Chocolate Adventure Contest

Remember that cupcake contest I told you about? The Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Ingredient Contest?

The one with $10,000 up for grabs? It was a while ago. You’ve probably forgotten by now. That’s ok, but that’s why I went to San Francisco this February to begin with. They flew me out there to taste the top cupcakes and help judge to pick the winner. Ridiculous, I know. But, I went across the country from Georgia to California to eat chocolate cupcakes. Adventurous one might even say.

Anyway, here are a few behind the scenes of the judging and the winning recipe in case you’ve been wondering.


Lisa (on the right) from tuttiefoodie helps put together the contest. And while there were a ton of ingredients needed on hand to cover all the cupcakes being made from flour to bee pollen……


…all of the recipes had to include some type of Scharffen Berger Chocolate. Yes, I know. This was a tough assignment.


Paulding & Company kitchen. Where it all went down.


Look, there’s Matt from Matt Bites.


Matt was also one of the judges. He takes pics just like me. Only he’s a bazillion times better at it.


Elizabeth Falkner was another judge. She owns Citizen Cake in San Francisco. You know how some people exude cool… well, she’s one of them even without a blowtorch. She’s been a competitor and judge on Top Chef, so you may recognize her and her spiky golden locks.


That’s Alice Medrich. She’s an expert on chocolate desserts and the author of several books. She’s got one I’ve been eyeing for a bit. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. Dang, I should have bought one and had her sign it. Kicks self.


That’s me and this is what a dork wave looks like while holding a cupcake.

See that guy on the left that looks all serious? That’s John Scharffenberger. He was the fifth judge.

Here are just a few of the cupcakes we ate… I mean tasted. : )


These were one of the finalists.


German Chocolate Cupcakes with coconut milk and sumatra coffee beans… another one of the finalists.


The candied serrano chiles on this one earned it a second place title and $7,000.


Beer-malt frosting and spicy pretzel crumbles topped these cuties and won them third place and $3,000.


Man we look serious.

Choosing one winner was tough, but we all agreed that these stout cupcakes tasted best.

You Make me Want to Stout Cupcakes by Elaine Barbee


I didn’t get a great photo of them, but feel free to check out all three winning recipes and images here.


Here’s the whole team… It was a really fun day judging chocolate cupcakes in San Francisco and meeting new people.


But, I’ll tell you, I was so happy to finally meet Matt. I’ve had a little blog crush on him for a while. Great design. Beautiful photos. Interesting stories about food and travel. P.S. Matt just published his first cookbook titled, On a Stick. Something tells me we’d get along.