Raspberry wine, marshmallow créme and, of course, cocoa are just a few of the ingredients Marie White of Lehighton uses in her “deep, dark” chocolate cake, which resembles a bountiful basket, thanks to a topping of berries.The eye-catching cake (shown above) took top honors in the Hershey’s Cocoa Classic competition, which took place during the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show in January in Harrisburg.
White earned a blue ribbon and $500, besting a field of 74 other entries. “I like baking,” said White, 66. “I used to bake wedding cakes for friends.”White’s chocolate cake became eligible for state competition after placing first last year at the Northeast Fair in Pittston Township. She enjoys the local fair, where she and her husband, George, also have entered photographs, homemade pickles and tomato sauce in competition. “He grows the stuff, and I can it,” she said.
A panel of five judges selected her cake based upon flavor (aroma, taste, good balance of flavorings), texture (moist and tender crumb; not soggy or dry), inside characteristics (even grain, evenly baked, free from air pockets), outside characteristics (consistent shape, size, surface, overall appeal), and frosting (taste, texture, even color).
She said she will use her prize money to buy a swing set for her grandsons, Owen and Alexander, who live in West Chester.
MARIE WHITE’S DEEP DARK BERRY BASKET CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons raspberry wine
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round pans, 9 x 1 1/2 inches. In a large mixer bowl combine dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Remove from mixer, stir in wine and boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in rounds 10 minutes, remove from pans. Cool completely.
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups marshmallow cr�me
1 tsp. vanilla
3-6 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup raspberries
Prepare filling. Beat shortening, sugar, marshmallow cr�me, vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk together until fluffy. Add more milk if needed. Gently stir in pieces of cut raspberries.
FROSTING FOR TOP LAYER
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sift if lumpy)
1 cup milk
1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
In saucepan, melt shortening. Remove from heat, stir in cocoa and salt. Place confectioners sugar in mixer bowl, mix in milk and vanilla. Stir in cocoa mixture. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 1 tablespoon more milk if needed for good spreading consistency.
Finish top of cake with assortment of fruit to create the look of a basket of berries.