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Top Chef: Just Desserts – Ep 7 – Death By Chocolate…and Donuts


Quickfire – Make the perfect doughnut to go with coffee. Donut Guru Mark Israel, from the Doughnut Plant in NYC is the guest judge with Gail. And Elvis comes out to bring the surprise elimination news to the chefs. Megan goes for a cake doughnut because yeast takes too much time. Carlos reminisces about growing up in his parents’ bake shop.

Katzie – Cocoa Beignet with Date Ganache – Elvis wonders why she served a plated dessert for a doughnut challenge. Israel liked the surprise in the middle.

Carlos – Orange and Lemon Zest Bombolinis with Passion Fruit Cream -Elvis says it has a lot of flavor, and Israel says his melted in his mouth.

Orlando – Spiced Banana Beignet – Orlando mentions that he used cardamon, and Israel complains that he cannot taste it.

Megan – Cake Doughnut with Honey Cardamon Glaze – The doughnut sticks to the plate. Really hard. Gail says that at least it has a cardamon flavor.

Hammer – Citrus Churro with Raspberry Jam – Israel likes the softness andits texture.

Macho – Espresso Glazed Doughnut with Caramelized Cashews – The pastry is elongated, in the form of sticks. Israel loves that he can stir his coffee with it.

Matt – Ginger Beignet with Caramel and Whipped Jivara Cream – Matt runs out of time and can’t fill his doughnut. He has to plate the filling on the side. The result is a very dry doughnut.

Top Two – Macho and Carlos. Her creativity and glaze were stellar. His texture was the best and the filling was not overpowering. Carlos gets the win and the 10 grand prize. He is quite pleased.

Bottom Three – Matt, Megan and Orlando. Megan is there because of her percentage of glaze to pastry. Matt because of the side cream. Orlando gets into a debate about whether or not cardamon should be a basis of his critique. Elvis shoots back that regardless, he made a bland spiced doughnut.

I was hoping for a booting of Orlando, but I was certain that when Elvis couldn’t remove his donut from the plate that Megan – the last remaining cute girl (sorry Katzie and Macho – just my tastes here) – was doomed. I must say though, I just noticed on her way out of the kitchen that Megan is 31 years old. Wow. She looks 21. That will be a quality which will serve her quite well upon reaching 41 and 51 and beyond.

Elimination Challenge – The Chocolate Showdown. Carlos immediately claims peanut butter and banana. Of course, because he always does. Katzie keeps suggesting ideas – a chocolate bookcase, chocolate balls, etc. – and Hammer keeps shooting her down.

Team Hammer – Hammer made a tall showpiece with lots of curved appendages, and some pretty gorgeous white chocolate flowers. It is very dark chocolate and showed immense skill.

Hammer – Chocolate Brioche with Chocolate Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream – Carlos thinks it was undercooked, and Orlando also piles on.

Matt – Chocolate Tart with Chiberst and Caramel Compressed Cherries and Chocolate Sorbet – Orlando thought there was too much caramel. Carlos loved the sorbet, and Macho felt it was too thick.

Katzie – Boca Negra with Mousse, Jasmine and Passion Fruit Curd and Whippted Cream Glace – Macho though the portion size was too large, and Carlos didn’t find it velvety enough. Orlando unleashed a dissertation on why it sucked. Seriously, it is just too long to repeat, although very comically edited on the show. It was also a microcosm of Orlando’s assholery and really not worthy of reinforcing.

Team Orlando – They had a theme to the showcase – showing how chocolate evolves. At the base, is a cocoa bean, and as it rises it takes forms such as as a candy bar. Eventually it turns into fancy branches as we see how chocolate can be used to shape trees and flowers. Orlando’s flowers are red, compared to Hammer’s white flowers. The better to pull you in, according to Elvis.

Orlando – Puff Pastry, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Mango Coulis and Roasted Cocoa Nib Sorbet – Hammer finds it too rich, and Katzie gives it some critique, although paling in comparison to the reaming she got from him. I won’t mention Matt’s comments because he was admittedly taking it easy on the othe team – thus forgetting that it was actually a competition and their comments could influence the outcome of the challenge.

Macho – Manjari Caramel Mousse, Spiced Caramel Cream with Passion Fruit Gelee Katzie found it too rich, and Hammer is unheard from.

Carlos – Caramelized Cremeux, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Peanut Butter Mousse, and Caramelized Banana Hammer found it to be sweet, and Katzie really liked it and would come back for more.

Based solely on the team feedback, it was obvious Team Orlando was going to win. And it was hard to envision any way that Katzie was not going to take the hit for it. She did, and after the best looking women went out earlier in the hour, the next best goes after her. Sorry, Macho, I have a thing for tall women. Plus, you like Marcel, that works against you.

The judges didn’t really make it clear though – with Hammer and Matt seemingly getting the worst notes. Hammer for the really unusual texture and rather strange dish. Dann even said it just wasn’t very delicious. Matt for being too simple and too sweet. Dann was surprised he tasted it and thought it was the right amount of sugar. Katzie really only got it for the size of her dish and presentation. Elvis even said she had a goog idea, just didn’t execute it well.Yet it was enough to send her home.


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