One way to bring a little West Coast love into your home is to make 23-year-old grad student Lauren Kramp's Berry Chocolaty Fun, winner of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship. Kramp was inspired by her family's ganache recipe and freshly picked berries, and this recipe perfectly captures the essence of a summer day in one bite.
Heat the heavy cream in a pan until it starts to simmer. Add the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until well mixed, then add 1 cup of the blackberry preserves. Whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the chocolate ganache to cream cheese and mix for about 6 minutes, until it is light in color. Scoop about 1/3 of chocolate cream into eighteen 9-ounce cups. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Using the remaining blackberry preserves spread 1 tablespoon of the blackberry preserves on top of the chocolate cream. Scoop 3 more tablespoons of chocolate cream on top on the preserves and refrigerate again.
Melt the cocoa chocolate chips using a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted, paint the back of small clean citrus leaves (or any small tree leaves). Refrigerate, chocolate side up, for approximately 5 minutes. Peel the chocolate off leaves, save chocolate for garnish.
Whip the heavy cream and sugar till almost soft peaks. Slowly whip in blackberry juice and then whip to stiff peaks. Pipe onto the chocolate cream cups. Place a blackberry on top and finish with two chocolate leaves.