First episode done…check. (lived to see another day…check.)
With last week’s “naked” disaster behind me, I was even more excited to get back into the kitchen and prove to myself, the other bakers and especially the judges, that I deserved to be in the competition.
As we entered the kitchen, we see Bobby sitting on some stadium bleachers catching popcorn in his mouth and sipping on a soda. We are not sure where this is going to go, but it looks like sports of some kind. He announces that it’s all about ballpark food and my first thought is…not many BAKED items are at the ballpark. There in lies the twist! We have to create desserts based on items you would find at a ballpark.
Susana gets the advantage to decide which ingredient we use. I look over her shoulder as she goes through each card and start coming up with ideas. I have a little something for each card, but the corn chips, and am willing her not to give me that card….does she listen? Of course not, that is the exact card she gives me…did I say I didn’t want it out loud?
But, you got to make it work, so I start thinking nachos and then it hits me! Make dessert nachos. Once I get that idea all sorts of creations start running through my head. But, I tap the breaks and tell myself, “for the love of everything good, do not go over board again, do what you know can get done.”
As Bobby counts down the final seconds to the challenge, I look down and can not be more pleased with how it all turned out. I have created nachos with puff pastry cinnamon-sugar “chips”, orange and chocolate cake “beef”, fresh fruit “pico”, creme fraise “sour cream”, white chocolate “cheese” and macha green tea “guacamole”! Ole!
While the judges had thing to say about all of our dishes, Jane’s Pretzel & Potato Chip cookies stuffed with sweet potato jam and homemade marshmallow fluff and my Nachos were the stand outs. Lorraine says, “I am quite blown away by this,” and Nancy calls it a “home run”. They vote my dish the winner and I just about to come out of my shoes!
This gives me the advantage going into the elimination challenge and now I get to chose what everyone will be cooking. We have to come up with desserts that look like food you would find at a BBQ…dum, dum, dum! (not as in stupid…as in the mystery music you would hear!)
I look through the choices and decide to go with corn-on-the-cob and ribs (on account that I immediately think of crisp rice cereal treats for the corn). Then my “better than sex” brownies come to mind for the ribs, along with a drunk cherry sauce that I make with my chocolate truffle cake, that can be used for BBQ sauce…BAMM! done…let’s get this thing started.
I loved this challenge. Everything went exactly as planned. I kept a watch on the clock and planned accordingly. The last little thing that I had to deal with was my BBQ sauce. After making it, I realized that it was going to be too sweet to go with my brownies, (Lorraine is proving to be a stickler on things being too sweet….did someone not tell her it was a BAKING contest!), so I ran and grabbed the cayenne and cider vinegar and added those to the sauce…it was a risk, but after I tasted it, I knew I had chosen well.
This challenge proved to be a bit of a struggle for some of the other contestants. Dan and I having cake decorating backgrounds really grabbed it by the horns and had a good time with it. Jane proved her skills by baking two items, while Dustin got all “gastro” on us and made a gel out of pears to shape his shrimp. And, Kenny ruined a $300 knife by heating it up over the gas burner to create “grill” marks on his salmon steak…there was definitely no lack of creativity in the kitchen that day!
The judges once again gravitated toward Jane and me with our creations! The MOM-POWER was strong in the kitchen that day and it became a war of the brownies! While they liked both our “meat” options, Lorraine said mine we a little dry in some areas….I promise you it was not! HA! The winner was decided on the side dish and my corn-on-the-cob out-played Jane’s vegetable/fruit kabob. I won the second challenge of the day!
Try out these recipes and let me know what you think!