Spring Baking Championship recap: Time for Spring makeovers


Four bakers dream of making the Spring Baking Championship finale. In this Spring Baking Championship recap, the bakers give some traditional desserts a Spring makeover.

When seasons change, everything is ready for a makeover. Why shouldn’t desserts get a makeover too? This Spring Baking Championship recap has the bakers modifying some classic winter desserts with a lighter, spring-like appeal.

Throughout this season, the bakers have been fairly well matched. Although there have been a few stumbles, the bakers have really showed some amazing creativity, strong baking skills and impressive decorative touches. While only three bakers can make the Spring Baking Championship finale, one baker will fall just short of the ultimate goal.

The judges examine contestant Heather’s completed dish from the pre-heat challenge, as seen on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship Season 4

For this week’s pre-heat, the bakers must incorporate a non-traditional ingredient in desserts, the avocado. Avocados are delicious fruits, but many people don’t use them as a dessert ingredient. Actually, the avocado can be a wonderful way to add good fat, creamy texture and bold color to a dessert.

Each of the baker’s desserts had a particular avocado pairing. While many people might have assumed that this challenge would be difficult, the bakers did an outstanding job with the non-traditional dessert ingredient. Even the seemingly more difficult pairings were both delicious and visually appealing.

The most creative pre-heat dessert was Heather’s filled meringue and breakfast guacamole. While the two dishes didn’t exactly go together, both desserts were delicious. The colors were bright and the play on guacamole was whimsical. Actually, if Heather had made just the guacamole with some orange flavored sweet chips, I bet that she could have won the challenge.

After a difficult time last week, Nacho surged to victory in the pre-heat. His cookies with avocado filling were a dream. The sandy texture of the cookie balanced the creaminess of the filling. The color was equally as pretty. Nacho hit the mark on blending lime and avocado in a creative and delicious way.

The judges examine contestant Heather’s completed dish from the main heat challenge, as seen on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship Season 4

Like in every episode, winning the pre-heat gave Nacho an advantage in the main heat. His advantage was a good one. For the main heat, the bakers had to spring-ify traditionally winter desserts. For the advantage, Nacho could switch his dessert with another baker, which he used.

The bakers and their desserts were Nacho and bread pudding, Cristina and pecan pie, Caleb and peppermint bark and Heather and pumpkin pie. Nacho definitely had an advantage with bread pudding. That dessert had lots of spring-ify possibilities. The other desserts were definitely much harder.

Also, the main heat had a twist. The bakers had to incorporate coffee into their desserts. Trying to keep the coffee flavor light yet pronounced would take careful balance.

Caleb’s dessert, the peppermint bark, seemed the hardest. Finding a way to make the wintery peppermint into a light, Spring flavor was extremely hard. His choice to go with a grasshopper brownie wasn’t a good idea.

Throughout the season, the judges have commented that chocolate desserts aren’t necessarily a good choice for Spring Baking Championship. The richness of the chocolate and the dark colors don’t scream Spring. Caleb succumb to this difficult choice.

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While Caleb tried his best, his dessert failed on a couple issues. First, his plating didn’t evoke the theme. Second, his flavors, including the use of coffee and the sour orange glee, was off. These mistakes landed Caleb in the bottom on this Spring Baking Championship.

Cristina did well this week. Her did was the brightest, most colorful dessert of the four. Her hummingbird cake was a smart choice to spring-ify a pecan pie. Unfortunately, she had technical issues with her diplomat cream. The texture was too grainy and sticky. While that could reference the pecan pie, the texture was still not quite right. Still, Cristina earned herself a spot in the Spring Baking Championship finale.

The winner in this week’s Spring Baking Championship recap was Nacho. He got a double win in the second to last episode of Spring Baking Championship Season 4. After last week’s mis-steps, Nacho brought it together on these two challenges.

Nacho created a bread pudding parfait. The most creative part of his dessert was the bread pudding mousse. Who would have thought to make such a dessert component? The concept retained the bread pudding flavor yet made the whole dessert lighter.

The judges examine contestant Nacho’s completed dish from the main heat challenge, as seen on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship Season 4

While the dessert was pretty, I didn’t like the meringue stick in the middle of the parfait. Since there was meringue in the parfait and a coffee meringue on the plate, he may not have needed that extra garnish. I would have removed it for a more elegant presentation.

Still, Nacho won the main heat challenge and secured a place in the finale. It will be interesting to see if this episode will give him momentum into the finale. Still, the finale challenges could make or break his chances to win it all.

The other bottom baker this week was Heather. While she had a strong plan to showcase pumpkin pie, she committed a classic culinary competition mistake. Don’t make too many dishes. Three pumpkin desserts were too many desserts. She should have focused on one dessert and executed it extremely well.

Also, Heather’s desserts lacked color. The whole plate was a dull shade of brown. Without any color, the plate didn’t have a spring-ify quality.

Contestant Heather discusses her dish with host Ali Khan in the pre-heat challenge, as seen on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship Season 4

Lastly, Heather made some technical issues in her bake. One dessert was missing sugar. The frozen treat was a savory-icle. Also, her panna cotta was missing both the pumpkin and coffee flavor. Again, she seemed to split her attention to detail in creating too many desserts. All the desserts had flaws.

Unfortunately, Heather was sent home. It is disappointing because she has had some amazing desserts. Some of her treats were quite creative both in flavor profile and visually. It would have been nice to see her compete in the final.

Which of the three remaining bakers could win Spring Baking Championship Season 4? I have no idea. This season has seen so many ups and down it is like a roller coaster. A few factors could come into play.

For a decorating challenge, Cristina has an edge. Her pipping skills are the best of the three. For modern desserts, Caleb has the advantage. He seems to know how to plate restaurant style desserts. As for Nacho, he seems to be a fan favorite. While he may not be the most modern or the extreme decorator, he makes everyone smile with his desserts that are full of heart.

Next: Food Network Star returns for the summer

Who do you want to see take home this season’s title? Be sure to check back next week to see who will be crowned champion of Spring Baking Championship Season 4.