Chocolate Stout Cake
Dessert Runner Up
- Canal Park Brewery Co. | Duluth, MN
- Twin Cities Division
“When I decided to enter the competition, I knew immediately that I wanted to use chocolate and stout, which have a great affinity for each other,” says Chef Jonathan Katzmark about his delectable chocolate stout cake dessert. “I am passionate about showcasing the fantastic craft brews produced here through some of my menu items. And, who can resist chocolate cake?”
Katzmark’s interest in international flavors and background in French dining definitely is reflected in the stout cake. “I love the fact that I have blended a truly fine chocolate cake in the French culinary style with a stout beer. The end result is a beautiful little individual three-layer cake with ganache between the layers and on top. The ‘piece de resistance’ is the spun sugar bird cage dome placed atop each cake.” To add interest and color, it is garnished with seasonal berries and a sprig of mint.
According to its website, the Canal Park Brewing Company proudly brews its beer “in the middle of somewhere.” That somewhere is Duluth, Minnesota, which is a busy port and year-round tourist mecca on Lake Superior.
Chef Jonathan Katzmark trained at Le Cordon Bleu in the Twin Cities and signed on to Canal Park just over a year ago. He describes the Canal Park menu as “reinvented classic comfort food, with an emphasis on local and fresh.” Seasonal fish and pot roast share billing with burgers, including the bestselling Northcoaster, which is decked out with Cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon, house-made guacamole, a fried egg and smoked-tomato mayo. The menu also pays homage to Minnesotan’s predilection to the tater tot with its Tater Tot Hot Dish. (Tater tots are listed on nearly as many menus as French fries in the Twin Cities.) Vegetarians will appreciate the Portabella Fresca, a marinated and grilled giant mushroom, layered with spring greens, tomato, red onion, roasted red pepper, fresh Mozzarella cheese and basil pesto aioli, served on Focaccia bread.
Canal Park is the only brewpub in Duluth, and has made a big splash in the community in its three years of operation. Among its dozens of native craft brews are: Nut Hatchet Brown (soft toffee with nutty character); Stoned Surf India Pale Ale (grapefruit bouquet, smooth and spicy, medium-bodied, frisky hop aroma to balance complex malt backbone); Ankle Deep Pilsner (crisp and clean, light and robust); and Pack Sacker Oatmeal Stout (roasted caramel and chocolate notes, creamy mouthfeel).
The desire to build the city’s brewing culture is top-of-mind at Canal Park, and so is sustainability. The company partners with local producers whenever possible, both for its beer and food ingredients. There’s space for 250 inside, with 100 more seats on the all-season patio (outfitted with a cozy fire pit) all with a splendid view of the lake. Brewery tours take place on weekends.