Holiday Baking Championship: Yule love it!

Jesse Palmer posing with set details, as seen on Holiday Baking Championship, Season 6. photo provided by Food Network
Jesse Palmer posing with set details, as seen on Holiday Baking Championship, Season 6. photo provided by Food Network /

After the drama of last week’s Holiday Baking Championship Season 8 premiere where not one but two bakers were shown the door, you may think things have calmed down a bit. Not a chance. This week things got even hotter as a pair of challenges gave some a chance to shine while others floundered.

For the Pre-Heat, the bakers were paired into teams of two and then told to create a dessert using the combination of a spirit, a mixer and a flavor. The majority of the teams worked fairly well together with the one notable exception being Jose and Naomi. It wasn’t that they had any real issues but more like every time one of them had an idea the other shot it down.

So of course the pair ended up winning the Pre-Heat with their White Chocolate Panna Cotta. Maybe if the other pairs had bickered a bit they could have made it close but the judges were just blown away by the flavors and the presentation.

With the win that meant that Jose and Naomi both had an opportunity to win immunity next week if they could pull off a victory in the Main Heat. And they both seemed obsessed with getting that immunity as Jesse Palmer revealed that the next challenge was to make a Christmas classic, the Yule Log.

Which baker was sent home this week on Holiday Baking Championship?

For those who may not know, a Yule Log is essentially a Swiss Roll that has been covered in ganache (or frosting for those of us who are more old school) and made to look like a log. The bakers were given a flavor and one of four versions of Yule Log to make, with the styles being Classic, Modern, Birch and a set of three smaller Yule Logs.

As the winner of the Pre-Heat, Naomi and Jose could trade their flavor or style with another baker. In a bit of revenge, Jose traded his style of a Classic Yule Log for Adam’s Birch Log while Naomi traded for a coconut flavor she could use to make a Yule Log that would represent her home country of Kenya.

Things were going swimmingly for the majority of the bakers until Jesse announced the twist. The contestants had to add a small woodland creature to their Yule Log made out of marzipan. Marzipan is a baking confection made generally from sugar, honey, and almond meal. It is similar to fondant except it tastes a heck of a lot better.

Some of the bakers, such as Jody and Adam, embraced the idea and ran with it while others, such as Jose and Jennifer seemed a bit lost. Jose especially was not happy seeing as he comes from Puerto Rico, where there are no forests and ergo, no cute little forest creatures.

In the end the judges were amazed with Adam’s Vanilla Yule Log with Pistachio Mousse and Chocolate Buttercream. It seemed that Jose’s idea to switch styles only helped Adam and while his own Vanilla Chai Spice Yule Log with White Chocolate Mousse did impress, it didn’t impress quite enough and Adam came away the winner of the Main Heat.

The two bakers whose Logs didn’t measure up ended up being Jennifer and her Chocolate Yule Log with Chocolate Pretzel Whipped Cream and Pretzel Truffles as well as Naomi and her Coconut Sponge Yule Log with Macadamia Nut Cream.

After some deliberation, it was Naomi who was sent home. While Jennifer’s flavors and technique were not great, they were a home run compared to Naomi. Her Yule Logs were a mess that didn’t look very good and used questionable flavor profiles.

Nine bakers remain and the gap between the good and the average is starting to widen. Adam and Jose are definite contenders to win it all but there are a few who may still have a chance. Of course, the Adam/Jose rivalry is seemingly just getting started. Could Holiday Baking Championship have its own Jurgen/Giuseppe feud brewing? We shall see.

Next. Beat Bobby Flay: What happens to the series now?. dark

What do you think Guilty Eaters? Could Adam win Holiday Baking Championship? Did Naomi deserve to go home? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.