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Sunrise Chefs: Allentown Fair winners

Published On: Sep 13 2012 06:50:50 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 21 2012 05:52:08 PM EDT

Sunrise chefs: Allentown fair winners

Every year, contestants put their cooking and baking skills and their recipes to the test at the Great Allentown Fair.  Some of this year's winners joined 69 News at Sunrise to show off their delicious fixings.

Lorrie Rauch of New Tripoli is a top finalist in this years’ King Arthur Flour Great Cake Contest at the Great Allentown Fair. 

Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups sifted King Arthur Flour (sifted, then measured)
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup dark cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
9 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup caramel, divided

Candy (Toffee):
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon butter, divided
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Salt, dash
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

For Candy (Toffee):
1. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt and remaining 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the candy thermometer reads 300 degrees F (hard crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in pecans and vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan. Let stand until set (approximately 1 hour). Break into small pieces.

For Cake:
1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, water, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the King Arthur flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans (heavy duty dull aluminum pans preferred for best results).
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For Frosting:
1. In a large bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff and peaks form (use whipped cream stabilizer to help cream to hold firm). In another bowl, beat cheese until smooth; add the chocolate, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream and 1/2 cup caramel (homemade preferred).

To Assemble:
1. Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2 cups frosting; sprinkle with 1/4 cup toffee. Repeat with second layer. Top with remaining cake layer, spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
2. Drop remaining 1/2 cup caramel by teaspoonful over top of cake; cut through frosting with a knife to swirl. Press remaining toffee into top and on sides of cake (in line with cutting of cake).

Collette Gaugler of Fogelsville won first place in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship at the Great Allentown Fair for her Chocolate Almond Cheesecake.  

Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship
Collette Gaugler of Fogelsville, 1st Place, 2012 Great Allentown Fair

Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

1-1/2 cups Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Ghirardelli chocolate squares

In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.

For filling, melt Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave, stir until smooth. Add cream and mix well; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa and beat well. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in almond extract and reserved chocolate mixture. Pour over crust and place pan on baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes at 325 degrees F or until center is almost set.

For the topping, melt Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave until smooth and immediately stir in cream and almond extract, mix until well blended. Spread over filling. Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 to 2 hours and then refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Remove the sides of pan.

For garnish, place water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let set one minute, then microwave for 30 seconds, set aside. In mixing bowl, whip cream until peaks form, sprinkle in sugar and beat well. Beat in gelatin and almond extract. Pipe on top of cheesecake as desired, and top with Ghirardelli chocolate squares.

Amy Fuchs of Bethlehem was a top finalist in the Pillsbury Pie Baking Championship at the Great Allentown Fair. 

Easy Pecan Pie
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups pecan halves

Unroll Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust and place it in a 9-inch pie plate.

Blend eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in large mixing bowl.

Stir in pecans and pour into Pillsbury pie shell.

Bake in 350 degrees F oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted half way between center and edge comes out clean.

Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream or cool pie and serve plain.

Yields: 8 servings.