Valentino Cake as a Box of Chocolate

Behind the camouflage is this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge – flourless chocolate cake. I needed to put a batch of fondant to some use (I made the fondant earlier for another project that was cancelled). So, I turned the cake into a box full of chocolate. First, I spread the cake with a thin layer of strawberry jam, covered it with sour cream ganache, and then decorated with the fondant. By all means, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never believed that the fondant is a tasty addition.  It’s always been considered as a pretty and quite effective storing container (way more air-tight than a cake dome). The fondant was peeled off later and never eaten.

As for the cake, it was good; not great, not the best one I’ve had, but definitely – pretty good. I think, the cake would benefit from more delicate water-bath baking.

The optional part of this challenge was an ice cream to accompany the cake. And I did make a frozen dessert (not exactly the ice cream) to go with the cake. It was roasted strawberry and thyme sherbet. But I have to apologize here, since I’m not posting this recipe now. I’ll do it within a couple of days.

This challenge was hosted by Wendy at wmpesblog and Dharm at Dad – Baker and Chef and the recipe used is an adaptation of Chef Wan’s.

Makes one 8-inch cake, about 16 servings.

For the cake:

  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 4 large room-temperature eggs, separated

Make the cake:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter an 8-inch round springform pan with tall sides (2 ½ – 3-inch deep). Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Butter the parchment. Set aside.

Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the burner, then set the bowl of chocolate in the hot water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a large, grease-free bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. But don’t overwhip or the cake will be dry.

With the same beaters beat the egg yolks together. Whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture. Delicately fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest of the whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Smooth the top. Place the pan onto a cookie sheet or large baking pan and slide into the oven. Bake the cake for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140F. At this point the cake will appear quite loose, only about 1-inch border near the side of the pan will look set. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack before unmolding.

The cake can be made a week in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.

Serve at room temperature.

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92 Responses to “Valentino Cake as a Box of Chocolate”

  1. Wow your cake looks absolutely amazing!!

    And your photography is awesome :)

  2. This is stunning….just amazing!

  3. Absolutely stunning! You did a wonderful job on presentation and posting!

  4. Thats a gorgeous cake, just superb…Amazing photographs!!Can’t stop ogling.

  5. Wow, what a creative and fabulous presentation. Your box o’ chocolate looks great, and I love the surprise it’s hiding even more. Simply beautiful!

  6. this is the most creative of all of this month challenge I’ve seen so far, really gorgeous!

  7. Wow, this is so, so beautiful! What gorgeous photos! Yum. :)

  8. I can’t count as high as the number of levels the Valentino cake has been elevated with the fondant. Gorgeous.

  9. WOW – what a gorgeous, creative presentation!!

  10. So perfectly executed and such pretty colours!

  11. I love your cake and presentation. Beautiful fondant work.

  12. So, is the whole thing edible?!? Wow…

  13. Amazing! That’s all I can say!

  14. What a great way to present the cake. I will follow your advice about the water bath and see how it goes. You and I had the same idea the cake as a box of chocolates though my execution is very different to yours. Yours photos are of the highest quality, and your results are extremely good. Great work on this challenge. Yours from Audax in Australia.

  15. Wow, Vera, I see what you mean when I scrolled down to the second last photo, and that’s so amazing!! So much work, skill and patience needed it’s just mind-blowing! Beautiful work!!

  16. Amazing fondant work. I’m so envious of your skill.
    Great photos too!

  17. Wow! Simply stunning! I love the cake box.

  18. This is incredible ! I almost fell from my chair when I saw this ! You are really amazing !

  19. Is this a dream Vera? Are you for real? FABULOUS…i wouldn’t even touch it. Would preserve it for ever & look at it’s ethereal beauty! Thank you for the eye-candy! (Don’t wake me up yet!)

  20. Absolutely stunning! You are an artist! What a glorious interpretation!



  21. I’m completely blown away – you take things to levels that are mind blowing. Perfect fondant, perfect photos, perfect everything ..PHENOMENAL job!

  22. WOW!!! that is beautiful! really really stunning!! well done!!

  23. i’m in love with everything you did for the challenge! kudos!

  24. SUch great presentation! Love the box!!

  25. I can’t beleive that s a cake its so perfect and nice it really looks like a box of chocolates. I love it. the cake looks delicious too.

  26. splendide ! un vrai travail de professionnel ! c’est d’un raffinement ! magnifique :)

  27. Wow! Beautiful.

  28. OMG!! what a gorgeous box. amazing work Vera. You never stop to amaze me. Very creative take on the challenge. LOVE it!
    Mine is still in the oven now. I’m running very behind =(

  29. yummy, delcious! And great pics :)!!

  30. Your presentation is spectacular. I’ve had limited success working with fondant and I agree that it isn’t worth eating. That said, what a work of art. I prefer my flourless cake with ground nuts as opposed to the egg whites. Vive la difference.

  31. this is not cake this is a piece of art! looks incredible!

  32. Those photos should be in a magazine! Beautiful!

  33. beautiful vera!

  34. Wow, so beautiful

  35. WOW Vera! Everything is just perfect! I wish I could decorate with fondant like you :)

  36. AMAZING! your talent and creativity always blows me away!

  37. The box is too beautiful and so perfect! You’re so talented :)

  38. Well, now… there’s a box of chocolates I’d dive into in a heartbeat! This is a beauty.

    I like how you talk about the things you learn from your projects.

    Glad you enjoyed my last comment. ;-)


  39. WOW! That’s just gorgeous! Too pretty to eat almost! Very elegant!

  40. ouch
    I’m stunned
    I can’t believe my eyes
    what a job !

  41. your work of art left us all speechless !!!

  42. As I showed my husband your post he said, “That’s insanely talented.” I have to agree! Wow! Wow! Wow! What else is there to say?! Natalia is correct…you have left us speechless!

  43. Wow. Now that’s impressive. GORGEOUS!!

  44. vera, you’re able to continually impress and amaze me. this is amazing, and it serves to make me look forward to what you’ll make next!

  45. That’s beautiful! What an awesome surprise in what looks like a normal box of chocolates.

  46. This is the prettiest chocolate container I’ve ever seen :).

  47. Very pretty! Much prettier than the actual chocolate cake ;)
    I’m curious about the sorbet, I can imagine that strawberries and thyme is a delicious combination.

  48. Wow so creative and visually stunning!!!

  49. oooooo i love this! I also agree with you that the cake could technically benefit more from a water bath baking ^_^ Love you sugar crafts lately!

  50. Thank you very much for such wonderful comments! I am deeply touched! Thank you all!

  51. wow, that fondant work is amazing!!!
    by the way, Vera is my mom’s name ;)

  52. Incredibly creative! Great job on this month’s challenge!

  53. I am completely speechless- you are a wizard with fondant!

  54. Amazing!!!!!

  55. Just beautiful. Turning a simple flourless chocolate cake into a masterpiece. BY the way, awesome coconut scones. This sounds so scrumptious, i can’t wait to make them.

  56. I’m not a huge fan of all over fondant cakes, but this is just stunning!

  57. Wow! Lovely presentation. I didn’t think for a moment in a decorated Valentino cake but yours turned out really great.

  58. Hi Vera, I’ve never left a comment on any food blog before, and I don’t blog myself. Landed up here through some links a week ago, and I find myself coming back to see this wonderful creation of yours — I think it takes “food” to a different level. Absolutely glorius!

  59. It looks amazing. I can’t stop looking at the photos…:)
    you are a true artist.:)

  60. Vera, stunningly gorgeous! I think this is the first challenge this month where I’m not looking at the cake but the box!!
    How do you do this, every time?
    You are indeed very gifted.

  61. Excuse me while I scrape my jaw up off of the floor! That is one of the most stunning cakes I’ve ever seen! Really! Just stunning! And, an incredibly creative idea, too.

  62. Oh my gosh! You are amazing!

  63. Stunning. I don’t know many people who have extra fondant just sitting around!

  64. Wow, this is so impressive!!

  65. Stunning!! Well done!

  66. What a beautiful cake!

  67. You are a genious Vera!! I can’t believe how awesome this is! Congratulations!!

  68. Oh my, Vera! This is daring beyond belief … amazing amazing amazing!!!

  69. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and leaving a comment! There are no enough words to say how good it makes me feel :) Thanks a lot!

  70. Wow! How cool is that.

  71. How gorgeous is this?? Absolutely perfectly beautiful.

  72. FAntastic!! Wow!! I am speechless!!

  73. This is absolutely gorgeous. I am totally lost for words.

  74. This is so amazingly put together. Wow is all I an say.

  75. Peabody, Lisa, Margaret, Jo, Jude, thank you very much!

  76. Stunning Vera!…I am speechless…I need to order something and cancel it so you can make another one of these!!

  77. What an artist you are. Its beautiful. Reminds me of something I would see in an add for Laura Ashley.

  78. Helen, Lori, thank you very much! I’m truly touched!

  79. Pretty Cake and looks delicious.

  80. Вера, мне очень трудно быть оригинальной после стольких искренних комплиментов! Я просто скажу, что никогда не видела ничего подобного – это просто нереально красиво! Просто удивительно, как идеально выполнено все…Чудо! Чудо!! Других слов нет..Притом, честное слово, я крайне равнодушна к украшению тортов..Но это, действительно, заставило меня остановиться.

    Потрясающе! Вера, вы правда талант!..

  81. Olga, thank you!

    Jamala, спасибо огромное за такие слова! До глубины души тронута и весьма польщена :)

  82. I agree – fondant was never meant to be eaten, but it sure is beautiful. Sorry you weren’t a huge fan, but your presentation is stunning!

  83. Caitlin, thank you!

  84. Holy moly you are an artist! Beautiful.

  85. Mary, thank you :)

  86. OMG! I almost fainted seeing your creation. Too good to be true…..Its is so beautiful Vera…..

  87. Prasanthi, thank you!

  88. Hi Vera,

    This is my second day knowing your blog, and I’m already in love with all your work, and THIS wow! this is awesome! really is!

    Also love your pictures… so clean!

  89. brilliant….a very creative approach….

  90. Fantasticno!

    Pozdrav iz Srbije.

  91. Вера, нет слов. Очень красивый сайт, торты просто дивные!

  92. I’m so amazed. You’re so good!!! I’m your fan! :)
    It’s my dream to do something like that in the future! =)

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