Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Next Great Baker: Baby Shower & Sweet Sixteen Cakes

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Can we talk about the intro for a second? I've seen it a dozen times now but it just occurred to me that everyone is pranking/tripping one another to get ahead. That's part of the game, as petty as it may seem. So, in this highly competitive world, why did the internet get so angry that Gretel-Ann was trying to use her immunity in an attempt to send home a stronger opponent? Fortunately, Buddy addressed this during the episode, so hopefully there won't be more grief everywhere. Second, you can tell who is going to go home by the commercials that run during the show. If you see everyone but Chris, then it's clearly Chris who goes home. How poorly planned is that? Third, I struggled to see how "purple" and "candy" automatically mean "sweet sixteen." The candy for sweet? I thought that was a bit of a stretch, causing the cake to just look like any girly cake. Now, purple and white were the colors of my own sweet sixteen cake, but I thought that the stripes, polka dots, and quilting sections were all a bit juvenile. That satin bow in the middle didn't do it for me, either. I will admit to being impressed that three women whipped that out in three hours, but they're always fortunate in that they don't have to actually bake the cakes. I thought the guys' cake did a much better job of executing the assignment, even if that sculpture did throw things off a bit. The first, wrecked one would have worked. A final thought before we get into the details: The topsy-turvy/small-stacked cakes are overdone. Not just in the world but also on this show. Please stop doing that.
Cake Boss: Next Great Baker "Battle of the Sexes" (S03E08): Chad is so full of himself, saying that he WILL make it to the Top Three and probably win. [it makes it so much more hilarious that he's been on the worst team 5/7 times!]

Baker's Challenge: Each baker has to move ten 50-lb bags of shortening to a palette, then scale out 27 pounds of shortening by hand, then ice a cake smoothly. They will compete in heats and the fasts time gets a fondant sheeter but no other prizes/immunities. [Jen and Chad in particular really want the prize.] Chris and Gretel-Ann are up first, and though he thinks he can excel here, she hopes he screws up icing so she can catch him. He is fast, the only competitor to take the blocks two at a time! He also quickly doles out the shortening and winds up finishing his cake before Gretel-Ann, at a time of 7:42. [I thought his method of measuring was smart.] Chad and Jen are up next, and she thinks that she can take him, though her speed quickly fails with the heavy lifting. Despite the fact that she's quicker at icing, he beats her by a matter of seconds, at 6:01. Last are Paul (who is worried he's out of shape) and Ashley (who takes longer strides and thinks she can win). Paul is delayed when his palette tips, but he tries to make up for it by dragging the blocks two at a time toward the end. However, he doesn't use a bowl when he measures his shortening so he loses precious time there, otherwise he might have beat Ashley's 5:02. [I really would have been impressed if Paul won, and he was so close every step!]

Elimination Challenge: Two teams must create cakes worthy of being in Carlo's Bakery's portfolio. They can choose the theme but need to make an original, beautiful cake. The winners' idea will go into the book, and the teams have five hours. The guest judges will be Frankie and Mary. [I went to look at the Carlo's book. I'm sure they have more choices if you go into the store, but the baby book had some great examples online.] The teams will be males versus females, clearly boosting Jen's confidence as she notes, "I think that, collectively, the girls are stronger than the guys and I think we're just gonna blow 'em out of the water."

Boys: Chad is good at feminine things and thinks "baby shower" would be a good theme. Paul thinks baby showers are fun, so they start working on it, with Chris as the major sculptor, focusing on a princess mother on top. The structure the bottom to be five cakes arranged like flower petals, then a topsy-turvy few layers. [The bickering between Chad and Paul made me laugh.] Chris doesn't like Paul's zebra stripes, thinking they should be wider and cleaner. [at that stage, I really liked where the cake was going!] Chad even goes with an oval quilting technique to stand out. [I wasn't in love with it.]

Girls: They talk about doing a fashionista cake with a quilted purse, shoes, etc. but wind up going with a "sweet sixteen" theme, basing the cake on a monochromatic purple color scheme. Everyone wants to be the person with the most important responsibilities, leading to some head-butting. [I actually thought it would get worse.] Ashley thinks that a cat would look good on top of the cake instead of a girl, but when Gretel-Ann and Jen don't agree, Ashley thinks a monster would work instead, though Gretel-Ann still thinks it's weird. [it IS weird!] Jen wants to use giraffe-print because she finds it the least utilized animal print. [I don't know that the cake needed an animal print.]

The teams then load their cakes onto a delivery van, where Buddy promptly demonstrates how they sometimes have to recreate works because of damage. The teams get three hours to remake their designs, leading everyone to streamline their ideas and ditch the harder concepts.

Girls: They cut out a tier and switch roles on a few parts, as Jen feels she's better at frosting than Gretel-Ann, while Gretel-Ann finds her quilting to be superior to Jen's. Ashley plans to ditch the monster because it took too long to make, but with 44 minutes to go, she makes it again anyway. Despite hating the topper, Gretel-Ann thinks the other cake is short, fat, and sloppy, so she's not all that worried. [seriously... WHAT was Ashley thinking with that monster aside from "it's something new" ??] The judges like the colors but not the monster, though they still win the competition. 

Boys: They decide to ditch their sculpture for time reasons and make an easier topper, like a pacifier or rattle. But, with under an hour to go, Chris decides to go for the princess anyway, resulting in a rough-looking mother-to-be. Though they're worried, they hope that their theme comes through better. The judges like the colors and the bows but not the mother-to-be. Paul gives Chad the MVP, and Chris agrees, saving Chad. Chris says that Paul rides everyone's coat tails, but Paul just claims to be a leader. Chris says that he's talented and thinks differently, plus this is only the second time he's been on the chopping block. Unfortunately, the reason the cake failed was the sculpture, and that sends Chris packing. [anyone find it odd that this logic was not the case last week? also, was it just me or was Chris smiling as he got in the truck?]
- - - - - - - -
You guys voted that Chad would be the one headed home this time, and nobody picked Chris (or Ashley, actually).

Another round of the poll is up, so take a look to the right and vote away!
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow..really? just because his cocky doesn't mean he does not have the talent.. people sometimes forget that its a show you have to do or say what you have to...
look at paul, always gets lucky with his group, now ask yourself, is he even good in the baker challenge to stay this long on the show? nope!
well, my point making a comment in this page is that I wanted to let everyone know who's the winner.... ASHLEY HOLTS... go back and check from the very begining of the show in this season you'll see that each time on this show buddy is always empahsizing her... she's not that good compare to chad...