Praline aux Amandes
Taking on the Salted Almond Truffle, Laszlo Bollok of Le Cirque’s stunning dessert featured an almond praline with milk chocolate, toasted almonds, and sea salt. It was a textural phenomenal and one of the most elegant presentations of the evening, as well as the overall audience favorite.
Chocolate Gateaux with Butterscotch Cream and Walnut Coulis
The inspiration for Christina Lee from Recette was Godiva’s Butterscotch Walnut truffle. Her chocolate cake base was dark and perfectly sweet, balanced with a shot of butterscotch cream, a fragrant walnut sauce, and a sprinkling of candied walnuts.
Spiced Chocolate and Pear Parfait
Matthew O’Haver from ilili Restaurant took the heat of Godiva’s Aztec Spice truffle and put it deftly into his parfait. Layers of spiced pears, pasilla dark chocolate pudding, semolina streusel, cinnamon whipped cream, and star anise had plenty of contrasting flavors and textures which unrolled in succession when you got them all in one bite. He served it alongside an Aztec Spice Hot Chocolate, the duo a decadent combo.
“The Flaming Comet”
A classic 50% dark chocolate truffle was John Durdaller of 30 Rock’s own Studio 9C’s inspiration. His rich chocolate ganache was infused with a hefty dose of pear, which were also crisped on top and sat on a buttery shortcake cookie. Altogether, it was one extremely satisfying bite we could have had five more of.
Pistachio Cake Doughnut
Colicchio & Sons’ Stephen Collucci showed up with what he knows best; doughnuts fried to order. Warm, with a satisfying crunch to the crust, they sat on top of a bed of pistachio cream and a sprinkling of dark chocolate feuilletine, and were paired with a light white chocolate cheesecake, mirroring Godiva’s Pistachio truffle. This was one of our favorites of the evening, and our group couldn’t help but go back for seconds.
Lemon-White Chocolate-Vanilla Cheesecake Bar
Thaddeus R. DuBois of Borgata’s Hotel Casino & Spa didn’t mess around with his serious cheesecake bar, which any hard-core New Yorker wouldn’t have been able to scoff at. Inspired by the Lemon Mousse truffle, it had layers of white chocolate mousse and vanilla cheesecake, all drenched in lemon curd.
Elizabeth Falkner and Adam Marca of Corvo Bianco know how to nail a classic, and their take on the Hazlenut Crunch truffle was strewn all over their tartufo, which brought together gianduja semifreddo, cocoa nibs, chocolate and caramel sauces, and roasted hazelnuts. It was a mess of love for ice cream and chocolate devotees.
Molten Lava Dumpling
Union Square Café’s Sunny Ramond pulled apart the Chocolate Lava Cake Truffle and topped hers with milk chocolate ganache, dark chocolate fudge, and powdered sugar laced with chili.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Crust
For his take on the Pecan Caramel truffle, The International Culinary Center’s Jansen Chan had a stunning Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake, with layers of pie crust, pecan filling, and caramel.
Jansen Chan’s presentation
Most people missed it, but Chan smartly pointed out that we should take a look at the chocolate sculptures underneath his plates. He definitely took the night in the presentation department.
Café au Lait Parfait
Alexandra Ray (formerly of North End Grill) somehow captured two completely different creamy textures in her layers of coffee and chocolate mousse, both of which were flavorful without being overpowering. Topped with crunchy feuilletine and a dallop of frozen milk, it was simultaneously indulgent and refreshing.
Duo of Cakes
Taking inspiration from the Pistachio truffle, cake master Ron Ben-Israel got massive amounts of flavor in his duo of Pistachio Cake with White and Dark Chocolate Ganaces and Chocolate Cake with Pistachio Buttercream. As always, the structure of his cakes was just spot on, being dense without weight.
Another stunner, Aliyyah Baylor of Make My Cake Bakery and Café paired Godiva’s Peache Mousse truffle with a fluffy white chocolate mousse layered with chocolate cake and a peach-infused cake.
Maple Walnut Pork Dumpling
Definitely the most original offering of the night, Delicatessen’s Michael Ferraro took the Maple Walnut truffle and turned it into a pork dumpling. Serious maple flavor oozed when we bit into it, with bitter chocolate and candied walnuts making the savory sweet. A maple crème fraiche dipping sauce pulled it all together perfectly. This was another group favorite.
Autumn Candy Bar
American Cut’s Tara Glick took the Dark Chocolate Vanilla Mousse truffle and took it up a notch with a delightfully seasonal pumpkin spice cake, pepita caramel, and ganache, with a slightly tart sauce that totally balanced the sweetness of the vanilla mousse.