Today, I want to tell you about our chocolate adventure at BlogHer Food '09. Yes, it involves that mysterious chocolate box I mentioned yesterday. And, yes, it was even better than it looks!
During the afternoon break, we were treated to an "out of the box chocolate adventure" by Chef Elizabeth Faulkner (pictured above) of Citizen Cake. The demo was sponsored by one of my all time favorite brands, Scharfen Berger Chocolate, and TuttiFoodiecom. Color me delighted!
Undoubtedly, you will have recognized Chef Faulkner from her many appearances on Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, as well as The Food Network and Martha Stewart Living. I can tell you, she's every bit as dynamic in person as she appears on TV, and twice as nice. In addition to her winning personality, I can now attest to her culinary charms. Naturally, she had me at "chocolate" ... but she didn't stop there.
Scharffen Berger and TuttiFoodie used Elizabeth's demo as the vehicle for announcing this year's Chocolate Adventure Contest - and what a trip it was! Chef Faulkner filled three solid chocolate boxes with such an astounding mix of sticky, gooey, chocolaty, spicy goodness that I'm at a loss to describe it. Honestly, it was intoxicating!
In short, The Chocolate Adventure Contest invites entrants to combine any variety of Scharffen Berger Chocolate with one of 16 exotic ingredients to create a unique taste adventure in the categories of both savory and sweet. Not content to use just one or two of the suggested ingredients, Chef Faulkner used 11! So many, that I can't even recall the list. Here's what I can tell you ... she made her own marshmallows and began layering them in the box, along with chile spiced chocolate sauce, salted caramel, cumin spiced toffee, pretzels, corn nuts, another sauce laced with Malbec wine ... and who knows what else?!
She then invited us to play with our food and play, we did! We each donned a rubber glove and dove into the box, extracting a handful of that yummy concoction and devouring it straight off of our fingers! While some members of the audience seemed a bit hesitant to give it a go, trust me, I needed no second invitation. Frankly, after tasting it, it was all I could do not to shove everyone out of the way and abscond with that box to my room. Really! It was just that good. Picture an explosion of every delicious thing you've ever eaten and you'll get the gist.
I can't thank Chef Faulkner enough for providing us with such a fun, delicious and truly unexpected taste adventure. It rocked!
And now, I'd like to invite you to play with your food too! Enter The Chocolate Adventure Contest and you could win one of two grand prizes, each totaling $10,000! One prize will be awarded in the savory category and one in the sweet. The list of adventure ingredients are as follows:
- Fresh Mint (any variety)
- Fresh or Crystallized Ginger
- Pandan Leaf
- Banana Leaf
- Raw Honey
- Cacao Nibs
- Peanut Butter
- Fresh or Whole Dried Chile Pepper
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Rice Flour
- Paprika (any varietal)
- Smoked Sea Salt
So, which of these ingredients would you use in your concoction? Curious Diva wants to know.