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

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

Custards and Meringues Week

The bakers faced the quarterfinals and a trio of difficult challenges. Each had different techniques involved, but all focused on either custards or meringues, unsurprisingly enough.

First up, the Signature Bake required each contestant to make 12 crèmes brûlées, and as this is French, the adjective has to agree as well, not that you’d really pronounce either s. Anyways, Johnny discussed the importance of baking everything correctly, because there are many ways that you could mess this custard up. Mary wanted well-balanced flavors with the caramel on top.

Signature Bake Results

Jennie’s Crème Brûlée. From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • StephanieMaple Fennel Crème Brûlée. Pass, even with the tough fennel flavor.
  • JennieApple Pie Crème Brûlée. Pass, with great usage of the apples and a pretty decoration.
  • AmandaMaple and Peanut Butter Crème Brûlée. Pass-ish, with air bubbles in her custard.
  • JeremiahChestnut Crème Brûlée. Fail, because he didn’t have a proper custard.

Then, for the Technical Challenge, Mary Berry countered Johnny’s truffles with her oeufs en neige, a French custard dessert that requires a poached meringue and crème anglaise. It literally translates to eggs in snow.

Pretty much everyone didn’t know how to interpret the direction to make a caramel spiral except the person who won the challenge. Yes, Mary made pointed this out loudly and often during the judging.

Technical Challenge Results

Mary’s oeufs en neige. From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • 4th: Jennie. Custard a bit too thick.
  • 3rd: Stephanie. Slightly thin custard, but a good poach.
  • 2nd: Amanda. Shapes inconsistent, but yummy.
  • 1st: Jeremiah. Had a perfect spiral and basically nailed it.

Going into the Showstopper Challenge, Mary and Johnny noted that the playing field was basically even, since those who had excelled in the Technical had messed up the Signature and vice versa.

For the Showstopper Challenge itself, each baker needed to make 24 petite pavlovas, with two distinct types of meringue and filling. Mary wanted everyone to balance out the sweetness of the meringue with the different fillings.

During the baking process, everyone did a lot of oven kneeling to check on their meringues, trying to ensure the soft center remained soft while getting a crispy outside as well. Everyone worried about shrinkage, and Amanda even broke out the champagne.

Okay, it was for an element of one of her pavlovas, but can you really blame her?

Showstopper Challenge Results

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

  • StephanieDark Chocolate Coffee and Strawberry Black Pepper Pavlovas. One had the correct soft middle, but the other didn’t. Oops.

Jennie’s pavlovas. From the Great American Baking Show. Image is a screengrab via ABC.

  • JennieChocolate Almond Butter and Rose Water Pistachio Pavlovas. Though she had some interesting flavor combinations, they worked for her.
  • AmandaRaspberry Chocolate and Coconut Lychee Pavlovas. She used raspberry flavoring, and yes, the judges noticed.
  • JeremiahChocolate Mandarin and Raspberry Rose Pavlovas. They were beautiful, but a little too crunchy, as in they had no marshmallow middle at all.

Ultimately, Jennie won Star Baker for the week. However, Jeremiah went home just shy of the semifinals. Three bakers remain.

On the next episode, the bakers will face patisserie challenges. However, we’ll have to wait until next year to see the semifinals.

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The Great American Baking Show airs Thursdays on ABC.