John Joseph Thomas of Louisville has won the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship at the Kentucky State Fair for his White & Milk Chocolate Cheesecake. Forty-three people competed in this fun contest.
John was a first time blue ribbon winner in the chocolate contest at the fair!
Ghirardelli is celebrating its 160th Anniversary! Contestants' marked this momentous milestone by making their most memorable entry, from trendy new creations to historical family favorites. The focus was on flavor, creativity and an easy-to-follow recipe. The goal was to make recipes fun, festive and eye-catching. First and second place finishers won $150 and $50 each. Plus, the top three winners and a random contestant each took home a Ghirardelli gift basket.
Check out www.ghirardelli.com for your own recipe ideas.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship
John Joseph Thomas of Louisville, 1st Place, 2012 Kentucky State Fair
White & Milk Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cup graham crackers
1/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Chips
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Chips
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Baking Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9-inch springform pan. Crush graham crackers and add 1/4 cup brown sugar, mix together. Add melted butter, mix. Spread in pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup white chocolate chips over hot crust.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until mixed. Add 2 tablespoons of corn starch and 1/4 cup sour cream, mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat thoroughly each time and then add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the cream cheese mixture. Remove 1 cup of cream cheese mixture and mix together with 1/2 cup Ghirardelli white chocolate baking chips. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. On top of the cream cheese pour the chocolate cream cheese mixture on top and lightly swirl.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower temperature to 225 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Turn off oven. Cut around the edge of the pan with a knife, place in warm oven for 30 more minutes. Top with toasted pecans and 1/2 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate baking chips.
Remove and refrigerate.