The Scharffen Berger Bakery Crawl & Contest

Disclaimer: This blog post is not about something I made. Unless making the bus counts, or in this case, the trolley. It’s funny how things happen. Yesterday I was a craft blogger. Today, and possibly today only, I’m a food blogger.

Twice a year I put together fabulous sponsor product-filled swag bags for a scrapbookers’ retreat weekend and blog reader giveaway. Most items in the bags are craft related, but I also like to maximize on the retreat theme by including delicious edibles. So, I contacted Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker to request chocolates for our event and giveaway. They not only obliged, but invited me to a press-only bakery crawl in San Francisco: Elevate a Classic Dessert with Scharffen Berger Chocolate kicking off their exciting new contest that you just might consider entering yourself! Do you have a classic favorite that could use enhancing? The grand prize is $10,000. Kinda makes you want to dig through the recipe box, eh?So, there I was, in the mix with a quaint group of enthusiastic foodies, bloggers, writers and photographers gathered at the Scharffen Berger store at the Ferry Building Market in San Francisco meeting up to board a trolley (actually a motorized cable car) for a special tour and tasting.We visited Anthony’s Cookies for his Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie with Walnuts featuring Scharffen Berger 62% Semisweet Baking Chunks. Firstly, Anthony was a delight. Secondly, those cookies were absolutely incredible. Thin crunchy shell outside, chewy warm brownie-like inside with loads of soft flowing chocolate pockets and the added bonus of baked fresh walnuts. Thankfully Anthony provided us with an extra cookie to go, so my husband could confirm my findings: unbelievably satisfying chocolatey-chocolate perfection. At the risk of being a spoiler, it was my favorite taste of the tour.Our next stop on the tour was Cititzen Cake for Elizabeth Falkner’s Chocolate Gelato Sundae with Chocolate Cake Crumbles and Marshmallow Cream. Chef Falkner’s dessert was rich gelato made with Scharffen Berger 41% Extra Rich Milk Chocolate and 82% Extra Dark Chocolate, layered with chocolate cake crumbles made with Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder and topped with 70% Bittersweet Chocolate sauce and marshmallow cream. She whipped up rich gelato with liquid nitrogen right behind the counter, in this photo I call “Chocolate Paparazzi”.Further down the trail we stopped into Kara’s Cupcakes in Ghiradelli Square for the Candy Bar: a cupcake made with Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder filled with carmel, topped with a milk chocolate peanut butter ganache frosing, and lightly sprinkled with sea salt. I just love little surprises in my cupcake, this one did not disappoint! Soon after cupcakes, the trolley delivered us all back to the Ferry Building Market to pick up a take-out box from Miette, each stuffed with a thick slice of Scharffen Berger Triple Chocolate Cream Cake. I brought my slice home to share with my husband, the true chocolate aficionado. It was a gorgeous layer cake made exclusively with Scharffen Berger chocolate: Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder, 70% Bittersweet Chocolate and 62% Semisweet Chocolate Chantilly cream mixed with Roasted Cocao Nibs in the layers, covered in a rich 62% Semisweet Chocolate ganache. (Unfortunately, it was devoured before I remembered I should’ve snapped a photo- weary from the long drive home to Petaluma I suppose. But trust me, it was as amazing as it sounds.)

Finally we were all taken to the outside kitchen at Scharffen Berger to find our own chocolate brown baking aprons, commercial size whisks and baking chocolate. We sat and sipped iced pomegranite lemonade while enjoying a charming baking demonstration by Executive Pastry Chef Yigit Pura of San Francisco’s Taste Catering Co. and winner of the 2010 Top Chef: Just Desserts. Chef Pura’s creation was the Scharffen Berger Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze (Click for recipe!). Perfectly seasonal for crisp fall weather and simply lovely served with a touch of gold.It was a great event and I was so glad to be a part of it. Once home I was welcomed by my own personal chef with homemade mahi mahi fish tacos topped with fresh salsa. Dessert and then dinner. I could almost get used to that.

Watch for the big swag bag giveaway including Scharffen Berger chocolates coming to my blog the week of Thanksgiving.

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20 Responses to The Scharffen Berger Bakery Crawl & Contest

  1. #1 - Theresa Begin says:

    That was fun to read, Cathe! As a matter of fact, I habve watched 3 of the Chef’s you met compete on the Food Network..They are incredibly talented, too, what a treat to get to enjoy their baked goodies. Thanks for sharing, Theresa. 🙂

  2. #2 - Pat says:

    What a fantastic event…chocolate heaven!

  3. #3 - Miss Kitty says:

    Oh my! This rivals my pilgrammage to Hershey, Pennsylavannia to eat as much chocolate as I could in two days. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this wonderful adventure with us. Did you save your “press credentials’?

  4. #4 - Jody says:

    All beautiful and decadent … but those tacos took the cake. Yum, yum, yum. Any chance the recipe might show up here someday?

  5. #5 - ButterYum says:

    Wow – what a great event. How wonderful you were invited to attend!


  6. #6 - Noreen says:

    I drooled all the while I read this! Who could turn down such an opportunity?

  7. #7 - maggie raguse says:

    holy toledo.
    that is my version of heaven.
    i must stop salivating now.
    thanks for sharing…..well, I mean that in the non-literal sense. I would have preferred for you actually to have shared!


  8. #8 - Lori O'Donnell says:

    Oh Cathe! This sounds like an amazing day! I want to take a bit of the pictures!! LOVE Anthony’s smile. He looks like he just loves life. Glad you got to have a chocolatey day!!

  9. #9 - RobinfromCA says:

    Your day sounds fantastic! I love our SF chocolatiers – Scharffen Berger, Guittard and Ghirardelli…mmm. I am already a fan of Kara’s Cupcakes but I think I need to stop by Anthony’s and try that cookie the next time I’m up in The City. Brownies are my weakness!! Thanks for sharing your day!

  10. #10 - Michelle Bartel says:

    What a wonderful experience…and to see a couple of Food Network and Bravo competitive chefs…just a plus!

  11. #11 - Sue says:

    You lucky pup, you!

  12. #12 - Artybecca says:

    Oh my, what a delicious day and is there any way you can make those scratch and sniff photos?

  13. #13 - Peggy says:

    What a fun blog post! Our daughter is at SF State in her last year as a graphic design major and we went to Miette (2 locations on two separate days) last time I was there. I love their macarons. Now I have a couple of new places on my “must experience” list. My daughter works for Kara’s Cupcakes, dividing her time between the GS and Scott Street locations. I can’t wait to talk to her and ask her if she was at GS when your group was there. Thanks again for all the great things you share with us.

  14. #14 - TidyMom says:

    Well if you’re going to become a food blogger, even if only for a day…..this is the way to do it Cathe! You k ow I’ve never had Scharffen Berger chocolate? I’ll be patiently waiting for your giveaway

  15. #15 - Centsational Girl says:

    I loved taking this trip with you my friend, wish I had been with you, ooooooooh it all looks scrumptious!!


  16. #16 - Amy says:

    You make me want to take the day off from work and head down to San Francisco for some treats!!!! Yum!!!

  17. #17 - Heidi Lee says:

    As I started reading this I thought…oh, I hope she got to go to Kara’s Cupcakes! I have no idea about the rest of the places, but if they even came close…that was an AMAZING day!


  18. #18 - lisab says:

    what a fun post ……….. wish our town would a tour like that!!

  19. #19 - kristi says:

    You are one lucky girl Cathe Holden…. 🙂

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