Baking

Bobbie’s Episode 8 & 9 Recap

posted: 08/14/14
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Bobbie Lloyd
DCL

Episode 8 was about working with high-profile clients, which requires an intense level of precision. It's very important to fully understand the details of what the client wants. To start, I would make sure my team and I fully understand the event and the details of the dessert, including the color, size, dimension and purpose. In this case, People magazine needed a 40th anniversary showcase cake with a moving element for the website and a fantastic dessert that its 54 million readers would be able to make at home.

Throughout the season, we stressed the importance of not going too BIG or overreaching. During this challenge, three of the teams really struggled with staying on point and, as a result, were sent to the elimination challenge. Bethany and Jennifer, in particular, didn't follow the client's requests. Their cake was well-thought-out, beautifully presented and probably would have won--if not for the fact that they didn't fulfill the requirements. That is a definite no when making a cake for a client. Kai and Rox went too big with their cake, which resulted in a small amount of time left to focus on the tasting cake. Because the requirements were to not only have the cake featured on the website, but also in the print magazine, the showcase cake and the tasting cake had equal importance for this challenge. Al and Manny were a hot mess! They overthought the necessary elements of the cake and made it cartoony instead of classic. The idea of using the Sexiest Man Alive issue was a good one, but the boys failed in their delivery. They could have done a beautiful black and white "black tie" cake and tied it together with something more "red carpet" and more appropriate for People magazine.

With only four very talented teams left, it now comes down to brilliant ideas, teamwork and time management. Al and Lia work really well together and it's evident that they know how to plan, divide responsibilities and get to work with their heads down. Bethany and Jennifer also have great chemistry, and are great at designating who is in charge and can execute a plan. On the other hand, Kai and Rox spent too much time planning the construction of their cake and were running out of time to execute the big cake that Kai envisioned. Rox is not as strong in this competition and the heavy lifting comes down to Kai. Al and Manny each bring a different skill to the table. However, they both have the same problem: they don't know how to scale back. A simple pound cake would have been lovely with the focus on flavor and texture, but their cake ended up being too busy.

The teams up for elimination competed to create an Italian dessert for a very high-profile Italian, Nancy Pelosi. Unfortunately, both teams missed the mark on this one (no comma) and presented desserts that they were not proud to serve. I felt sorry for Bethany and Jennifer when their dessert completely fell flat!

In the following episode, I liked that the challenges finally gave the teams a chance to show what they can do on their own, how creative they are and what dessert they could create in 10 hours for 100 people.

I loved Al and Lia's cake for its color blocking, design and beautiful piping. However, they often stay in their comfort zones with a tiered cake, which resulted in a cake that was not as creative as Al and Manny's and Kai and Rox's. It's time for them to move into another shape realm.

There's no denying that the Jersey boys took this one home! Who doesn't just love an animal-themed cake? At the same time, Kai and Rox had a crowd-pleaser with only one ticket separating them - I loved the turtle! Unfortunately, Bethany and Jennifer couldn't get this one together in the time given.

We had so much fun being in Carlo's Bakery with all the hungry guests. The bakers all worked hard to come up with a dessert that showcased their ability and that the crowds would like. In this challenge, it became obvious who had the experience working in retail and understanding the dynamics of production, product placement and customer satisfaction. A cookie wasn't going to cut it for this crowd.

The lemon tart was a home run, and my favorite dessert by far (I want the recipe!). Lia is a fantastic baker. She works well under pressure, understands time management and the importance of a beautifully displayed product.

At this point, anyone could have moved onto the next episode. These are four strong teams. Bethany and Jennifer worked so hard and were brought back after getting sent home. Poor Jennifer had a temperature of 103 and worked her booty off in a tough challenge. I'm very proud of these two working moms that call themselves "home bakers." Home bakers everywhere should be proud, too.

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