After a seven-month-long shortage of pink chocolate, The Madonna Inn’s popular champagne cake has regained its signature hue.
“People are definitely excited to see the color return,” said Amanda Rich, artistic director at the San Luis Obispo hotel.
The Madonna Inn had been relying on a backstock of pink chocolate for its pink champagne cake since September 2017 and ran out in January 2018, Rich said.
The Madonna Inn originally reported that its vendor, Guittard Chocolate Co., stopped supplying pink chocolate because of new FDA regulations on red food dye. It turns out that the company was just trying a new recipe using different oils, Rich said.
After months of working on a new mix, Guittard decided to stick to the original recipe, she said.
Pink champagne cakes have long been a hit with Madonna Inn customers. Rich said the inn’s bakery makes an average of 10 pink champagne cakes per day, with an uptick of orders around the holidays.
Decorators shave long strips of chocolate from 10-pound bars to create the curls that garnish the top of the inn’s cakes. The remaining chocolate crumbles are used to decorate the sides of the dessert, plus parts not covered by the curls.
During the red dye outage, the inn used the same process with white chocolate instead. According to Rich, the only difference in the white and pink champagne cakes is the red dye; she didn’t see a decrease in champagne cake orders in June.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the pink chocolate shortage lasted one month and that Guittard Chocolate Co. stopped supplying pink chocolate in January 2018. It has been corrected.