... I can just see them now, dancing to some Mexican music and enjoying their fruity cocktails :P Wait until I tell them about our crazy weather, they will not believe me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Scallops and Spaghettini

Like I said in my last post, I tend to get really inspired to be creative in the kitchen whenever a new season of Hell's Kitchen is on. I've been watching season 5, and I just love how Gordon Ramsey yells at the chefs... they know it's for their own good :P Anyways, having seen the chefs work with scallops often, I decided to whip up a fancy scallop and pasta dish for my mom for her special birthday lunch. Let me be clear that this was a very random recipe, but I will try to document the ingredients and method to the best of my abilities.

Scallops and Spaghettini For Two

6 thin slices of Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tsp each tarragon and rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ounces dry spaghettini (1 cup cooked pasta)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, julienned
2 tbsp olive oil
6 uncooked scallops
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Toss the potatoes with tarragon, rosemary, some salt and 1 tbsp olive oil. Wrap in an aluminum foil packet and place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15mins until tender.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the spaghettini according to package directions. When the pasta is half-cooked, add in the broccoli and allow those to cook with the spaghettini. Remove pasta and broccoli from the boiling water while the pasta is slightly undercooked. Set aside
3. Place an empty skillet over medium-high heat for one minute; then add 2 tbsp of olive oil, continuing to heat for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, season the scallops with salt and pepper.
4. Add the scallops to the pan and fry over medium-high heat until cooked through (approximately 2 minutes per side). Remove the scallops and set aside on a heated plate, but keep the oil and scallop juices in the pan.
5. To the pan, add in the garlic and onions. Cook over medium heat until fragrant, then add in the broccoli and the spaghettini.
6. Continue to mix and fry the pasta and vegetables until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
7. By this time, the potatoes should be finished baking. Remove them from the oven.
7. Plate the dish by placing 1/2 a cup of pasta in one corner of a plate, and topping with one tablespoon of toasted pine nuts. On the opposite corner of the plate (assuming your plate is square) place 3 potato medallions, top each medallion with 1 scallop. Drizzle a home-made or commercially prepared vinegar-based sweet glaze over the scallops and the plate... just be creative!

Jo's Very Quick Glaze
Method: Whisk together 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp of raspberry preserves in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium, until sugar is fully dissolved and the sauce looks slightly "drizzl-able" (thick) then remove from heat. Use immediately.

Well, it was a lot of fun making this fancy looking dish for my mom. She really thought it looked like something off of Hell's Kitchen... I don't know if that's suppose to be a complement or not, but I'll take it :P Since it was just my mom and I hanging around the house for lunch, this made-for-two dish was perfect. It was nice and light, and very simple

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mom's Birthday

Another year's gone by and my beautiful mom is celebrating her birthday! Although the big day was a while back, I haven't gotten around to blogging about it until now. University is a bummer, but hey I've only god 1 more year to go :P

Anywho, for mom's birthday we decided to keep it simple and threw a little b-day dessert bash. Since I didn't have enough time to bake her a personalized cake I caved and bought one from Safeway. I didn't want to get her one of those generic, fake-whipped-cream sheet cakes with the silly pastel colored roses, so I opted for an amazing looking triple-layer dulce de leche gateau. I am so glad that I did, and although it was quite pricey for the size, it was completely worth it. I knew that my mom would love it, she love caramel and coffee... so this dulce de leche flavour was going to be perfect!

My sisters and I pitched in to buy her a bunch of small random things that she likes; gummy candies, flower, and a $50 gift-certificate to a local restaurant (The Vault). Having a small schin-dig is way more fun because you don't have to stress out about inviting and entertaining guests, and the truly important guest (the birthday girl) gets all the attention she deserves from all of the people that love her the most! LOVE YOU MOM! Hope you had a great birthday!!

I promised my mom that since I didn't make her a birthday cake, I would whip her up something special for lunch the next day. I have something fantastic in mind... I've been watching the latest season of Hell's Kitchen, and it seems that whenever I watch other people cook I get inspired to try new recipes myself. So, stay tuned for my next post...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Daring Bakers February Challenge: Flourless??

February's recipe for the DB challenge was perfect. I loved the simplicity of only having 3 ingredients in the cake and the ice cream addition was lovely as well. Perfect for Valentine's Day, the flourless chocolate cake was a tantalizing test of my culinary ability. To make the cake takes some patience; melting the chocolate, tempering the yolks and whipping the whites... but in the end it's all worth it!

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. They 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.

February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

Chocolate Valentino
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. {link of folding demonstration}
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.

Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla

Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer
Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.

I decided to choose this recipe rather than the other DB option because I didn't have any vanilla pods :( I really have to try and acquire some in the future because I've never worked with vanilla beans before... it'd be an interesting adventure. Also, since I don't own an ice cream maker I followed the instructions on David Lebovitz's Webpage and the ice cream turned out very well! I will definitely make this cake again, it was amazingly rich and luscious. The chocolate I used was the 70% cocoa Nestle Noir, and the cake ended up tasting exactly like the chocolate bar!! Amazing! Well, on to next month's challenge :)