HERSHEY, Pa., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker has announced three California home bakers as the first, second and third place winners of the nationwide Elevate a Classic Dessert with Scharffen Berger Chocolate Contest. One baker from Los Angeles and two from the San Francisco Bay Area claimed a total of $20,000 in prizes by elevating or modernizing a classic dessert recipe with an original spin and at least one Scharffen Berger®chocolate product.
Jennifer Daskevich of Los Angeles, CA created the $10,000 grand prize-winning recipe — an indulgent Chocolate Lovers' Whoopie Pie with Coconut Pecan Filling and Ganache Drizzle that uses four different types of Scharffen Berger chocolate products: 99% Unsweetened Chocolate, 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, 62% Semisweet Chocolate and Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder. True to the contest theme, the creation is a modern version of the original German Chocolate Cake recipe, first published by a local Dallas newspaper in 1957.
"German Chocolate Cake is the cake of my dad's childhood since his Granny made it on his 14th birthday," said Daskevich. "Fifty years later my dad still loves this classic but now prefers dark chocolate, which inspired me to elevate the recipe. The delightful blend of Scharffen Berger chocolate and cocoa creates an intensely flavored dessert for the true chocolate lover."
Second prize in the contest went to a Malted Chocolate Ice Cream with Pretzel Bark recipe that uses Scharffen Berger 62% Semisweet Chocolate and Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder. Candace Chan of Mountain View, CA developed the frozen treat as a take on hand-spun chocolate malted milkshakes served in tall, frosted glasses — an old-fashioned diner favorite. Third place winner Linda Wang of Sunnyvale, CA tapped her inner girl scout to come up with a Tall, Dark and Sophisticated S'mores recipe, an artisanal version of the campfire favorite that features homemade chocolate marshmallows made with Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder and a 70% Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate-based mousse. Second and third place winners received $7,000 and $3,000 respectively.
The star judging panel included some of the country's foremost baking and chocolate experts: Elizabeth Falkner, owner and executive chef of Orson and Citizen Cake and runner-up of the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef; John Scharffenberger, co-founder of Scharffen BergerChocolate Maker; Alice Medrich, award-winning cookbook author and chocolate expert; Matt Armendariz, food photographer and blogger of MattBites; and Babette Pepaj, founder of Bakespace.com and creator and producer of the traveling TECHmunch Food Blogger Conference.
Contest entries were judged on creativity, ease of preparation and use of chocolate or cocoa to elevate or modernize a classic. Finalists were also scored on taste and appearance, as well as on the quality of the essay accompanying the recipe, which was requested upon recipe submission.
"Elevating a classic dessert is not an easy feat: to re-do something that's already amazing takes a lot of thought and creativity," says Chef Elizabeth Falkner. "But this year's winning bakers did it. Their recipes were original spins, sophisticated and, most important, delicious."
All three winners were also awarded with a custom selection of Scharffen Berger chocolate products and signed copies of Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts and Alice Medrich's Bittersweet, along with a copy of The Essence of Chocolate, authored by co-founders John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg and signed by John Scharffenberger.
For additional information about Scharffen Berger chocolate and the Elevate a Classic Dessert with Scharffen Berger ChocolateContest, plus this year's winning recipes, visit www.ScharffenBerger.com. Visit the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker page on Facebook or follow @ScharffenBerger on Twitter to share ideas and engage with an active community of bakers and chocolate enthusiasts.
About Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker
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 one of the world's finest chocolate makers. All Scharffen Berger chocolate is composed of proprietary bean blends from up to nine different cacao-growing regions throughout the world. Scharffen Berger chocolate has received recognition throughout the U.S. for its high quality chocolate. Scharffen Berger products are sold by retailers nationwide, at Scharffen Berger chocolate's own retail location in San Francisco and through its website www.ScharffenBerger.com. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker is part of the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company. For more information, please visit www.ScharffenBerger.com.