Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Top Chef:Just Desserts 11/10/10--"Ben and Sylvia's 61st"

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: everyone had to make sugar/chocolate flowers, for some reason, and then they had to make desserts for a tea party. That part was lame, especially since they decided no one could use chocolate. Zac won, as he had not planned on using chocolate anyway. Eric finally went home, although he’s pretty proud of himself for getting this far. (click for more)

Yigit claims to be physically and emotionally battered from yesterday, and he wants to be the first San Franciscan/gay winner, and whatever, dude. Morgan misses his son, and also apparently Danielle has joined Zac and Yigit in plotting against him, and whatever, dude.

Giant pile of Godiva chocolate boxes. And Gail, and Francois Payard. Francois, in addition to being tough and famous, also used to be Morgan’s boss. Today they have to tell their “life story” through Godiva chocolates. Make 4 chocolates that represent 4 milestones, including a moment you cherish above all others, or “your golden moment”. Winner will have a piece “inspired” by them produced for Godiva so they can sell it. Gee, I wonder if it will be called “Golden Moments”.

Zac claims it’s not all about him. He and Yigit also school us on how to make chocolates. Morgan talks about moving to Brazil and marrying a Brazilian woman, which didn’t work out. Danielle is making shapes. Yigit talks about his boyfriend, who looks exactly like him. Morgan talks about his son. Zac is making dark chocolate and pretzels for his parents. Danielle appears to be making marshmallows. Zac is like, offended by Danielle‘s truffles, except really old-school truffles are lumpy so what is the problem? Morgan can’t find piping bags, and when he asks for them, no one responds immediately. So he goes on a profanity-laden tirade in confessional because he thinks Zac is hiding them. Yigit cracks all his truffles so he has to make more last minute. Zac is also having problems. In the end, Yigit only has three truffles.

Zac: his four chocolates are one gold square (dark chocolate with pretzel and feuilletine for his parents), one chocolate square with a G on it (milk chocolate with peanut butter and wild blueberry for his childhood), a white chocolate cylinder (lemongrass, lime, and ginger, for his best friend), and a round truffle (green tea and lemon for another best friend). Francois says his white chocolate is flat. Feuilletine is a crispy pancake thing. Danielle: coconut ganache with pineapple jam (for family vacations), milk chocolate with roasted banana filling and a heart (for her niece), milk chocolate with caramel corn and peanuts, shaped like a baseball (for her dad), and almond and marshmallow with milk chocolate nougat (representing the start of her business). They are all old fashioned truffles, so they‘re all lumpy except for the baseball one, which the judges like. Morgan: round molded yellow truffle with passion fruit and milk chocolate (for pastry school), flat square with acai rose water jelly on top of bittersweet ganache (for his marriage), a sandwich looking one which is a mendiant with rocher filling (for Top Chef crushing his soul), and a bright green green tea and white chocolate ganache truffle (for his son). Yigit: a square truffle with a yellow square on top, with dark and milk chocolate ganache with apricot pate de fruit (for his move from Turkey), a round bonbon with coconut milk and chai tea (for a pastry chef who introduced him to Buddhism), and almond praline and caramelized honey ganache (for his boyfriend). Francois likes the praline but thinks the bonbon is sweet.

Yigit is told he can’t be judged because he didn’t finish. Zac’s chocolates are too sweet and the flavors aren’t bold enough. Danielle has good interesting flavors, and Morgan’s chocolates are pretty but the green tea one was too sweet. But Morgan still wins. Danielle is annoyed that Morgan has won several times and has a giant pile of money, but still tells the judges that Top Chef is crushing his soul. His Top Chef truffle, with the rocher filling, will be produced by Godiva.

Elimination challenge: in walks Ben. He says that he and his wife are celebrating their 61st anniversary. Awesome! He tells the story about how they met on the beach and he is super cute. The chefs must make them an anniversary cake. Winner gets $15,000. Jeez, they’re just throwing money around like it grows on trees or something. They’ll be judged on appearance as well as taste.

Shopping appears to not be at Albertson’s but at a restaurant supply store possibly? There are steel shelves and professional looking equipment. They have $200. Danielle continues to complain about Morgan and then declares herself the underdog. So I’m sure that will turn out well for her.

They have 10 hours to prep, and 2 hours tomorrow. Zac is very nervous. Gail shows up and says she wants them to spend time with Ben and his wife…who is Sylvia Weinstock. Everyone claps and pretends to be glad but secretly wets their pants. I mean…would you want to make a cake for Sylvia Weinstock? Jeez. She tells them she likes lemon but her husband likes chocolate, and for her wedding she wore a gray dress and carried pink roses. She mentions how sex is a wonderful thing and everyone is embarrassed. There is a story about “smooching under the piano”. They are so cute. Cute old people!

Morgan interviews that he would love to be rid of Zac because Zac will sabotage your stuff and turn your oven off when you‘re not looking. Meanwhile Morgan is hogging one of the mixers for no reason. Zac wants to make two cakes with passion fruit ice cream. Danielle whispers to us that he keeps asking Yigit’s opinion about everything.

Johnny tries to look professional today in a chef’s jacket. Zac is trying to be professional with no glitter. Morgan is trying to learn from the last time he made a cake for Sylvia. Yigit is trying to go classic and simple, sort of. As simple as Yigit can get. Danielle is only making one cake.

Zac has a base done, but it looks bad and he doesn’t have time to do it over. It’s a weird blue. Morgan is hording the piping bags, because of yesterday. Danielle pretends no one else hordes stuff, which we all know is not true, and anyway they all know he has them so who cares? Danielle rolls her eyes. Yigit bubble wraps his cake, and says he has plenty of time to assemble it tomorrow. He’s concerned about his texture, because his cake is already baked. Isn’t everyone’s cake already baked? Most wedding cakes are baked several days in advance. I think it will be fine.

In the morning they end up at the house where the party is and everyone sets up. Morgan takes 30 minutes of his 2 hours and then sits around. Yigit snobs that Morgan’s cake is “too simple for me”. Zac giggles maniacally about his blue cake. He has added glitter.

The guests show up and I guess hang around and ask the chefs about the meanings behind the cakes. Morgan: three tiered cake in white buttercream, with a white shell border between the tiers and little polka dots. On top there is a piano filled with pink roses. It’s very simple but fairly elegant. Top tier: lemon sponge and raspberry panna cotta. Bottom tier: dark chocolate sponge with ganache. No word on what the middle tier is. Also on the piano there is a yellow bikini which refers back to when they met. I like the details. The judges like the textures of the cake also.

Danielle: three tiered round cake, in a dark gray. It’s not quite charcoal yet, more like a slate. There are pink roses here and there, and black and white rectangles in a spiral up around the cake for piano keys. She also made a monogram in gold. I don’t know if I like the piano keys, and the color might be too dark. Chocolate cake with sour cherry compote and Greek yogurt ice cream. The number of roses corresponds to the number of kids and grandkids. It’s very moist and delicious, but maybe battleship gray is not the best color. Johnny tries to make some joke but ends up implying Sylvia is a battleship.

Zac: another three tiered round cake, but that is where the similarities end. It is bright blue, for the ocean, with “sand” and glitter and brittle around the bottom, and white chocolate shards that I guess are coral. It’s very Zac and not very Sylvia. Around the middle tier there is a row of black and white coins. Top tier: dark chocolate and fresh raspberry. Bottom tier: lemon sponge and raspberry jam, with passion fruit ice cream to tie the tiers together. Zac knows his presentation is not that great. Sylvia wants it to be more elegant. But it would make a great bar mitzvah cake! Hee. His chocolate cake tastes almost burnt.

Yigit: I think Yigit has 5 tiers. It’s all in a light yellow, and the 2nd and 4th tiers have black and white rectangles for piano keys. On the top of the cake are pink flower petals (more like pink shards but it works). It’s very cheerful. Top tier: almond cake with chocolate mousse. Bottom tier: sponge cake with lemon cream. He has some trouble cutting into his cake. It kind of falls apart. Uh oh. There is also crème fraiche sorbet. There are too many layers and it doesn’t work. Danielle thinks the judges will only take today’s food into consideration. Right. Zac is bored by Morgan.

Commercial interlude: Morgan makes sure to be the last person out of the loft in the morning, I guess because he’s superstitious.

In the Stew Room Morgan rambles about the competitions. Everyone gets to see the judges. Danielle’s cake was imaginative with the piano keys, and moist. However, gray is not terribly appetizing. Yigit over thought his cake, but he did flavor his buttercream which was nice. His cake looked very elegant, but the pate de fruit in his bottom layer didn’t work at all. That’s why it fell apart. Morgan went simple, but the panna cotta needed acidity. The chocolate cake was dry too. The shell border was uneven and you could see the edges of the tiers between the shells. Ouch. Zac flailed and he knows it. However his cake was moist. Johnny wishes it was more mature in terms of décor. Zac tries to defend himself by saying he gets excited about being here and some people play it safe and that upsets him. However, to his credit, he does actually name Morgan instead of just saying “Well, I don’t want to get into it”. It bothers him that Morgan doesn’t seem to care about winning anything. Morgan says it’s not his character to “jump up and down and flail and sing show tunes”. Then he says that he would rather remain composed instead of “freaking out like a little girl”. Morgan, you aren’t helping your case any.

Back in the Stew Room Zac says something like “it’s personality, it’s not personal”. WTF does that even mean? Personality IS personal. Anyway. Judging. Zac executed the best he could, but it tasted good. Morgan kept it simple, but when you go that simple it has to be perfect. Morgan was not simple. They harp on Danielle’s color again. Hubert says that Yigit made his cake outside, with Zac’s cake inside. It’s too muddled and had problems.

Johnny says they’re all proud of everyone. The winner is Danielle! Well played, editors. I thought she was going to fail. Morgan played it safe, Zac put too much Zac into his cake, and Yigit needs restraint. Zac is eliminated. He says he’s not surprised to be eliminated as he made a Cake Wreck. Hee! He still whines that the judges didn’t bring up Morgan’s rubbery cake. He claims to have loved all the twists and to be invigorated and whatever.

Next week: finale time, some messes, something is incredible, a lot of yelling.

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