Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SalleeShares- Holiday Baking Championship Week 3

Week Three Bakers

And only six bakers remain to battle for $50,000 and the title, Holiday Baking Champion. Pastry Instructor Bill Liscomb, Home Baker Naylet Larochelle, Caterer David Bondarchuck, Naval Instructor/Family Baker Dante Morasco, Chef Terra Nelson, and Pro Baker Erin Campbell have survived two baking battles.  Each previous bake off battle has been devised to highlight baking skills in the areas of creativity, taste, and presentation. 

Meet the Judges
Owner of Charm City Cakes Duff Goldman,Farmhouse Rules host Nancy Fuller, and Pastry Chef Lorraine Pascale.

Sallee's Three to win the $50,000: Erin, Bill and Naylet.
Leave a comment and let me know who your top three bakers are.

The Preheat Advantage Challenge
The six remaining contestants' faces mirror surprise when host Bobby Deen announces the preheat advantage challenge:

"Use store bought pie crust to make a dessert that is not pie! in half an hour." Whoa, a thirty minute dessert using prepackaged pie crust? 

Six Dismayed Bakers
All the bakers are a little dismayed that they have to use prepackaged pie crust in an inspiring, innovative, holiday dessert that is not a pie. Texturally, a premade crust lacks butter. No butter means less flavor and flakiness. However, Bill did admit that he does use a store bought crust in a pinch. 

Note: Store bought crust is a help when time is short, or you do not know how to make a pie crust. However, I have not used a store bought crust in years because I have a perfected pie crust recipe, Chill and Thrill Pie Crust. This is my go to crust for any pie.

Six "Not a Pie" Desserts
  1. Bill decided to make an apple walnut raisin empanada. Empanadas are Latin American hand pies. However, it passed for "not a pie". Seriously, how close can you get to a pie and it NOT be a pie?
  2. Dante's choice was also an empanada. He prepared a chestnut chocolate chip empanada with a twisted edge that was eye appealing. However, I again ask the question, "How close can you get to a pie and it NOT be a pie?" During baking, the scrumptious filling leaked out of the empanadas. The judges all wanted more and Dante agreed with them. Sealing the edges of your dough is Baking 101. Nerves and time worked against Dante in this heat.
  3. David baked rounds of crust and assembled a black and white Napoleon. I was happy to see a dessert that was definitely NOT a pie. However, David's statement,"I'm all about presentation." was not apparent during this preheat. A powdered sugar stencil was the only holiday decoration. The judges, Duff, Nancy, and Lorraine all loved the flavors, but not the presentation. Nancy wanted to see three red berries and a mint leaf on top.  
  4. Erin's choice, deconstructed peach cobbler with egg washed pastry and sanding sugar, set the bar for the other contestants in the preheat. Once again Erin swung for the fences and this time the holiday baking ball soared over the outfield fence. 
  5. Naylet's dessert was a pumpkin butter dessert square which was essentially a square empanada that wasn't sealed properly. Guess what happened? Yes, the filling oozed out during baking. Back to Baking 101, seal those pastry edges. 
  6. Terra baked baby apple turnovers. Unfortunately, she chose to use unpeeled apples "like Mamaw."  In my opinion, using unpeeled, or pared, apples is a mistake. Apple peels can be bitter and tough. The trio of judges agreed with my opinion. Fortunately, Terra's innovative technique of pressing graham cracker crumbs into the pie crust for texture earned her points with all three judges. 
And the preheat WINNER is ERIN! Remember Erin is one of MY top 3 picks.

The Pie Challenge Continues!
Once again, five faces reflect dismay. Erin can begin baking 10 minutes earlier than the other five finalists in the elimination challenge.

And the Elimination Challenge Is:
Bake 3 pies in 2 hours. 
Glad it is them and not me. Two hours is not very much time to make three pies. 

Contestants' Holiday Pie Flavors

  • Chocolate Chip Pecan
  • Apple Cranberry Frangipane
  • Banana Pudding with Marshmallow Meringue
  • Apple 
  • Italian Pastia 
  • Italian Cheesecake 
  • Kentucky Bourbon Pecan
  • Chocolate Pumpkin
  • Cranberry Meringue
  • Lemon Meringue
  • Pumpkin
  • Salted Caramel Apple
  • Pecan Chocolate Coconut
  • Banana Cream Dulce de Leche
  • Cream Cheese Apple
  • Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan
  • Lemon Gingersnap
  • Pumpkin Maple Brulee
Baker Erin Start Your Baking!
Ten minutes slowly pass as five bakers watch Erin enthusiastically begin composing her three pies. Finally, all five could sprint into the pantry and begin work on their three pies.

At the one hour and fifteen minute mark, Dante cut his finger, which bled into his pie crust dough. Remaking pie dough is not what you want to be doing with less than an hour remaining. Could Dante be the eliminated baker this week?

Two Hours Later
Bobby Deen calls time and six pairs of hands rise into the air. A moment later, Bobby says,"I like surprises and I have a surprise for you." With an "Uh Oh what now?" look, the finalists look at each other and back at Bobby. 

Surprise! Pick the Best Two Pies
  • Dante was pleased to pick two out of three, but only had one good pie and knew it. 
  • Naylet struggled to complete her Cheesecake Apple Pie and quickly chose to eliminate it. 
  • David remarked,"It's like choosing between my children!" However, he decided to leave the Kentucky Bourbon Pecan pie in his kitchen.
  •  Erin took her Lemon Meringue out of the judging.
  • Terra decided her Pumpkin Maple Brulee pie would be left on the counter because it might not be done. 
  • Bill chose to leave out his chocolate chip pecan. ( one eyebrow lifted) Maybe because Terra had a chocolate chip pecan too?

(Judge Dredd voice).......................... Pies and Bakers, you have been judged.

Top picks  

David - Cranberry Meringue earned an "Mm, Mm, Mm" from Judge Nancy Fuller. The pumpkin was deemed "excellent."
Nylet - Both of Nylet's pies earned great remarks. Lorraine Pascal said," This is legendary!" Duff and Nancy agreed with her. Nylet told the camera," It's a proud mama moment!"

Your Safe 
Erin - Judge Duff and Judge Nancy liked the Salted Apple Caramel, but Judge Lorraine thought it needed to be saltier. 
Bill - The marshmallow meringue on his Banana Cream Pie had Duff asking how he made it. I believe all three judges will be making marshmallow meringue in the immediate future. 
At the Bottom 
Terra - Mystery flavor in her Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan pie. (flour that didn't cook enough)
Dante - texture issues with the Italian Cheesecake Pie
Who Went Home?
Dante had a difficult baking day that sent him home. Cutting himself, accidentally contaminating his bowl of pie crust, and texture issues all combined to send Dante home. 

And the Winner?

Caterer David Bondarchuck won the Week 3 Elimination Challenge. Congratulations on your win David.