This week’s Halloween Baking Championship was sort of a take it or leave it episode. The challenges were average compared to last week and all the bakers seemed to be struggling through each challenge.
In the pre-heat challenge, the bakers were asked to make a mash up of two storebought items like pie crust, biscuit dough, and cookie dough. Where’s the pickles or some crazy fruit we’ve never heard of? I have to remind myself this isn’t Chopped sometimes.
All of the bakers made desserts I’d describe as “blah.” Some of the finished products looked like an accident, like Ashlee’s denture mishap (yikes), and some looked ready for a kid’s lunch, like Erin’s Frankenstein’s monster cookie sandwich, which was the only one I thought, “Oh, that’s cute.” Audrey’s witch fingers would’ve been amazing, but the darn store-bought dough just doesn’t cooperate! The fingers turned into weirdly shaped pancake cookies, but she was able to salvage them.
It was no surprise Erin won the pre-heat challenge, and her award was the assistance of judge and pastry chef expert, Sherry Yard in the main heat challenge. Lucky!
The main heat challenge went a little better for everyone but there was no “Wow! That’s amazing!” moment like last week. The challenge was to create a dessert based off two different themes picked from an apple tree: One was a flavor and one was a description.
Erin picked peanut butter and slimy as her themes and made a peanut butter mousse tart decorated with fingers, tongues, hands, and eyeballs. I get how tongues and eyeballs are slimy, but she lost me with the hands and fingers. Erin only had Sherry at her disposal for a set amount of time, so it was bizarre to me when she only had this master pastry chef do ONE thing: whip up the mousse for her tart. Unfortunately for Erin, the judges said she had too much whipped cream on her tart and the crust was too thick, which totally negated the beautiful peanut butter mousse Sherry made.
Ashlee made a comeback in the main heat, choosing charred and orange as her themes and creating a blood orange tart with charred frosting and “blood” covered sugar glass spikes. The judges said she needed more of the charred element, but that’s a dangerous line to walk before it becomes burnt. The judges loved her crust (Sorry, Erin), which put her in the top two.
Jason was the winner this week and rightfully so. He created a chocolate pot de creme with butterscotch ice cream. He creatively made his orange sauce part of the decoration by dipping his (gloved) hand into it and making a “bloody” handprint on the plate. Genius!
To no one’s surprise, Rudy and Erin fell to the bottom two this week. The judges were displeased with Rudy’s use of store bought ingredients in his main heat and his dessert being too rich. Erin, unfortunately, got the ax for overpowering her tart with too much whipped cream.
I feel like I should note that though I’m criticizing these amazing bakers' work, I certainly do not think I could achieve even the worst creation on this show. I’m truly in awe of how quickly they come up with these desserts and it’s no wonder why they fall flat sometimes.
Catch new episodes of Halloween Baking Championship at 9pm Mondays on Food Network.