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.

The cake was so lovely and easy to make, I used 1/2 bitter sweet and 1/2 semi sweet. I could not make the ice cream so served it with some strawberry sauce.

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.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

  1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse
    Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy.
  3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. 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 Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse)

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)

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

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

Click here to view what the other fellow Daring Bakers baked.

Roth also know as Kutti is served as prasad on shivratri along with thadai. I learnt to make this from Indu Maasi, she insists that we should fry them in ghee and knead the dough using ghee and maybe little water. I used ghee generously while kneading the dough, am sure not as much as she would have liked and fried it in oil it still tasted great. This Kutti, is easier and simpler version, is made more often and also served as prasad on Satya Narayan Khatta.

4 cups atta
1/3 cups ghee
2 cups sugar
water to knead dough
ghee/oil for deep frying
1/2 cup dry fruits chopped - almonds, pista, kaju etc (optional)


  1. Mix the ghee and atta.
  2. Knead using as little water as possible to form a soft dough. (it should be soft and there should be soo much ghee that you should feel it in your hand)
  3. Make small golf size balls, flatten them to form a round discs.

  4. Deep fry them on a slow flame till golden brown.
  5. Cool them cmpletely.

  6. Using a Mixie powder the fried balls. they should be coarse and not very fine.
  7. Powder the sugar in the mixie.
  8. Mix with the powdered atta.
  9. Mix in the dry fruits.

Singhi/Drumsticks have never been my favorite but hubby dear likes them, so this valentine when he asked me what do you want, I asked him the best gift would be if he cleaned the house this week for me. He promptly agreed. I should have also asked him to take care of the kitchen if I had known he would agree so anyways Saturday he said Medhaa kitchen is yours and the rest I will take care off. OK at least he is cleaning the house I can manage the cooking so I promised him he will get his Singhi Aloo, its been 2 years and he hasn't gotten to eat them. So this was my valentine gift for him, only it was a day late, yes on valentine I had to feel like a Queen while he was cleaning away, so we had sandwiches and maggie on valentine and the next day I baked muffins and Singhi Aloo to thank him for everything.

2 Medium drumsticks, pealed washed and cut into 2 inches pieces
1 Medium potato, pealed washed and cut into 2 inches cubes
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup tomato, chopped
1/2 inch ginger
2 green chilies
10 - 12 curry leaves (optional)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish
1 tsp oil


  1. Grind/Puree the tomatoes, ginger and green chilies together.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onions in them till they turn golden brown.
  3. Add the curry leaves, coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook till the oil separates. (5 - 10 mins)
  5. Add the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the drumsticks.
  7. Transfer everything to a pressure cooker.
  8. Add water enough just to cover everything.
  9. Add salt.
  10. Cook for 2 whistles.
  11. Once the pressure is out, open and boil till you get the required consistency for the gravy.
  12. Garnish will coriander leaves and serve with phulka/roti/chapati and papad.

Off this goes to the Just for You event hosted by Alka.

I love butternut squash because of its natural sweetness and so when I saw this recipe I wrote it down immidiately but did not save the link. This is a nice and creamy halwa which does not need much attention.

4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup marshmellows
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dry fruits (optional) - almonds, raisins etc.


  1. Put the squash, water, salt in a saucepan.
  2. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender. (Can use a pressure cooker too).
  3. Drain it and keep aside in a mixing bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
  5. Grease a casserole.
  6. Mash the squash, add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  7. Place it in the casserole.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Mix in the dry fruits and serve hot.

This is my contribution to the event Food In Colors - Orange, hosted by Aparna this month, originally started by Harini

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