Death by Chocolate: Examining the Top Chef Just Desserts
Now that I have my notes, I thought it might be fun to take a more in-depth look at what the cheftestants presented as their luxurious chocolate desserts for this weekâ€™s elimination challenge.
Morgan: Chocolate Fried Pie w/Milk Chocolate Bourbon Flan
Just what is flan? Itâ€™s similar to a quiche or a custard tart that is often described as an open-topped pie. I donâ€™t like pie and I donâ€™t like Morgan so donâ€™t think I would have liked his dessert.
Heather C: Bittersweet chocolate torte with a mini whoopee pie
How is a torte different from a tart? And whatâ€™s a whoopee pie? I turn to epicuriousÂ for answers. A torte is a little or no-flour cake made with ground nuts or bread crumbs. A tart is a shallow pastry crust will no top and filling.
WikipediaÂ tells us a whoopee pie is a cookie cake with frosting filling. The cake is usually chocolate but sometimes pumpkin. Jacques tells the other judges heâ€™s never had a whoopee pie. Neither have I.
Just where did the brownie come from? The NibbleÂ tells us the brownie was birthed right here in the US. Itâ€™s more cookie bar than cake.
So whatâ€™s the deal with fondant? WikipediaÂ tells us itâ€™s a combo of sugar and water usually used as a filling or coating for cakes.
It didnâ€™t look like much to me but the judges call it complex with a lot of texture.
What does can tea add to your dessert? Sally BernsteinÂ tells us tea can add a subtle flavor to baked goods. The secret is to concentrate it. The judges loves the teardrop shapeÂ but even Tania admitted the consistently of the mousse was way off. Johnny wasnâ€™t impressed.
Danielle: Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut brittle & banana
The judges think you have to work to get the right bite. The components arenâ€™t exciting separately. Together itâ€™s pretty interesting.
Seth: Madras Curry & Chocolate Palette with Raspberry Gelee
What is a gelee? Merriam-WebsterÂ defines it as a cosmetic gel. I like to think of it as a jelly since thatâ€™s a bit more appealing, at least to me.
Why is there custard in my ice cream? The Wright RecipesÂ tells us of a French technique that uses a custard as an ice cream base. Iâ€™m not convince Iâ€™d try it and the judges find fault with it.
Tim: Chocolate Cake with Ganache & White Chocolate Cream
Ganache is so much fun to say and itâ€™s simply another word (a French word that literally means jowl) for an icing or filling made from chocolate and cream. The judges think the cake is dense but the flavor is good.
According to CDKitchenÂ nougatine is candy made of caramel syrup and nuts. I could get on board with that. The judges say it screams chocolate. I canâ€™t remember if they looked pleased or not when they made that comment.
Erika: Chocolate Banana Caramel Crunch BarÂ
I like chocolate, banana, caramel, and crunch. Sounds like a winner to me. Some people might think you can only bake banana bread using bananas but EzinearticlesÂ tells us just how versatile they really are.
The judges think the crunch delivers a pow.
Gail asks to see Seth, Heather H. and Zac.
Johnny: Well conceived and thought out.
Dannielle: A party in her mouth
Jacques: Donâ€™t blow on the desserts.
Johnny: Loved the aesthetic. Well-balanced.
Jacques: Crunch was a good surprise.
Dannielle: Curry for dessert worked.
Heather H. takes the first elimination challenge win. As you already know, Tania is sent packing.
This yearâ€™s winner will receive a feature in Food & Wine, a showcase at the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, a Buick regal, and 100K from Godiva.
Some lines I enjoyed:
â€œBeing a pastry chef is not all fondant and frosting.â€
â€œPastry is a science. You canâ€™t just wing it.â€
â€œMaking dessert is like giving birth to a baby.â€
Yigit: Flourless Chocolate Genoise with Custardless Ice Cream
What is brittle? Itâ€™s exactly what it sounds like. Flat brittle candy, broken into pieces embedded with nuts or legumes.
Tania: Flourless Chocolate Torte with Earl Grey & White Chocolate Mousse
Zac: Chocolate Fondant â€œBrownie Sundaeâ€
If the word mousse is in it, Iâ€™ll put it in my mouth. The judges called this dish more elegant and were impressed that Heather thought about plating.
Heather H.: Dark chocolate mousse torte with chocolate grand marnier sauce
An ancho chile is a dried poblano. Itâ€™s used to bring some heat.
The judges think the brownie is very moist and rich but not decadent enough. Iâ€™m not a fan of brownies but the ginger and cinnamon would have gotten me to at least take a nibble.
Eric: Spiced brownie with ancho chile, ginger & cinnamon
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