Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 recap: Cruising to sweet victory

Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2
Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 / Food Network

After toasting to cocktail inspired desserts, Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 hit the open seas. While some bakers might be satisfied with floating in the middle, others found that the competition seas are a little rougher than they expected in these cruise themed challenges.

For this episode, the overall theme is cruising. These desserts are not the carefully crafted individual servings that people see on the cruise ship buffet. Instead, the cruise concept is more about the being on the water and the big prize given to the Main Heat winner.

In the Pre-Heat, the bakers had to create an innertube inspired cake. Although this idea was basically two round bundt cakes stacked, there were some additional complexities. First, the cake filling needed to complement the overall flavor. Second, the visual needed to convey an innertube.

The biggest takeaway from this challenge was that the cakes did not really look like innertubes. Some glazes look as if they were hit by giant, disastrous wave and others looked like a pipped bundt cake for a baby shower. Understanding and delivering on the brief is key to earning the win.

Additionally, there were several technical issues with these cakes. From underbaking to overbaking and from gritty textures to lack of filling, the errors were many. It seemed that people were thrown off by the idea of these round cakes that they forgot their basics.

Truthfully, only a handful of cakes floated to the top. Rob had a nice visual for his pirate cake. The judges appreciated that his mirror glaze almost acted like a sauce. Also, the pineapple rum filling was the perfect summer flavor.

The Pre-Heat winner was Chris. His silly fish cake made everyone smile. More importantly, the smoky chili flavor in the red velvet cake was creative and well-balanced. The moist cake with the mango filling was a perfect summer bite.

Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2
Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 / Food Network

For winning the Pre-Heat, Chris not only received the First Class Baking Station but also an advantage in the Main Heat. His advantage was that he could switch his flavor and theme with any other baker.

In the Main Heat, the cruise ship theme continued with another decoration forward dessert. The bakers had to create snorkeling lagoon inspired cheesecakes. In addition to incorporating a tropical flavor, the desserts had to create a visual element where sunken objects can be seen through a gelatin lagoon.

This multi-layered dessert was quite difficult given the limited time. Also, it is not a concept that is on many dessert menus. Gelatin and cheesecake are not the most common pairings.

With his advantage, Chris decided to swap flavors to get banana and octopus over passionfruit and mermaid. He felt more confident with that pairing. Banana and cheesecake are not a common food combination. Then again, many of these flavor concepts were not necessarily options that are found in most bakeries.

In the Summer Baking Championship episode, the cheesecakes were either superb or significant failures. Even if the flavors were on point, the execution with the gelatin looked like a murky mess.

The top bakers were quite obvious. German had lovely flavor and texture. Additionally, his decision to incorporate an angle in his cheesecake allowed him to capture the beach them in a visually impressive way.

Austin made a bold choice by presented a Basque cheesecake. That style coupled with the pineapple made for an impeccable flavor pairing. Additionally, his lagoon visual was near perfectly. It had the judges excited to dive into that seaside escape.

Winning the Main Heat was Austin. He also received a cruise vacation, which he said will be for his honeymoon.

Unfortunately, the two bottom bakers made major mistakes. In a turn that no one saw coming, Tara and Dominick might have been last episode’s top bakers, but their success plummeted more than 30,000 leagues under the sea.

Tara’s cheesecake was a disaster. Her graham cracker layer floated through the gelatin. It looked like a murky swap than a crystal clear lagoon. Additionally, there was too much gelatin in that layer and not enough in the cheesecake layer. It was a mess.

Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 Main Heat judging
Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 Main Heat judging / Food Network

Dominick had issues, too. His use of unbaked crust crumbs to hide errors on the side was a poor choice. In addition, his gelatin was too loose. Again, it was a mistake of both flavor and decoration.

The baker eliminated in Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 2 was Tara. With two bakes being subpar in this episode, the judges could not overlook the double mistakes.

Want more Summer Baking Championship? Watch new episodes every Monday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.