Oklahoma Pride Cooking Contest Best In Show Winner: Chocolate Hazelnut Delight

8 minutes

As the editors were putting together the March-April 2020 issue of Oklahoma Today, including winning recipes from the 2019 Oklahoma Pride Cooking Contest, we were struck by the beauty—and complexity—of Edmond resident Sarika Alvekar's Best in Show dish, Chocolate Hazelnut Delight.

The recipe is very involved. Very. As much as we wanted to include it in the magazine, it was simply too large to fit. Thanks to the boundless space of the Internet, we are happy to present it to you here.

Chocolate Hazelnut Delight

Chocolate Hazelnut Delight

Chocolate Hazelnut Delight

By Sarika Alvekar

Butterscotch Sauce (for mousse dome)

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup Braum’s whipping cream
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a large pan on medium to low heat. Stir infrequently until everything looks liquid, and a candy thermometer shows a temperature of 225 degrees. Off heat, add vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool down.

Hazelnut Praline Crumbs

½ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup sugar
little water

Roast hazelnuts in an oven on 350 degrees for ten minutes. Then take the peels off the nuts as much as possible. In a large pot on medium heat, add sugar and a little water. After sugar dissolves and the temperature is 240 degrees, add nuts. Keep stirring until crystallized sugar turns a light amber color. Off heat, pour nuts on parchment paper to cool down, then pulse them in a blender until coarse. Keep few whole nuts aside for decoration later.

Joconde Cake (base for mousse dome)

3 egg whites
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 ½ oz. almond flour
3 ½ oz. powdered sugar
3 eggs
1 oz. Shawnee Best all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For meringue whisk egg whites and granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. In stand mixer add almond flour, powdered sugar and eggs. Whisk until mixture is fluffy. Fold in flour until incorporated. Then add meringue and fold gently. Pour melted butter and mix well. Pour the mixture in a greased and lined nine-by-thirteen-inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Once it cools down, cut the round discs for mousse base.

Chocolate Mousse Domes

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 oz. Braum’s ultra-pasturized whipping cream
1 packet of unflavored gelatin, bloomed in ¼ cup water
Half-dome silicone molds

Melt chopped butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler (bain marie). Take off heat, add egg yolks, and whisk. For meringue, in stand mixer, add egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk until foamy. Gradually add sugar and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold meringue into chocolate mixture, then whipping cream. Add gelatin and mix well. Pour mixture into silicone molds. Add butterscotch sauce, hazelnut praline crumbs in the middle. Cover the top with coffee-syruped joconde slice. Freeze all the domes until set.

Mirror Glaze (for mousse dome)

2 ½ Tbsp unflavored gelatin, bloomed in ¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Braum’s whipping cream
¼ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder

In a saucepan, add sugar, cream, and cocoa powder. Stir for four minutes and after it boils, add bloomed gelatin. Mix well and cool it down. Unmold the frozen mousse domes and put them over plastic wrapped sheet pan. When the temperature of glaze is between 81 and 85 degrees, pour the glaze on frozen chocolate mousse domes. Refrigerate glazed mousse domes until final assembly.

French Coffee Buttercream

3 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. water
1 ½ Tbsp. instant coffee
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

In a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks until fluffy. In a saucepan, add sugar, water, and coffee. After sugar and coffee dissolved, heat mixture to 240 degrees, then remove from heat. Slowly add this mixture into the whisking eggs on low speed. Then whisk on high until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Keep aside until cake is ready.

Chocolate Cake

¾ cup Shawnee Best all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup Braum’s Vitamin D milk

In a large bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well. In a stand mixer, whisk eggs until fluffy, then add sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add flour and milk alternately and whisk until all are incorporated well. Pour the mixture in a nine-by-thirteen-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. After cake cools down, cut the round discs with cookie cutter and frost each cake disk with coffee buttercream and roll the sides into hazelnut praline crumbs. Refrigerate.

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup Braum’s whipping cream

Heat whipping cream on low heat until it starts boiling from sides. Quickly pour in the chocolate chips. Let it rest for five minutes. Mix until smooth and refrigerate to get piping consistency.

Pâte Sablée (base for cake)

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup Shawnee Best all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. milk

In stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until it turns creamy. Add in egg yolk, salt, flour and milk.

Beat the mixture until it comes together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Roll the dough and cut round discs with cookie cutter. Bake the cookies on 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

Final Assembly

To assemble the dessert, put buttercream covered chocolate cake disc over pate sablee cookie with a little soft buttercream to hold the cake. Spread some chocolate ganache on top of the cake.

Then pipe whipped buttercream and chocolate ganache over the cake. Stick few whole hazelnuts around it. Now put the glazed mousse dome over it. Finally add some chocolate decorations with gold-leafed hazelnut and serve.

For the rest of the Oklahoma Pride Cooking Contest winning recipes, pick up the latest issue of Oklahoma Today.