As four bakers longed to make the Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 finale, only three would smash their way into that position. On Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 episode 7, these two bakes might have left a permanent mark with their tattoo torta della nonna and smashable desserts.
Food Network wove the carnival theme into every challenge in this Halloween Baking Championship season. While some moments might have been silly, a few of the ideas helped to bring less well-known desserts to the conversation.
With the Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 Thriller Challenge, the dessert was a torta della nonna. While the Italian dessert is a luscious Italian custard with a pastry crust, this sweet bite might not always be at the center of the table. Although this seasonal version might not be everyone’s preference, the dessert idea could have people choosing to discover it.
For the Thriller Challenge, the bakers had to create a della nonna with a citrus flavor and decorate it with a tattoo design. In some ways, this challenge seemed to be a softball for Hollie. Given that she had worked in an Italian bakery, it seemed like she could accel in this challenge.
Overall, three of the four della nonna desserts were on point. Unfortunately, Stacy did not adhere to the brief. She made a custard tart and did not include a tattoo design. While her dessert was tasty, it did not meet the challenge.
Hollie, James, and Ryan all did well. While each one highlighted the citrus flavor in the custard, it was their approaches to the crust which were impressive. From adding pine nuts to a little poppyseed, those creative spins earned the judges’ praises.
Although those three desserts were good, Hollie earned the Thriller win. Her use of the pomelo with vanilla was well balanced. In addition, her tattoo design was visually engaging. And, she went the extra mile by making a tattoo gun to place on the side of her plate. She received an advantage in the Killer Challenge.
For the Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 episode 7 Killer Challenge, the bakers had to create a smashable dessert. After building a chocolate sphere, the bakers needed to layer a baked element and sauce inside it. The dessert would be smashed in front of the judges. Only one would have the most satisfying splatter.
To the delight of Food Network fans, all four desserts smashed. While the judges might have been in the splatter zone, everyone was willing to get a little dirty to enjoy these treats.
For her advantage, Hollie was able to choose her chocolate and no one else could use that flavor. She picked dark chocolate. In addition, the mid-challenge twist was an added ingredient, like walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Unfortunately, James got the bad twist with the chickpeas. It might have been the ingredient no one wanted.
The biggest part to remember with this challenge was layering the components. It was more than just a splatter. It was about keeping the various textures. If there needs to be a crunchy bit, it should not be mushy.
Lastly, even though the dome was smashed, it needed to be well decorated. A simple sphere with no thought is not going to earn a baker a place in the Halloween Baking Championship finale.
Once again, Hollie impressed the judges. Her gothic design with the skull and moody flowers was lovely.
More importantly, her dessert had all the textures. The brownie bites had Zac Young go back for an extra bite. Overall, the meringue bones contrasted the creamy mousse. It was a celebration of flavor and texture. Hollie won the Killer Challenge and earned her place in the Halloween Baking Championship finale.
James impressed the judges with two elements. His crystal ball was creepy in a good way. More importantly, the judges raved about the banana lumpia. They were still crispy even with the smashing. But, the chickpeas were a mis-step. Still, James earned a spot in the finale.
The two bottom bakers were Stacy and Ryan. While the judges loved the apple pie filling and walnuts, Stacy’s dessert read a little soggy. If she had built the dessert differently, it might have been more success. The flavors impressed but the little details fell short.
Ryan created a pumpkin spice forward spider egg sack. Overall, this dessert was the most dramatic and had a superb splat. But, Ryan’s cake was a little dry.
In the end, Ryan earned the last spot in the finale and Stacy was sent to wander the carnival. The final three bakers might have been expected, but the finale should be impressive.
Which baker will earn the Halloween Baking Championship Season 9 title? Tune into Food Network Monday, October 30 at 9 p.m. ET or stream the next day on MAX.