…………… choc’late ripples or choc’late tipples,
Choc’late ruffles or choc’late truffles,
Choc’late kisses for sweet young misses,
Soft and creamy, completely dreamy………
(excerpted from the ‘The Golden Age of Chocolate’ – Willy Wonka)
And so it began, a SWEET invitation from the folks at Scharffen Berger® to participate in their Chocolate Adventure Contest. As part of the contest this year, daring cooks – professional and amateur- were invited to develop original and creative recipes with Scharffen Berger products and to incorporate one or more of 16 enticing ‘adventure ingredients’. Adventure ingredients were: fresh mint, fresh or crystallized ginger, pandan leaf, banana leaf, sumac, raw honey, cacao nibs, fresh or whole dried chili pepper, malbe, peanut butter, back-eyed peas, rice flour, papaya, cumin, paprika, smoked sea salt. The key personality behind the competition – Chef Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Orson.
Never having done this type of competition before, I spent a great deal of time developing a list of eligible recipe ideas. I submitted two recipes for consideration in the ‘sweet’ category, and one of those two submissions made it into the top 16 out of over 1,000 entries.
While my ranking was not a prize holding spot, it was truly an honor to be among the likes of this group of contestants. It was a blast to cook under the guise of a new purpose- not just for dinner or a party, but to compete and create a recipe with a competitive directive. The end result — two recipes I am thrilled with ….and the near winner will be shared with you today. It is a seemingly wacky combo of ingredients but one well worth trying if you are willing to move away from those traditional desserts and put forward an eye-popping treat.
Spicy Chacon (Chocolate Bacon) Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup butter
2 -3/4 cup lightly salted, dry roasted peanuts
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
Peanut Brittle Directions
Prepare 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or butter. Set aside
In small bowl, dissolve baking soda in water and vanilla. Set aside.
In a 4 quart saucepan, heat together sugar, corn syrup and water, stirring until sugar dissolves.
When syrup boils, blend in butter. Stir frequently.
When temperature reaches 280 degrees add peanuts. Stir constantly to hard crack stage (305 degrees). Remove from heat; quickly stir in soda, mixing well.
Pour onto baking sheets.
Spicy Chocolate Glaze Ingredients
½ lb bacon, cooked
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (4 oz Scharffen Berger 62% dark chocolate and 2 oz milk chocolate)
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp Hungarian paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sumac
Spicy Chocolate Glaze Directions
Prepare bacon, cooking on medium-low heat until dry and crispy but not blackened. Set aside on towel to drain and cool. Once cool crumble into medium size pieces.
Melt chocolate and mix in all other ingredients until well blended.
Spread on brittle and then sprinkle with bacon.
Loosen from pan when candy hardens. Break into pieces.
Makes 2 1/2 pounds.
The video of the final competition judging can be seen at The Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest.