A double dose of Spring Baking Championship this week

Host Jesse Palmer, portrait, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9.
Host Jesse Palmer, portrait, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 9. /

Food Network gave us two episodes of Spring Baking Championship back to back this week. While spring was definitely in the air, the bakers were also put through the wringer in these two episodes.

Let's start with the Preheat in episode 3. This challenge was all about award shows, and the bakers had to make hand pies that looked like award show envelopes. They also had to include a specific berry. They had to pick from strawberry, goldenberry, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry.

While not all the hand pies looked great, they did all look absolutely delicious. What's better than a hand pie with berry jam coming out of it?? The judges did have a problem with a few of the bakers' flavors, but they mainly had issues with the decorations. But who won the preheat? It was Steven! His raspberry pistachio-filled hand pie was a huge hit with the judges.

On to the Main Heat! For this elimination challenge, the bakers had to team up to make a bubble cake. The flavors had to be cocktail-inspired, and in the teams of two, each baker had to make a cake that included one aspect of the specific cocktail they received.

Spring Baking Championship was back with two episodes this week

The teams consisted of Steven and Anna (Bellini), Rochelle and Alex (mimosa), Nicky and Robert (scarlet spritz), Kate and Sabrina (Kir royale), and Sandro and Zoe (Negroni Sbagliato).

This was not an easy challenge, but the teams worked shockingly well together. Well, except for Sandro and Zoe. They worked okay together, but most of their stuff was done separately and they didn't communicate well. And that ultimately showed when it came time for the judging. Their cake was leaning.

But what team came out on top? That was Alex and Rochelle! Their mimosa cake was a thing of beauty! It was fun and tasted just like a mimosa, according to the judges.

You can probably guess who went home. It was Sandro. The judges thought his cake had a weird texture and his white chocolate kind of melted into the cake.

Time for the second episode of the night! The remaining nine bakers started off episode 4 by making bug desserts. Yes, you read that right. They were given a color and a specific bug and then had to make a dessert that represented it.

The choices included an orange butterfly, a green caterpillar, a blue beetle, a purple butterfly, a red dragonfly, a pink mantis, red ladybug, and a yellow honeybee.

Most of these were more abstract (much to the judges' chagrin), but beyond a few outliers, they looked pretty cool. Some flavors worked and some didn't Pretty usual for the fourth episode of this kind of show. But, of course, there was a winner. Who was it? It was Alex! His pistachio-infested green caterpillar dessert blew the judges out of the water.

On to the Main Heat! For the final elimination challenge of the night, the bakers had to make a baked Alaska that was decorated to look like a specific outdoor setting on Earth. They were also given a flavor they had to highlight in their frozen concoction.

The location options included grasslands, frozen tundra, dessert, and mountains. The flavors ranged from pine nuts to cardamom to honey and sesame. To say the bakers were not thrilled about this challenge would be an understatement. A hot frozen dessert is nobody's best friend. And there were definitely a few issues.

But let's first talk about who won and what they made. The winner, to no one's surprise, was Steven! He has quickly become the standout among the bakers. He made a mountain-inspired baked Alaska and his featured ingredient was honey. Not only did he decorate his frozen creation well, but the judges loved how he incorporated burnt honey into his final product.

So who went home? The bottom two were Rochelle and Zoe. Both had severe issues with their meringue and Zoe's baked Alaska tasted more like pistachio than cardamom. And in the end, it was Zoe who went home. She was just in the bottom too many times.

Next week, the bakers will have to make doughnuts inspired by the Indian festival of Holi and then create elaborate elephant cakes.

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