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How the chef-to-be at Goshen Brewing Co. makes chocolate cardamom cake

Jesse Shoemaker feels comfortable in the kitchen. That comfort means that he’ll try things. As he said about the menu he’s building for Goshen Brewing Co., it’s ending up being some sort of fusion of Asian and American smoke.

The Goshen Brewing Co.’s opening is delayed. Construction hasn’t started yet at 315 W. Washington St. near the Goshen Millrace Canal. Jesse Sensenig had hoped to open his brewpub by now, but it’ll be a longer wait. But in the meantime, Shoemaker can build the menu.

As he plays with recipes, sometimes they work better than others.

A chocolate raspberry dessert didn’t work as well as the chocolate cardamom truffle cake. “It’s chocolate and whipping cream. It’s all it is,” he said. But he also added a coconut cream topping that took it beyond the norm.

Every cook has their favorites, and stuff they despise. Here’s Shoemaker’s list:

Favorite food: Morels. Enough said.

Favorite food to cook: Pad Thai. “I’ve made it enough times. It never gets old,” he said.

Least favorite food: Zucchini. “I really hate zucchini, but I love eggplant,” he said.

If you could only eat one animal the rest of your life: Duck. Or pig. “I want to choose pig just because it’s so versatile, but I love duck so much. There’s a reason I raised 30 ducks last summer. For the rest of my life, I’d probably say pig. There’s so much you can do with it,” he said.

Read more about Shoemaker and his plans for Goshen Brewing Co.’s menu at The Elkhart Truth.

Because there’s no better medicine for delayed-opening disappointment than cake, Shoemaker was kind enough to let us in on the recipe for his Chocolate Cardamom Truffle Cake with Coconut Cream Sauce.

Chocolate Cardamom Truffle Cake with Coconut Cream Sauce
Serves 10-12
Adapted from “Chocolate” by Maxine Clark

Cookie Base

  • 5 oz. puff pastry cookies, I use Conching brand puff party cookies that can be purchased at Asian markets but graham crackers, cookies, or anything similar would work well.
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar

Truffle Filling

  • 2⅓ cups heavy cream
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed to open
  • 25 oz. dark chocolate
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 Tablespoons chocolate liqueur

Cardamom Cocoa Sugar

  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Coconut Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 3 cardamom pods


  1. To make the base, put cookies in a food processor and process until very fine. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan over gentle heat, and then stir in the cookie crumbs. Press the mixture onto the base of a 10-inch well-greased, or parchment-lined, springform pan and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  2. To make the truffle filling, put the cardamom pods and cream in a pan and heat until almost boiling.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
  4. Meanwhile, put the chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Strain the infused cream through a strainer onto the chocolate. If the chocolate doesn’t melt, heat over very low heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Stir in the chocolate liqueur, then set aside until almost cold but not set. With an electric mixer, beat the chocolate mixture for a couple of minutes. Pour onto the cookie base and the let cool.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. To make the cardamom cocoa sugar, remove the black seeds from the cardamom pods and put in a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder, along with the sugar and cocoa. Grind to a powder.
  7. To make the coconut cream sauce, open a can of coconut milk (not reduced fat) and skim the cream from the top. It will probably take one to two cans to get 1 cup of cream.
  8. Grind the black seeds from the 3 cardamom pods. Put the coconut cream, egg yolk, sugar, salt, and ground cardamom in a double boiler pan set over barely simmering water. Gently stir with a whisk, but do not beat, for about 15 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and chill. It will thicken further as it chills.
  9. To serve, remove cake from pan and place on a serving plate. Sift cardamom cocoa sugar evenly over the top. Cut into small slices, it is very rich, and garnish each slice with the coconut cream sauce.

Marshall V. King is managing editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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