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Chocolate Contest Kicks Off Five County Fair

The Five County Fair got off to a sweet start with a pre-fair “Chocolate Contest at the County Fair” held at the Five County Fairgrounds on Sept. 10.

Sponsored by the Virginia Egg Council, the “Everybody Loves Chocolate” recipe contest is held at county fairs across the state to determine the top three winners from each fair who will advance to the State Fair of Virginia competition.

This year's contest focused on everyone's favorite – chocolate. Each recipe was required to include six eggs and chocolate in some form. The State Fair contest will be held on Oct. 1 and will include a first place prize of $375 and a year's supply of Eggland's Best eggs; second place is $200 and a six month supply of eggs; and third place will receive $125 and a six month supply of eggs.

Winners selected to represent the Five County Fair were: first place – Zoe Heiberger, of Richmond; second place – Dottie Morris, of Appomattox; and third place – Angela Irving, of Farmville. (Contestants for this statewide competition who have no county fair in their area are allowed to compete in a fair of their choice.)

The winning recipes are featured in today's column: Chocolate Raspberry Cake, Amaretto Marble Pound Cake with Chocolate Amaretto Butter Filling, Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie.

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE

by Zoe Heiberger

cake: 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, 6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 7 lg. Eggland eggs, separated, 1 c. butter, 2 c. sugar, 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. all purpose flour

icing: 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 1/2 c. butter, 5 c. confectioners' sugar, 1 c. sour cream, 2 tsp. vanilla

filling: 18 oz. raspberry preserves, fresh raspberries for garnish

needed for recipe: 9-inch non-stick cake pans, parchment paper

Cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cake pans with parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Cool. Beat in egg yolks (not whites). In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture, continue beating until smooth. Stir in flour until just combined. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate batter in three additions. Pour batter into pans. Bake until toothpick in center comes out with moist crumbs, about 35 to 40 minutes. Icing: Melt chocolate and butter in double-boiler or microwave. Cool several minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine confectioner's sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. To Prepare: Spread raspberry preserves between cake layers. Frost outside of cake with chocolate icing. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

AMARETTO MARBLE POUND CAKE

WITH CHOCOLATE AMARETTO BUTTER FILLING

by Dottie Morris

cake: 3 c. sugar, 1 c. buttermilk, 2 sticks butter, softened, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 c. oil, 1 T. Amaretto liqueur, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3 c. all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 3 T. cocoa, 6 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 3-1/2 x 8-inch loaf pans. If using silicone molds (mini bundt pans) spray with cooking spray. Beat sugar, butter, cooking oil, salt and baking powder until fluffy. Add buttermilk, vanilla, amaretto, and beaten eggs. Beat this on medium speed for about three minutes. Fold in the flour on low speed until well combined. Move two cups of batter into medium bowl and stir in the cocoa. Batter will be a light brown color. Pour plain batter into baking pans. Put equal amounts of the cocoa batter on top of the plain batter, then gently swirl the two to form a marbling effect or you can leave them layered. Bake loaf pans 55 to 60 minutes; mini bundt pans for 25 to 27 minutes. Cool in pans. Turn onto serving plate once cool. Scoop out the center of the mini bundt cakes and slice the loaves in half for the filling.

Cooked Chocolate Amaretto Butter Cream Filling: 1/2 c. milk, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 egg yolks, beaten, 1 c. butter, room temperature, 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled, 2 T. Amaretto liqueur

Scald milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix vigorously until blended and smooth. Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, stirring constantly with a spoon. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, then beat until the mixture is cool. You can hasten this process by placing the pan on ice. When cool begin beating the butter by tablespoons, beating after each addition, until smooth. If it begins to separate or look curdled, beat well with an electric mixer. Add unsweetened chocolate and Amaretto liqueur and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Before serving fill the hollowed out mini bundt cakes with this filling and put filling between the cut layers of the loaf cake. You can garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

Whipped Cream: Whip one cup heavy cream until soft peaks form and then add 1/4cup confectioners' sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

BOURBON CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

by Angela Irving

2 sticks butter, melted, 2 c. sugar, 2 c. white corn syrup, 8 eggs, beaten, 2 T. Wild Turkey bourbon, 2 c. whole pecans, 2 9 or 10-in. unbaked pie shells, 1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first five ingredients until smooth. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into pie shells. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until fairly firm. Let cool and set up before serving. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream.