Summer Baking Championship episode 4: Watermelon sugar surprise

Host Jesse Palmer presents a twist in the watermelon desserts challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1.
Host Jesse Palmer presents a twist in the watermelon desserts challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1. /

While some people might have been sitting in the backyard celebrating the unofficial start to summer, Summer Baking Championship episode 4 on Food Network was serving some sweet fruit treats for everyone to enjoy. From the juicy watermelon to fruit cobblers, these bakers were longing for the sweet reward from the judges.

For the Summer Baking Championship episode 4 pre-heat, the bakers had to make either a clafoutis, cobbler, or crumble. While the cobbler or the crumble is a classic summertime fruit dessert, the clafoutis might not be the center of the table. The French dessert combines a custard with fruit and is topped with powdered sugar.

All of these desserts are relatively simple, but they showcase the baker’s execution skills. From making the fruit shine to having a great balance of flavors, simplicity cannot be bland and boring.

Summer Baking Championship episode 4
Host Jesse Palmer presents the COBBLER, CRUMBLE, CLAFOUTIS – OH MY challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1. /

Overall, the desserts were relatively successful. Although a few had mistakes with their dough or too much flour in the clafoutis, overall, it was a good bake. It was clear that the clafoutis and its custard was the most challenging dessert to tackle.

It was curious that Yohann did not make a cobbler yet was not scolded tremendously for his choice. It was probably best that it was only the pre-heat where he chose to deviate from the requirement.

Winning the pre-heat was Ally. The judges loved her blueberry cobbler. While the appearance was rustic, it was the flavor balance that earned big praise. The ginger and blueberry with the almond nougatine had a homey quality, but it was still elevated. From the varying textures to the nuanced combinations, it earned her the win.

For earning that advantage, Ally was able to switch her Main Heat flavor if she preferred. Sometimes being in control of your flavor choice can be both a blessing and a curse.

In the Main Heat, the bakers had to make a watermelon dessert that featured watermelon, a secondary flavor and had to look like a watermelon. While some watermelon combination flavors were relatable, others were pushing the envelope to the extreme. Watermelon and curry is not normally found at the family barbecue.

Since she had an advantage, Ally decided to swap her watermelon and ginger flavor for watermelon and lime. Although advantages can be helpful, they do not guarantee a strong finish.

Plus, the added mid-challenge twist, adding feta to the dessert, was not easy. Although feta and watermelon make a nice salad, they are not common pairs on the dessert table.

Looking at the desserts overall, the décor was one of the biggest struggles. Carlos was the only baker who decided to make a cake that looked like a watermelon slice. The other bakers’ desserts had a more abstract approach. Whether it was a fruit or a salad, some people are still guessing.

The top baker was Alyssa. Given that she had the hardest flavor combination, watermelon, feta and curry, she found the perfect balance with that trio. The judges described the dessert as a flavor adventure. From the watermelon gelee to the curry sable, it was the perfect bite.

Overall, the bakers were mostly in the middle. The bakers had high points and a few mis-steps. But, the bottom bakers were evident.

Yohann had technical issues with his dessert. The macaron was too dense, and the inside was too runny. After hitting some homeruns, Summer Baking Championship episode 4 was a swing and a miss for him.

Ally fell hard after winning the pre-heat. Her pavlova was underbaked. While her combination of watermelon and lime could have been a homerun, the flavors did not sync with the feta. Every note was competing with one another. In addition, the dessert’s appearance was a huge miss. Unfortunately, Ally was sent home.

It is interesting that another pre-heat winner was sent home. Could winning the pre-heat be a Summer Baking Championship curse? Be sure to watch the next episode on Food Network Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET or stream on MAX.