Let’s start with episode 5! For the Preheat challenge, the bakers were put in pairs and had to make a tart mosaic that looked like a holiday design. The teams were Justine and Josh who made a star tart mosaic, Kevin and Javier who made a snowman-shaped tart mosaic, Sherrod and Thoa who created a poinsettia mosaic, and Ashley and Greg who created a Santa hat mosaic.
There were a few mistakes in this challenge. Justine and Josh had serious issues with their tempered chocolate while Sherrod and Thoa had an issue or two with flavors. What team came out on top and got the advantage? It was Kevin and Javier! Considering how skilled these two are, this wasn’t too much of a surprise.
On to the Elimination Challenge! The bakers had to make double-barrel wrapping paper cakes. This is a cake that looks like a roll of wrapping paper due to the outside decoration and because of how tall it is. But that wasn’t all. The bakers were also assigned a certain flavor they had to use.
Holiday Baking Championship aired two episodes this week
Thoa got hot cocoa, Justine picked gingerbread, Greg chose applesauce, Ashley picked coconut, Kevin got five spice, Sherrod chose espresso, Josh picked pistachio, and Javier chose blood orange.
There was also a twist where the bakers had to make a gift tag cookie for their cake as well.
The biggest drama during this challenge was Josh pretty much catching his station on fire, Greg making a mess of his fondant, and Sherrod not making his chocolate collar big enough.
As for the judging, it was just Carla and Nancy because Duff was sick. They definitely had issues with a few aesthetic things, but their big problems were with Greg’s cake design and apple flavor, and the lack of coconut flavor in Ashley’s cake.
But who came out on top? It was Javier!
As you can probably guess, Greg and Ashley were in the bottom two, and unfortunately, Greg was the one to go home.
On to episode 6! The episode started off with Nancy making and serving latkes to the bakers (Duff was still gone). There is something so wonderful to me about the fact that two of the judges on a holiday show are Jewish or at least celebrate with Jewish traditions. It reminds me of the fact that many of the most popular Christmas songs are written by Jewish composers.
For the Preheat, the bakers had to make a dessert using some form of potato, a fried element, and had to include sour cream or applesauce and decorate for Hanukkah. This challenge threw the bakers for a loop, but most of them used sweet potatoes.
The biggest issue was Sherrod’s donuts which pretty much turned into biscuits when he added potato flour into them. The judges were not impressed. They also weren’t impressed with Ashley consistently making cakes. They made sure to note that they wanted something different.
It was Josh who took the top spot with his cream puff latke sandwich, which the judges shockingly loved!
Now for the Elimination Challenge! This time, the bakers had to make holiday bars that looked like letterboards with a holiday message. They could use whatever flavors they wanted, but the twist? Josh got to pick the flavor that everyone had to use in their bars, and he chose egg nog. It didn’t have to be the primary flavor, but it had to be there.
Justine had MAJOR issues with this challenge. The sides of her bars completely fell off in the oven. Somehow, she made it look semi-presentable, but the judges didn’t seem to care too much because of how good it tasted.
Josh also had some pretty serious issues with his bars as well. They were too warm when he put his egg nog cream and white chocolate on, and everything melted. Instead, he made a chocolate plaque to put on top, but the judges weren’t too impressed. He also forgot the sugar in his egg nog cream.
The winner of this episode was Javier! His bars were chocolate and peanut butter with egg nog buttercream. YUM!
And who went home? The bottom two were Ashley and Josh, and even though he won the Preheat, Josh was the one to go home.
Based on the tearful goodbye, all the bakers really bonded with Josh. He was a joy to watch on each episode.
Next week, it’s the semifinals already, and the bakers will have to make Kwanzaa plantain desserts, edible ornaments, and puff pastry pull-apart Christmas trees.