Ewing, Va. resident Genell Patterson was one of 10 winners in the Duncan Hines Spring Bake contest. Out of 600 entries, her Dark Chocolate Mocha Gooey Bottom Bars was one of the chosen winners.
Patterson, who is originally from Seattle, Wash., got to spend a weekend in the Duncan Hines Test Kitchen in Parsippany, N.J.
“It was the most unreal thing,” said Patterson. “I felt like I was dreaming the whole time.”
Patterson said there were about 43 people that attended the facility — 10 winners from this year, the winners from last year and some food bloggers.
“They treated us like we were royalty,” said Patterson. She said they even rolled out the red carpet.
On Saturday, an employee from Wilton Cake Decorating had a display on hand and showed cake decorating techniques to Patterson and the winners. They then got to tour the whole company.
During the afternoon, Patterson and the winners got to spend time with Duncan Hines Corporate Pastry Chef Joe DiPaolo. He showed the winners different techniques to make desserts like chocolate mousse.
Patterson and the winners also received dinner and dessert made by chefs at the facility.
“It was just an overwhelming, fun experience,” said Patterson.
Patterson entered the baking contest after seeing an application on the Duncan Hines Facebook page. That night, she and some friends got together and Patterson tried several recipes. Her friends tried each one and picked their favorite.
Patterson submitted two recipes and the Dark Chocolate Mocha Gooey Bottom Bars was the winner. She said she came up with the idea because she loves coffee and dark chocolate.
This is only the second baking contest Patterson has entered. In her native Seattle, she entered a cupcake contest during a local fundraiser called “Cupcakes for Cancer.” She won the award for most creative cupcake.
Patterson dreams of opening her own bakery one day.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, firstname.lastname@example.org