With the rising popularity of Food Network’s various baking championship shows, from Kids Baking Championship to Holiday Baking Championship, it was only a matter of time before they introduced the Halloween Baking Championship.
Here’s how it works:
Seven of the best bakers across the nation compete to become the Halloween Baking Champion and take home $25,000. Each week the contestants are given two different tasks – the “pre-heat” and the “main heat” – to impress the panel of judges, including pastry chef Sherry Yard, dessert expert Ron Ben-Israel, and chef and TV host Carla Hall.
This week, the contestants were asked to present their best take on Halloween-inspired cupcakes as well as utilize a classic Halloween candy in their cakes for the pre-heat challenge.
It was a good warm up competition for the bakers to get their jitters out, I guess. I thought it was sort of a throwaway challenge, but no one asked me prior to filming. Jason won this challenge with a dark chocolate cake topped with an edible spider.
For the main heat challenge, the bakers chose a card from a deck that featured a classic Halloween costume on it and had to create a dessert featuring the picture. Jason’s reward for winning the pre-heat challenge was the choice of trading his costume with another baker or keeping his own card and making two other bakers trade. He decided to trade his cowboy card with Audrey, who had a pirate.
Some of these desserts were pretty amazing, like Jason’s pirate cake, but some were hilariously terrible, like Scott’s accidentally bearded princess shortbread. In the end, Jennifer, who had the witch card, was sent home for serving broken ganache, which means visually it was cracked but also texturally, it didn’t taste right. At least that’s what the judges decided. I’m sure it would’ve tasted great to the average Joe, like me.
My three favorite bakers, in order, are:
Audrey - A self-taught at-home baker
Scott - The executive sous chef for the Detroit Lions
Jason - A classically trained pastry chef
Audrey is a doll. She’s sweet and bubbly and is definitely an underdog. She’s not to be underestimated and she proved that this week by winning the main heat challenge, even after getting the curveball from Jason. She could be the one to upset someone like Jason for the win.
I love Scott’s attitude and that he’s not snooty like I thought he might be considering his job. He seems like a cool, down-to-earth dude, which makes him easy to root for even if he’s not the best in the lot.
Jason is quirky and knows his stuff. The pirate cake he made for the main heat challenge was visually stunning. I can’t believe he made something so beautiful in just 90 minutes! I know it’s early, but I’d say he’s the safe bet to win this whole thing.
Next week, the remaining bakers are given a monster challenge to create a sculpted treat and then mix up flavors and themes to create a delicious dessert.
Catch new episodes of Halloween Baking Championship 8pm Mondays on Food Network.