In the Got to Be N.C. Competition Dining Series two local chefs face off in a single-elimination, blind-dinner format. Each chef’s menu is created around a North Carolina ingredient that is revealed at noon on the day of the competition. This secret ingredient must be used in each course — appetizer, entree and dessert. Competitions are held in Asheville, Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington.
Chef Clark Barlowe and his team from Heirloom competed again Chef Luca Annunziata of Passion8 Bistro in the first round of Fire in the City on August 18. The secret ingredients were NC-raised eggs and Harrell Hill Farms Molasses. Harrell Hill is the largest producer of sorghum-syrup molasses in the state. The farm is located in Bakersville and has been in operation since the late 1700s.
Passion8 won the night and went on to compete in the next round of competition on Sept. 8. Fire in the City continues through Sept. 29. Remaining dinners are sold out.
Pastry Chef Joselyn Perlmutter, a member of Chef Barlowe’s team from Heirloom, provided the following recipe for sorghum cake. Heirloom Restaurant’s sorghum cake was the second highest scoring dish of the night and made great use of both eggs and molasses.
- 1/2 pound brown sugar
- 7 1/2 ounces butter
- 3 local farm eggs
- 1.5 cups Harrell Hill Farms sorghum-syrup molasses
- 12 1/2 ounces cake flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients, then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add in molasses. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk until the bath is just incorporated. Bake in a half sheet pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The cake is finished when a tester comes out clean.
Dark Chocolate Sorghum Cremeux
- 1200 grams heavy cream
- 240 grams yolk
- 150 grams Harrell Hill Farms sorghum syrup molasses
- 700 grams dark chocolate
Bring the heavy cream and sorghum to a boil and temper in the yolks. To temper in the yolks whisk a cup of the hot cream into the yolks, and pour the now warm yolks back into the cream. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it reaches 185 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon. Once at temperature, pour over the chocolate. Wait five minutes for the chocolate to melt, and whisk the chocolate and cream mixture together.
Sorghum Raspberry Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup Harrell Hill Farms sorghum syrup molasses
- 1/2 cup raspberry puree
- 1 cup cream
- 4 ounces butter
Mix the water and sugar in a medium pot until all of the sugar is wet. Juice the lemon into the sugar, and rub it on the sides of the pot. This will keep the sugar from crystalizing. Let the sugar boil on medium heat until it is a dark amber color. Add the butter, cream, sorghum and raspberry puree. Be careful to add the cool ingredients slowly as the caramel will bubble.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 ounces local egg yolks
- 3 ounces sugar
- 1/2 cup raspberry puree
Bring the cream, sugar, and raspberry puree to a boil. Temper in the egg yolks, and whisk over medium heat until it reaches 185 degrees, or when the mixture can coat the back of a spoon. Serve cold. Once cool, this can also be used as a raspberry ice cream base. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to churn.