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Halloween Baking Championship

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I agree about the stuffed cookies and think the same about stuffed cakes. I don't see how there's any pleasure in biting into an expertly made cookie or piece of cake and getting a mouthful of low quality candy. If someone insisted on making a stuffed cookie, though, I would expect it to be just that, a cookie, not several layers of cookies. It's just an annoying concept.

I miss Ron Ben-Israel, too. I remember Zac Young from Top Chef: Just Desserts. The memory isn't good, but maybe he can win me over on this show. So far it's not looking good.

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1 hour ago, Passing Strange said:

I miss Ron Ben-Israel, too. I remember Zac Young from Top Chef: Just Desserts. The memory isn't good, but maybe he can win me over on this show. So far it's not looking good.

Thank you! I could not figure out why I remembered him and I forgot to look him up.

Ron Ben-Israel is the best.

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Zac Young has also been on The Cooking Channel's Unique Sweets and is a recurring judge on FN's Bakers vs Fakers.

Edited by Rammchick
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I like this show, but then again I don't expect much from it.  It's relaxing and entertaining enough.   Totally fine with judges getting totally into their characters as long as it's balanced with commentary from them that actually has some substance.

 I do wish we'd get less time "drama" and more on how these people actually execute something.  Don't show me yet another shot of someone running around shouting something that's supposed to be clever.  Show me professional bakers doing things I can't do.  Show me the judges discussing the pros and cons of each person's presentation.  I felt bad (well, not really) for the one home baker.  She was in so far over her head it was ridiculous.  

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Anyone not understand this is Halloween Baking Championship? We are supposed to have stuffed candies and cookies and slime. Boo!

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17 hours ago, Simon47 said:

Anyone not understand this is Halloween Baking Championship? We are supposed to have stuffed candies and cookies and slime. Boo!

Speaking for myself, yes I do understand this show is supposed to be goofy and gory.  I don't object to stuffed cookies or goop dripping out of the desserts if they are executed well.  As Passing Strange noted, the disconnect for me is asking these qualified bakers to do their best recipes and show off their mastery with ingredients and flavors, but then put the onus on them to incorporate crappy dollar store candies like "Runts" or "Lemon Heads".  As for the stuffed cookie, my definition of what they wanted was way off base.  I thought they were looking for a cookie dough batter baked into a normal sized/shaped cookie with some element like handmade truffle or caramel or fruit/nut filling inside. I didn't imagine they'd want hollowed out bricks with hidden, store bought (inedible IMO) trinkets in them.  But then, my interpretation was too close to the oozing slime challenge, and the gimmick would have been repetitive in one episode.

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I thought all the witches fingers & toes were a fail, none of them looked good to me.

Why do they all yell “going in the oven” when they put something in the oven?

Not surprise Cliff was eliminated, his stuff didn’t appeal to me at all.

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4 hours ago, GaT said:

Why do they all yell “going in the oven” when they put something in the oven?

 

I read an interview with one of the bakers on this or another of these shows and they are told to yell they are going in the oven so the camera crew can catch it. They also had to announce when they were going back to the oven to take it out and if they left for a visit to the pantry or to get a different cooking vessel. I've always found it annoying.

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1 hour ago, Christina said:

I read an interview with one of the bakers on this or another of these shows and they are told to yell they are going in the oven so the camera crew can catch it. They also had to announce when they were going back to the oven to take it out and if they left for a visit to the pantry or to get a different cooking vessel. I've always found it annoying.

I have a feeling they are told to “banter” with and “trash talk” each other too. So forced and awkward. 

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3 hours ago, Maya said:

I have a feeling they are told to “banter” with and “trash talk” each other too. So forced and awkward. 

Agreed. Isn't that the way with most shows now, though?

You can tell producer driven drivel a mile away. Just let us watch the SHOW.

The time they take up with that crap could be used better by taking more time seeing how the bakers, I don't know, bake. :/

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It always seems to me that older baketestants don't do as well as the younger ones.  I've yet to see anyone over the age of 40 in the finals on one of these shows.  Not that I think Cliff did well, don't get me wrong, but it's as though these older people are set up as canon fodder.

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I wondered how Cliff even got selected for this show.  His skill level seemed quite inferior to the rest of them.  When he was talking about decorating and they showed shots of things he'd done, I thought they all looked pretty bad.  So far, my favorites are Jonathan and Tyler.

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I liked Cliff, but I wonder how old he was.  Again, that same stereotype comes back again: old people are always the earliest to get eliminated.

Jonathan is so annoying, IMO.

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On 10/4/2017 at 11:35 AM, Rammchick said:

It always seems to me that older baketestants don't do as well as the younger ones.  I've yet to see anyone over the age of 40 in the finals on one of these shows.  Not that I think Cliff did well, don't get me wrong, but it's as though these older people are set up as canon fodder.

Yes and as a competent older person myself this pisses me off. Jacques Torres is 57, Ron Ben-Israel is 58 and Nick Malgieri is 69. Odds are good that accomplished, capable older home bakers try out for this and aren't selected to compete. FN is desperately trying to attract a younger demographic without realizing that those folks are getting much of their cooking information online. They also don't get that there are lots of older folks out there and we could afford to buy their stuff if they'd actually market to us.

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On 10/3/2017 at 3:16 PM, Writing Wrongs said:

That's why I like the Great British Bake Off. Everyone is lovely and helpful to each other.

Totally hooked on that show! No theatrics, trash talking, running around... and they're in a lovely tent. I still enjoy the American baking shows... but, there's something so calming and delightful about the Brit version that makes me enjoy the show even more. Plus they give them the appropriate amount of time to bake and create.  

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On 10/9/2017 at 7:57 PM, Passing Strange said:

Yes and as a competent older person myself this pisses me off. Jacques Torres is 57, Ron Ben-Israel is 58 and Nick Malgieri is 69. Odds are good that accomplished, capable older home bakers try out for this and aren't selected to compete. FN is desperately trying to attract a younger demographic without realizing that those folks are getting much of their cooking information online. They also don't get that there are lots of older folks out there and we could afford to buy their stuff if they'd actually market to us.

Passing Strange, I'm 56 myself.  I too find the age discrimination very apparent.  As I said, I don't think Cliff did well, nor did I think he shouldn't have been eliminated.  But it's as though these competitions are seeded with one, or two at most, older people who often fail miserably.

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I can't remember anyone's name, but I agreed with the judges regarding the bottom two for the phobias-inspired challenge.  That clown was just sad.  I know bakers often disregard the challenge and just bake whatever they want, but the ghost was particularly egregious.  "I know ghosts are white, but I'm going to make chocolate cake with fudge filling and dark chocolate icing!"  Really?

I'm watching reruns of The Great British Baking Show also right now and the juxaposition of judging really shows what a sham this kind of "baking" contest is.  Mary and Paul care about the actual baking aspects.  Carla, etal, just seem to care if it tastes good, regardless of whether it's a gloopy mess or underbaked.

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3 hours ago, dleighg said:

anyone know why it "wasn't a bouchon, it was a brownie"?

Was it just that he didn't get the shape right?

I assumed it was just the shape but it would have been nice if he had explained.

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I didn't understand what Zac meant by "bouchon" in that context.  I tried Googling and found the usual French style restaurant and a bunch of other translations but ended up no wiser.

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A bouchon is a friken brownie in a particular shape

Thanks.  I have never heard the word used that way but, if Thomas Keller says so, it must be right.  

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What has Zac Young done to qualify as a judge? I just went to his IMDB page and sure, he is an active media-whore pastry chef but given that he came in fourth when he did a competitive cooking show, I fail to see why his opinion would count for anything. My clearest memory of him is being told that it's unsanitary to decorate a baked good with "disco dust" by using your mouth to blow it onto the surface of the food. At least the other two have published books and starred on prominent shows. 

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I was so irritated and angry that Dina left, she was my favorite because I love hotels! But Jonathan doesn't bug me anymore, he now knows what he's doing.

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Just saw an ad for Holiday Baking Championship and the same judges will be on...Duff, Nancy and Lorraine...didn't see anything about who was hosting though...I will be glad to see Nancy and Duff again!(Just checked the HBC site and it will be Jesse Palmer again....I miss Bobby!

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Am I crazy or is the level of talent this year... err, how should I put this... not particularly good?  There's a whole lot of sloppy piping and throwing Wilton(tm) candy bits at things, which surprises me since a lot of these people are allegedly in the industry.  Seems like they've shuffled most of the good bakers off to Best Baker in America.

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I think this crop is better than the last competition I saw but I can't remember if that was Spring, Holiday or the last Halloween series. They all just run together, don't they?

Let's face it: just about every undiscovered talent in the country has been found. The number of television shows looking for them has grown faster than the supply of worthy contestants.

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I suspect that one reason these contestants don't look great is the time constraints.  I suspect that most if not all of them do much better work when they can bake and decorate at their own pace - with no silly twists.  Tyler is probably a good example.  I had him figured for a finalist because he seemed quite talented but he didn't have time to fix a disaster which he would have had in a normal situation.

Rooting for Jonathan.

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Yeah, I'm sure the time constraints are the biggest factor. That's the only reason I can think of why Ray thought it would work to put the butter in his cheux (sp?) while it was in the mixing bowl when he realized he didn't incorporate it with the other ingredients in the sauce pan or why Tyler would put buttercream on his hot cakes and try to stack them and put them in the chiller instead of the other way around.

Edited by tobeannounced
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17 hours ago, mlp said:

I suspect that one reason these contestants don't look great is the time constraints.  I suspect that most if not all of them do much better work when they can bake and decorate at their own pace - with no silly twists.  Tyler is probably a good example.  I had him figured for a finalist because he seemed quite talented but he didn't have time to fix a disaster which he would have had in a normal situation.

Rooting for Jonathan.

Agreed... It's ridiculous that they're so rushed they don't even really let their cake cool down before having to put icing on it. 

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On October 16, 2017 at 1:18 PM, suebee12 said:

Just saw an ad for Holiday Baking Championship and the same judges will be on...Duff, Nancy and Lorraine...didn't see anything about who was hosting though...I will be glad to see Nancy and Duff again!(Just checked the HBC site and it will be Jesse Palmer again....I miss Bobby!

Saw it too! It's only nine bakers (I expected more), and it's Jesse Palmer the pretty boy, so I still wonder what in the world happened to Bobby Deen? Did FN not like him?

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I think I was just so happy that Damiano wasn't a judge and therefore, had forgotten how annoying I found Zac Young. Please don't bring him back, show! You learned the lesson with Damiano, and Giada was the only one that thought he would be great at it. Say bye bye to Zac, please.

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I really like John Henson.  I'd never seen him before he turned up on Worst Cooks and I even liked him on that ridiculous show.  He's doing a good job as host.  He's amusing and low key which appeals to me - not OTT loud and goofy.  He's cute too.

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This isn't much of a baking competition.  Where are the pies? Tarts?  There seems to be way too many non-baked entries, like mousse bombs.  When a baker is making chocolate cake for four challenges in a row, there's something wrong.

The funniest part of last night's show was when the male judge noticed fingerprints on the chocolate cake square.

I like spicy chocolate just fine, but raw jalopeno bits in a chocolate mousse?  Yuck.

I'm hoping the Holiday Baking one will be better.

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I love all the terms for name brand chocolate bars they can't say. Since I'm Canadian I have a hard time figuring them out sometimes.

I was cringing at the raw jalapeno ... I think that would've been super overpowering. I've had some fantastic spicy chocolate before with chili peppers, and it's really good, but it definitely wasn't raw!

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19 minutes ago, threebluestars said:

I love all the terms for name brand chocolate bars they can't say. Since I'm Canadian I have a hard time figuring them out sometimes.

 

That was really awkward! and didn't they know what they were "going for"? I mean, we all saw those euphemisms for the candy names on the front of the bottles@

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15 hours ago, backgroundnoise said:

This isn't much of a baking competition.  Where are the pies? Tarts?  There seems to be way too many non-baked entries, like mousse bombs.  When a baker is making chocolate cake for four challenges in a row, there's something wrong.

Agreed. It's becoming the Halloween Decorating (and not much of that!) Championship.

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The jalapeño and turmeric combinations actually grossed me out. I'm not sure if the judges, especially that creep Zac Young, were actually enjoying that. They pretended to enjoy it. What does it taste like, anyway? Spicy? Sweet? We aren't judges, we're spectators. But I want to get an overall glimpse of the real taste of chocolate/turmeric and chocolate/jalapeño.

Ray was not so good in this competition at all. It was the right choice to get rid of him this week.

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The idea of pieces of jalapeños in the mousse and just stuck to the tombstone was nauseating. The turmeric combo sounded bad too. I do like this show and it doesn't bother me that they make different desserts and not just baked goods. I like the seasonal themes. 

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On 10/23/2017 at 11:45 PM, LittleIggy said:

Why isn’t Jason from FNS a judge on one of these baking shows?

Jon Henson has such a cute smile!

Jason (if we're talking about the same Jason) has been judging on Best Baker in America which started on FNS the same week as this show. It's on Wednesdays.

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On 10/19/2017 at 6:48 AM, tobeannounced said:

Yeah, I'm sure the time constraints are the biggest factor. That's the only reason I can think of why Ray thought it would work to put the butter in his cheux (sp?) while it was in the mixing bowl when he realized he didn't incorporate it with the other ingredients in the sauce pan or why Tyler would put buttercream on his hot cakes and try to stack them and put them in the chiller instead of the other way around.

That was strange that Ray didn't go ahead and add it. I thought it was odd he forgot such an important ingredient in the first place. Tyler's was literally a hot mess. I know you can't start frosting a warm cake so he knows it too. When he flipped the cake layer off it was awful looking. Like someone had thrown up on the cake. 

I'm tired of Zac. He's an evil elf. I get that he's probably pissed that some of them make such egregious errors, but this is Food Network. Their ads showcase the baking failures, the running around the kitchen, someone's ingredients blowing up in their faces. The failure drama gets aired more than the successes. Eat that, Zac.

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On 10/24/2017 at 1:34 AM, mlp said:

I really like John Henson.  I'd never seen him before he turned up on Worst Cooks and I even liked him on that ridiculous show.  He's doing a good job as host.  He's amusing and low key which appeals to me - not OTT loud and goofy.  He's cute too.

I first saw Jon as a host on Wipeout. 

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1 hour ago, LittleIggy said:

I first saw Jon as a host on Wipeout. 

For me, it was Talk Soup, and I've liked him ever since (although at first I was upset that he replaced Greg Kinnear). Before he went mostly gray, he had a very distinctive patch of gray on the right side of his head, which he was born with. 

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I think I read that this filmed in February, so Jason would have been on The Giada Cleavage Show back then. I don't know why they filmed so long ago, but the Holiday one filmed in May or June, I think.

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Why didn't Ray make a jalapeno puree if he was going to put it in a mousse?  I feel bad, I liked him.  I totally want Jonathan's Almond Joy cake.  Mr. D and I were salivating over all the preheat dishes. 

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