Daring Baker Challenge: Gluten-Free Flourless Chocolate Valentino Recipe and Indian Badam Cardamon Rose Pistachio Ice Cream

February 28th, 2009 yum Posted in Chocolate, Dairy, Daring Baker, Dessert, Indian, cake, ice cream 33 Comments »

Be still my heart- a naturally gluten-free flourless chocolate cake with only three ingredients!
When I found out that this month’s Daring Baker Challenge was a flourless chocolate cake, I have to admit my first thought was- Not more chocolate! Our five-billion step yule log burned me out on chocolate just a little bit. But then I looked more closely at the recipe. It had three, yes count them, three ingredients and was naturally 100 percent gluten-free. Be still my heart! And another great thing about this recipe is I would finally get to use up those (high quality) chocolate chips I’d been stockpiling thanks to ye old pregnancy cravings. We had made plans for a cozy Lost viewing party with friends including a certain chocoholic and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to whip up a little flourless chocolate cake and not have to eat it all myself! For the challenge, we were required to make the flourless chocolate cake but to make it a little more interesting, we also were supposed to make an ice cream recipe. I went with the straight-forward chocolate cake recipe because it sounded perfect just as it was, but I wanted to have a bit more fun playing with flavors for the ice cream. Luckily I’d recently been chatting with my chocoholic friend about an Indian milk-nut beverage called badam, often flavored with cardamom and rose water. I couldn’t imagine anything lovelier than pistachio-cardamom-rose ice cream to accompany a rich, dark flourless chocolate cake, and so a Daring Baker entry was born.

How was it? We all unanimously loved the taste of the flourless chocolate cake. I decided to make it as a small cupcake, a mini cake round, and as a large cake- with the result that each of these cakes was on the petite side. I loved being able to cut the large cake into either large, generous cake servings for friends or miniature fudge-type style servings for my personal chocolate needs. The cupcake was delightfully fluffy and (if it lasts that long) ideal for wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing for an emergency chocolate fix. I enjoyed the Badam ice cream, as did the DH, but perversely I wanted to try it as a hot beverage with lowfat milk. I know, I’m so difficult. However, the ice cream complimented the cake beautifully and was certainly a protein powerhouse with all the nuts, eggs, and dairy. (All of this is calorie-free, don’t you know…)

For the record:
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.

Check out my other completed Daring Baker Challenges:
GF Lemon Vanilla Tuiles with Vanilla Custard
GF Yule Log
GF Vegan Pizza
GF Eclairs
GF Danish
GF DF Cheesecake Pops
GF Vegan Party Cake

Daring Bakers Valentino Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
Dessert  Dairy  French  
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate chips combined with bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 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.
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
Indian Badam Milk Ice Cream Recipe
Dessert  Dairy  Indian  
1 1/4 cups 2% Milk
1 tsp cardamom seeds
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
2 to 3 tsp. rose water
1. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the cardamom and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Strain out cardamon and bring the milk back to the boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy.
3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Grind your nuts to a paste with a little milk and add to the warm milk with the rose water. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time
4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.
5. By Using and Ice Cream Maker: *Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker). You will probably need to put in the freezer to firm up for a few hours after churning, unless you have a better ice cream maker than mine.
*If I were to make this again, i would try adding the nut paste LATER, possibly either to the cream at the end OR at the last 5 minutes of stirring in the ice cream maker.

Also, I like the flavors, but the milk was a bit rich for me. I was afraid a lower fat milk would result in icy ice cream, but think I’d try it next time..

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Heavenly Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Ice Cream: Organic Rice Divine Creams Product Review

May 9th, 2008 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free Product Review, Vegan, ice cream 14 Comments »


You know, I’m not sure what made me pick up that carton of rice-milk ice cream in my local Whole Foods that day. Generally my sweet tooth is a subdued little creature, given the occasional roar for chocolate. But, I had been avoiding dairy for a while and I got this pang for ice cream, so I decided to check out the new offerings. I was a little surprised to see, in addition to Turtle Mountain, Tofutti, Rice Dream and the like, a new kid in town- Good Karma and their “Organic Rice Divine.” I had actually used their whole-grain brown rice milk products before, found at the same Whole Foods. Interestingly, they have a brown-rice milk that is certainly more nutritious than most. I had no idea that they had their own ice cream, though. As I browsed the flavors of the rice cream, I noticed a clear “Gluten-Free” tag on their “Carrot Cake” flavor. Gluten-free, Dairy-Free Carrot Cake ice cream? No way! I read the label and found that the ice cream had chunks of rice flour-based carrot cake, and it actually sounded like a tasty carrot cake. Molasses, yummy spices- and carrot. Mmmm… how could I resist? Needless to say, that ice cream went home with me. One note for those with soy intolerance- it does contain (small) amounts of soy, despite being a rice cream. I have not been excessively impressed with most of the dairy-free ice creams I’ve tried. Most soy ice creams have a strong soy aftertaste and just seem to be trying too hard. I scooped out a small amount of this carrot cake ice cream and took a tentative nibble. It was like an amazing chai, mixed with carrot cake- a wonderful fusion concoction without any abrasive flavors. The ingredients harmonized together so well I didn’t miss the dairy at all, and in fact it just tasted RIGHT without any false notes or obvious gluten-free textures or flavors. I was in heaven. I’d never found an ice cream that matched my taste buds so well. I tested it out on the DH, whose verdict was “Mmm, good.” carrotcakeice.jpgBut I don’t think he fell in love the way I did. It reminded me of Grainnaisance’s much coveted winter seasonal Almond egg-less-nog beverage that i used to hunt down in Boulder, Colorado, but even better. I finished the small carton that week, no small accomplishment as ice cream or dairy-free creams usually sit in our freezer for months or longer, waiting for my sweet-tooth to assert itself. What’s more, the next time I went to Whole Foods, I bought another one, and even tried another flavor. I would give the carrot cake flavor a… well, a 10/10 as true dairy-free perfection. But how did the other flavors stack up? One thing I liked was that there was no chocolate in the carrot cake flavor. I like chocolate, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t always agree with me. But I wanted to try the chocolate flavors. Next, I tried the chocolate peanut butter fudge dairy-free ice cream. Honestly, who could resist chocolate and peanut butter together? Not me. I have to admit I was a little disappointed after the glory of the Carrot Cake flavor. The peanut chunks were really good, but the dark chocolate cookie crumbles (gluten-free! yay!) had the faintly flat note I associate with mediocre gluten-free baked products. The chocolate fudge swirls also didn’t cause my heart to beat faster, for some reason. I enjoyed it fairly well, but have to give it a 7/10 because the flavor of the cookie really detracted from the final product for me. Finally, in my last greedy trial, I succumbed to the allure of the banana fudge dairy-free ice cream. I happen to love frozen banana ice cream, which is odd because I hate fresh bananas. But when I was a child, one of my favorite treats was a real fruit banana ice cream bar that we found at a local health food store. This ice cream reminded me of those happy childhood memories and I thoroughly enjoyed the strong, natural banana flavoring. The chocolate fudge was nice, but it was almost superfluous. I would give this enjoyable ice cream an 8/10. I enjoyed it, but haven’t had more than that first serving since I bought it, so it doesn’t seem to engender cravings to the same degree as the delightful carrot cake flavor. It really is a shame for those who must avoid soy that these ice creams do contain some soy ingredients. But, if your primary issue is dairy and gluten, these ice creams are a wonderful alternative to dairy ice cream and allow us to indulge in real gourmet flavors that are normally off limits. One thing that I couldn’t detect was whether these products were actually vegan. I didn’t read any obvious references to eggs or other animal derived products in the ingredients, but if this is a concern you may want to contact the company. However, for this gluten-free vegetarian experimenting with being dairy-free, this was the perfect treat. For those with severe allergies, it is worth noting that the rice creams are produced in factories using milk, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts. The fact that the factory also makes milk products may be what stands between Rice Divine and the strictest vegan label, but I’m satisfied, and personally thrilled that a company made this effort at producing a truly high quality, gluten-free line of ice creams and milks for the dairy-free, gluten-free community.

If you’re interested in Gluten-Free, Dairy-free and Egg Free Ice Cream here’s a list of some of the major options:
Turtle Mountain lists allergens in a helpful allergen list to make it easier for you to find your egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free ice cream. (So Delicious etc.) Note that the PURE DELICIOUS Cookie Dough Ice Cream is, indeed GLUTEN-FREE!! I gotta get me some of that. *contains soy*

Tofutti has a wimpy gluten-free policy and doesn’t test their products (read their faq) but two snack bars, sour “cream,” their “better than cream cheese,” and their ice cream pints seem gluten-free. *contains soy*

Rice Dream has been a controversial product for some years now because the brown rice syrup they’ve used in their products has been derived from barley. I had heard that they had either undergone testing to demonstrate that there are no barley residues in the product or changed their formula, but this is unsubstantiated and I am by no means current on this. I’ve tended to avoid their products in the past. I did send them an email so we will see what response they have about the gluten-free status of their products. They do have this gluten-free list available. Oddly enough, it doesn’t include Almond Dream, despite its seemingly innocuous ingredients. One advantage of their company IF you can find truly gluten-free products from them is that they actually have entirely soy-free rice ice creams.

I hope those of you who must be dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free find this a useful article highlighting our current options. If you’ve had experiences with any of these products, or have your own recipe for a killer gluten-free, vegan ice cream, please post in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I have some rice banana fudge ice cream calling my name…

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