It should then come as no surprise that I was front and center at Tuesday’s Ghiradelli Chocolate Championship in the Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building attempting to photograph decadent desserts without lunging myself onto the Culinary Arts Stage kitchen counter. Officials must have known my reputation – one asked me to step back because I was getting too close to the kitchen area.
Judges tasted 36 exhibits, awarding first through third places. All three top finishers walked away with a Ghiradelli prize basket and apron, with first capturing an additional $150 cash prize and second scoring a $50 prize.
First place went to Markleville’s Mary Alice Collins and her “Ghiradelli White Chocolate Macadamia-Pecan-Coconut Cake” (see photo at left of a judge taste-testing the winner). I’m not a fan of coconut, but I have to say her cake was among the prettiest that I saw. Second place went to
All this talk of Ghiradelli chocolate got you in the mood to bake? Me, too.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can either scope out the entries in the basement of the
Ghiradelli White Chocolate Macadamia-Peach-Coconut Cake
Yields: 12 to 16 servings
8 oz. white chocolate baking bar
2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated Domino Sugar
1 pinch salt
4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped and roasted
2 fresh peaches or 1 cup, chopped very fine and drained on a paper towel
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3- to 8-inch round cake pans on the sides and bottom. Flour the sides and place a piece of cut wax paper in the bottom. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Melt the 8 oz. bar of white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water or melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool to room temperature. With a mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add the flour and milk alternately beginning with the flour and ending with flour. Add the white chocolate, coconut extract, chopped peaches, and macadamia nuts just until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the 3- to 8-inch pans. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging on it. Cool about 15 minutes. Unmold onto a rack and cool completely.