Friday, August 17, 2018

2018 Best Baker in America Recap and Odds, Episode 6 — A Royale Treat

So, just as a reminder, here are the remaining bakers still fighting it out for the finale of Best Baker in America (this is still in the order of who I think will win):

Adam Young
Max Santiago
Jean-Francois Suteau
Lasheeda Perry

In this week’s skills challenge on Best Baker in America, they have to make six Mont Blanc cakes which have meringue, a tart shell and a chestnut cream vermicelli. Let’s see what each contestant is making that makes me want to jump through the television screen and eat it:

Adam: Ginger blueberry Mont Blanc with chestnut vermicelli, chestnut cream, toasted meringue, blueberry ginger compote and a lemon and vanilla scented pate sucree dough.
Max: Orange blossom and cardamom Mont Blanc with chestnut flavored whipped cream, meringue, almond cream, pate sucree crust and chestnut vermicelli.
Jean-Francois: Chestnut chantilly cream, French meringue, blackberry and cassis jam and chestnut financier.
Lasheeda: Matcha and ube (purple potato) Mont Blanc with ube chestnut vermicelli, vanilla bean pate sucree crust, strawberry whipped cream and matcha meringue.

Unfortunately, Max runs out of vermicelli cream before he’s piped his last two. Oh no! He has to have six made so he quickly makes some more and tries to finish in time.

It’s judging time with Jason and Marcela.

Jean-Francois: Marcela says there’s a little texture issue with the vermicelli, but she loves the presentation. Jason says just hearing the flavor combination makes him as happy as a horse dancing in a barn. Marcela says it’s absolutely delicious. Jason says it’s terrific.
Lasheeda: Marcela says this looks like a younger crowd, but it’s sophisticated flavors. Jason “oooh baby (ube) you’ve done it!” Marcela loves the flavor, but it’s a little starchy for her.
Adam: Marcela says it’s a gorgeous white mountain and individually the components are good, but they are missing the blueberry.
Max: Jason says there are inconsistencies on the piping. Jason likes the cardamom, but the strong flavor from the chestnut vermicelli is orange blossom and it takes away from the chestnut flavor.

The winner of the skills challenge is Jean-Francois.

Up next is their Best Baker in America master challenge and they are making the Charlotte Royale which has a swiss roll and bavarois (Bavarian cream). They must incorporate peanut butter. Joining the judging is Florian Bellanger (I used to watch him on Cupcake Wars!).
Lasheeda: Drunken peanut butter and jelly Charlotte Royale with red berry jam sponge cake, whiskey bavarian, red berry bavarian and peanut butter bavarian.
Adam: Peanut butter and strawberry jelly Charlotte Royale with strawberry genoise with peanut butter mousse, peanut praline, peanut butter bavarian, fresh strawberries and strawberry bavarian.
Max: Peanut butter and blackberry jelly Charlotte Royale with almond sponge cake with blackberry jam, feuilletine and ground peanuts, blackberry bavarian and peanut butter bavarian.
Jean-Francois: Peanut butter and raspberry jelly Charlotte Royale with peanut butter sour cream cake with raspberry jam, peanut butter bavarian and raspberry mousse.

After a conversation with the judges, Lasheeda wonders if the whiskey was a mistake since she’s overdone alcohol before. Her Charlotte Royale also doesn’t set up ‘the way she likes it.’ It does look a little loose. Jean-Francois forgets to glaze it.

It’s judging time:

Adam: Marcela said the sugar work shows beautiful technique. She loves that he went to multiple layers, there is so many different textures and flavors. Jason says it’s perfect flavors, but the huge chunk of strawberries add too much water to the event.
Chef-Francois: Florian pointed out his missed glaze, but the cake is super good. Jason says the mousse texture is on point but that it’s missing a little peanut butter. Marcela truly loves it.
Max: Jason doesn’t like that you can see the cream from the outside. Marcela loves his chocolate work. Florian points out that the Bavarians don’t stick together. Marcela says it’s missing peanut butter flavor. Jason said he got the peanut butter out of the crunchy layer, but it’s too hard.
Lasheeda: Marcela doesn’t like that she used a different shape, but Jason loves the look of it and likes that she took a risk. Jason loves the texture of the sponge and the balance of whiskey was perfectly balanced. Marcela just wanted a little more flavor. Florian wanted another slice of and thought it was delicious.

Who won the Best Baker in America master skills challenge? Jean-Francois

Who else is moving on to the Best Baker in America finale — Adam!

Max and Lasheeda are the bottom two. Who went home? Max.

So Lasheeda has surprised me since her rough start at the beginning. Good for her, but I’m still believing that Adam is the guy to beat.


About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

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