Feb. 22 2012 12:00 AM

MSU Museum's annual Chocolate Party is one sweet fundraiser


Valentine’s Day has gone, but the Michigan State University Museum’s 23rd annual Chocolate Party Benefit gives candy lovers another excuse to indulge their yen for sweets. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the cultural and natural science collection of the MSU Museum and the upgrading of storage facilities.

The fundraiser is a professional culinary event that´s open to the general public, offering attendees have the opportunity to sample creations from an array of Lansing area chefs. 

About a dozen vendors will be on hand to provide samples of their creations, including Bake N Cakes, How Sweet It Is.  Caruso´s Candy Kitchen and the recently opened American Crepes in East Lansing, which will show off chocolate crepes. 

The theme of this year´s chocolate sculpture competition is “Cabinets and Curiosities," which ties in to a recently opened exhibit at the museum, said MSU Museum facility and event manager Mike Secord.

The exhibit looks at “explorers from around the world and the cultural oddities they might come back with during the 1700s and 1800s,” Secord said.

 The competition is open to the general public, but participants must apply beforehand at the museum´s website. In past years competitors have included culinary students, area chefs and local chocolate enthusiasts. The competition draws both individuals and teams of sculptors, Secord said.

A silent auction includes donated items from vendors and local businesses, ranging from $10 to $500. 

The event also features two public demonstrations by chefs. “In the past, they´ve shown off different techniques, such as how to do chocolate strawberries, or how to make a homemade ganache,” Secord said.