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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E01: Premiere

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Bakers must decode what type of dessert was made using just the leftover crumbs, flour trails and a few elusive clues, then re-create the recipe for celebrity judges chef Curtis Stone and cake artist Yolanda Gamppp; hosted by Joel McHale.

 

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I liked it. I wanted to guess Boston Cream Pie but the almonds confused me. I’ve never seen them all over the sides like that on BCP. Other cakes,  yes.  I’ve never heard of coconut cream cheese frosting, although I was leaning carrot cake. I never would’ve gotten the veggies on top. 

I’m rooting for the mom & son.  He seems really detail oriented & they’re both good bakers.  I would panic trying to look at everything at once, like I do in escape rooms.  

I’m not understanding how this game works. We lost one team but Joel said 6 teams are coming next week to challenge them. So I’m confused how they’re getting down to a winner. But I’ll definitely watch again. 

Edited by Tdoc72
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 I knew Boston Cream Pie almost immediately, but the almonds did throw me.   Worst guess on this round was lemon chiffon.  Wha?

 The veggies on top of the carrot cake was a strange choice and I'm not sure I would have gotten there.  But I knew it wasn't Italian Crème Cake, especially with that flawed fondant color logic.  The third color was yellow not white.   Bad read there.  That team also picked up on the coconut in the frosting but missed the cream cheese.  Cream cheese is a strong flavor, don't know how she missed that.    

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This was fun. I would have guessed Bakewell because it wouldn't have occurred to me that the raspberries were unused.

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Ok, I actually LOLed at the mother/son team. Thomas: "I'm a little jumpy" cue: Joel - "HEY GUYS!". *shot of them scraping Thomas off of the ceiling*

"I have something for you to do." "Does it involve shopping and drinking wine?" Love them!

This is entertaining enough and no one annoys me, yet, so I'll be back. 

Edited by OoogleEyes
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I found this entertaining. I am not a strong cook so I'm definitely not in the same league as the contestants. What I found very interesting was the sifting through the clues, most especially the pieces that were there to throw them off.

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I love these clue shows...I Can See Your Voice, Game of Talents, Masked Singer/Dancer, now this one. Are they generally lame and silly? Yes, it's why I like them. I can turn my brain off and just zone out for an hour. I like Joel McHale, the judges seem fine. I'm in! 

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4 hours ago, Lilac2000 said:

I love these clue shows...I Can See Your Voice, Game of Talents, Masked Singer/Dancer, now this one. Are they generally lame and silly? Yes, it's why I like them. I can turn my brain off and just zone out for an hour. I like Joel McHale, the judges seem fine. I'm in! 

Same! Completely inane, but easy to watch. I have never heard of a Hummingbird Cake. I feel like the bottom two teams were completely overthinking. Those Las Vegas chefs are so over the top. That cake was gorgeous, but they better learn the goal is to recreate the dessert from the clues, not one-up it.

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I’m confused about the rules. So if the mystery dessert had been hummingbird cake, the two guys who made mushy under baked cake would have won the challenge?

Hilarious that the two ladies got lemon chiffon pie from almonds and chocolate!

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31 minutes ago, Maya said:

I’m confused about the rules. So if the mystery dessert had been hummingbird cake, the two guys who made mushy under baked cake would have won the challenge?

Hilarious that the two ladies got lemon chiffon pie from almonds and chocolate!

Yes. Guessing correctly is the most important thing. Otherwise people would just be winging it "well, we spotted a key lime, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, macadamia nuts and orange zest. Must be classic key lime pie!" that looks gorgeous and not trying to deduce that it was Citrus macadamia nut cake.

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I am ridiculously excited about this show, lol! I have worked really hard on becoming a better baker over the last couple of years and I guessed Boston Creme Pie and Carrot Cake. Go me!!! 

Now, when I make Boston Creme Pie, I let it sit in the fridge overnight so the pastry cream firms up and doesn't run all over the place, so making it in two hours would not have been pretty. And although I've made carrot cake several times, I don't like it so I've never actually tried mine. I've never put coconut in the frosting though. And, for that matter, I've never put almonds on my Boston creme pie either. 

I think my only hope if I was on this show would be guessing right, because my decorating skills are like a toddlers. I love baking so much and LOVED geeking out over this show! 

 

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Also, I think it's great that both desserts were actually accessible and familiar to most people. I think where people struggled was in picking more obscure desserts. As the week goes on, it will probably be harder, but the ones who missed, especially in the first round, picked things more pastry chef-y. I've heard of all of them because I watch every baking show on the planet, but I don't know how to make them.

I wish I knew if they could have access to recipes once they make their guess. Even though I have made carrot cake and Boston cream pie, I don't have those recipes committed to memory and you have to be so exact in baking. No time to do it twice under these constraints either. Like I could make cream cheese frosting without a recipe and chocolate ganache without a recipe, but amounts for the cake ingredients? no way. 

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On 5/27/2021 at 12:08 AM, Maverick said:

I knew Boston Cream Pie almost immediately, but the almonds did throw me. 

Yeah, that and the spiderweb design have nothing to do with Boston Cream Pie.  I knew the showstopper had to be carrot cake once I saw the scrap of carrot in the grater, although I've never heard of putting coconut in the frosting.

I enjoyed this enough to keep watching for now, although the dessert reveal is a little too gimmicky.

 

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I'm not sure I like how they show the clue finding; I think I'd prefer if we saw every team instead of all the teams randomly cut together.

I also thought the reveal was far too dramatic and too long. I'm sure they could have found something else to fill that time with.

That said, it's a fun show.

One question though: how do they get the ingredients? If they had all the ingredients for what they could possibly doing in their fridge, they'd see the right ingredients, too. Likewise, if they got the ingredients from a community spot. So, the only option that I see is that the bakers look at possible clues and then tell someone from the show what they need.

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On 5/26/2021 at 10:56 PM, Tdoc72 said:

I’m not understanding how this game works. We lost one team but Joel said 6 teams are coming next week to challenge them. So I’m confused how they’re getting down to a winner. But I’ll definitely watch again. 

Yeah - without knowing how many contestants/episodes they have, it's hard to do the math on the eliminations.  Assuming Fox wants at least 13 episodes, the scenario that makes the most sense to me is to have 6 of these six team intro rounds, then reshuffle the teams into 5 semi final rounds of six teams, then have the winners of the semi's compete for the big prize.  That would be 12 shows - but maybe they could do a "second chance" episode with all the eliminated teams from the first stage.  That would give them a full six teams for the finale as well.

This is definitely an interesting show premise, although focusing just on baking is an odd choice.  At a certain point, I think you're going to risk running out of unique or recognizable pastries.   It's week one, and we've already had 2 popular cakes - is it just going to be big desserts like cakes and pies?  If not, how do you make the reveal of, say, blueberry muffins or zucchini bread dramatic?  Also, this is running along side two other cooking shows - so why pair it with Masterchef, which can often be dessert heavy, instead of Hells Kitchen, where the closest thing to baked goods are the Wellingtons (or various contestants)?

As for this episode, I think they did a decent job with the clues for both cakes, including the red herrings like the unused raspberries.  I think it's good that the show has 2 rounds, because I feel like most teams really overthought that first dessert, before figuring the game out for the second.  Wonder if this will be a recurring theme going forward.  Of the contestants this week, Team Vegas could possibly be the most talented overall, and seem the most like professionals.  Still, read the frickin' room guys - there's no way "modelling chocolate bucket" was going to be the right call, especially since they seemed to pick up on the "naked cake" clue in the kitchen.  Team Motherboy are a bit much - but they did take both rounds. Team Elective Surgery might be competent as well - their dacquoise was at least well received, despite being off the mark for the mystery dessert.  Otherwise, happy to see Team Vets bounce back after their pie soup disaster.

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I have been really trying to up my baking game lately, so that plus my love of Joel McHale got me interested in this show a lot. It was a lot of fun, very much an easy watching summer show with pretty desserts and a cute gimmick. I always wonder who comes up with the increasingly specific cooking show concepts, there are just so many of them. Next week, Dog Treat Detectives! 

The editing was a little weird, that was probably my only complaint. The premise itself makes the cooking a bit more unique, it adds a bit more to the competition aspect. I wonder if future seasons will add non bake goods to spice things up?

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On 5/31/2021 at 10:25 AM, Chyromaniac said:

As for this episode, I think they did a decent job with the clues for both cakes, including the red herrings like the unused raspberries.  I think it's good that the show has 2 rounds, because I feel like most teams really overthought that first dessert, before figuring the game out for the second.  Wonder if this will be a recurring theme going forward.  Of the contestants this week, Team Vegas could possibly be the most talented overall, and seem the most like professionals.  Still, read the frickin' room guys - there's no way "modelling chocolate bucket" was going to be the right call, especially since they seemed to pick up on the "naked cake" clue in the kitchen.  Team Motherboy are a bit much - but they did take both rounds. Team Elective Surgery might be competent as well - their dacquoise was at least well received, despite being off the mark for the mystery dessert.  Otherwise, happy to see Team Vets bounce back after their pie soup disaster.

I guess I didn't pay enough attention, but I have no idea which teams you have nicknamed here.   OK - i got Team Motherboy, but that's it.

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I liked that one of the clues was that pie tins were unopened on the counter - and cake pans were in the drainer.   Pointing to a CAKE that's called a PIE.   

And it's cool that the other clues are based on how to decorate the final product, resulting in contestants being confused as to which ingredients point to the specific item to bake, and which clues are about the decorations.  The couple that guessed Italian cream cake didn't understand the task at all.  they saw colors of an italian flag, and then ignored all other clues, and didn't seem to get the concept that the clues were USED in the finished product, not like gameshow clues.

All in all, this is a good, silly show.  I liked that the first team eliminated might actually be really sophisticated bakers.  Their guesses were more obscure, and they might have really good skills - but that's not the game here.

I do wonder about recipes - baking is pretty precise.  are they expected to have memorized recipes for every kind of cake/pastry/filling, etc.?  Most bakers have to rely on a recipe for a lot of things. 

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On 5/27/2021 at 4:56 PM, Ilovepie said:

I have never heard of a Hummingbird Cake. 

I just made a hummingbird cake about a month or so ago (I do theme dinners for my family and I did a Jamaican theme dinner).  A lot of people think of hummingbird cakes as a Southern thing, but its origins are actually from Jamaica.  It's usually made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and spices with a cream cheese frosting.  It actually looks (and even tastes) somewhat similar to a carrot cake, so I thought the bakers that made it might get points for coming a little closer to the right thing than the team that made the Italian cream cake (although that guess wasn't entirely out of left field either -- I'd never heard of it, but Googling just now, it's apparently a vanilla cake with coconut and pecans baked in with a whipped cream cheese frosting).   

I'm not a huge Joel McHale fan -- I can take him in small doses.  It was fine in the first episode, but more Joel would turn me off.  (You'd hear no complaints from me if there was more Curtis Stone though....)

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49 minutes ago, MMLEsq said:

I just made a hummingbird cake about a month or so ago (I do theme dinners for my family and I did a Jamaican theme dinner).  A lot of people think of hummingbird cakes as a Southern thing, but its origins are actually from Jamaica.  It's usually made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and spices with a cream cheese frosting.  It actually looks (and even tastes) somewhat similar to a carrot cake, so I thought the bakers that made it might get points for coming a little closer to the right thing than the team that made the Italian cream cake (although that guess wasn't entirely out of left field either -- I'd never heard of it, but Googling just now, it's apparently a vanilla cake with coconut and pecans baked in with a whipped cream cheese frosting).   

I'm not a huge Joel McHale fan -- I can take him in small doses.  It was fine in the first episode, but more Joel would turn me off.  (You'd hear no complaints from me if there was more Curtis Stone though....)

That sounds delicious - I want to make one now! :-0

I like Joel McHale. His brand of snark suits me, and this show is kind of ridiculous so it fits here. I did laugh when he straight-faced told those ladies they made his favorite stew in regards to that runny pie they made.

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5 hours ago, tinkerbell said:

I guess I didn't pay enough attention, but I have no idea which teams you have nicknamed here.   OK - i got Team Motherboy, but that's it.

Team Vegas were the pair from Las Vegas who went extra and did the faux basket on the outside of their carrot cake.  Team Elective Surgery were the mother/daughter duo who did the dacquoise in round one.  Beyond that, daughter looks like she’s had some work done.  Team Vets were the ones who served the liquid lemon chiffon pie- I thought they said they were both military, but maybe I heard wrong.

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22 hours ago, MMLEsq said:

I just made a hummingbird cake about a month or so ago (I do theme dinners for my family and I did a Jamaican theme dinner).  A lot of people think of hummingbird cakes as a Southern thing, but its origins are actually from Jamaica.  It's usually made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and spices with a cream cheese frosting.  It actually looks (and even tastes) somewhat similar to a carrot cake, so I thought the bakers that made it might get points for coming a little closer to the right thing than the team that made the Italian cream cake (although that guess wasn't entirely out of left field either -- I'd never heard of it, but Googling just now, it's apparently a vanilla cake with coconut and pecans baked in with a whipped cream cheese frosting).   

I'm not a huge Joel McHale fan -- I can take him in small doses.  It was fine in the first episode, but more Joel would turn me off.  (You'd hear no complaints from me if there was more Curtis Stone though....)

 

21 hours ago, Ilovepie said:

That sounds delicious - I want to make one now! :-0

I like Joel McHale. His brand of snark suits me, and this show is kind of ridiculous so it fits here. I did laugh when he straight-faced told those ladies they made his favorite stew in regards to that runny pie they made.

Joel McHale was the main draw for me too... I like his humour and I think he is great.  I always look forward to his appearances on Masked Singer.  I think he's a great host, he's so much funnier than Ken Jeong or Will Arnett.

As for hummingbird cake... I guess it didn't occur to the bros that there was no pineapple at all in that kitchen?  Surely there would have been a pineapple can or the crown and skin of a fresh pineapple in the garbage.

I haven't watched episode 2 yet but I too am wondering when they will run out of "classic" and familiar desserts.  I would not at all be surprised if  we see Red Velvet Cake, Key Lime Pie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Black Forest Cake, Panna Cotta, Strawberry Shortcake, Tiramisu and Baked Alaska sooner rather than later.  Also, are these all going to be cakes or pies?  I guess it's not very interesting watching someone making cookies.  Even something like Apple Pie wouldn't be that interesting since they seem to place emphasis on not only taste but presentation.  There's not a lot that can be done to wow up the presentation of cookies or apple pie.

Edited by blackwing
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On 6/3/2021 at 2:17 PM, MMLEsq said:

I just made a hummingbird cake about a month or so ago (I do theme dinners for my family and I did a Jamaican theme dinner).  A lot of people think of hummingbird cakes as a Southern thing, but its origins are actually from Jamaica.  It's usually made with bananas, pineapple, pecans and spices with a cream cheese frosting. 

That sounds really good!

 

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On 5/27/2021 at 12:35 PM, Lilac2000 said:

I love these clue shows...I Can See Your Voice, Game of Talents, Masked Singer/Dancer, now this one. Are they generally lame and silly? Yes, it's why I like them. I can turn my brain off and just zone out for an hour. I like Joel McHale, the judges seem fine. I'm in! 

Very tired of Curtis Stone, but McHale made up for him. 

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