Chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake Contest at Farm Show Draws Competition and Crowds | The Sentinel – Local scene

Mary Klaus for the sentry

HARRISBURG – Someone once said that there are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles.

Competitors in the 106th Pennsylvania Agricultural Exposition’s Homemade Chocolate Cake Contest on Saturday seemed to go along with that saying. Their popular contest entries used all of these chocolates and more.

At the end of the judging, Sharon Kurtz of Emmaus won the coveted blue ribbon, $500 and the right to be called the best chocolate pastry chef in the state for her Raspberry Lovers chocolate mousse cake.

Other chocolate cake contest winners were second place and $300 to Lorrie Rauch of New Tripoli; third place and $200 to Tracy Deneen of Needmore; a fourth place ribbon to Howard Billing of New Freedom; and a fifth-place ribbon to Columbia’s Amanda Stauffer.

There’s something about chocolate, said contest coordinator Karen Dobson. “People love chocolate cake and line up after judging for samples.” This year, 71 bakers took part in the competition, compared to 74 in 2020.

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The homemade chocolate cake competition was only open to certified first place winners in chocolate cake competitions at an approved agricultural fair in 2021, said Chris Fickes, master of ceremonies and one judges. On Saturday, judges evaluated entries for flavor, texture, glaze, and interior and exterior characteristics.

The contest chocolate cakes were a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. They included tall cakes with fondant icing, round cakes with creative toppings, and flavors ranging from blueberry to peanut butter, caramel to coffee. They also contained quite a few calories – but people weren’t talking about that!

Instead, they looked longingly at the decadent cakes, mouths watering in anticipation of free samples after judging. Many of the cakes seemed to contain dark chocolate.

Summer Pavlik of Latrobe said she used dark chocolate for a richer “more chocolaty” flavor. “I also use buttermilk and half and half to make my cake richer, as well as Dutch cocoa and eggs from our farm.”

Terri Stewart of Altoona made a dark chocolate blueberry cake with hot coffee to bring out the chocolate flavor and a blueberry compote between the three layers. Kris Schaible from Palmerton made a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse in the middle.

“I brought a cake stand in the trunk,” she said. “When we got here, the layers had moved to the side and I had to push them back.”

Becky Morrison Hoover of Punxsutawney baked the cake with the longest name: chocolate cake with peanut butter cookie dough and edible chocolate chips. “It took me six hours to do it,” she said.

Fickes said there were so many great entries that it took the judges a while to evaluate them. Rauch expressed his joy with his second place finish.

“I’m in shock,” she said. “I worked hard on this cake and I can’t believe I won.”

Earlier Saturday, other judges sampled chocolate creations from the PA Preferred Junior Baking Cookies, Brownies and Bars contest.

This contest, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture PA Preferred and the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs, was open only to Pennsylvania youth ages 8-18 who are certified first place winners of the PA Preferred Chocolate Contest. Cookies, Brownies and Bars at an approved agricultural fair during the 2021 fair season.

The winners of this competition were Lillian Neff, 18, of Curwensville, for first place and Russell Bard, 10, of Huntington, for second place.

Neff’s winning entry, “Keystone Maple Apple Pie Bars,” was a tribute to products from Pennsylvania, she said. “I think maple and apples go well together.”

Russell brought to this agricultural show a goat named Lucky, a lamb named Sugar, and his “Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars,” which won second place.

“Lemon and raspberry go well together,” he said. “I use lemon zest and raspberry pie filling. I was surprised to win.

Previous Winner Wins Another Angel Food Cake Ribbon at Farm Show

Here is the winning recipe:

Raspberry Lover’s Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate cake

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon butter flavoring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Combine all wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and add eggs one at a time and continue to mix for another 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. Place on a cooling rack until cool.

Chocolate mousse

1 cup heavy whipped cream

2 packets (0.35 ounce) whipping cream stabilizer

1 cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 pint fresh red raspberries

Beat whipping cream and stabilizer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly lifted. Reserve the whipped cream. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until well blended and smooth. Place chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds, stir and heat for an additional 30 seconds or until melted. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Stir whipped cream into mixture until blended. You will use the raspberries when assembling the cake. Refrigerate mousse filling until ready to assemble cake.

To assemble the cake, place a chocolate cake layer on a serving platter, then spread 1 1/8 cups chocolate mousse evenly over the cake layer. Cut the raspberries in half and evenly place the raspberry halves completely over the mousse filling. Continue the process with the second layer cake, then place the final layer of chocolate cake on top and frost the cake with fluffy chocolate frosting. If desired, place Pirouline wafers on the side of the cake.

The cake should be refrigerated until ready to serve.

Moist chocolate icing

2 pounds icing sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the icing sugar, cocoa and salt alternately with the milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, then blend on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until frothy.

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