“There’s no such thing as a bad chocolate dessert,” declared Wendy Resnick at Sarasota’s Best Chocolate Dessert tasting. There certainly weren’t in this competition. Resnick—who, as director of UCP Sarasota, hosted the organization’s signature Chocolate Festival for years—along with senior editor and dessert lover Bob Plunket, associate art director and chocoholic Lauren Pritchard, and web editor and home baker Megan McDonald, swooned their way through the four chocolate desserts that won the most nominations from our 4,300-plus Facebook fans. Let’s see how they scored.
Best Overall Michael’s On East’s chocolate blackout cake. This towering slice of chocolate cake—with its custard-like filling, fudgy frosting and chocolate sprinkles—elicited words like “addicting” and “can’t stop eating” from the judges.
Truest Chocolate Flavor Michael’s On East’s chocolate blackout cake. “Totally rich,” said Pritchard. “And the chocolate filling just melts in your mouth.”
Most Decadent Brasserie Belge’s Belgian chocolate mousse, served in a glass with a garnish of fresh fruit. Resnick loved the pudding-like dessert’s “delicious chocolate flavor,” saying it was “good enough to just suck down.”
Most Original The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s “Duet of Chocolate and Praline with Orange”—a chocolate cake with praline crunch and a praline-caramel mascarpone filling and a salted chocolate shortbread cake with the same filling, both served with orange sauce. “I love the dark chocolaty flavor and the variety of textures,” McDonald said, “and the orange sauce could be eaten with a spoon!”
Best Presentation The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. “Absolutely beautiful,” said Resnick, noting the gold leaf decorations and the lovely contrast of the dark-colored chocolate with the bright orange sauce.
Most Comforting Yoder’s chocolate peanut butter pie, with its chocolate filling, peanut butter topping and sea of whipped cream. “It’s a classic,” said Plunket, “and it feels like a dessert you share with your family and friends.”
FANFARE>> “Chocolate-covered lobster!” –Boothbay Harbor Lobster Direct, in response to our Facebook post asking for Sarasota’s best chocolate desserts