Eight contestants are left on Best Baker in America and this week Scott tells the contestants for their skills challenge they have 90 minutes to bake six mini-mousse cakes decorated for a wedding. Here is what they are making:
Adam Young — lemon olive oil mousse cakes with blackberry and lemon mousse. He’s going sideways with his mousse and I like how he thinks out of the box.
Max Santiago — guava and cheese mousse cakes with a coconut and brown butter cake and guava glaze.
Becca Craig — dark chocolate mousse, butterscotch mousse, dark chocolate genoise cake and flambeed bananas.
Jean-Francois Suteau — almond chocolate and raspberry mousse cakes, whipped cream and fresh raspberry and almond cake.
Leigh Omilinsky – chocolate three ways mini mousse cakes – hazelnut praline mousse, dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate mousse and flourless cake with a praline crunch layer.
Jeremy Fogg — Hawaiian mousse cakes with pineapple, white chocolate and caramelized macadamia nuts. There will be a layer of angel food, white chocolate mousse and pineapple mousse with white chocolate decor.
Kym Delost — citrus, blueberry and white chocolate mousse cakes and white chocolate flowers. Her blueberry mousse looks great.
Lasheeda Perry — bananas foster chocolate mousse cakes with a banana sponge cake, salted caramel mousse and a dark chocolate rum mousse.
Kym is struggling with her mousse so she pulls them out and repipes them. Jeremy is also struggling because his mousse is not set.
Jason and Marcela are here to judge on Best Baker in America. Here’s what they said:
Lasheeda: Marcela doesn’t think it’s wedding-esque. Jason coughs because there’s so much rum. Marcela said it’s insanity, but it gets lost in the rum.
Adam: Wow, it’s beautiful. Jason: This is what I would expect to get at a wedding. Jason says it’s too tart, but the lemon mousse is good and the olive cake is delicious. Marcela said it’s sublime.
Max: Marcela: definitely wedding. Jason thinks it’s a little messy with the guava running. I like that guava running. Marcela the mousse is silky and smooth.
Kym: Marcela calls it a cute presentation, but they wanted an unmolded mousse. Jason says the lemon overpowers and he doesn’t get blueberry.
Becca: Marcela says it smells phenomenal and her chocolate work is fantastic, but maybe it could’ve been more delicate for a wedding. Jason says he doesn’t get the butterscotch and says the cake is dry.
Leigh: Jason says the layers aren’t a smooth transition. Marcela says the mousse is dense but nice. Jason says the only part he got chocolate was the cake, which was his favorite part.
Jean-Francois: The layers look like perfection to me. Marcela says it’s a symphony of colors and textures. Jason says the piping is a little old-school. Jean-Francois says he’s old-school. Jason’s favorite part of the dessert is the almond sponge.
Jeremy: He’s having a hard time with the mousse of course. Marcela says it doesn’t melt in her mouth and she tastes the food coloring.
Winner of the skills challenge: Max. He won last week too.
Now they have to make something inspired by the croquembouche, which has cream puffs, surrounded by spun sugar. They have to make a breathtaking wedding tower using choux pastry and another form of pastry and champagne must be used as a flavor. They have three hours to create their tower. Here is what they make:
Jean-Francois: mimosa choux and champagne raspberry macaron tower. Yum! I went on a macaron binge last year.
Adam: mimosa choux and strawberry rose macaron tower. Similar to Jean-Francois.
Kym: peach bellini choux and macaron tower with champagne zabaglione and a peach bellini jelly. She’s using TOOTHPICKS to hold them together? Oh my. She also fails to get the decorations on to her tower.
Leigh: Champagne choux and mimosa cake tower.
Lasheeda: Bellini choux and citrus madeleine cakes and decorative butterflies. She said she’s going abstract and non-traditional. I don’t know. Maybe because you were in the bottom last week, you might not want to stray from traditional.
Max: Champagne choux and lavender macaron tower with a champagne sabayon mousse inside the cream puffs.
Jeremy: rose and citrus wedding tower with madeleines and macarons. He is going for a monochromatic look because color hasn’t been his friend, he says.
Becca: Blackberry champagne meringue tower with champagne pastry cream inside the puffs, baked meringue with a blackberry gelee.
Guest judge on Best Baker in America is Zac Young. Here are the judges’ comments:
Jean–Francois: Marcela: “This is gorgeous and it’s a perfect caramelization holding these macarons up.” Zac said the macaron shell was perfect. Jason said he didn’t get champagne though.
Lasheeda: Marcela: “Your madeleines look beautiful, but the cream puffs look messy.” Zac likes the variety of sizes and Jason said the madeleines were good, but the creme puffs had no flavor. Zac agrees.
Jeremy: Jason said it screams seaside wedding and Zac loves the movement of it. Jason said he can’t taste the macaron and the choux is like taking a zip of rose.
Max: Zac says it’s more Valentine’s Day than a wedding. Jason said the amount of lavender is exact. Zac said the macaron is missing the filling. The choux is broken, however.
Becca: I think her tower is pretty, although Marcela expected brighter towers, but was okay with it. Marcela said the choux is a tad bitter. Zac said the moisture from the gelee and the meringue didn’t work together.
Kym: Marcela said she had technical issues, but the flavor profile was there.
Leigh: She baked a cake as the base which Marcela loved. Zac loves the way it looks and Jason loves the transparency of the sugar. Marcela said the crackling is perfectly sweet.
Adam: Marcela said his technique is perfection. Jason said the filling in the middle of the macaron is perfect. marcela said she’s missing the chewiness though.
The two best were Leigh and Jean-Francois. The winner is Jean-Francois.
Also safe are Becca, Adam, Jeremy, and Max.
Kim and Lasheeda are in the bottom.
Going home this week is: Kym.
What is my prediction for a winner?
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