Shimmering dessert captures food fest's top prize

LAKE GEORGE - With the price of gold hovering near its record price of $1,200 per ounce, a local inn decided to capitalize on the precious metal in this past weekend's Taste of Diamond Point event.

The Inn at Erlowest dazzled people's tastebuds at this year's edition of the popular annual community festival by offering a chocolate confection topped off with edible 24-carat gold leaf.

All for only $1 per serving.

The shimmering, tasty Opera Torte, a creation of Inn at Erlowest's pastry chef Andre Van Bourgondien, helped the Inn win the fest's top award.

The Inn's two desserts - the Opera Torte and its companion, Apple Frangapan Tart, sold the most samplings in the festival Saturday, winning the People's Choice award for the stately inn.

The Opera Torte features repeated thin layers of chocolate ganache, mocha butter cream, chocolate jaconde, chocolate couverture, in rectangles topped off with a 24-carat gold flake - an offering that event chairman Buzz Lamb characterized Monday as "almost unbelievable."

Erlowest's Food & Beverage Director Michael Agresta confirmed that the glittery confection attracted a lot of attention Saturday.

"We had a lot of repeat customers," he said Monday, noting that some people inquired whether the gold was indeed edible. "People were really loving it, and the whole event was loads of fun."

The Apple Frangapan Tart featured an almond pastry crust, fresh sliced apples topped with cinnamon and nutmeg.

The food festival was presented by the friends, volunteers and congregation of the Diamond Point Community Church.

Eleven Diamond Point area establishments offered samples of their cuisine on the grounds of the church.

This fundraiser for the 139-year-old house of worship included outdoor carnival-type games with prizes for the children, live musical entertainment provided by jazz pianist Ray Alexander, and the Denise Jordan Finley group with Daniel Pagdon on Bass. Raffle drawings were held every half-hour for donated items.

Event Chairman Buzz Lamb of Diamond Point said the festival, which lasted a mere two hours, exceeded expectations, garnering a record sum of $2,537 in donations.

"It was unbelievable, and some establishments went overboard," Lamb said, noting that Lake George Club provided savory crab cakes and Blue Water Manor offered several delicacies including Cavahapi Pasta with tomato-basil sauce.

The restaurants and delicatessens participating served up more than 1,300 samples of food to the 600-plus attending, he said.

"The event wa extremely successful, and it's likely to be even more so next year," he said.

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