chocolate challenge

How? I emailed the nice people at Marx Foods when I heard they needed some more bloggers for a Chocolate Challenge.
Why? I don’t need a reason for chocolate. Neither should you.
When? Today, Dec. 18th 2011
Where? Right here, right now.
What? It’s the Capricious Chocolate Challenge hosted by Marx Foods, where they sent 10 bloggers the follow: fennel pollen, dried chilies, coconut sugar, granulated candy cap mushrooms, and vanilla beans. We were to make, bake, create. This is the story of what I made.

Let’s be real, the holidays are mostly about the parties: the parties you’ll attend and the ones you’ll host. The parties you’ll miss out on, and the parties you’ll throw at the spur of the moment. But what makes a holiday party, a REAL party? Well, the food of course! Specially when you have planned a great dessert to end the party and meal.

This dessert is for those dinner parties that you want to make something different, all while sticking to comforting flavors your guests will love. Three components that come together to provide texture and flavors unlike you’ve ever taste.


  • Coconut Sugar Chocolate Cake: a decadent cake, best served warm is laced with coconut sugar and cocoa powder. Not too sweet, so it pairs perfectly with the other components.
  • Spicy Habanero Chocolate Ganache: steeping the cream with a dried habanero will give you the heat, without the pain and you’ll get added sweetness from the Madagascar vanilla bean. Using milk chocolate will provide a silky feel and bounces off the cake perfectly. 
  • Fennel Pollen Spiced Tuile: adding a tuile seemed like the way to go when adding texture to a dessert. The supple cake and the silky ganache are topped with a crisp spiced tuile sprinkled with fennel pollen and candy cap mushrooms. Not only are the flavors there, but visually interesting as well. 

    The best part? You can make all the components ahead of time and just warm the cakes in the oven, the ganache over the stove top and the tuiles when made can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days! It’s a stress free dessert that will entice your guests taste buds and keep you out of the kitchen the day of the party!

    Coconut Sugar Chocolate Cake
    makes 3 small cakes
    1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
    1 egg, room temperature
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 tablespoon natural cocoa powder
    pinch of salt
    1/4 cup whole milk

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and dust three ramekins with cocoa powder. Reserve.
    2. Cream butter and coconut sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth. 
    3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Add to mixer and stir only, adding milk and mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.
    4. Pour batter into ramekins and bake until done. Reserve.

    Spicy Habanero Chocolate Ganache
    makes 1 cup
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean, scraped
    1 dried Habanero pepper
    1 cup milk chocolate chips
    1.  Keep chocolate chips in a bowl. Reserve. 
    2. Simmer heavy cream with vanilla bean and Habanero pepper. When the cream reaches a slow boil, remove vanilla bean and pepper and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute before stirring.
    3. Stir until mixed thoroughly and you’ve achieved a silky chocolate consistency. Set aside until ready to serve.
    Fennel Pollen Spiced Tuile
    makes 20-24 tuiles
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon all purpose flour
    1 egg white
    1/4 stick unsalted butter
    season with: cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
    1. Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and flour and stir until smooth. 
    2. Add spices and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
    3. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread batter thinly on silicone sheet in whatever shape is desired. Sprinkle with fennel pollen and crushed candy cap mushrooms. 
    4. Bake until golden brown. This take about 2-3 minutes, and they go from golden brown to black in the blink of an eye. Store in an airtight container. 

      Disclaimer: I was provided with samples from Marx Foods but was not compensated in any way. This post will be entered in The Capricious Chocolate Challenge.

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      1. wow nelly, schmancy chocolate cake! this is the stuff you see in IRON CHEF!

      2. I love that you used all the ingredients! I am not a big fan of mushrooms no matter how versatile, so I was a little stuck for how to try and use them. Nice work!

      3. Awesome! I love the Fennel Pollen Spiced Tuile 🙂 I recently did a challenge with Marx Foods and won the public poll, I had a blast! Good luck! 🙂

      4. OMG! Bringing some newlywed whup-ass to the party, huh? Hells yeah, send it my way!

      5. Wow. Seriously dude… you got mad skills. Good luck!