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Top Chef: Just Desserts 2 – Ep 2 – This One’s A Lemon


Elimination Challenge – Created a cake celebrating the Disney Concert Hall Opening Night for the L.A. Philharmonic. Each makes one tier of the cake over 8 ½ hours and it must feed 150 people. Supposedly this “pushes the limits of traditional cake making.” Those are limits never before pushed, I believe.

In the planning, Hammer talks about going with a topsy-turvy style. Katzie calls archetecture the perfect marriage of science and art. Vanarin decides to make tiny musical instruments out of modeling chocolate. Orlando, a self-proclaimed cake specialist, says that Baby Hands is the “nitwit of the team.” Two things there – first, points for the use of the word nitwit. Second, you friggin picked him! La Paz actually has an architecture background which may have just saved this team. Carlos mangled the language a bit and also had a music theme to the cake. Melissa is using caremon spice and Hammer thinks it is a risk. Yeah, because no one has ever made spice cake. Come on Hammer.

Elvis is in the building – Elvis’ walkthrough reveals that Camacho and Rebecca are almost making identical cakes. Oh wait, I’m sorry, Macho’s uses buttermilk and oil while the One-Armed Bandit is using milk and oil. As Elvis said, because that’s so different. He thinks Vanarin’s instruments are too small, although that seems rather personal. Baby Hands is looking for a “sweet pow pow” flavor, which I think was the #5 special at the Chinese takeout.

The leadup to the cakes shows La Paz rescuing the cake when he realizes Baby Hands’ giant drum cake is too big for La Paz’s Greek-style columns. Baby Hands is also using a tiny, tiny brush to decorate and driving Orlando crazy. Chefs have to walk up a gazillion steps at the site before building the cakes. Some cakes start to melt, others break, and Carlos turns his pink unexpectedly.

Judges are Gail, Elvis, Theoden and Braun. This is what the teams’ cakes look like:

The Blue Team’s Cake Chefs: Katzie, Rock and Vanarin – Elvis thinks it is sloppy and amateurish. Gail thinks they needed to scale it back intsed of adding so much, and the Vanarin’s instruments are too many and too small.

The Green Team’s Cake Chefs: Carlos, Macho and Rebecca – It looks to be decorated with branches and little littered papers. Theoden sees great team harmony within the cake. Elvis doesn’t like the airbrushing, which was totally Carlos’ fault according to Macho.

The Black Team’s Cake Chefs: La Paz, Baby Hands, and Orlando – It looks like asad little temple with an alien ship on top. The judges notice all of the problems and Gail thinks there is way too much sugar in the fondant.

The Red Team’s Cake Chefs: Hanmer, Megan, Matthew and, Melissa – It looks like the Leaning Tower decorated with musical notes and violins. The airbrushing was nice, but Elvis found ripples in the fondant.

The cakes:
Vanarin – Smoked Salted Caramel Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Elvis found it to be very dry.

Katzie – Buttermilk Cake with Black Currant Jam and Pistachio Buttercream – Braun and Elvis comment on the moistness, with Elvis finding it too mushy.

Rock – Devil’s Food Cake with Raspberry Gelée, Chocolate Buttercream and Praline Feuilletine – Braun wants to eat the caramel, but not the fruit. Theoden loves the crunchy texture.

La Paz – Vanilla and Lemon Zest Cake with Pistachio Buttercream and White Chocolate Pearls – Elvis liked the texture, but not the cake in its entirety.

Carlos – Vanilla Sponge Cake, Lemon Cream and Strawberries – Elvis thinks it is so dense, and Gail likes the vanilla flavor.

Hammer – Chocolate Sponge Cake with Praline Jam and Vanilla Crémeux – Elvis likes the balance and somehow finds a story in the cake.

Baby Hands – Grandma’s Chocolate Cake with Caramel and Marshmallow Buttercream – Braun asks if it really is his Grandma’s recipe. It is not. Later we find out that it was really Macho’s. Gail thinks it is really sweet.

Matt – Lemon Pound Cake, Almond Dacquoise, Créme Fraïche Mousse and Strawberry Jam – Braun thinks it has a nice nutty crunch. Gail thinks it was dense, but the lemon was beautiful.

Megan – Yellow Butter Cake with Honey Caramel Cream, Preserves and Mocha Praline Feuilletine – Theoden likes the preserve, and Braun is a fan of the redness.

Melissa – Cardamom Sponge Cake with Ginger Cream and Strawberry Jam Chef – Wait a minute, I just noticed that Melissa’s last name is also Camacho. How is that possible! Now I have two Machos. I’m going to need to make her Macho 2, or something. Anyway, Elvis found it to be in your face and tasty.

Orlando – Vanilla Sponge Soaked in Chambord, Blackberry and Port Buttercream – Gail thinks it has good texture, but lots of sweetness.

Rebecca – Devil’s Food Cake with Whipped Caramelia Ganache and Almond Dacquoise – Braun thought it was beautiful and had a nice hard crunch.

Macho 1 -Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, Salted Caramel and Raspberries – Elvis is fond of the the raspberry, and Gail is also happy about the cake.


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