Chocolate cakes are one of the sweetest competitions on the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
This year, a layered cake with mousse and raspberries wowed the judges and won a blue ribbon and a $ 500 prize for Sharon Kurtz of County Lehigh.
His “chocolate mousse cake for raspberry lovers” was among the 70 cakes entered in the homemade chocolate cake contest. Entries were assessed by a panel of judges on taste, presentation, consistency and other parameters.
Baking contests are a hallmark of The Farm Show, which runs through January 15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. In addition to chocolate cakes, judges scrutinize apple pies, sticky buns and angel food cakes.
Competitors participate in county and community fairs to become eligible to compete at the state level at the Farm Show.
Kurtz is a repeat winner. In 2020, she won first place in the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie competition at the Farm Show.
As for the chocolate cakes, second place went to Lorrie Rauch of New Tripoli, County Lehigh and third place to Deneen Tracy of Needmore, Fulton County.
Here’s Kurtz’s winning recipe:
Raspberry Lovers Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Cake
2 cups of flour (256 grams)
¾ cup of dark cocoa (90 grams)
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon butter flavor
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Combine all the 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 the bowl and add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix for another 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Place on a cooling rack until cool.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 pkg. (0.35 ounce) whipping cream stabilizer (such as Dr. Oetker whipped cream stabilizer)
1 cup of icing sugar (130 grams)
2 tablespoons of softened butter
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pint of fresh red raspberries
Beat whipping cream and stabilizer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form when mixer is slowly raised. Reserve the whipped cream. In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until well combined 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 the mousse filling until ready to assemble the cake.
To assemble the cake, place a layer of chocolate cake on a serving platter, then spread 1 1/8 cups of chocolate mousse evenly over the layer of cake. Cut the raspberries in half and evenly place the raspberry halves completely over the mousse filling.
Continue the process with the second layer of cake, then place the last layer of chocolate cake on top and frost the cake with a chewy chocolate frosting.
If desired, place Pirouline wafers on the side of the cake.
Soft chocolate frosting
2 cups butter, softened
2 pounds of icing sugar
1 cup of dark cocoa (120 grams)
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons of 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.
Garnish Pirouline Wafers (your choice) Red raspberries (your choice) This recipe contains whipping cream and should be refrigerated until ready to serve.