Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4: Just fooling around

Host Jesse Palmer calls time, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9.
Host Jesse Palmer calls time, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9. /

While love is the theme for this Food Network baking show, sometimes those romantic feelings can have people feeling foolish. The eyes can deceive, the choices might not be perfect, but all is fair in love and baking. On Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4, the bakers might be feeling a little foolish, but the sweet reward is worth it.

In the pre-heat, the bakers had to make a foule tart. While the name is not necessarily familiar, it fit the April Fools theme of the episode. Basically, the challenge was to make a fruity custard in a tart crust. Given that some bakers had issues with crusts in previous episodes, this pre-heat might be more challenging than anyone appreciated.

The required flavors were expected. Except, poor Luke got grapefruit, which is probably the hardest citrus fruit to incorporate into a dessert. While his pistachio crust was delightful and the grapefruit was good, no one could overlook his burnt pastry cream. All that effort to make grapefruit good was lost. His choice to not redo the pastry cream was foolish.

Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4
Host Jesse Palmer presents the Fool for Love Tarts challenge, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9. /

In a curious occurrence, the two top bakers from the preheat basically had very similar desserts. Both Clemont and Jessica had meyer lemon and they presented tarts designed to look like a flower.

Both had great flavors and pretty décor. But, Clemont won because he had a better crust. Jessica might want to wish that Josh hadn’t turned up the temperature in her oven. That slightly blond crust was the difference between a win and coming up empty handed.

For winning the pre-heat, Clemont received 10 extra minutes in the main heat challenge. Although 10 minutes might not seem like a lot, it can make a big difference in a Spring Baking Championship challenge.

The Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4 main heat, the idea might have been borrowed from social media or even Kids Baking Championship. The bakers had to create imposter pies. Basically, they were required to make a cake that was decorated to look like a pie. The idea might seem simple, but it is not necessarily child’s play.

In addition, the mid-challenge twist was that the bakers had to make a cheese flavored ice cream. Although savory ice cream might be a food trend, cheese ice cream can be sweet. That combination of brie and custard can be quite delightful.

Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4
Host Jesse Palmer presents the April Fools’ Pie Deception Challenge, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9. /

Making the bakers tackle an imposter cake at this point of the season is curious. Although some social media versions are quite elaborate, this pie/cake idea is relatively straightforward. Even making a lattice is not simple, it does not require tons of fondant or sculpture.

In a surprise, Clemont was a top baker. Although he struggled with cake challenges previously, the French baker made smart choices in this challenge. His décor was a big hit with the judges and his cake flavors were lovely. Maybe the French pastry chef has found a way to be a master of cakes.

Recovering from his pastry cream misstep, Luke made an exceptional imposter pie cake. His goal was to recreate the flavors and look from a store bought pie. He definitely succeeded. From the lattice to the blueberry flavors, it impressed the judges.

Luke won the main heat. Given that win, he is one of the few bakers who have won both a pre-heat and a main heat. So far, the winning bakers are a select group. It might show that a few are rising to the top and others might have only limited time left.

For the most part, the fools cake pies were well done. Overall, these desserts would pass the one glance test. From the layers to the décor, Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4 might inspire some fun desserts around the Spring holiday table.

Unfortunately, one of the bottom bakers was abundantly clear. Michelle had a big technical mistake when her lattice pie crust top crumbled. While she tried to piece something together, it was a visual mess. The inside of the pie/cake was not horrible, but it was not a good dessert.

After winning last week’s main heat, it was a big stumble for Michelle. Still, she had issues in the pre-heat as well. Her pastry cream had an unpleasant texture. She definitely struggled this week.

In an unexpected turn, Molly, who has done well in cake challenges, had big issues with her pie/cake. Although the visual looked just like a pretty pie, the inside was not a stunner. In a change from other Spring Baking Championship scenarios, this dessert was a looker, not a taste winner.

It seemed that all of Molly’s buttercream absorbed into the cake. That scenario made for an unpleasant texture. This dessert looked lovely in the pastry case, but it should have stayed there.

In the end, the judges chose to eliminate Michelle in Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4. Given that she has had many mistakes throughout the first four episodes, her time was up in the Food Network kitchen.

Spring Baking Championship Season 9 episode 4
Host Jesse Palmer delivers results with Judges Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Kardea Brown, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9. /

Although it is still early in the Spring Baking Championship season, the top bakers seem to be rising to the top. As the competition separates, only time will tell if a big change could be coming in the Food Network kitchen. Will there be a lasting romance with the judges or will a big baking mistake cause the love affair to fizzle?

Be sure to watch new episodes of Spring Baking Championship Season 9 Monday nights on Food Network. In addition, episodes can be streamed on discovery+.