Going into Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 episode 3, a trend seems to be emerging in the baking competition. As the bakers take on flambe pavlova and an alien Charlotte Royale, the desserts were oozing with scary deliciousness. That food theme is one that keeps people watching the Food Network program.
Although it might not be one of those rules from horror movies, a pattern is happening in this Halloween Baking Championship season. Beyond the more sinister theme, top bakers are finding ways to bring the theme and flavor in each challenge. Add to that scenario that each of the bakes require technical skill, this season might be the most difficult.
For the Thriller Challenge, the bakers had to create a pavlova with a particular fruit. In addition, the dessert was flambeed in front of the judges. While the idea played into the carnival storyline, it was more than just seeing a dessert in flames. This challenge was technically difficult.
At the same time, it seemed like it was a challenge made for Hollie. The iconic Australian dessert was something that she should be able to nail easily. Add to that scenario her flare for the visual, it seemed like the Thriller Challenge was hers to lose.
Overall, the pavlovas were successful. One was very underbaked and a few were broken. But, the fire aspect helped to hide a few issues.
The interesting aspect was how the bakers incorporated the flame/fire aspect to the challenge. For example, Dan used pear wood in his dessert which added another smoke element. Even though he wasn’t a top baker, it was a smart choice for the challenge.
Similar to previous episodes, Ryan wowed the judges. His visual was very gruesome. The dragon fruit leather was both flavorful and a smart decorative element. Even his flavor profile played into the fire aspect with the pepper notes.
As expected, Hollie was also a top baker. Her severed arm pavlova had lots of detail and it looked like an arm on fire. Overall, the dessert was textbook perfect, and she made her country proud.
Hollie won the Thriller Challenge and earned an advantage in the Killer Challenge. Her advantage was that she did not have to incorporate the twist ingredient.
For the Killer Challenge, the theme was alien oddities, and the bakers created alien had Charlotte Royale cakes. While the center needed to be gelatinous and green, the head had to ooze. For the mid-challenge twist, the bakers had to include a green freeze-dried vegetable, like spinach.
Overall, these cakes were oozing, gooey, gross and that was the point. Adding the vegetable component was strange, but it oddly worked in some scenarios. Matcha and spinach could be the new combination that has people eating more greens.
Still, the top bakers were clear. A Charlotte Royale is not an easy dessert given the time constraints and pressure. Some structures oozed before the squirt. Unfortunately, that scenario did not earn praise from the judges.
Joining the top list for the first time was Mandi. Her appletini influenced dessert earned praise. The visual looked like a brain and the lumpy ooze fit the challenge. Even the broccoli element worked with all the other flavors.
Hollie was at the top yet again. Her visual might have been a little curious, but it had the best sculptural quality. More importantly, she nailed the fresh sour apple flavor. With the addition of the mud cake bottom layer, the judges were thoroughly impressed.
Winning the Killer Challenge was Hollie. Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 episode 3 continued the pattern. In the first three episodes, the same baker has won both the Thriller and Killer Challenges. Could this scenario continue?
Unfortunately, the bottom bakers had technical issues. Dan knew that his Charlotte Royale was not visually appealing. His cake fell apart, and he had to freeze it back together. Also, the mousse in his cake was definitely off. But, he was confident in his flavors. The matcha spinach combination actually works.
The other bottom baker was Adesuwa. She had technical issues. and her Charlotte Royale was falling apart. The cake texture was not appealing. In addition, she needed more chocolate to balance the mint flavor. Lastly, the freeze-dried peas were an afterthought.
Adesuwa was eliminated in Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 episode 3. Given her background, it was surprising that she struggled in his challenge.
In the upcoming Halloween Baking Championship episode, there is a double elimination. Could a big shake-up happen in the competition. Be sure to watch Food Network Monday night at 9 p.m. or stream the next day on MAX.