Best Baker in America review: Desserts are prettier when smashed


This week’s Best Baker in America review had the bakers taking a hammer to their desserts, but were Food Network dreams smashed along the way?

Sometimes the best desserts reveal a surprise. In this week’s Best Baker in America, the bakers had to create desserts that unveiled a special surprise. Were these desserts a smashing success?

In many ways, Best Baker in America balances classic, traditional desserts that the newest dessert trends. This episode was a great example of that scenario. The skills challenge was a classic dessert and the Master Challenge was one an Instagammable moment.

For the Skills Challenge, the bakers had to create a wild molten lava cake. While the classic cake has an unique origin, it has become a popular restaurant dessert.

Watching these bakers’ different approaches to this challenge was curious. Some bakers were successful and other bakers had oozing disasters.

It was a little curious that two bakers had complete disasters. From Eric’s “cow pie” to Yolanda’s puddle, it was disappointing. While this Food Network show is a competition, this challenge seemed relatively straightforward.

While there is pressure to perform, these bakers need to choose desserts wisely. If they cannot execute a particular dessert given the parameters, they should choose something else. Granted, the challenge dictates the dessert, but there are variations within the baking challenge.

A few desserts were quite lovely. Julia’s dessert with the chocolate and orange was delightful. That flavor combination was unusual for a lava cake, but sounds delish. Why don’t more lava cakes offer a fruit oozing center?

Winning the Skills Challenge was Joshua. Out of all the lava cakes, this one was the most finished, had amazing flavors and created the best flowing center.

Of course, who can resist the flavor combinations of chocolate and hazelnut? Still, the balance was spot on and the center was completely decadent.

Also, Joshua was smart to include candied hazelnuts on top of the cake. It added not only a good visual but also a textural component. He definitely deserved the win.

Overall, this season’s Best Baker in America bakers have their flavors on point. The problems seem to arise with overall execution. It could be the pressure, it could be the different kitchen or it could be something else. The winner will eventually be the baker who can execute each dessert well.

For the Master Challenge, the bakers had a quite difficult task, smashing desserts. The concept is to create a dessert in a dessert. A chocolate, sugar or meringue shell is smashed to reveal a dessert inside.

Host Scott Conant and contestant Jeffrey De Leon during the Skills Challenge, as seen on Best Baker in America, Season 3. photo provided by Food Network

One aspect was unclear. It was never specified if the shell needed to be eaten with the dessert or if the shell was just decoration. That idea could make a different. Something can be pretty but not pair well with the dessert.

For the most part, these desserts were a smashing success. The revealed desserts were definitely pretty and the use of coconut, the required flavor, was clear.

It was a little curious that the majority of bakers created a chocolate shell. It is unclear if that idea was the easiest option or if it was just circumstance.

Additionally, the majority of bakers used the same method for creating the shell. Kudos to Eric for using the balloon method, that option is always a fun one to watch (and luckily his balloon didn’t pop).

In some ways, these desserts were relatively approachable. The flavors weren’t too exotic or over the top. Even the designs focused more on the pretty than the creative.

For example, the two top bakers seemed to have a story in their dessert and reveal. Michael’s golden pineapple was probably the most ambitious. The cracked pineapple revealed a coconut on the inside. It was a reveal inside a reveal.

His flavor profile was quite ambitious as well. The cilantro with the coconut was a nice touch. Plus the dessert had good textures.

Eric made a huge comeback after his Skill Challenge Cow Pie. It was curious that he was the only baker that earned praise for the “snap” of his chocolate dome. Did the other bakers not temper their chocolate as well?

In a way, the chocolate dome was successful because it had texture both inside and out. This dessert showed that the dome was meant to be eaten.

Additionally, his revealed inside dessert was a contrast to the dome, which made the reveal an even bigger moment. Eric’s dessert had wonderful flavors and a perfect mousse.

Winning the Master Challenge was Eric. It was a big comeback for him.

Since the Best Baker in America season is still early, only the biggest mistakes earn a baker a bottom spot. The two bottom bakers were Yolanda and Ednet. Even though Marian didn’t have a dome, her flavors saved her from potential elimination.

Yolanda has struggled throughout this episode and last week’s episode. While she has wonderful flavors, her execution is a miss. In this challenge, the bee-hive chocolate pieces to hide the cracked dome were not successful.

Unlike previous challenges, the flavors were muddled in this dessert. The coconut flavor was overpowered by the mousse. It was a miss.

Ednet didn’t have a completed dome. While he was the only baker to use isomalt, the dome was cracked and the dessert inside was already seen.

His inside dessert was almost too ambitious. While the dessert had promise, there were textural issues. The layers were muddles and the flavors were flat.

The baker sent home was Yolanda. Given that all four of her desserts (two this week and two last week) had execution issues, she was the right choice. Delicious flavors could not carry her farther in the competition.

Related Story. SNICKERS and TWIX flavored chocolate milk is here. light

Which dessert did you think deserved a top spot in this week’s Best Baker in America? Was this week’s episode a smashing success?