Monday, April 19, 2010

the Blackest Forest Gateau and a Giveaway!

OMG, I am giddy with excitement over this post, because I've been planning it for so long!  At last I can unveil it!


I'm the kind of person who really likes to share happy moments with others--I think this is probably why I enjoy food so much, because it's an experience that you're meant to share.  So I'm so excited to share the news that I had my first photography exhibit and showing of my first collection this past weekend, and, to celebrate, I'm doing my first giveaway EVER on this blog!  Read on for details...

"the Guardian"

My collection is called in Una Selva Luminosa and is a set of eight black and white photographs that I took last summer.  You can view the entire collection here.  The collection was really somewhat of a labor of love for me, since I also matted all of the custom-sized photographs myself--hence all of the tweets from a few weeks ago that my kitchen table had devolved into a framer's workshop!

"Descent"

The photographs were taken in Taiwan, though I really like the fact that they're sort of non-specific in their forest-ness.  I was just so incredibly lucky to be where I was at the right time, during the summer when the humid heat from the valleys met the cold mountain air and produced this amazing mist all around.  The collection is dedicated to my maternal grandmother, for whom the hike on which these photos were taken was her last.  A few short months after going on this climb, she suffered a debilitating stroke and now cannot speak or use the right side of her body.

"Light, with Dark"

For me, art should be a mulit-media experience, so naturally, I had the perfect dessert planned to go with my exhibit: "the Blackest Forest Gateau."


Made with black cocoa powder, this "Blackest Forest Gateau" has layers of deep and moist black chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, and sweet dark cherry filling, all wrapped up in generous mounds of light and airy mascarpone whipped cream.  This cake is a perfect transformation of my photography collection into dessert form, with the balance and interplay of light, frothy cream and rich, dense dark chocolate.


And, after tasting this cake, I have to say that it's hands-down one of the BEST chocolate cakes I have ever made.  I'm dead serious, and I absolutely do not say this lightly.  The black cocoa makes the chocolate cake layers so much richer and deeper in chocolate flavor--the cake is barely sweet at all and makes for a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the cherries and cream.  Then, just to up the chocolate ante a bit, I added a layer of dark chocolate ganache on top of each cake layer--you know, just because I can.  (and because hidden chocolate ganache seems to be a recurring theme of this blog.)  The dark cherries really help make the cake, adding a sweet hint of dark, rich berry goodness to offset the incredible chocolaty-ness that you would otherwise have.  Finally, I whipped up a whipped cream with mascarpone cheese, which really helped to make the cream more substantial and add more flavor (and, again, just because mascarpone cheese is awesome).  The outcome is ... well, it leaves me a bit speechless because I'm busy gobbling it all up.

"Ascent"

So, onto the giveaway!  The giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for participating!  I am giving away to one awesomely lucky winner two things: (1) an 8 x 12" professionally matted print from Aspen Creek Photo of one of the photos from my collection that I have featured here in this post (total-size = 12 x 16")--your choice, and (2) a 16-oz. bag of black cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour so that you can recreate this Blackest Forest Gateau at home!  I've been experimenting myself with black cocoa powder for some time now, and having made various cakes and ice creams with it, it is an incredibly versatile ingredient for really enhancing the dark chocolate flavor in your desserts.


[Disclaimer: This giveaway is by no way affiliated or sponsored by Aspen Creek Photo or King Arthur Flour.]


To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment with your name, a way for me to get in touch with you, and answers to these two questions:


  1. Tell me what you would make with black cocoa.
  2. Tell me which one of the four photographs featured in this post from my collection ("the Guardian," "Ascent," "Light, with Dark," "Descent") you would like if you win!


I'll also give you an extra entry into the drawing if you tweet about this post, but in your tweet you must mention me (@shihbakes) and include a link to this giveaway (http://bit.ly/blackcocoa) so that I can track all of the entries.


You have until 23:59 PST next Monday, April 26, 2010 to enter!  I'll pick the winner at random that night and make the announcement in next Tuesday's post.  Because I am a poor graduate student and am running this contest with no sponsorship whatsoever, if you are not in the United States, you are only eligible to win the 16 oz. black cocoa, not the photograph.  That's the compromise that I must make so that everyone can enter--I hope you understand!  [EDIT: some of you have commented that you'd rather have a print, either for personal or country import law reasons, so if you are overseas and win, I will let you pick--cocoa or print!]


Oh man, I hope you are all as excited as I am.  Make this cake--you won't regret it, and don't forget to drop by and check out my entire collection HERE.


Read on for recipe...



Blackest Forest Gateau
makes one 2-layer 9" cake. For suggestions on other sizes, see the tips below the recipes.

for black chocolate cake:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup black cocoa powder
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tspn salt
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of two 9" round cake pans.  If desired, line the cake pans with bake-even strips.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine sugar, flour, black and Dutch-processed cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk.  Stir to mix.  Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix on low until evenly distributed.
4. Pour the boiling water into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth.
5. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

for dark chocolate ganache:
3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2.5 oz. manufacturing or heavy whipping cream
1 Tbspn butter
1 Tbpsn Godiva chocolate liquor, optional

1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter just until simmering.
3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.  Let sit for a minute or so.
4. Whisk the cream into the chocolate until smooth.  Add the liquor, if using, and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Spread a thin layer of ganache on top of both of the cooled chocolate cakes.  Let set for at least two hours, or an hour in the refrigerator.

for dark cherry filling:
10 oz. frozen dark cherries
3 Tbspn sugar
1 Tbspn cornstarch
1 Tbspn kirsch or brandy

1. Place the cherries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cherries begin to release their juices.
2. Add the sugar into the cherries, stirring until dissolved.
3. Pour some of the cherry juice into a small bowl.  Add the cornstarch to the juice and whisk until the corn starch is completely dissolved.  Add the cornstarch and juice back into the saucepan.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch or brandy.  Let cool before using.

for mascarpone whipped cream:
1 cup mascarpone cheese
4 cups manufacturing cream, or heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar

1. Combine the mascarpone cheese and cream in a bowl.  Whip until soft peaks.
2. Add the powdered sugar to the cream, continue whipping just until you reach stiff peaks.  Be careful not to overwhip!  Use immediately.

assembly:
1. Spread a layer of mascarpone whipped cream on the prepared ganache-chocolate cake.
2. Top the whipped cream with the cherries.
3. Place the next layer of cake on top of the cherries and whipped cream.
4. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining cream.  Decorate with chocolate shavings, chocolate trees, fresh cherries, or a dusting of powdered sugar/cocoa powder, if desired.
5. Store in the refrigerator.

Tip:  If you don't have access to black cocoa powder, regular Dutch-processed cocoa will work.
Tip:  For two four-layer 4.5" cakes like the ones in this post, use 1/2 of the black chocolate cake recipe and about half of the whipped cream.  For a four-layer 9" cake, split the cake layers from this recipe, double the cherry filling and chocolate ganache recipes, and you may need to make 1.5 times the amount of whipped cream prescribed here.


Enjoy!

207 comments:

  1. I'll not enter the contest, seeing as I live with you and all, but dang, that cake does look mighty fine. I look forward to trying some tonight...

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  2. Wow!!! Congratulations. Your art AND your cake are both beautiful, and you have taught me something new, I have never heard of black cocoa! I would also like to try doing some sort of flourless cake (or maybe cookies?) with black cocoa, for a friend of mine who is gluten intolerant. (Also, I don't think I could choose a fave from your photographs- "Light, With Dark" maybe. They are all so gorgeous and evocative.

    I am not surprised one bit that you had a show though, your photos are always amazing. :-)

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  3. I love how you've made the cake to mirror the photos you've taken. Gorgeous.

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  4. this was the bestchocolatecakeEVER. EVER!

    but can you turn it into pancakes?

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  5. @Maria: yes, I'm so happy that we still have some in our fridge!

    @Amanda: Thanks so much-- I'd be interested to hear what GF you'd make--experimenting with GF is so new to me.

    @The Purple Foodie: Thanks!

    @Toni: is that a challenge I smell, because I could do it.

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  6. Not only is the cake gorgeous, it look delicious! I would make some yummy dark triple chocolate cookies for my hubby.

    I absolutely LOVE "Ascent" - so haunting and serene!

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  7. I would make deep dark brownies.. and I love the "Ascent"!

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  8. wow, those photos are hauntingly beautiful. and the cake is so fitting!! it looks so delicious and i would make it with the powder. but i can buy the cocoa but i would love a photo!

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  9. Love the cake! How do you make the chocolate trees?

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  10. What a lovely giveaway! The dark cocoa sounds really interesting: I've never come across it here in The Netherlands. I'd probably try to recreate your Black Forest Gateau, if it's similar to Schwarzwalderkirschtorte I'll love it!

    Your photographs look amazing, my favorite is
    "Ascent".

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  11. Gorgeous. The cake and the photos.

    I would definitely recreate your cake with the cocoa, plus maybe some mocha brownies. The dark cocoa would really hold up well to the espresso powder.

    And my fave photo is (I think!) Ascent.

    kristindmiller (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. I would ask you to keep the cocoa *for me* so that we can make this together when I come home in the winter. ;) Or, to point me in its direction, since I'd love to have a print of Descent with me here. <3

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  13. wow beautiful cake and beautiful pictures

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  14. congrats!! the cake and pictures are absolutely amazing!! how creative!

    i'd make chocolate cupcakes with a rich chocolate frosting with the black cocoa.

    my favourite picture is definately ascent!

    bakies @ hotmail.co.uk or www.bakies.blogspot.com

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  15. Brownies! cupcakes! --oh man, I'm so enjoying reading everyone's ideas for black cocoa! Thanks, everybody.

    @Abby Darrah: I made the chocolate trees with dark chocolate couverture mixed with black cocoa to make it darker. I melted the chocolate, piped it out in tree shapes on silpats, and let dry. Super easy!

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  16. Great fotos!!!
    And the cake goes just perfect with the "Light, with Dark" foto!!!

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  17. I have always shied away from chocolate cakes so I think this would be the perfect opportunity to bake my first ever chocolate cake! I'm a Coloradoan away at school and your cake makes me realize how much I miss the mountains. My favorite picture is "Ascent".

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  18. I tweeted about your post!
    http://twitter.com/blu3sky/statuses/12503201709

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  19. I think I would have to try making Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies with black cocoa. They're so dense in flavor with regular cocoa, it would be really interesting to see how the flavor evolves with black cocoa. Beautiful pictures Steph. I like "Descent". Is that your grandmother I can just glimpse down the stairs?

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  20. The photos are stunning. I've never used black cocoa - what a wonderful idea. How did you make the chocolate trees?

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  21. Ooh if I had all that black cocoa I would definitely try my hand at some homemade Oreos. The last time I tried they just weren't right-- much too sweet. And of course this ridiculous cake recipe you just posted. Drool!

    All of the photos are beautiful, but my favorite is "Light, with Dark."

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  22. Bravo! I'm not entering the contest, but I just wanted to say that you are amazing. :-)

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  23. all the images are so intriguing, but i like 'the guardian' the best--it's eerie! :)
    what would i make? hmm. i think i'd go with a chocolate cake with coconut filling and frosting. yes, that'd be it. :)

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  24. What great work!

    The cake sounds amazing! I would definitely make that first. If that failed somehow, I'd try the fudge brownies recipe by King Arthur. Mmmm

    I love Descent and Ascent but can't chose which is my favorite!

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  25. What a beautiful cake, it goes superbly with the photographs, i'm speechless by your artistry. Hard to choose a favourite but the light in Light, With Dark just makes me feel like I'm in that forest.

    I'd make Chocolate cream puffs with a chocolate glaze.

    Although, now I don't think I could choose between the cocoa and the print :)

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  26. I have black cocoa! I make deeply fudgy brownies and black double chocolate cookies all the time... and I usually throw a little splash into a cake

    Alex
    alex_wspcr [@] hotmail.com

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  27. That is one impressive looking cake! Awesome photos.

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  28. your photographs are breath-taking. mystical and inspiring.

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  29. Awesome! I love making chocolate waffles -- using an egg white meringue to keep them from being too heavy.

    I have cocoa... but I would love the "Descent" photo :)

    gurrity@gmail.com
    www.sweetsonian.com

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  30. Your photographs and cake are both incredible.

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  31. The cake looks amazing and the photos are wonderful. My favorite is "Descent." jens.mark01@gmail.com

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  32. Gorgeous! I'd absolutely have to try and recreate your cake, chocolate trees and all. I adore "Light, With Dark." This giveaway and that cake are too amazing...I had to post a feature on my column with a link to this post (at ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). Thank you for sharing!!!

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  33. Your cake photo is making me hungry, thanks for the recipe! black forest is my absolute favourite.

    If I was lucky enough to win I would choose descent. it's eerily beautiful

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  34. The chocolate filigree trees totally transformed the cake into a little, sugary piece of art. In love!

    1. I would make a flourless black cocoa cake.
    2. The Descent. Not only is it a beautiful photo but it's also my favorite horror movie.

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  35. This cake is absolutely gorgeous. I love the chocolate trees around the edge. It looks so amazing.

    If I won I think I would try to make homemade oreos. My boyfriend loves them and it drives me crazy that he eats them considering how many homemade treats I bake. I would like to try and make a homemade version that blows the packaged ones out of the water.

    My favorite photo is "Descent". It reminds me of something out of a fairy tale. Like the wooden path is leading somewhere magical.

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  36. I just may make that cake of yours! Black forest is my long time fave, and yours looks mighty delicious! :)

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  37. Cake and photos are inspired. Fabulous.

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  38. Wow, congratulations on the exhibit!! Your photos are lovely -- good luck!! Also, that cake is beautiful! The chocolate trees are amazing.

    And your giveaway is so exciting! If I won, I would love to have "Light, with Dark" because I love the looming quality of the trees and the gorgeous lighting. (Although I'm a huge fan of "Ascent" also!!)

    As for what I would make, since I'm a total chocoholic, I would make self-saucing pudding cake, Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake, and brownies. And whatever else I can think of. (What can I say, I really, really, really like chocolate.)

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  39. what an original idea...simply out of this world...!!!

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  40. I would make my mother in laws brownies with the black cocoa powder.

    And I love all the photos, but especially like "Descent"

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  41. Maggie M.- maggiebugjuice@aol.comApril 20, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    I love "Descent" how stunningly amazing! You captured it perfectly! With the Cocoa powder I would make these amazing brownies with a decadent chocolate icing my mom made when I was little.
    Thank you!
    Maggie M.

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  42. Those photos really are amazing. "The Descent" is my favorite, and if I had black cocoa powder, I'd try my hand at even richer World Peace Cookies.

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  43. These photos are beautiful! I also think "Descent" is my favorite. Would it be crazy to try to make chocolate pudding out of the black cocoa? Because homemade chocolate pudding is awesome and the chocolatier, the better, I would think...

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  44. OMG - everything about this post is marvelous! The photos, the dedication to your grandmother, the tempting description of the cake, the shared recipe, & of course the generous giveaway!!

    If I win, I'd definitely make the cake plus would want to try some chocolate donuts.

    If I win, I'd LOVE the receive "ASCENT"!

    Jo
    i_am_here1@hotmail.com

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  45. Oh my goodness!
    This cake is wicked!
    I love your concept to death already.

    There are some students in my school entering a pastry competition, and they're making designer bag-cakes.
    Yuck.
    If I were the judge, Id make you the champion in a heartbeat.
    Honest.

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  46. I love all the photographs but if I were only to choose one, it would be the "Descent" - they are all breathtaking and beautiful.
    I would also make your recipe for Black Forest Cake and maybe even try to make those awesome trees surrounding the cake - wow! That is very creative.

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  47. OMG....I want that cake. Growing up that was all my mother would buy for her own birthday as she is a die hard chocolate fiend. She used to keep a 20 lb. block of the darkest Callebaut chocolate in her closet where we kids couldn't find it...but we did. It had a chisel next to it for night time cravings...

    In any case, I am dying to make the darkest cake imaginable, as I already had a pretty dark cake recipe, but this looks so much better! If I was eligible to win the larger photo, I would pick "Descent". It looks remarkably like a set of stairs I used to run down to a friend's cabin when I was younger. Good memories.

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  48. I've only just heard of black cocoa powder...guess I need to try it! That cake recipe sounds wonderful. (It was also called for in a chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe recently, but I've already made those.)

    "Light, with Dark"...reminds me of the movie"The Conformist."

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  49. I would make a Fudge Cake with the Black cocoa. My mother used to make one when I was growing up, the wonderful fudge filling is a delight to find after eating the outer layer of a delicious chocolate cake!
    If I win, I especially like your photo "Ascent", it caught my attention right-away, this is the one I would choose!
    Thank you Susan Spiers spierssusan52@gmail.com

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  50. Well I'd make that cake of course--I've never heard of black cocoa before and the cake is completely gorgeous.

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  51. I'd make the gateau of course, brownies for sure!
    I LOVE Light, with Dark and Ascent. So beautiful.
    Michelle: nelsonag03@yahoo.com

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  52. If I had a bag of cocoa, I'd make this sexy black forest gateau.
    'Nuff said.
    :)
    And it's King Arthur! We don't get that around here.

    And I like Ascent :)
    I like how the trees tower above, and its as if they're taking a look down to see us.

    winnietzp@hotmail.com

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  53. Wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing them.

    If I had the cocoa, I'd devise a cupcake version of the Black Forest Gateau, complete with chocolate drizzle trees. This way, I could make (and photograph!) my own little forest.

    As for the photograph, I like "the Guardian." It speaks of pride and solitude, with a hint of loneliness.

    If I were to win (o frabjuous day!), you can reach me on Twitter at @alaskanimp.

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  54. wow, wow, wow. just stumbled onto your blog today -- you have amazing talent for photography, and cakes! as for the giveaway, i'd use the black cocoa for my wedding cakes. we're getting married soon and have decided to make a slew of flourless chocolate cakes for the occasion, instead of buying cake. would add an amazing quality, i think!

    cheers,

    *heather*

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  55. Oh my goodness! I love "Descent"! It's gorgeous!

    And that cake looks pretty yummy too.

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  56. Wow! There is nothibng so wonderful as Black Forest cake, and yours is incredibly beautiful. Can't wait to try the recipe!

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  57. That cake is stunning! I love the pictures.

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  58. I absolutely love this post! The cake is beautiful and so is your collection! Honestly, I would say that I'd probably make this cake with the black cocoa because I've never made a black forest cake before. If I win, I'd like descent.

    sarahkwoodall @ gmail . com

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  59. Eek! So cute! The trees remind me of a plated yule log dessert someone did in my pastry class. That really is brilliant.

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  60. Well, duh, I would make the blackest forest cake with the black cocoa, although I'm also dying to try out your raspberry rose hidden chocolate tarte. I'd also try adding the black cocoa to the gluten free cookies I make my sister...it's been so long since she's had a "real" cookie that she doesn't know they're just okay the way they are right now.

    And my favorite photo is "descent" because my imagination runs wild, and I think maybe you're in Lord of the Rings or something else magical.

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  61. Oh that is just BEAUTIFUL! I love the "Ascent" photo. I might make the cake, my hubs love cherries and chocolate, but I might try to make a chocolate ice cream.

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  62. "Descent" is my favorite!
    And I would like to try to make the cake you described so deliciously, if I won. Also maybe some some brownies :)

    bpride13@uga.edu

    -Brooke

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  63. fantastic giveaway - thanks! Ascent is my favorite of the four. I guess I'd make the cake featured here since I've never even heard of black cocoa before. Could you use it in truffles or homemade ice cream?

    cfhogue@yahoo.com

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  64. i would want "Descent"
    seeversa@gmail.com

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  65. WOW!!! Fantastic! I like all yr photos but if i have to choose i prefer The Guardian (or Descent..?)
    I don't know maybe i could use black cocoa for a special ice cream cake with orange fruit (classic) anyway yr cake is super!

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  66. wow--these pictures are gorgeous! and my parents are from taiwan too. =) i'd love "ascent" if i win and i'd probably make the black forest cake. yum! love those trees on the cake.

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  67. i really like your photos.
    particularly "the wood".
    if i won, i couldn't resist but to try this black forest cake.

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  68. I would love to try black cocoa powder! It is new to me, but I would try it in my Black Magic Cake and also think it would be fun to experiment making hot chocolate with it. (mole?)

    Art work is stunning-I would choose "Descent".

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  69. I love The Guardian. Controversial?
    If I won, I'd try the cake but I've always fancied trying to make Mole sauce so I think that would happen too. I know I'm not in the US but I'd pay the postage if I was allowed both....
    Gorgeous photos!

    Gill
    (@gillrick)

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  70. YUMMMMM
    I would attempt to mirror your cake :)
    Cheers
    Catie

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  71. Nola!

    1) This would require some serious thought. I'd be tempted to try Mole sauce too. Or maybe I'd run my own contest and make the best suggestion I got.
    2) Actually, what I really love are pictures of dessert. Can I enter to win the picture of the cake itself??

    Congrats on the amazing photos! And for my part, that was the best piece of cake I ever put in my mouth. Seriously, it was.

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  72. I was just giddy when I saw your fun black forest cake on tastespotting! What a great reinterpretation of the cake decorations!

    1. Of course, I'd probably make this very cake!
    2. This is hard! I'm tied between Descent and the Guardian. I think I'd have to go with Descent!

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  73. This cake is absolutely astounding! As are all of the pictures. Breath-taking!!

    As for the black cocoa! I would mix up a batch of Midnight Mystery cookies. These are small chewy balls that (with the addition of black cocoa) come out impossibly deep dark black -- just like midnight. And their "mystery" comes from the addition of cayenne which isn't obvious, but adds a subtle heat to balance out the intense richness and sweetness.

    As for favorite picture, it's tough, but I would have to say it's "Descent." I love how the angle of the shot and the wooden stairs just pull you into the picture and the mist envelops you. This picture is an amazing combination of tenderness (is that your grandmother at the bottom), mixed with spookiness (as if she's descending into Hansel & Gretel's forest). I love it!

    Now I'm off to check out the rest of your newly discovered blog (got here from Tastespotting)! Thanks for the inspiration!
    tracey@gristmillmedia.com

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  74. The photos and the cake are amazingly beautiful! Not sure whether my favorite is "Light, with Dark" or "Ascent."

    With a whole bag of that cocoa, I might have to try all of my favorites--my famous brownies, hot fudge cheesecake and a rich chocolate cake with 1/4" of fudgy icing on top. I might even add some to my homemade chai mix.

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  75. Wow, you definitely found some beauty that day!! Love your photos and the cake is awesome..i would love to try the recipe;)

    cyclona66(at) aol dot com

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  76. Oh my! I like Descent and I would love some deep dark chocolate mousse made with black cocoa. Those trees in chocolate look awesome.

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  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  78. Your photography is amazing. I love the sharp contrast and the perspective of Ascent.

    I would definitely attempt to recreate that black forest masterpiece with black cocoa. Failing that, some ultra-decadent brownies would be in order :)

    heidig@gmail.com

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  79. Fudgeeeeeeee Black Chocolate Fudgeeeeeee

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  80. Beautiful post. That cake is to DIE FOR. (Saw it on Edible Crafts!)

    I'm thinking maybe some dark-chocolate ice-cream sauce. How GORGEOUS would it be poured over homemade vanilla ice cream with dark specks of real vanilla bean? Sigh.

    "Ascent" is my favorite; and it would be an everyday reminder to always look toward the future with faith!

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  81. Oh man, that cake looks absolutely incredibly beautiful! As for what I'd do with black cocoa, I've been thinking about trying to recreate Zingerman's Cherry Chocolate Bread (http://www.zingermans.com/product.aspx?productid=b-cho). I got a sourdough starter a few months back and have been messing around with getting my regular sourdough bread good enough to eventually try it out- you woudn't want to waste good chocolate and dried cherries! I'm probably a few batches away, but oh man.

    I love Descent and Guardian- they remind me of my time in Alaska. I love foggy, gray places!

    This whole post made me ridiculously happy.

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  82. Beautiful, Artistic Photos!!!! I love the photo entitled, "Descent".

    I would make triple chocolate brownies. YUM!

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  83. 1. Descent and Ascent are both compelling. I don't know which I want more. Maybe Descent. Maybe...

    2. I'm itching to try this recipe now, but I have another brownie recipe that calls for this cocoa, so maybe I'll make both!

    The Ever Indecisive Liana

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  84. I would either make this cake or brownies. I love brownies! I think 'Ascent' is my favorite of your photos. Congratulations!

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  85. Wow, this is amazing, putting together some of my favorite things-woods, big trees, dessert, and chocolate. Best thing I have read all day. I am really enjoying all of your beautiful pictures, but my very favorite is "Ascent." Incredible. ....what would I make...what wouldn't I make? How big is the bag? This cake sounds great, I love brownies, something with cocoa and bananas, and something for breakfast, because why not have chocolate for breakfast? Thanks, tammiecagle@gmail.com.

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  86. I'd definitely make some great brownies.

    I love the Ascent!

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  87. I would make my deep, rich, chocolate truffle cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream. It's pretty darned good as it is, so I am sure this would only improve it.

    As far as your photos...I love the "descent". The walk is very evocative of how we each walk our own path.

    The cake is lovely, as is your work, how nice of you to share this opportunity with us.

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  88. Wow; you are incredibly talented!

    After recreating your amazing cake, I would also make some brownies.

    I love all the photos, but I think Descent is my favorite.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

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  89. I love the one "Ascent" I would love to win this one! Beautiful!

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  90. mmmmmmmmm brownies with dark cocoa. aww yeah. I'd want to make cake and brownies. mmmm.

    and oh my goodness. descent is AMAZING. so glad you submitted a photo of your cake to tastespotting! I might not have discovered this amazing blog otherwise!

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  91. looooooveeee how you decorated your cake, loovvveee the chocolate trees !!!

    "Descent" fave pic

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  92. I have never heard of black cocoa.
    The cake and photos are spectacular.

    Would love to enter the contest, so consider this my entry. As the rules state, here are answers to my 2 questions:

    1. I would make your black forest cake and then I wonder what black cocoa would do to my deep dark chocolate biscotti - hmmmn, I wonder if black cocoa would turn the biscotti dark - a great treat for halloween

    2. descent is my favorite print

    I will check back next week to see if my name if picked =)

    Love, love, love the pics and cake!

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  93. I haven't heard of black cocoa. Where do I get this stuff? I must have! I would make chocolate cupcakes first, of course. Then macarons, and a layer cake.
    My favourite pic is "descent".

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  94. Oh my! Well besides stating the obvious and saying that I'd try to make the cake from your post..
    With that kind of cocoa I'd probably try to make red velvet cake.
    I've been told by people that its just a cake with a spoonful of cocoa a crap load of food colour in it and that the cream cheese icing on top can be used anywhere on any cake and it would taste the same and that its over rated.

    I resent that! I've seen many recipes which use 1/2 a cup or more.. and well. I tried it in sydney and it was moist, not too sweet, and a visual knock out!

    Anyway the last time it came out with a less than satisfying red colour and I wanted something a bit darker and rich and more insane looking like in this picture from guilty kitchen:

    http://guiltykitchen.com/images/Red%20Velvet%204.jpg

    But even more so ><. I love the colour of the cake in your picture, especially with that slight cherry tinge near the icing! sigh.

    Its a toss up for me between "the wood" and "descent".
    I'd say descent because it reminds me of "Myst", a computer game that I used to love, where you could explore strange worlds which were very picturesque and solve puzzles.

    http://iphonehelp.in/content/uploads/2009/05/myst1.jpg

    But I was thinking that "the wood" would look fantastic as a huge print out on a stair way wall.

    Look at me rant :/
    Anyway.
    Lastly, the decorations and the stark white icing against nearly black cake contrast is incredible.
    Its art! ^^

    icekachang12@hotmail.com

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  95. Your photos are beautiful! I like "Ascent" best, although the "Light, with Dark" is also fantastic...
    & I love the chocolate trees decorating the cake! So pretty! If I got a bag of dark cocoa... umm... I'd probably make one of these cakes, and then... more of these cakes! It sounds so good!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  96. Those photos are gorgeous - as is the cake! I don't know how you can cut it...the photo of the cake is gorgeous too! My favourite photo is "descent" - it's so magical - I wonder where it leads. I've never heard of black cocoa before so I'll just take a shot in the dark with what I'd cook with it. I have a recipe for chocolate tart on shortcrust. That might be pretty special.

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  97. I just discovered your blog, my eyes were caught by your cake in Tastespotting. How could I not? This is the most beautiful and delicate cake I've ever seen!

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  98. I'm not sure if I've ever commented on one of your posts, but giveaway or not, I was commenting on this one!! I absolutely love all of those pictures. Trees are just amazing to me, I even have a large tree tattoo! I would totally make this cake recipe with that cocoa, and the pic I like the most (such a hard decision....) is Ascent. Thanks for sharing! jenniro926@hotmail.com

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  99. I adore the artistry of how you incorporated the photos into your baking creation. My two favorite pastimes...photography and baking ! I think will make mini versions of your Blackest Forest Cake...probably with just 2 layers so that each person can have their own forest !!

    I enjoy the crisp trees vs. the blur fog in all the photos. "The Guardian" is my favorite.

    @followinghimx2 tweeted about this !

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  100. Steph, check you out! Start giving away awesome stuff and you get over 100 comments! :) Way to go.

    I'm not entering, but I thought you should be made aware of this recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2005/01/black_pearl_layer_cake

    It would probably be enhanced by black cocoa, don't you think? And mad props on the pics too. I know nothing about photography, but that doesn't mean I'm not crazy impressed!

    See you tomorrow! :D :D :D

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  101. Your cake is absolutely amazing and the photos breathtaking. I would use the black cocoa to try and replicate your cake as well as making some cookies. My favorite photo is Descent.

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  102. These photos are stunning— so well exposed and lit— and your cake looks incredible!
    I would do two things with the black cocoa: I would bake this cake for my mum (black forest cake is her favourite), and incorporate it into a truffle recipe.

    I love "Descent," although "The Guardian" is a very close second.

    Michelle Kelly: erischan (at) gmail (dot) com

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  103. Your cake has my mouth watering. I have not ever cooked with black cocoa, but would like to try it in my brownie recipe. I love your pictures. I love your pictures ascent and descent. I think descent has such a magic to it. What a great artist you are in the kitchen and out of doors.

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  104. Truly beautiful! What a wonderful idea!

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  105. I would recreate your cake as well, because I don't like "too sweet" desserts and it sounds perfect. I love the Light, with Dark photo best, followed by the Guardian.

    ncjc212 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  106. Thi is the first time I land here... I feel like Alice in Wonderland, it is amazing, wonderful!
    I think I'll become a frequent reader!
    Great job!

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  107. Stunning! I of course would have to make YOUR cake. I'm practically licking the screen! And ALL of the shots are gaw-geous but I'm diggin "Light with Dark" there's just something about it!

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  108. I would make that delicious cake!

    And "Light with Dark" is my favorite, it would look great on my sage green walls! :)

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  109. crap...my name is katie on the anonymous post!

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  110. I will obviously be making your blackforest gateau cake it looks positively decadent!

    I find that the descent to be mysteriously, provocative, I would love to have that hanging in my bedroom

    lilaznjewel@yahoo.com

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  111. 1. Dark, delicious Mexican hot chocolate :)
    2. "Ascent" - love the sense of depth

    becky.higbee@gmail.com

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  112. Honestly, the first thing I'd probably do with the cocoa is eat it, because I'm strange and I like plain cocoa. Then I'd make a chocolate-strawberry smoothie. Then cookies. Then cake. . . God, I love chocolate.

    But honestly, I'd prefer a print of "Descent". Lovely photos! As a poor Canadian graduate student, I understand the compromise between these two prizes. I'd be glad to pay for postage, though. :)

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  113. 1. Cocoa Brownies!!
    2. Light and Dark - love the contrast!

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  114. 1. To be honest, probably this recipe. It looks awesome and I have a friend with a birthday coming up.

    2. Ascent and Descent are my two favorites. Can't pick.

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  115. I would make YOUR cake! I will whether I win or not.
    I LOVE Descent. It is stunning. (I also really liked The Guardian. So moving.

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  116. I don't know which is more stunning -- those evocative b/w photos or that show-stopping b/w cake. I could gaze at both for a long, long time. But I sure would want to eat a piece of the cake very, very soon. ;)

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  117. I have never heard of "black cocoa", now I am going to have to go find some (sigh) and make this wonderful looking cake! Great blog, and GREAT pictures! I like them all, to choose one......would be "Descent", reminds me of some of my hiking places.

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  118. Your art is amazing! I love your photos as well as your cake what beautiful creations.

    I you first make your cake because it is so awesome and I would have to try. Then I would make cinnamon brownies or reverse chocolate chip cookies. Yummy!

    I love 'Descent' ('Ascent' is a very close 2nd)

    my name is Mary mcnalaska@hotmail.com

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  119. Your cake and your photos are both absolutely gorgeous! I would first try to recreate your cake. Also, my parents recently vacationed in Savannah, GA and brought back the most amazing chocolate pralines so I think it would be interesting to try making black cocoa pralines.

    If I had to pick one, I think "Descent" would be my favorite.

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  120. This cake is absolutely genius.

    I would totally love making black cocoa oreos. One of the few cookies that absolutely require a good mix of premium ingredients to taste great.

    Descent is my standout fave among all your photos.

    But again, it has to be said, this cake is pure art.

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  121. I agree, your art is hauntingly beautiful. I am from Taiwan, and I say that you've captured these forests quite well. I know I've gone hiking when I'm at home and have felt the feelings that your art portrays. Bravo.

    Oh, the cake is stunning too...wow, my friend and I are making plans to make it as I'm typing this post.

    I have to enter this contest.

    1) I would adapt this recipe to make a 4 layer dark chocolate raspberry cake. My mother is Taiwanese, she always complains that American cakes are too sweet, but she is in love with chocolate and raspberries. This sounds perfect, and would be a real treat for her.

    2) I love them all, but I'd say "Descent" is my favorite. Oh, pick me, pick me, please! :)

    By the way, is any of your art for sale? I'd love to put one of your pictures up in my new apartment.

    My name is Alexandra. You can reach me at alexchworowsky@hotmail.com

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  122. You have made the day for me and my co-worker! I was instantly in a happy-coma about the cake, and she was asking how she could get prints of your pictures even before we noticed the giveaway! If you choose us, I get the cocoa to make us some black chocolate souffles, something I've always wanted to try, and she gets the print. She likes "Descent" the best, and we think there's a deep, dark, moist, and delicious connection between the picture and our idea for the souffles. We're so excited! No matter what, I'm going to go into a cocoa frenzy soon (souffles and this amazing cake!) and Sheena does want to know if there's a way to purchase your art. My name is Kayt and my email is kaytpawluk@gmail.com.

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  123. OK...NEED to try THIS too...never heard of black cocoa before and totally intrigued and can't wait to try it. I am thinking with the cocoa I would either make black cocoa cupcakes with a salted caramel filling. Also thinking black cocoa and lemon...but not sure what yet...

    Fav photo is "Light and Dark"

    email- maggie.berberian@gmail.com

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  124. I am in love with both your cake and "Ascent." I would make my specialty -- dark chocolate souffle. :)

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  125. I am a big fan of black cocoa, but it does have a different pH than "regular" cocoa so you have to be careful. I usually use it for brownies, but I originally bought it to make whoopie pies. King Arthur sells a black cocoa/dutch cocoa mix that has a pH similar to reg. cocoa, thus avoiding possible baking disasters. I really like all the photos, but "Light, with Dark" is my favorite.

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  126. I would actually remake your Black Forest Gateau, it looks FABULOUS! I love black forest cake and this looks like a great recipe to try. I would like the 'Descent' picture. email me at screwscree@gmail.com

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  127. You are amazing. Like, consistently. The chocolate trees on the side of the cake are genius. I love your blog so much!

    All of these photos are fantastic, but my favorite is "Descent." I love all of the textures in it.

    And I would use the black cocoa powder to make a surprise cake for a certain friend when they return home from an extended stay out of the country.

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  128. Holy cats, this is a beautiful cake! And beautiful pictures, too - you're very talented!

    If I won the giveaway, I would probably use the black cocoa to make this very cake (After 15 years of no chocolate for health reasons, I've recently been able to start eating it again!) - and then I would start hunting down other recipes that used black cocoa (I don't think I've ever heard of it before).

    But to the more difficult question! I think I would pick Descent - they're all amazing, but I think that one's my favorite. :)

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  129. I think I would have to make some sinful quadruple chocolate cookies. Mmm... cookies.

    I am forever in love with "the Guardian"

    :) Billie-Jo

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  130. Wow, your photos are really incredible. As someone who spends a lot of time walking around the woods trying to capture them forever, I am completely impressed. Congratulations on the exhibit!

    If I were to be so lucky as to win, I would choose "Descent." It's so mysterious - it reminds me a bit both of watching Lord of the Rings and playing that computer game Myst when I was a kid. And I love that you can just catch that glimpse of someone at the bottom of the stairs. Exquisite.

    As for the cocoa powder... I've never heard of it before, so I'm excited to have learned of a new ingredient. Thanks! I hate to be boring, but I think I would try your black forest cake recipe. It really looks so good, and this post has just put me in the mood for it.

    That's probably the longest comment of all time. But I'm so glad I stumbled across your work!

    - Katie

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  131. Touch for me to choose between Ascent and Descent.

    Definitely chocolate truffles.

    annaeed at hotmail dot com

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  132. I'd make cake... definitely the richest chocolate cake with chocolate frosting I could find!

    And the Decent - AMAZING. All of these photographs are incredible, Steph. You are incredibly talented. I am very impressed!

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  133. I'm also going to say I would make the cake-it looks amazing! What a beautiful addition to your exhibit! I love food art. :)

    My favorite photo is "Ascent". Your work is gorgeous!

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  134. Looks Amazing! This is the kind of thing i dream of making!

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  135. Your cake is stunning!

    I think, after your most recent post, that I would have to make brownies with the cocoa (I don't really have an occasion that would justify the cake, but brownies are always appropriate). I'd also like to try it in hot cocoa.

    My favourite of your photos is "Descent."

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  136. Man that cake...just amazing. I would love to say I would try that cake...but probably would have to stick with some brownies. I really love your work...but Ascent took my breath away.

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  137. Light,and Dark...my favorite, I'd hang it in the kitchen while I try to make that crazy Black Forest Cake. Thanks for the double hit of inspiration.

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  138. Your art and food are both lovely!

    I would likely make brownies with the cocoa -- they are such perfect little chocolate delivery vehicles. But cocoa shortcake cookies would be really interesting as well.

    As for your art . . . so hard to choose. "Light and Dark" by a slim margin.

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  139. If I won, I would make THIS CAKE. Incredible!!

    Your pictures are all very appealing and if I won, I would choose "Descent".

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  140. Your photography is absolutely stunning! :) I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandmother, it's tragic when something like that happens to someone we love. Hugs from Canada.
    I'd only heard of black cocoa once or twice, but this makes me want to bake a Devil's Food cake. I remember when I was younger, watching Beauty and the Beast, and Lumiere and Hogsworth were fighting over the kind of cake Belle would like best - Angel Food or Devil's Food :)
    And I can't help but love "Ascent", it's stunning.

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  141. would certainly, without question, be making the cake.
    would love "descent" for my new apartment!

    mckeon.rachelbeth@gmail.com

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  142. You photos are amazing! Ascent is my absolute favorite, and I would love to make either your cake or homemade Oreos with the black cocoa powder.

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  143. Definitely brownies.
    and I'm absolutely in love with "Light, with Dark." It is stunning!

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  144. I think I'd make an attempt at this cake. I've never actually made a cake. It should be fun. I also might make an attempt at using the cocoa in some sort of cocktail. Some sort of coffee mixed drink in a cocoa rimmed glass? Yes, please.

    I like all the pictures! "Light, with Dark" is my favorite, I think. "Descent" is a close second. "Ascent" might be tied with "Descent". "The Wood" is pretty nice, too. :D

    But, in the rare event I had to chose, I suppose I'd go with "Light, with Dark".

    stylesgt at gmaildotcom

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  145. I just stumbled onto your blog, and this is the most gorgeous cake I've ever seen...I'd like it as my wedding cake.
    All your pictures are beautiful too- I am such an admirer of black and white photography.
    I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Light, with Dark. If I won, I would definitely try to recreate your black forest cake, but I would also use the cocoa to make black chocolate mousse and possibly in a cheesecake...

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  146. Oh! and my email is Ivysmerlin88@yahoo.com

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  147. Great photos and cake! I'd make the Chocolate Blackout Cake and the photo I would chose is the Guardian.
    Thanks and Best Wishes,
    jo
    emram07931@yahoo.com

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  148. Hi - Haven't seen any black cocoa here in Scotland but my son who lives in Pittsburgh has just sent me your blog. He is crazy about food and cooking too! I have a trusted black forest recipe that I didn't think could be improved but WOW I was wrong! I have to track this black cocoa down and try it. As for your photographs - just stunning - loved them all. Keep up the good work.
    Terry

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  149. Oh I forgot to say - when I do track the black cocoa down how about vanilla ice cream with coconut and black cocoa - yum!

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  150. Your pictures are awe-inspiring, congratulations on your exhibit! "Ascent" is definitely my favorite, all of that soft mist, I can totally imagine myself in that scene, looking up, ahh gorgeous!

    As for the black cocoa? No question, those brownies you just made look ridiculously good. How could I make anything else?

    I can be found at kirstin@ivorypomegranate.com

    Thanks!

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  151. exquisite in every way...

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  152. Holy cow - that cake!! Black cocoa sounds so neat too!

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  153. Oops, hit send too soon!! I can only imagine what I'd make... cakes, cookies, maybe not brownies though (I'm all brownied out!) and of course hot cocoa! My fave shot is "Descent", but I'm in Canada so I'll settle for the cocoa!

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  154. Tweeted: http://twitter.com/jo_jo_ba/status/12844741138

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  155. I hate to be so unoriginal, but I'd DEFINITELY make your amazing cake with dark cocoa, and now am officially on the hunt for some! My fave shot is "Descent" but my 2nd fave is "Ascent"...thx for sharing the pics AND the recipe!

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  156. Wow, I love the chocolate tree decorations! That's so neat. I'd probably give the cake recipe or some version of it a try. I like Decent the best--there seems to be more to it every time I look. I didn't catch the person until I think the third go-round.

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  157. Triple batches of dark cocoa brownies if I won! And The Descent made my mouth drop open a bit, its beautiful.

    alexandra.lily@hotmail.com

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  158. Beautiful!

    My favorite picture is "the Guardian".

    I would use the black cocoa to make a cheesecake, and I would work on a nice, white crust to really pop with the black cheesecake (what an idea, black cheesecake) and top it with some big, juicy strawberries!

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  159. I make several types of dark cocoa cookies. My fave has to be the one filled with dulce de leche and coconut. That would be what I'd make with black cocoa along with some black cocoa hot chocolate flavored with vanilla beans.

    I like "Ascent". I want to go up!

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  160. The lucky winner is Anne at myblankpage, announced here.

    Thanks, all, for entering!

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  161. I made this for my husband's birthday today and the moistness defies all logic!

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  162. @Anonymous: I'm so happy you liked it! Happy Birthday to your husband. :-)

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  163. Thanks. It didn't turn out as visually lovely as yours, but from the bites I've snuck, it tastes wonderful.

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  164. @Anonymous: oh, send pictures anyways, please! s [at] shihbakes [dot] com

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  165. Wow I LOVE your photos. The one with the stairs is especially lovely and almost haunting, I'd say. Sorry to hear about your grandma, 2 of my 3 living grandparents actually had strokes in the last year and we just found out the other has late-stage lung cancer...but they have all lived full, meaningful lives and watched their children grow up and start their own families. They've lived well. Anyway, I've rambled on long enough :). Your cake is stunningly presented. From the recipe it looks to be similar to my favorite chocolate cake, except that mine uses natural cocoa, buttermilk, and coffee. I'll have to try these chocolate decorations soon.

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  166. I do hope you don't mind, but I was really inspired by your cake and ended up doing some similar decoration on a cake I made for article on 'The Beautiful and the Damned'. I've cited you as an inspiration. It's on www.poiresauchocolat.net if you want to take a peek!

    Thanks xx

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  167. This cake is truly amazing ! I really looks like the best black forrest cake ever :o)

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  168. I have just popped two cake and four tart pans in the oven and I don't even need to wait to taste it to tell you that this is an incredible recipe. The batter is smooth and thick. It glistens in the light and pours like molten chocolate. Now, imagine how I will feel once there is ganache, cherries, and marscapone cheese. I figured I'd better comment before I had no verbal abilities left. Thank you for sharing such a tremendous recipe and stunning works!

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  169. This cake is beautiful. Very creative, a lovely contribution to a great evening for you! I have just found your blog and will be visiting frequently. Beautiful and tasty, a great combo!

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  170. Is this cake for real? Like seriously I have never seen a sweeter cake in my life. And your photos are just as breathtaking. You are one mighty talented lady!

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  171. What do you think about me using raspberries in this cake instead of cherries? I want to make this so desperately but no one I know really likes cherries.

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  172. @Rebecca: Raspberries would taste delicious with this cake, I think, but I've never tried them in this reduction recipe before. Here's a recipe that works as a raspberry reduction.

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  173. You are a true artist. Thank you for sharing with us mere mortals.

    I want to step into "Descent" and join your grandmother, then take her back to my house for a piece of the cake.

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  174. @Rebecca: Raspberries would taste delicious with this cake, I think, but I've never tried them in this reduction recipe before. Here's a recipe that works as a raspberry reduction.

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  175. You are a true artist. Thank you for sharing with us mere mortals.

    I want to step into "Descent" and join your grandmother, then take her back to my house for a piece of the cake.

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  176. What do you think about me using raspberries in this cake instead of cherries? I want to make this so desperately but no one I know really likes cherries.

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  177. Is this cake for real? Like seriously I have never seen a sweeter cake in my life. And your photos are just as breathtaking. You are one mighty talented lady!

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  178. This cake is truly amazing ! I really looks like the best black forrest cake ever :o)

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  179. Oh! and my email is Ivysmerlin88@yahoo.com

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  180. Definitely brownies.
    and I'm absolutely in love with "Light, with Dark." It is stunning!

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  181. Your photography is absolutely stunning! :) I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandmother, it's tragic when something like that happens to someone we love. Hugs from Canada.
    I'd only heard of black cocoa once or twice, but this makes me want to bake a Devil's Food cake. I remember when I was younger, watching Beauty and the Beast, and Lumiere and Hogsworth were fighting over the kind of cake Belle would like best - Angel Food or Devil's Food :)
    And I can't help but love "Ascent", it's stunning.

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  182. Your art and food are both lovely!

    I would likely make brownies with the cocoa -- they are such perfect little chocolate delivery vehicles. But cocoa shortcake cookies would be really interesting as well.

    As for your art . . . so hard to choose. "Light and Dark" by a slim margin.

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  183. Man that cake...just amazing. I would love to say I would try that cake...but probably would have to stick with some brownies. I really love your work...but Ascent took my breath away.

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  184. Looks Amazing! This is the kind of thing i dream of making!

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  185. I'd make cake... definitely the richest chocolate cake with chocolate frosting I could find!

    And the Decent - AMAZING. All of these photographs are incredible, Steph. You are incredibly talented. I am very impressed!

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  186. I think I would have to make some sinful quadruple chocolate cookies. Mmm... cookies.

    I am forever in love with "the Guardian"

    :) Billie-Jo

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  187. I would actually remake your Black Forest Gateau, it looks FABULOUS! I love black forest cake and this looks like a great recipe to try. I would like the 'Descent' picture. email me at screwscree@gmail.com

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  188. I am a big fan of black cocoa, but it does have a different pH than "regular" cocoa so you have to be careful. I usually use it for brownies, but I originally bought it to make whoopie pies. King Arthur sells a black cocoa/dutch cocoa mix that has a pH similar to reg. cocoa, thus avoiding possible baking disasters. I really like all the photos, but "Light, with Dark" is my favorite.

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  189. I am in love with both your cake and "Ascent." I would make my specialty -- dark chocolate souffle. :)

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  190. This cake is absolutely genius.

    I would totally love making black cocoa oreos. One of the few cookies that absolutely require a good mix of premium ingredients to taste great.

    Descent is my standout fave among all your photos.

    But again, it has to be said, this cake is pure art.

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  191. Your cake and your photos are both absolutely gorgeous! I would first try to recreate your cake. Also, my parents recently vacationed in Savannah, GA and brought back the most amazing chocolate pralines so I think it would be interesting to try making black cocoa pralines.

    If I had to pick one, I think "Descent" would be my favorite.

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  192. I don't know which is more stunning -- those evocative b/w photos or that show-stopping b/w cake. I could gaze at both for a long, long time. But I sure would want to eat a piece of the cake very, very soon. ;)

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  193. 1. To be honest, probably this recipe. It looks awesome and I have a friend with a birthday coming up.

    2. Ascent and Descent are my two favorites. Can't pick.

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I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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