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Published: Sunday, 10/9/2005

Italy inspired contest winner

Geraldine Haas of Lima, Ohio, won the Velvet Ice Cream Co. Summertime Fun Recipe Contest on Sept. 28 for Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream Cake. She will receive $500 for her entry, which was selected from a field of 73.

Recipes of 12 semifinalists were prepared on the day of judging at Ye Olde Mill (Velvet's headquarters) in Utica, Ohio. I was among the three judges who evaluated the recipes based on taste, appearance, ease of preparation, and overall creativity.

During the judging, I was intrigued with ways you can create delicious ice cream pies, cakes, and mini desserts. Contestants used a variety of products for pie crusts including prepared shortbread pie crusts. They made crusts of crumbled coconut macaroons, refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter crumbs, chocolate cookie crumbs, soft sugar cookie crumbs, and graham cracker crumbs.

Fillings used vanilla ice cream with instant butterscotch pudding mix, lemonade frozen concentrate with vanilla ice cream, Velvet Buckeye Classic Ice Cream with fudge sauce for a filling, and assorted other flavors.

Ms. Haas found the inspiration for her recipe during a vacation to Italy. "They use a chocolate-hazelnut spread there the way we use peanut butter," she said. "We loved the flavor so much I decided to use the spread in the recipe, as a complement to my favorite combination of chocolate and raspberry."

Not only did her entry taste good, it was visually appealing with a layer of chocolate ice cream topped with chocolate-hazelnut spread, a layer of raspberry sherbet topped with chocolate-hazelnut spread, sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, and garnished with fresh raspberries.

Second place went to Michelle Stapleton of Newark, Ohio, for Red Velvet Ice Cream Cakes. Using a Red Velvet cake mix, she made cupcakes, which she sliced in half and then layered each bottom with a small square of vanilla ice cream before adding the frosted top. This is a great dessert for a child's birthday party.

Third place went to Ina Heath of Utica for Buckeye Chocolate Cookie Dessert using Velvet Buckeye Classic Ice Cream.

Here's the winning recipe.

1 1.75 quart

container

chocolate ice

cream, softened

1 14.1-ounce

jar chocolate-

hazelnut spread

1/2 cup heavy

cream, warmed

1 quart raspberry

sherbet,

slightly

softened

1/2 cup chopped

hazelnuts,

toasted

1 7-ounce

container

whipped cream

1 cup fresh

raspberries

In a 9-inch springform pan, spoon softened ice cream and spread evenly. Freeze until firm. Pour contents of the chocolate-hazelnut spread into a bowl and stir in the warmed heavy cream until smooth. Cool completely.

Spread one-half of the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the chocolate ice cream, spreading evenly. Refreeze. Next, spoon on the sherbet and spread evenly. Pour the remaining chocolate spread over the sherbet, spreading over the top. Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts. Freeze for 6 hours, covering the pan with foil.

When ready to serve, unmold cake, and cut into 12 wedges and place on chilled plates. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Yield: 12 servings

Source: Geraldine Haas of Lima, Ohio

Bulgarian-Macedonian foods will be featured at the 2005 Craft Show and Ethnic Food Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral at 738 Glenwood Ave. in Rossford.

"Bulgarian-Macedonian foods are similar to Greek food," says Maria Pappas, event chairman. Macedonia is in the northern part of Greece. "So Macedonian, Greek, and Bulgarian recipes are very close." However, Greek recipes tend to use more cinnamon and the Greek baklava is made with honey rather than the sugar syrup used in St. George's recipe.

Among the foods sold at the Ethnic Food Fest will be a Bulgarian-Macedonian sausage made with beef and pork flavored with oregano, garlic, and parsley. "It is made by a local butcher using our church's recipe," says Mrs. Pappas.

The menu will also include Bulgarian stuffed cabbage rolls made with garlic, sauerkraut, rice, beef, and a tomato sauce. Baked chicken and Macedonian rice is also popular. The combo plate for $6 includes the chicken, rice, a stuffed cabbage, and green beans.

At the pastry booth, watch for elephant ears (fried dough sprinkled with sugar) and rolled phyllo dough filled with shredded apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar, similar to a strudel. Church members also make Macedonian pita filled with feta cheese and leeks as well as baklava. Pastry items will be sold by the piece.

Admission is free. There are church tours every hour. For more information, call 419- 693-9019.

For a perfect cup of coffee, use high quality coffee, cold filtered water, and a coffee brewer that brews water temperature of 200 degrees. Too low a temperature results in underextraction and weak coffee. Too high a temperature results in scalded and/or bitter flavor.

Don't store coffee in the same cabinet as spices because the coffee absorbs other flavors. Don't use spring water as it will make coffee taste flat, according to Gevalia Kaffee.



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