Who was crowned Halloween Baking Championship Season 4 winner? For one baker the ultimate nightmare turned into a dream come true.
The Halloween Baking Championship Season 4 winner had to overcome classic nightmares to earn the title. While there were no horrific disasters in the kitchen, the three finalists had two challenges to prove their worthiness to the judges. Who won the ultimate prize?
The three remaining bakers were Jamal, Lyndsy and Michelle. Throughout the season, all three bakers have had high points and a few mis-steps. But, only the two remaining challenges can bring them the ultimate glory. One bad day in the kitchen can be a baker’s nightmare forever.
For the pre-heat, the bakers tackled skull desserts. While one baker wanted to be a head above the rest, the three desserts were all equally impressive. It was quite curious that all the bakers took totally different approaches to the preheat skull dessert challenge.
Host John Henson announces the twist for the pre-heat, as seen on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship, Season 4. photo provided by Food Network
Looking at the three desserts, Jamal and Lyndsy employed some professional touches to their desserts. Jamal’s use of imprinting a skull design into his sponge was a lovely touch. While not overly creepy, this decorative aspect was quite impressive.
Lyndsy had a completely composed plated dessert. With multiple components, she once again brought the gore factor to Halloween Baking Championship. The oozing brains were as tasty as they were scary. The judges did ding her for the inedible fondant skull garnish.
Michelle went totally out on a limb with her flavor combinations. The last home baker standing totally went big in this challenge. Her decision to make a cherry goat cheese chocolate covered tart sounded like a recipe for disaster.
During the judging, Michelle was questioned about her flavor combination and if she thought that it worked. Apparently that funky, sweet, tart combination does work. Michelle won the preheat and the advantage for the final challenge.
While I appreciated Michelle’s dessert, I think that Lyndsy deserved the preheat win. Her plated dessert had a more refined touch. Although her flavor combination was more approachable, it really captured the Halloween Baking Championship vibe. Then again, she hasn’t needed an advantage to succeed in the main challenge.
For the main challenge, the bakers had to create a championship cake that referenced a common nightmare. Additionally, the cake must have a smoke feature (created by dry ice) in the display.
By winning the preheat, Michelle got to choose her theme and assign both Jamal and Lyndsy their themes. Michelle choose ghost. Lyndsy received falling and Jamal had being chased. Would these nightmares haunt the bakers for years to come?
It is curious that the bakers will have to use dry ice. Fans of Halloween Wars might remember a recent episode that talked about the effect dry ice could have on a cake. Could this special effect spell doom for the bakers?
The judges and host pose for a photo at the judges table, as seen on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship, Season 4. photo provided by Food Network
Looking at the three final cakes, it is curious that both Jamal and Lyndsy went with red velvet cakes. When two bakers offer similar flavors, the comparisons can be brutal. Since each baker took a totally different approach to the fillings, the differences should set them apart.
After the final three cakes were revealed, Michelle’s cake was the most disappointing. Her design was difficult to understand. While it was supposed to be a severed mermaid with a ghost coming out of the head, it looked more like a green mountain.
Even with her explanation, the visual was more abstract than literal. For the final challenge, her decoration needed to be more polished. While creativity is often rewarded, this design was just too obscure.
Additionally, Michelle’s cake was dry. The flavor combination sounded really yummy, but her execution was lacking. She needed some type of soak to help prevent the dryness.
One big tip that anyone watching Halloween Baking Championship or any of these baking shows should remember is to soak a cake. A simply syrup in between flavors can keep a cake from being dry. Also, that soak can boost a cake’s flavor. It is a simple trick that should be in everyone’s baking toolbox.
Jamal had a delicious tasting cake, but his decoration was a little rudimentary. The topsy-turvy design offered good movement in the chase scene. Unfortunately, his running man topper was totally rushed. His guy looked more like a flat Stanley than a frightened Jamal.
Also, Jamal reused a design from a previous challenge. While time management got away from him, reusing the zombie design element is a big fail on these baking competitions. The judges want to see new, innovative designs every time.
Still, if this challenge was just about flavor, Jamal would have won. His cake was the best based on flavor. Although he had thick fondant, the combination of textures from the praline pecan was sublime. Maybe this cake flavor appears on the menu at his bakery.
Lastly, Lyndsy went big for this finale cake. Thinking about the entire scene, she created depth and perspective on the display. With the fallen man splatted on the shattered sugar, it looked gruesome, which is always a plus on Halloween Baking Championship.
While Lyndsy made a red velvet cake, her filling was totally different from Jamal’s flavors. The raspberry was a huge hit with the judges. Who knew that raspberry and red velvet worked well together?
Overall, Lyndsy had the most impressive visual. It was easy to understand, it was large and it was creepy. All things needed to earn the title of Halloween Baking Championship Season 4 winner.
Truthfully, looking at the season as a whole, Lyndsy deserved to win. Each week she pushed the creativity envelope. From eerie to grotesque, she found a way to make the horror in Halloween both visually and tastefully impressive.
Another season of Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship has come to a close. Did this season inspire any home bakers to create some spooky treats?