After crafting recipes and carefully preparing their selected desserts, contestants for the fourth annual Chocolate Olympics at Victoria's Fancy Foods offered up their samples and a winner was crowned.
The winner and gold medal recipient of this year's Chocolate Olympics is Michelle Lyon, who made a chocolate caramel cheesecake.
The event featured nine contestants who each made a chocolate treat. Those who attended the event were given the opportunity to try the desserts and then vote for their favorite.
Art Allison received a silver medal for his sacher cake trifle and Tara Benson won bronze with her flourless chocolate cake. Benson also won honorable mention for best presentation.
Here's Lyon's recipe for the first-place chocolate caramel cheesecake:
15 whole Graham Crackers
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 – 8 oz bricks Cream Cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
5 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
Ganache (recipe follows)
Caramel (recipe follows)
Heat oven to 300. Grease a 9 inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Put graham crackers in food processor and pulse about 7 times. Add butter and pulse until the butter disappears and the crumbs fall slowly over when the machine stops. Pack the crumbs into the prepared pan and bake blind for 10 minutes and place in the fridge to cool. Reduce the oven heat to 250F. Place the cream cheese and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, melted chocolate and sour cream in a large bowl. Turn the mixer down to 30 percent and slowly drizzle the mixture into the cream cheese. As soon as the batter is integrated, pour the batter into the crust. Place the pan into a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with boiling water to within 1 inch of the tip of the cheesecake pan. Place the pans into the oven and set the timer for 1 hour. When the timer goes off, turn off the oven, open the oven door for 1 minute, shut the door and set the timer for another hour. At the end of 1 hour, remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on the counter (1 hour). Then chill for 3 – 6 hours. Cover with ganache and then with caramel.
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2 cups semi sweet chocolate cut into small chunks
Heat the cream until it just begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until it is smooth. Cool to room temperature before pouring on cheesecake.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Watch it carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract). Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Serve warm, or add another 1/4 cup of heavy cream and serve room temperature.
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