Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top Chef:Just Desserts 9/29/10--"Glee Club"

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: Seth had, like, a complete mental breakdown. Maybe not complete, but pretty far. He failed to finish his Quickfire, burst into tears, forced the guest judge to comfort him, and then bitched at everyone when his “shopping” at the bar for the Elimination challenge didn’t go as planned. The actual challenge was to create a dessert inspired by a cocktail, which is pretty cool, actually. During plating Seth was overly subservient to everyone, to the point where he was in the way and agitating the whole kitchen. And he probably knocked all of Zac’s chocolate on the floor. Zac was OK, though. Erika won with her margarita bombe and Tim lost with his basil pudding that curdled. (click for more)

Why is this another extended episode, Bravo? You’re just adding in commercials and useless babbling.

Seth says he is “misunderstood”. He no longer cares if anyone forgives him or is nice to him anymore. Eric and Zac lament Tim’s absence, if only for the cigarettes he provided for them. Eric’s feeling good because his lack of technique and pretty plates hasn’t caused him to go home yet.

Gail has Sylvia Weinstock with her. She makes huge wedding cakes, not crazy cakes, but just extremely tall cakes with lots of sugar flowers. For the Quickfire, they must make a wedding cake. Interesting. Oh, but in 90 minutes. Zac thinks Gail has been snorting buttercream. They will get sheet cakes already baked, but they’ll be responsible for fillings and decorations. Winner gets immunity.

Malika doesn’t make wedding cakes so she’ll have to improvise. Heather C. just got engaged. I don’t think most people make wedding cakes. Heather says that fondant tastes like sugar, so you have to add flavor. Yeah, my sister says fondant doesn’t taste good. Danielle says she always uses buttercream. Seth’s never made a wedding cake before, so he decides to just ignore the challenge and make a plated cake and call it an engagement cake. You can’t just ignore the challenge whenever you feel like it. He thinks doing his own thing will make him win. Danielle is irritated he won’t even try. Erika is making Kahlua buttercream. Heather H. made her own wedding cake. Yigit jokes that Zac does not have a diva cake but a hot mess cake. Yeah…it looks like he tried to frost it with chocolate syrup. Eric realizes he is going to run out of buttercream, but he is no worse off than everyone else. Malika’s frosting is melting. She’s not going to finish again. She puts her top layer on crooked, takes it off, and a bunch of the bottom layer comes off too. As she’s freaking out and trying to fix it, Morgan comes over and calls her “Shakey” and tells her to quit shaking the table. Malika explains that Shakey isn’t her name. She’s not going to knock your cake over, calm down. She manages to get one layer done.

Heather H. snobs about how everyone else’s cakes suck, except for Malika, who is in tears. Both Heather H. and Seth comfort her, but it’s her second Quickfire failure. Heather C.: vanilla simple syrup and Nutella buttercream. There are three low layers with cut out fondant snowflakes. It looks simple but not super clean. No one’s does. Eric: pistachio buttercream and apricot brandy filling. He’s covered it in buttercream with roses and piped borders. Eh. Zac: toasted meringue, “fruit of the forest” jam, and dark chocolate ganache. The meringue covers the chocolate ganache, and then there are spiky chocolate pieces on the tops of the layers. Unfortunately meringue always looks melted to me. Erika: mocha explosion with Kahlua buttercream. Sounds good. It looks pretty too. Danielle: cream cheese lemon filling with strawberries and pistachios. The whole cake is covered in piped frosting, so it looks like a baked Alaska, and it’s tinted a light green. It’s a weird color and it kind of looks lumpy. Seth: “engagement cake” caramel chocolate mouse with marsala apricot jam and absinthe honey and olive oil dust. First of all, olive oil dust. Second, your fondant cracked which makes me pleased. He also basically says “I don’t know how to do the challenge so I didn’t bother, but I think this is my best dish ever.” Everyone looks down or away from him and they all look embarrassed. Gail calls him on it, and he says he knew he’d be in the bottom three so he said fuck it and decided to have fun. See, but when Hung decided to have fun and made his crazy cereal landscape, at least that was following the challenge. Sylvia tells him he should have made an effort. Yigit: passion fruit, vanilla and lime soaked cake with vanilla orange diplomat cream. His cake also has vertical piped frosting and a weird half circle on top. It sounds good though. Heather H.: lemon and orange zest buttercream. It’s a beautiful cake with pretty flowers. Morgan: Italian cream cake with coconut rum syrup, cream cheese icing and toasted pecans. It’s pretty nice looking. Sylvia asks him what he thinks of wedding cakes, and he kisses her ass, which she says is a good answer. Malika: aww. While she was waiting to be judged the cake literally fell apart. There is a piece of it that is now on the workbench. Heather H. doesn’t know what’s wrong with people as she’s never been this upset about a dessert not turning out. Malika says there is coconut custard with cardamom and vanilla, and raspberry jam. She hasn’t even plated a piece, but Sylvia and Gail demand tastes. They’re super nice to her too.

Sylvia tells everyone that they did a great job in the timeframe. Seth is on the bottom, as he didn’t even try to do the challenge. Also in the bottom are Malika (delicious though), and Eric (sloppy icing and uneven layers). Eric says the easiest thing to do is get the layers even so this is the most embarrassing moment of his life. Erika’s cake has nice detail work and is tasty, Morgan’s cake is clean, and Heather H. had a delicate cake. The winner is Erika. Oo, upset. Heather H. doesn’t think she should have won.

For the Elimination challenge, they will be on teams. Oh, we don’t have knife blocks here on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”. We have a cookie jar with fake cookies. Seth pulls a cookie that says “Glee” which is exciting until Malika pulls one with “Pep”. So it’s not what you think. Danielle notices that she is on a team with Seth, Zac, Yigit, and Heather C.--basically most of the people who had a conflict with Seth in the last challenge. Gail then calls in a glee club. …Sigh. Zac says that was totally him in high school which is unsurprising. Also there are cheerleaders and a fairly creepy mascot that I think is a sailor possibly. Creepy. Oh, it’s a mariner. I see. The glee club is called “The Rainbow Riders”. …I can’t. Seriously. They both need fundraising, which is why they’re going to have a bake sale. Heather H. was in band. As she says she’s been to band camp, we see a picture of her with a harp. Also unsurprising. 3 hours to bake today, and 30 minutes to prep at the school. The bake sale will be 2 hours long, and the school will give out tickets (worth $1). Each person has to make one thing. Wait…the school will “give out” tickets. So why doesn’t the school JUST GIVE MONEY TO THEM? This challenge hasn’t even started and I’m already annoyed. Also the winning team will get $5000, which would be $1000 for each person.

OK, now everyone must be embarrassed by high school photos. Zac, who clearly watches “Glee”, proceeds to label all the “misfits” in their group: Seth is the jock, Zac is the theater geek (and apparently flexible based on his photo), Yigit is the art kid, Danielle is the valley girl (who totally looks like my downstairs neighbor in her senior portrait), Heather C. “is like the girl who just got broken up with, over and over and over again. The one who’s always crying.” The pep squad group is going more “bake sale” than “pastry chef”. Seth insists on doing a financier, which is a cake without crumbs so business people don’t mess up their suits, because “that’s the only thing I feel comfortable making for a bake sale.” Danielle tells Heather C. she shouldn’t make a whoopie pie because Yigit is already making something with marshmallow and chocolate. She sulks, but I’m not sure why Yigit won that round. Danielle insists that a bake sale must have cookies. Eh…whatever. She’s making peanut butter cookies.

They make it seem like the three hours included the planning time so now they have two and a half hours left. Erika used to make money off her baked goods in elementary school, plus her team has Eric. The Pep team is making chocolate chip walnut cookies (Erika), peanut butter crispy bars (I think Rice Krispy treats, from Eric), toffee brownies (Malika), black and white cupcakes (Morgan), and dulce de leche cookies (Heather H). Eric discovers that Heather C. took all the peanut butter, not that she needs all of it, but because she wants to make sure they have enough. Morgan promptly gets pissed and takes all the butter. Ridiculous. Heather C. tries to convince Eric she’s not trying to screw him over on purpose. Once she measures out what she needs she gives it back to him, so then Morgan is all magnanimous about the butter. It’s still not enough peanut butter, apparently, so Eric mixes Nutella in too. That sounds fantastic. Seth is freaking out and claiming it’s not a financier if he can’t brown his butter but he doesn’t have time, and he totally thinks Johnny will notice, and I’m tired of his talking. THEN he has the balls to claim he’s trying to keep “under the radar”. Yigit is trying to keep everyone calm, but mostly he’s dealing with Heather and Seth. Glee team is making chocolate pudding cups with ginger (Yigit), strawberry shortcakes (Zac), coconut caramel cupcakes (Danielle), peanut butter cookies (Heather C.), and financier cakes (Seth). Wait, didn’t they tell Heather she couldn’t make whoopie pies because it was too much like Yigit’s dessert? Chocolate pudding is not the same as a whoopie pie. Seth puts coffee extract in his mix instead of vanilla, talks about it to the camera people, and Danielle pretty much rolls her eyes.

Johnny comes in to discuss things. He likes Nutella, and thinks Zac’s strawberry shortcake is ambitious. Malika admits her Quickfire screw-up. She is beginning to think competition is not for her. 30 minutes to go. Lots of last minute flailing.

Back at the house Malika is thinking of quitting. Heather H. knows she’s had a rough couple days. Seth is downstairs talking at Morgan, who has sympathy for Seth but knows Seth doesn’t understand a lot of stuff.

Bake sale time. Lots of students. Seth is helping, which Yigit is glad to see. Malika is now not quitting. The pep squad shows up with their creepy mascot and the Pep team yells and screams. Danielle tells her team that when the glee club shows up they need to be just as loud, and Seth says he’s depending on them to do it because he’s “in the zone”. I know he’s helping, and everyone is happy to see that, but it’s that kind of helping where you spend a lot of time going “Look at me helping!” and that is not useful. As promised, the whole team yells except Seth. Zac must represent his peeps. Seth has told his team that he can’t interact with children or he will curse. Yeah, probably. At least he is in the back plating things.

The judges show up to judge. Pep is up first, and Morgan gives the judges the last two cupcakes, as the rest have sold out. The “dulce de leche” cookie is two thin butter cookies, with chocolate and dulce de leche cream filling in between. Yum. The judges I guess taste everything, and like it, but they don’t say anything about Morgan’s cupcakes or Heather H.’s cookies. 15 extra minutes and you can’t mention that? Seriously?

Glee team. Zac put rainbow sugar on his shortcakes, of course, but he baked it in so it’s all mottled like rainbow sprinkles in a cupcake. Yigit’s pudding has caramel and chocolate, and it does have marshmallows, and hazelnut crumble. Seth’s cake has orange creamsicle sauce. Zac’s shortcake is dense. Yigit’s pudding has a lot of ginger, and Seth didn’t follow the challenge AGAIN because his cake is not a bake sale item. The cupcakes are dry. The peanut butter cookies are maybe too simple. Obviously, the producers would like you to know that the Glee team was the worst. But the winner is determined on how much money they made. The winner, by $10, is Pep. Somehow we are to believe $250 is enough to send the pep squad to cheerleading camp, but then Gail says that everyone can go on their trips anyway. Because Bravo is going to multiply the totals by 10, plus another $5000 for the school in general.

Commercial interlude: high school cheerleaders love Morgan. The end.

Pep gets to be judged first, as they won. So the reason we only saw them make comments on three desserts, is because those three were the top. Eric’s dessert was an elevated Rice Krispy treat, which was fantastic. Malika’s brownies were actually Eric’s recipe that she just added toffee too. Erika’s cookies were “the ultimate” according to Gail. Sylvia wants the recipe. However the winner is Eric. Awesome! He’s so pleased.

Danielle starts off for the losing team by saying that working together went better than expected, and that 4 of them made a lot of stuff and also interacted with the kids, but Seth never spoke to anyone and didn’t make an effort. Zac stands up for Seth and says he prepped all the desserts. Seth can’t even stop from interrupting Zac when Zac is defending him. Shut up, Seth. Seth says he was feeling great about their team until he got thrown under the bus. Danielle says she’s going to be herself and that’s her opinion, which the judges asked for. Yeah, but he actually was helpful, I think. Seth doesn’t help his cause, demanding Yigit stand up for him. This backfires when Yigit I think says yesterday he was helpful but not today. Heather C. then pipes up that she wanted to do a cookie, and Yigit tells her she wasn’t forced into anything, except that if she had stood up for herself they would have thrown her under the bus for that too, so what is she supposed to do? Heather all of a sudden is so flabbergasted she can’t form sentences. Seth starts talking about doing this “honorably” and I guess they all think Heather threw them under the bus, but she said she wanted to do something and they told her not to. That’s the truth. Seth is still talking about how they had fun and that they had to have a cookie and blah. Dannielle says the cookie was a great idea but it’s about execution which they haven’t talked about yet. Now is time to talk about food. Seth wanted to make kids get into things they never got into before and whatever, and Johnny tells him “Your role is not to educate people, it is to make delicious food and to make people happy.” Sadly it was perfect, but Johnny makes it clear that it wasn’t a bake sale dessert. Heather C.’s cookie was good, but too simple and maybe too dry. Danielle’s cupcakes were dry. Zac’s shortcake was too messy, but his biscuits dried out overnight and were too tough. Yigit’s pudding was very gingery, and he thinks it sold well, but it made the least money on the team.

Stew Room. Heather C. still doesn’t get why her team is pissed, and Yigit’s response makes it seem like he’s mad she just spoke up without waiting for the judges to make her defend herself. He says it’s selfish. The judges know they’re a dysfunctional team. Yigit complains this is his first time in the bottom, and Heather says she’s never been there at all, which of course irritates everyone because it’s no excuse. Yigit’s poor sales were due to too much ginger. Zac’s biscuit was not a biscuit, and he knew it. Heather really didn’t want to do a cookie, but Gail does remind everyone she took a backseat to make everyone else’s food better. But she could have done a better cookie. Heather is telling everyone basically what Gail said, and that apparently that was her own decision, to do what everyone told her to do. Both Zac and Eric try to explain to her that the judges would have been fine if she’d done a better cookie. Yeah, but they probably would have been fine with a whoopie pie too. Seth’s dessert did not belong at a bake sale. Johnny says he never plays it safe, but Gail responds that sometimes that’s because he refuses to do the challenge. Danielle’s cupcakes were dry, and Johnny for some reason takes offense to her “I do what I know and am true to myself” statement. Back in the Stew Room, Seth I guess is trying to shame everyone into being nice, because he’s still on how great the day was until Danielle threw him under the bus, and she just lays into him. She says he’s a piece of shit, he treats everyone poorly, and he stayed in the back not because he was such a helpful person but because he refused to interact with the students. Seth claims that part was a joke. It devolves into Seth saying his food was better so he won’t be going home so whatever.

Heather C. goes home, to no one’s surprise. She says she should have done what she really wanted to do. Yeah. She seems fairly calm.

Next week: Seth does not care if he pisses off everyone else here. Eric is frightened. Everyone talks shit about him in the Stew Room. Someone passes out.

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