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Spring Baking Championship

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1 hour ago, dleighg said:

I think Verushka really messed up on what she chose to portray. This is a FAMILY TRIP! Yes, you go hang out on a towel at the beach, yes you go camping, yes you ride roller coasters. NO you do not stand next to a brick wall and watch old men playing dominos! It just does not express the theme AT ALL! I do think she got something of a hard one-- I mean a family vacation to D.C. might mean visiting the museums, the Washington Monument, the White House, but I sure wouldn't want to try to build those! I might try a hot dog cart and a pretzel cart for NYC. I consider those pretty iconic, and family-friendly.

I'm from NYC originally, and at the very least, if you're going to portray New York, you have to put on an iconic cityscape.  But yes, I think she got stuck on the "culture" and forgot about the "family vacation".  Shame, really.  I thought at one point that she'd win the whole thing.

On another note, Duff flirting with Nancy made me want to throw up.

Edited by Rammchick
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Anyone walking past the American Girl store on 5th ave in Manhattan can vouch for the fact that NYC is definitely a hot spot for family vacations.

Well deserved win for Derek, and I’m glad that Keya is still in it. Every time I look at her I just think how much I want her to be happy now knowing what is coming for her.

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NY is totally a place for family vacations, but the scene she decided to do had absolutely nothing to do with family vacations in NY.

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13 hours ago, susannah said:

I completely disagree that NYC is not a place to go on a family vacation. 

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant you don't take your family to see a brick wall or guys playing dominoes. NYC has much to offer and she could've done any number of things. Even Shea Stadium where her beloved Mets play.

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Nancy made a big damn deal about being able to pick up Keya’s brownie and walk around with it, did they not think we were going to see that they all had used forks on the plates when they judged her?

Veruska’s design was SO minimal if Natalie went home it would have been the absolute wrong choice.  I mean, dinging Natalie on her too rich chocolate is very picky when faced with crooked tables in front of a brick wall.

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13 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Do that many people really eat cupcakes with a fork? Isn't a cupcake already a snack anyway?

I don't eat many cupcakes to begin with since I am not a frosting fan but when I do, I tend to use a fork. 

I think they're messy.  If you take a bite, you might end up with frosting on your nose if you want to make sure you get the cake part of a cupcake instead of pure frosting.  And if you tilt it a little to start at the edge to get a little bit of both while moving the mound of frosting away from your nose, there's zero chance at getting to any filling in the middle.  And when that middle filling comes, it's just a big blob of filling.  A fork at least allows you to dig deep and get a little bit of everything.

Of course if you tilt it, decoration on the top might get lost.  Or even the frosting which I actually don't mind since see-above: I hate frosting-but that's embarrassing. 

And sometimes the cake is actually quite crumbly because it's too dry or overly moist and doesn't hold well together.

And maybe that's why Derek's cupcake got dinged and I am fine with it.

Because people, it is starting to become very clear that I have a strong anti-cupcake bias. They can wrap as much paper around it as they want to, no one is convincing me that it's more convenient or better put together than regular old cake.

Smash Happy Birthday GIF by Birthday Bot

Edited by Irlandesa
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1 minute ago, mlp said:

For Duff to then question whether or not a cupcake is a snack was just wrong.  Derek got dinged for something he had to do.

Yes.  This is true.  I got lost in my cupcake hatred haze.  I will say, though, that you can make a non-snackable cupcake if it isn't constructed well. I can't specifically speak to Derek's cupcake, though. 

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I loooooove cupcakes and am an absolute embarrassment if I have to eat ones with frosting, because I have no shame in licking off all of the frosting (if no utensils are available) so I can then bite the cake part without getting frosting all over my teeth.

And regardless if you want to use a fork whilst eating it, you can still pick it up and walk around with it, Nancy.

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With Natalie, I was blown away by the hamburgers and churros she made, but was underwhelmed by the roller coaster itself, which took up most of the display. The judges were more complimentary about it than I was.

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4 hours ago, Grizzly said:

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant you don't take your family to see a brick wall or guys playing dominoes. NYC has much to offer and she could've done any number of things. Even Shea Stadium where her beloved Mets play.

You are so right. I was trying to think of what is iconically recognizable in NY that a person could make in two hours, and Shea Stadium would be one, and maybe the Statue of Liberty. Dominoes and a brick wall....not even.

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She could even do a scene from a show set in NY, Seinfeld ("I'm at 1st and 1st...oh man I'm the nexus of the universe!"), Friends' Central Perk, 30 Rock, something iconic that would immediately say NY, and be a touristy place to look for.  

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17 minutes ago, springbarb said:

With Natalie, I was blown away by the hamburgers and churros she made, but was underwhelmed by the roller coaster itself, which took up most of the display. The judges were more complimentary about it than I was.

I agree with you too. Hamburgers, while well made, don't say amusement park to me. She should have focused more on actual parts of that specific place, like a better roller coaster and maybe a small Ferris wheel or something. THAT would say amusement park.

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6 minutes ago, trudysmom said:

She could even do a scene from a show set in NY, Seinfeld ("I'm at 1st and 1st...oh man I'm the nexus of the universe!"), Friends' Central Perk, 30 Rock, something iconic that would immediately say NY, and be a touristy place to look for.  

I think Duff suggested a yellow cab.  Or how about neon lights - they're bright - on Broadway!

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7 minutes ago, KayVeeTeeVee said:

I think Duff suggested a yellow cab.  Or how about neon lights - they're bright - on Broadway!

And Times Square!

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Agree with you about Keya though, I'm tired of all that fondant.  I would have put Natalie over her.  I get where Verushka was coming from, she was trying to find a 'hidden gem' in a city scene,  but it was just too grey, no people, not even a pigeon!

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The card didn’t specifically say New York City. It said culture in the (big?) city, or something similar. My thinking was way off because I was imagining culture as in theatre, museums, etc.

I would never travel to a big city on vacation to look at unoccupied cement tables.

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28 minutes ago, YupItsMe said:

The card didn’t specifically say New York City. It said culture in the (big?) city, or something similar. My thinking was way off because I was imagining culture as in theatre, museums, etc.

I would never travel to a big city on vacation to look at unoccupied cement tables.

She's from NJ, so choosing NYC as her city didn't surprise me. The composition was sad. Who mentioned pigeons? They would have livened things up a bit! 

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19 hours ago, susannah said:

I agree with you too. Hamburgers, while well made, don't say amusement park to me. She should have focused more on actual parts of that specific place, like a better roller coaster and maybe a small Ferris wheel or something. THAT would say amusement park.

I have a feeling Natalie has made those little hamburgers before and has been waiting for a chance to show them off. We probably would have gotten tiny hamburgers at the beach, in NYC and in the forest too!

Edited by Maya
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13 hours ago, susannah said:

Hamburgers, while well made, don't say amusement park to me.

as far as food, I think of cotton candy, funnel cake, ice cream!

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15 hours ago, susannah said:

She should have focused more on actual parts of that specific place, like a better roller coaster and maybe a small Ferris wheel or something.

If those are both too hard, how about the spinning cups ride or the log ride. 

15 hours ago, susannah said:

And Times Square!

That's what I was thinking. You've got buildings and a jumbotron cookie, some asphalt and sidewalks. Done. 

I was curious about the hamburgers since they had 3 layers of fondant in them too for the cheese, lettuce and tomato. I don't think I've ever eaten fondant in my life. What would that have been like? 

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I also wondered how those hamburgers that the judges praised so much would actually taste with those thick layers of fondant in them. 

Per Duff, Derek's cupcake was not a "snack", cuz some of it might fall on your shirt while eating it, yet those big crumbly bars with goo falling out of them were totally fine. Duff was pissing me off with that nonsense. And also for calling Nancy "a snack". Nancy is many things ....but she is not a snack. 

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I will be okay with whoever wins. But I am glad Derek made it to the finals. In my opinion his spot is well deserved. Even though they spent all season nitpicking every thing he made!

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4 hours ago, Texasmom1970 said:

I will be okay with whoever wins. But I am glad Derek made it to the finals. In my opinion his spot is well deserved. Even though they spent all season nitpicking every thing he made!

That's what the editing showed us anyway, and sometimes, they telegraph the winner by doing this ;)

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13 hours ago, joanne3482 said:

If those are both too hard, how about the spinning cups ride or the log ride. 

That's what I was thinking. You've got buildings and a jumbotron cookie, some asphalt and sidewalks. Done. 

I was curious about the hamburgers since they had 3 layers of fondant in them too for the cheese, lettuce and tomato. I don't think I've ever eaten fondant in my life. What would that have been like? 

Also, theater marquees! That wouldn't have been too hard and would have nailed identification!!! I have never tasted fondant but I've read that it really doesn't taste good. Its appeal is to make decorating easier, apparently.

 

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Back when he was doing Ace of Cakes I seem to remember that Duff despised cupcakes.

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When my niece was little my sister gave her store-bought fondant covered cakes several years in a row.  Eating fondant is like eating a layer of paste made out of refined sugar that tastes like food coloring.

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7 hours ago, mojoween said:

When my niece was little my sister gave her store-bought fondant covered cakes several years in a row.  Eating fondant is like eating a layer of paste made out of refined sugar that tastes like food coloring.

I love to use it because so many detailed possibilities. But I always take it off the cake before I eat it. I use a butter-cream cheese cream (I don't like the sweetness of regular buttercreams) so I have to put a thin layer of ganache on the cake before adding the fondant because the cream cheese has too much moisture and sweats, especially when it's warmer. But the chocolate ganache makes it easy to peel the fondant off once you've sliced the cake.

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I don't eat any baking ingredient that comes pre-made in a giant bucket, like fondant.

Duff has liked a few cupcakes in the different seasons of the seasonal championships, but only a couple of times.   I think that just like many people I know, he's over the cupcakes for everything fad. (The only all cupcake franchise outlet where I live closed a few years ago). 

   I don't understand why anyone is required to make cupcakes, when one of the judges usually hates cupcakes.   

I'm wondering if the judges have any input so some of the bizarre flavors, and combinations that the producers pick for the challenges?   

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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5 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

I don't eat any baking ingredient that comes pre-made in a giant bucket, like fondant.

Duff has liked a few cupcakes in the different seasons of the seasonal championships, but only a couple of times.   I think that just like many people I know, he's over the cupcakes for everything fad.     

But Duff has to get over it for this challenge. Derek was REQUIRED to make a cupcake. You can't dock him points out if the gate because you don't like them. But that's exactly what happened, and Derek came out at the bottom of the pre heat. 

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On 4/20/2021 at 10:39 AM, RoxiP said:

If I visited New York I would go to the Central Park Zoo. I would visit the Empire State Building. I would go see Wall Street. So many things to choose from and that is what she picked?  I don’t want to go on vacation with her family!

And there’s that thing called the...oh, what is it? Oh yeah! The Statue of Liberty! 🙄

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3 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

And there’s that thing called the...oh, what is it? Oh yeah! The Statue of Liberty! 🙄

To be fair, making a statue would take up a lot of time already but there's no reason she couldn't have done a ferry boat, for example. Or a city scape and a ferry boat in the foreground.

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On 4/24/2021 at 9:49 PM, LittleIggy said:

And there’s that thing called the...oh, what is it? Oh yeah! The Statue of Liberty! 🙄

Or at the very least, the Empire State Building.  Much easier to render in silhouette.

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So pleased with the result. Thoroughly enjoyed the finale- no crazy twists or unfair advantages, just three talented, likable bakers making 6 gorgeous cakes. I would have been happy with any of them winning, but after they said that Kenya’s cake was the best cake they ever tried, I would have been truly disappointed if she hadn’t won. 

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I loved the outcome.   Even though Derek did more, and better decorating, I think the taste of Keya's cake was the deciding factor.    The other lady's effort just wasn't there today.    I like that whoever wins, the other contestants are very nice to the winners.  

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I can’t believe Derek placed below Natalie.  His cake had the “surprise” inside and his decorating was absolutely incredible.  The only ding I heard was that Duff (of course it was Duff) couldn’t taste the banana.  Even though Derek won last week, Natalie got the 1st heat advantage in the dang championship as the “underdog” and then wins the heat — that was BS.  I am only OK with Keya because of what happened after she finished the show.  The final 3 cakes were really wow — on appearances, I liked Derek’s the most, then Natalie’s, then Keya’s.

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It's great that all 3 cakes were well done in the finale. In these baking championships we usually get 1 cake that is clearly third place.  I'm happy for Keya. She was so cute at how surprised she was. Didn't like Derek's spider, it blended in to the cave. And he only 1 each of his insects while the ladies did multiple bugs. Ali did a good job as host.  I'd be ok with him coming back.

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1 hour ago, Grizzly said:

Ali did a good job as host.  I'd be ok with him coming back.

Agreed.  I like Ali as a host very much.  Genial, good with the bakers without getting in their way, dad-joke-corny, keeps things moving well at the judges’ table and plays off of their comments without trying to steal the thunder.

Edited by MerBearHou
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2 hours ago, MerBearHou said:

I can’t believe Derek placed below Natalie.  His cake had the “surprise” inside and his decorating was absolutely incredible.  The only ding I heard was that Duff (of course it was Duff) couldn’t taste the banana.  Even though Derek won last week, Natalie got the 1st heat advantage in the dang championship as the “underdog” and then wins the heat — that was BS.  I am only OK with Keya because of what happened after she finished the show.  The final 3 cakes were really wow — on appearances, I liked Derek’s the most, then Natalie’s, then Keya’s.

I thought Natalie's cake was pretty but Derek went above and beyond what was required, with incredible detailing. I also thought that his cake would have tasted really good. I noticed that Duff said to Derek after the preheat that the other two were "bringing it." Oh really? Natalie's topper was just slopping over the edges of her cake, and Keya's thing was raw on the bottom. That is not bringing it. I thought Keya's cake was too cluttered and too green, not much other colors. I also thought Derek showed a bit more imagination with making a vegetable garden instead of just flowers. I wanted either Natalie or Derek to win. Was it Keya who only decorated one side of her cake? That should NOT have won. I am sorry for what happened later to Keya but that doesn't change how they did.

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How was Keya's pre-heat cake any more spring-y than Derek's? They were both brown-ish with spring decoration.

And how is blueberry and white chocolate in any way a special/stand-out flavor?

I don't think Natalie's ladybugs looked alive. They had no pupils and did they have black dots on the red? I also thought the fairies looked a little bit like something a young child would cut out of paper and color in.

Why did they ding Derek for not having spring colors but didn't mind a zebra pattern as a surprise inside a spring garden cake? Last I checked, zebras have nothing to do with spring. I think even a checkered cake would have been more spring like as it could have represented a garden path or something.

That said, the final cakes were beautiful. The best cakes I've seen on a baking championship in a while! I loved Derek's little carrot munching caterpillar. Such a cute idea!

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9 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I loved Derek's little carrot munching caterpillar. Such a cute idea!

I forgot to say that I thought it was adorable too.

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I'm surprised that Keya won. I feel bad for her personal loss but I wouldn't have chosen her cake to win. The biggest negative was she only decorated the front of the cake. To me, it was unfinished. The Baking Championship cake shouldn't be unfinished.

Also, when the camera did a close up to show detail we could see Keya's decorating wasn't clean. Some places had smudges, some of the crumbled cookie was in the wrong place, etc. Since her cake had so many green succulents and other foliage all over it, I think she should have used a different background color (rather than another shade of green) to make it contrast with her other decorations. She did a good job, but I picked her as the 3rd place contestant. 

I thought either Natalie or Derek would win. 

Natalie's cake was beautiful to look at with lots of detail on all sides of the cake. She had a good idea and was able to execute her vision. I liked the pink background, which made all the other colors "pop". Very Spring forward with all of the different flowers, techniques, colors, and many different ladybugs and butterflies. She also put a lot of thought into her cake colors, flavors, and fillings. The judges said her cake was dense like a pound cake. Well, so what... pound cake is also a cake. Besides that, I like a pound cake. They raved about everything else, but it was "dense"? If something else happened or was said, they didn't show it. I have to remind myself that the show's editing doesn't always match the outcome.

Derek's decorating was awesome, too. I couldn't decide if he should win, or Natalie. Anyhow, I LOVED all the detail work: the corn, the tomatoes, the watermelon patch was adorable, and BUTTERNUT squash... oh my! What a wonderful garden! I loved it, but I figured he'd get a negative b/c it's a Summer garden, not a Spring garden. I'm glad he showed us something great though. Whoever said that he is going to have a full class now, is right. Even though he didn't win on the show, I hope good things happen for him because of the show. 

I hope that all of the bakers will turn up in future FN baking shows. Some of these people should get a second chance.

I like Lorraine but didn't really miss her, IYKWIM. I didn't miss the backbiting between Lorraine and Nancy. Kardea was pleasant enough but rather dull. Maybe she was holding back for whatever reason. I've had enough of Nancy, her push for boozing up the desserts, and her weird hand waving antics. Nancy relies too much on these other distractions. Duff at least talks about how difficult a technique is, how time consuming, the pitfalls of doing something this way rather than that way, etc. Nancy says "not Spring-y enough". 

Ali was boring. I'd rather have Eddie Jackson hosting.

Edited by TexasTiffany
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I liked Ali as host. He was pleasant, has a nice smile and seemed to have a good time. I’d like to see the dynamic of Duff, Kardea and Lorraine as judges. Ditch Nancy who never adds anything worthwhile. I’m tired of her and Duff’s interactions, so much so that I’m about done with Duff. Since he is famous for his huge monstrosity decorated bakes, are his cakes moist and flavorful? I honestly have never watched a show on which his cakes are eaten, so I don’t know. But they don’t look like they’d taste that great. 

It has been apparent to me for several episodes that Duff didn’t want Derek to win and that Duff and Nancy wanted Keya to win. I thought Keya’s decorations were boring. It certainly didn’t scream “spring!” to me. I wish Derek had used some sort of banana-infused syrup to brush on that layer to ramp up the flavor. I love pound cake so would have been happy with Natalie’s. I will say her fairies reminded me of clunky Christmas angels. When I think fairy, I think of Tinkerbell or Kylie Minogue’s the green fairy in Moulin Rouge. But it sure was a pretty cake. And triple yay to the show for no twist in the final round! Now on to Best Baker in America with the brilliant Gesine. Can’t wait! She is a judge who I believe everything she says. 

Edited by Spunkygal
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For the first time I found myself not liking Duff this season.  Grumpy old man.  Maybe it's loss of sleep as a new dad but whatever for 2 weeks in a row I told him to shut up.  He was unfairly biased against Derek in my opinion.  What, there can only be one white, bald man who is an amazing baker?  Derek was robbed.  That 'last week's loser gets the advantage' was a way to yank his win last week out from under him.  Kudos to him for keeping his cool and baking an amazing cake despite Duff's condescending pettiness.

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As many have said, Keya dis not have the best decorated cake last night, but I’m still down with her win. This is a baking show. There are numerous cake decorating shows. Let’s put it this way- I’ve been dieting pretty strictly recently in an attempt to eliminate my Covid-15. I look forward to enjoying cake again at some point in the future. When I do so, I will indulge in the best tasting piece of cake I can get my hands on, not the most exquisitely decorated.

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8 minutes ago, rlc said:

As many have said, Keya dis not have the best decorated cake last night, but I’m still down with her win. This is a baking show. There are numerous cake decorating shows. Let’s put it this way- I’ve been dieting pretty strictly recently in an attempt to eliminate my Covid-15. I look forward to enjoying cake again at some point in the future. When I do so, I will indulge in the best tasting piece of cake I can get my hands on, not the most exquisitely decorated.

While I agree with you 100% that IRL, the taste and texture beat out decorations every single time, decorations are a big component in these FN seasonal shows. Otherwise, just call it Best Tasting Cake Championship rather than Spring Baking Championship, Halloween BC, Holiday BC. After all, most of the FN shows are more about schtick than taste and quality, IMO. Maybe this show should say X% of judging is about decorations and X% is about taste, flavors, texture. 

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42 minutes ago, trudysmom said:

For the first time I found myself not liking Duff this season.  Grumpy old man.  Maybe it's loss of sleep as a new dad but whatever for 2 weeks in a row I told him to shut up.  He was unfairly biased against Derek in my opinion.  What, there can only be one white, bald man who is an amazing baker?  Derek was robbed.  That 'last week's loser gets the advantage' was a way to yank his win last week out from under him.  Kudos to him for keeping his cool and baking an amazing cake despite Duff's condescending pettiness.

I wondered the same thing about Duff, with a new baby at home. I used to watch Ace of Cakes and all I ever saw Duff do was build enormous creations that would explode or shoot off rockets or whatever, or walk around watching everyone else work. Unless HE actually made the cakes, and HE personally decorated them, which he didn't, as he had stellar decorators, I actually don't think he has alot of credibility at all, let alone to tell others that their cakes aren't good enough. Derek WAS robbed, and it bugs me that Keya's cake was only half decorated.

1 hour ago, Spunkygal said:

I’d like to see the dynamic of Duff, Kardea and Lorraine as judges

How about Duff, Lorraine, if you must, and Carla??? Si? 😀

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On 4/27/2021 at 4:52 AM, susannah said:

I actually don't think he has alot of credibility at all, let alone to tell others that their cakes aren't good enough. Derek WAS robbed, and it bugs me that Keya's cake was only half decorated.

Duff was trained at The French Laundry, so I think his credibility is pretty substantial.

As for decorating vs. flavor, these decisions are based on food we can't taste, and this is still a visual medium -- so the decorations weigh heavily.  That being said, I think it's clear that Derek lost because of those banana chips in the cake.  Besides not tasting banana-y, Duff also said that the chips lost their texture and were weird inside there (or words to that effect).  I'm guessing that made it unpleasant to eat.

Congratulations, Keya.  Obviously the prize money is no compensation for what she lost, but I hope it brought her and her family some joy.

Edited by Rammchick
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