The Great American Baking Show Season 2 Episodes 5 and 6 Recap: Chocolate, Custards, and Meringues

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THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW – “Chocolate Week” – Only five bakers remain in the tent this week on “The Great American Baking Show” when served with new challenges of working with some of America’s favorite sweet treats – chocolate, custard and meringue! With more challenges and eliminations ahead, these remaining bakers will try and wow the judges with their sweet creations, on “The Great American Baking Show, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Mark Bourdillion)

On this week of The Great American Baking Show, the bakers faced down a series of chocolate challenges before taking on custards and meringues.

The Great American Baking Show apparently aimed to inspire people to get their holiday baking done by airing another pair of episodes tonight. More bakers went home, Mary learned more about American sweets, and there were many showstoppers. Let’s recap.

Jeremiah started the episode out by pointedly informing us that judge Johnny Iuzzini is a chocolate expert. In other words, the judges turned up the heat a little bit this week.

To start with the Signature Bake, everyone had to make 12 miniature molten lava cakes, which have a gooey center that oozes out when cut. Mary kept her focus on the sponge. Meanwhile, Johnny gave us a baking tip. There are two ways to make that center ooze: a frozen center or underbaking the center. Everyone had two hours.

Stephanie’s Earl Grey Salted Caramel Lava Cakes on the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

Signature Bake Results

  • JennieHazelnut Chocolate Lava Cakes. Pass. “Clever girl,” said Mary, warming my heart with an unintentional Jurassic Park reference.
  • JeremiahKeffir Lime and Coconut Lava Cakes: Fail. Nearly had a flour emergency, and the coconut was lacking.
  • AmandaHot Chocolate Lava Cakes. Pass-ish. Interesting combination of flavors, but a distinct lack of ooze.
  • StephanieEarl Grey Salted Caramel Lava Cakes. Pass-ish. Nice flavor, but overbaked and underbaked a couple of her cakes.
  • PrachiSalted Caramel Lava Cakes. Pass. Though she nearly didn’t get everything plated correctly, had great flavors.

For the Technical Challenge, Johnny again mentioned that he’s a chocolate expert before tasking bakers with his truffle recipes. Bakers had to make 25 truffles with two separate ganaches: a hazelnut coffee white chocolate ganache and a banana coconut rum ganache. The bakers had to flambé some bananas, which involved some extra fire aside from tempering the chocolate.

Johnny’s truffles from the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

Technical Challenge Results

  • 5th: Jennie. She didn’t temper her chocolate correctly.
  • 4th: Prachi. Her white chocolate truffles were obnoxiously large.
  • 3rd: Jeremiah. Only had one shiny type of truffle, but good flavors.
  • 2nd: Stephanie. Good-shine, well-flavored.
  • 1st: Amanda. “A joy to eat,” per Mary, even though she forgot decoration on one kind of truffle.

In the pre-Showstopper judges’ roundtable, Johnny and Mary named Amanda and Stephanie their frontrunners. The other three bakers still had something to prove.

For the Showstopper, each baker had to make a naked mousse cake. They needed to have two distinct flavors of mousse, layer them on top of each other, and then have a baked sponge base. Additionally, they needed to make chocolate decorations. Mary once again told us about the importance of a good sponge (almost as important as not having a soggy bottom, one would suspect). Johnny emphasized the need for light and fluffy mousse.

When doing their consults with each baker, Stephanie mentioned that she would make three separate types of mousse, above and beyond the call of duty. Johnny’s face looked like this while he listened to her talk through her plans.

Johnny Iuzzini, judging you. From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

That is not the face of confidence. Anyways, everyone made sure to cool their cakes and set their mousses, lest they have a collapse somewhere.

Showstopper Challenge Results

From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • Stephanie: Blackberry, Coffee, & Pistachio Mousse Cake. Her mousse needed more gelatin but good on the whole.

Jeremiah’s mousse cake from the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • JeremiahChocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake. Well-set, but a little too sharp in flavor.
  • AmandaHazelnut Espresso and Chocolate Mousse Cake. “Breathtaking to look at,” per Mary.
  • JennieSpiked Latte Mousse Cake. “A bit low” in terms of height but good flavors.

Prachi’s mousse cake. From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • PrachiFig and Chocolate Mousse Cake. Pretty decorations, but the middle mousse was dense. 

Ultimately, the judges decided to give Amanda the Star Baker award for the second week in a row, while Prachi went home.

Rather than make us wait a week, we got the next episode right away. Let’s continue the recap…on the next page.