Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8: Derby inspired desserts

Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8: Derby Day eclairs
Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8: Derby Day eclairs / Food Network

As the bakers bet on making the semi-finals, Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 has everyone racing towards the finish line. These Derby inspired desserts take inspiration from the Run for the Roses, but the flavor better win over the judges.

This season’s Spring Baking Championship theme has been about celebrations. While some people flock to Churchill Downs to enjoy a day of racing, others prefer to enjoy that fastest two minutes of sports a little closer to home. Whether people prefer to drink their Mint Julep or eat those flavors, this Food Network episode offers some sweet inspiration.

For the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 Pre-heat, the bakers had to create an éclair featuring a Mint Julep cocktail inspired flavor. In addition, the éclair needed to be decorated in a colorful nod to jockey’s jerseys. While the bakers nailed the flavor, the décor looked more drab, sort of like a jockey at the end of the race.

Making eclairs is just as much about the pate a choux as it is the filling. In this challenge, most of the bakers nailed the pastry. Given the limited time, it was a testament to their baking skills. Being able to get that perfect texture was impressive.

Overall, the cocktail inspired flavors were on point. The biggest overall criticism was that some eclairs needed more bourbon. Alex’s choice to include bourbon gelee as a separate element was smart. It allowed the judges to control their bourbon infusion.

In some cases, the flavors were a little unbalanced. Steven’s passionfruit was a little too tart. Some bakers’ pastry cream was a little too thick.

The biggest issue was the décor. From Robert’s mint colored pate a choux to Kate’s minimal decoration, the bakers seemed to forget the third part of the challenge.

One baker impressed the judges on all three aspects and earned the Pre-Heat win. Even though Nickey’s eclair might have been closer to a strawberry shortcake design, the perfect pastry and the flavor of a cocktail on a plate earned her the win. The judges swooned over the champagne strawberries as well as the bourbon and elderflower flavors.

With her first win, Nickey received an advantage in the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 Main Heat. It was a big one. She was able to pick her dessert and no one else could use it. Since a place in the semi-finals was on the line, it was a big help to give her an edge.

Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 Main Heat
Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 Main Heat / Food Network

For the Main Heat, the bakers had to create carrot desserts and it could not be carrot cake. Whatever dessert they chose, it had to highlight the sweet, earthy carrot flavor, include carrot roses, and have a white chocolate décor element.

Nickey claimed her Main Heat advantage by stating no one could use a carrot tart. It seemed like she had a clear plan and wanted to make sure that she earned a spot in the semi-finals.

With only a few more challenges remaining in Spring Baking Championship Season 10, it was time for the bakers to rely on desserts that were familiar to them. For example, Alex created a Charlotte, which was a recipe that he has made for many, many years. That choice was smart and earned him praise from the judges.

Alex’s Charlotte was a top dessert. Not only did it have stunning white chocolate décor and delicate carrot roses, it was technically superb. The carrot mousse had a lovely texture and an irresistible sweetness. It was clear that he would be moving into the semi-finals.

Nickey continued to do well in this episode. Her carrot tart had complex flavor. Even though the ginger might have dominated the carrot, she impressed the judges and moved into the semi-finals.

Earning the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8 Main Heat win was Steven. His carrot dessert was immaculate. From the perfectly thin white chocolate circular décor to the robust carrot flavor, the dessert was impeccable.  Plus, his carrot sorbet might be the new food trend for the summer.

Unfortunately, the two bottom bakers were Kate and Robert. Kate struggled in both challenges. She made simple mistakes, which put her behind.

In the Main Heat, Kate did not really have a baked element. Although the crumble was baked, it was not a predominate part of the dessert. The Canadian dessert, Nanimo Bar, does not have a baked element, but she should have been more thoughtful with her presentation. With the semi-finals on the line, it would have been better to have a bigger baked element.

Additionally, Kate’s dessert was imbalanced. The buttercream overpowered the carrot flavors. While the marmalade was delicious, there needed to be more carrot.

Robert’s dessert had some technical issues. While the carrot cheesecake with a walnut brittle was a smart flavor combination, the crust was too crumbly. The cream cheese filling was velvety, but the dessert was just a little off.

With mistakes in both the Pre-Heat and the Main Heat, Kate was eliminated in Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 8. After doing so well in the previous episode, it was a quick fall for the baker.

Four bakers remain but only one will earn the title of Spring Baking Champion. Which baker will rise to the occasion and who could crumble before the finale?

Be sure to watch new episodes of Spring Baking Championship Monday nights on Food Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.