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Help me win an iPod- Dessert Contest!

My work is giving away an iPod to the winner of our dessert contest for our annual Thanksgiving lunch! I want to win this one for sure! Normally, I like to do a fall-ish themed dish, but there isn't usually quite this level of incentive. I was originally thinking about this cake recipe for Frosted Caramel Apple Layer Cake from Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip... I'm just thinking that nothing will be able to beat chocolate though. I'm kind of doubting that the judges will be Chowhounds, so I need something that would be hard for the general public to resist. What do you all think? Any ideas that are a 'for sure' win?

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  1. I would do the Chocolate Bourbon Cake with Caramel Whipped Cream. Every time I've made it it disappears quicfkly and everybody is looking for more. You can find the recipe through a Chowhound search.

    4 Replies
    1. re: lattelover

      Ditto to this suggestion. This dessert is just out of this world. Andiereid was the first to post about it. I've made it a number of times and always for occasions - New Year's Eve, Cinco de Mayo CH event and a friend's 60th b-day. I do plan 2-3 days in advance.

      Day 1 Frosting because it needs to set

      Day 2 Bake Cake

      Day 3 Assemble

      It makes it more manageable. It's not difficult but it always impresses. You can also dress it up with decorations, but I never bother. Here are some posts.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/399213

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/356047

      Link to recipe:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3534...

      1. re: beetlebug

        How bourbon-y is it? I'm not always a huge fan of extra boozey cakes, like rum cakes and such, so I'm a little cautious. The frosting looks really good though!

        1. re: Katie Nell

          It's not an overly boozey cake. It does have a great balance between the bourbon and chocolate. I think the bourbon somehow enhances the chocolate. But, if you are concerned about too much booze in it, you can use less bourbon to brush on each layer. I think each layer is 2T brushed on. Maybe make it 1T for each layer and keep the whipped cream at 1T.

          Every time I've made this, it's been a show stopper.

          1. re: beetlebug

            If you'd like to use this type of recipe but want to avoid the bourbon flavor (some people are simply turned off by the flavor of bourbon) you could try substituting a Marsala wine, rum, cream sherry, etc., all of which go well with chocolate.

    2. My new concept is combining the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread and Tyler's Ultimate Cheesecake... using the gingerbread as the crust... you have to bake the gingerbread for a few minutes (10-ish) to let it just get hard enough on top so that the cheesecake batter doesn't mix into it when poured on top, then bake off in a water bath... or the other option is to bake the gingerbread first and let chill in the fridge, then stir chunks of it into the cheesecake batter before baking.

      Some Paula Deen decadent ideas
      http://www.pauladeen.com/recipe_view/411
      or her french toast casserole with a brown sugar brulee for dessert

      or Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies

      1. Suzanne Goins' Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake - when I made it my husband pronounced it the....best....dessert....ever.....made by me. Chef Goins chose it for her wedding cake. It is delicious (now, I've never had the chocolate bourbon cake with caramel whipped cream, which sounds mighty fine). It's and one-layer 9-inch cake made with ground hazelnuts among other ingredients, covered with a chocolate ganache. Strikingly simple but complex in flavor and depending on your skill with an offset spatula, does not have that homemade look. I first encountered the recipe on SmittenKitchen, here's the link:

        http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/03/haz...

        1. If the Thanksgiving lunch will have typical T-day items - bird, sweet potato, and the like - then chocolate might not be appropriate, although you're certainly correct that, as restaurants know, chocolate is most people's first-choice dessert.

          There's no recipe per se, but I make a fruit compote that is a little different, and works either as a stand-alone dessert or a topping for ice cream or cake - like that hazelnut brown butter one already posted. I combine dried apricots, slices of peeled, cored firm apple (Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, for example) and Bosc pear, and sometimes prunes, in a microwave-safe dish and drizzle with a little honey. Pour in a 50/50 mix of unfiltered apple cider and Tokaji Aszu wine (a raisiny dessert wine from Hungary) about half-submerging the fruit. Cover and microwave until the apple is nearly tender enough, then stir in some golden raisins. They will plump, and the fruit will soften, from the residual heat as the compote cools. The wine adds a little sophistication and an astringency that prevents the fruit from being cloyingly sweet.

          1. Chocolate Flan cake. It is awesome! Very rich and you can only eat a small piece. This recipe says to use a cake mix, which i'm sure is how the person who makes the one I've had makes it http://www.recipezaar.com/Chocolate-F...

            My mouth is watering just thinking about it.