Chef Elizabeth Falkner and a Panel of Experts Select Two $10,000 Grand Prize Winners for Creating Recipes Using Scharffen Berger Chocolate and at Least One of 16 "Adventure" Ingredients
Two very creative home cooks were awarded a Grand Prize of $10,000, each, in the third annual Chocolate Adventure Contest sponsored by Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and TuttiFoodie.com. As part of the contest, daring cooks -- amateur or professional -- were invited to develop original and creative recipes combining Scharffen Berger chocolate products with one or more of 16 enticing "adventure" ingredients.
New York's Karin Lazarus and Edwina Gadsby from Great Falls, Montana out-cooked 15 other finalists with their imaginative and delicious uses of Scharffen Berger chocolate and the adventure ingredients. Judged in two categories, sweet and savory, Lazarus' Chocolate-Filled Pandan Dumplings and Gadsby's Smoky Cocoa-Dusted Pommes Frites with Peanut-Cumin Dipping Sauce came out as the winners.
Karin Lazarus paired adventure ingredients, pandan leaves and rice flour, with Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet chocolate baking chunks for a delicious dessert that infuses a truffle-like treat with Asian influences.
Chocolate-Filled Pandan Dumplings
Edwina Gadsby chose to work with raw honey, peanut butter, cumin, paprika, smoked sea salt and Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa powder to give a sophisticated makeover to one of America's favorite snacks: French fries and ketchup.
"This contest is all about being adventurous and exploring flavor combinations that might not always occur to people in an everyday setting," said Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America participant and award-winning chef Elizabeth Falkner, who served as a judge for the contest. Joining her to taste the finalist recipes were other epicurean experts, including Scharffen Berger co-founder John Scharffenberger; chocolate pastry chef and award-winning author Alice Medrich; award-winning food blogger, photographer and art director Matt Armendariz of MattBites.com; and TuttiFoodie founder Lisa Schiffman.
The adventurous chocolate creations were judged on creativity, spirit of adventure, ease of preparation, appearance and flavor.
"This contest encourages food enthusiasts to explore endless flavor possibilities by combining chocolate with exotic ingredients," said John Scharffenberger, in a statement.
Each year a new and comprehensive list of adventure ingredients is carefully selected to complement the unique bean blends in Scharffen Berger chocolate. This year's adventure ingredients were the following:
-- Fresh mint (any variety)
-- Fresh or crystallized ginger
-- Pandan leaf
-- Banana leaf
-- Raw honey
-- Cacao nibs
-- Fresh or whole dried chili pepper
-- Peanut butter
-- Black-eyed peas
-- Rice flour
-- Paprika (any variety)
-- Smoked sea salt
The Chocolate Adventure Contest's two runners up were Mary Shivers of Oklahoma for her Tropical Pandan Coconut Ice Cream with Raspberries and Thai Noir Sauce, and Carolyn Kumpe of California with her Muscovy Duck Mesopotamia Moderne. They are each receiving a custom selection of Scharffen Berger chocolate, as well as signed copies of The Essence of Chocolate, the 2007 James Beard award-winning cookbook by co-founders John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg; Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts and Bittersweet, by Alice Medrich.
For a video of the judging, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/SBCHOCOLATEMAKER.
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker was established in 1997 in San Francisco, California, and first earned national recognition for its artisan-quality chocolate in 1998. Producing bean to bar premium chocolates, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker is part of the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company.
TuttiFoodie is a popular foodie site that has been featured on NPR's Splendid Table and on popular foodie sites such as epicurious.com, chow.com, and yumsugar.com.