Food Network Challenge is always a joy to watch. Generally it consists of four pastry chefs making cakes or sugar sculptures that capture the given theme. This week’s Challenge was “Horror Cakes,” since we’re so close to Halloween! The chefs were told to come up with an original horror story and make a cake that told that story. Our four chefs this week were Jorg Ansler, Marianne Carroll, Lauri Ditunno, and Michelle Garcia.
Jorg decided to make a cake called “The Chopper.” Basically it was a representation of the grim reaper set astride a motorcycle made of bones as he rides off to reap his souls. Jorg only had one mishap during his construction where the tank of the chopper cracked open, but he quickly recovered. He was very innovative with his chocolate and shading, but I can’t help but feel his idea was not very original.
Marianne came to Challenge with “The Massacre at Eddie’s Bake Shop.” The premise is that the chef ordered flour and got a cursed bag. His creations came alive and ate him. Honestly, I felt this was the best design, the chef and assistant worked excellently together, and the detail was fantastic. The judges (Kerry Vincent,Gunnar Hansen, and Patrick Coston) felt the cake was a tad too cartoonish, less scary. The chef and I completely disagreed with their ruling, but oh well.
Lauri’s premise was a wedding cake. The groom had left his previous fiance at the altar and was marrying again. The one side looked like a traditional wedding cake, except the roses bled raspberry syrup and when the cake was rotated, it showed the story of the new bride being murdered by the scorned woman. A white chocolate skeleton popped out of the top. The idea was rather lovely and the cake did tell the story it was meant to, but her cake had many technical difficulties. It leaned, the base was too small, and it threatened to topple several times.
Michelle made a cake called “Happy Birthday to Me.” The cake was made with the idea of a girl popping out of the cake, except the cake split down the middle and so did she. They made the outside of the cake look like stitched leather and did a realistic representation of a split human being. However, the guts on the girl were flat, not three dimensional and there was very little gore. The cake had issues with leaning since the cakes used were damaged during transportation. Michelle not feeling well during the construction didn’t help construction.
All in all it was a great competition. Jorg won the $10,000 and the gold medal for his work. I’ve seen Jorg compete before and this had to have been his best work yet, but I felt Marianne’s design was far more original and should have won.