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Lehighton woman wins first place award at state farm show

Published January 14. 2010 05:00PM

HARRISBURG The Deep Dark Berry Basket by Marie White of Lehighton caught the judges' eye and tempted their taste buds to win the Hershey's Cocoa Classic Chocolate Cake Contest on Saturday at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

White received $500 in prize money for her Deep Dark Berry Basket creation.

Standing next to Pennsylvania Fair Queen Nicole Clemson, Luzerne County, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, White was overwhelmed with joy.

"White is someone who has won a variety of prizes," said judge Chris Fickes. "She had a unique presentation and the cake tasted great!"

The five judges included members of the Hershey Company, a culinary instructor, and a former Cocoa Classic winner. They evaluated the cakes on flavor, texture, inside characteristics, outside characteristics, and creativity to narrow it down to the top five.

Second place honors and $250 were earned by Lisa Buzzard of Monroe County. Dawn Bell of Lancaster County won $100 for third prize. Bethany Hoffman of Snyder County won fourth place; followed by Belinda Myers of York County in fifth.

Winning Recipe:

Deep Dark BerryBasket Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cups All-purpose flour

cup Hershey Cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup Milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons raspberry wine

1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round pans, 9-inch by 1-1/2 inches. In large mixer bowl combine dry ingredients.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Remove from mixer, stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in rounds for 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Cool completely.


1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

3-6 tablespoons milk

1 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups marshmallow creme

1/2 cup raspberries

Prepare filling. Beat shortening, sugar, marshmallow crème, vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk together until fluffy. Add more milk if needed. Gently stir in pieces of cut raspberries.

Frosting for Top Layer

cup shortening

1/2 cup Hershey Cocoa

teaspoon salt

cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sift if lumpy)

In sauce pan, melt shortening. Remove from heat, stir in Cocoa and salt. Mix in Milk and Vanilla in mixer bowl, stir Cocoa mixture into sugar. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 1 tablespoon more milk if needed for good spreading consistency.

Finish top of cake with assortment of fruit to create the look of a Basket of Berries.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 285 commercial exhibitors.

The show runs Jan. 9-16 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free. Parking is $10. Visit for details.

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