Top Chef Just Desserts: Make a Splash

This weeks episode of Top Chef Just Desserts took me back to my childhood!  Between the quickfire and the elimination challenges the show had me wishing I was a kid again.  Speaking of young, everyone was complaining about Katzie again being too immature.  Even though they tend to make some mistakes, I think the older chefs are just jealous they got such a great opportunity at such a young age.  Plus, Katzie has something up her sleeve for the elimination challenge.

For the quickfire the chefs had to create their own candy bar, name it, and package it.  So much fun!  During the challenge disaster strikes Rebecca (as if cooking with one arm in a cast wasn’t enough).  Trying to do too many things with one hand she spills her candy bars all over the floor.  Much to everyones surprise Orlando comes to her rescue and decides to be nice for once.  He helped her get together a last minute candy bar so she had something to present to the judges.  They threw together a candy bar she called “Fruit on the Bottom” that consisted of granola, panna cotta, and orange marmalade all covered in white chocolate.  While the judges were tasting all of the candy bars Rebecca was one of the few chefs who got a complement and ending up being one of the favorites.  Orlando did not look happy about that, which makes me wonder if he was genuinely being nice or if he really was trying to sabotage her. Hmmmmm. Matthew’s candy bar did not look very appetizing,  it looked a little too much like a pile of you know what.  In the end, Sally won immunity with her “Who’s It?” bar, which was black forbidden rice, cocoa nibs, and Ovaltine all covered in milk chocolate ganache.  She definitely knew the guest judge, Pichet Ong, and made exactly what he likes.

The elimination challenge this week took place at a water park called, Raging Waters. The chefs had to create a summer treat that was easy to eat at a water park and helped their customers beat the heat.  The chefs had 4 1/2 hours to prep their desserts in the Top Chef Kitchen and those 4 1/2 hours turned into a battle royale.  Everyone needed to use the ice cream machine and the blue team, which consisted of Amanda, Carlos, and Sally, was hogging it.  Then there was a fight over the liquid nitrogen, but they finally got everything worked out and took turns like adults.  Katzie’s lack of experience got the best of her when she forgot to properly close the ice cream machine and her hot pink liquid spilled all over the floor right in front of Johnny.  Embarrassing!

Ready to present their dishes to the judges at Raging Waters the cheftestants were split up into 3 teams.  The orange team consisted of Chris, Orlando, and Matthew.  Chris served a passion mixer with passion fruit sorbet and he also included an ice luge!  The ice luge was the highlight of the orange team’s dishes…I wonder if it melted by the end of the day. Next was Orlando with his take on a root beer float?  It didn’t turn out to be anything like a root beer float and the judges really seemed to hate everything about it.  Last up was Matthew.  For some reason Matthew waited to get his hot strawberries ready for the judges until the other two chefs served their dishes.  So the judges had to wait and wait and wait a little more. Then he served a strawberry shortcake, which would have been good in theory, but he served it hot… on a scorching day in the middle of summer. Bad choice!

The green team was made up of Katzie, Rebecca, and Megan.  Katzie served her version of baked Alaska with a spumoni twist.  This really won over Johnny, apparently he is obsessed with spumoni!  Rebecca served a lemon snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich.  Wow!  Since I can’t taste the desserts and can only judge on looks alone, I definitely pick Rebecca as the winner.  Her dessert looked and sounded amazing.  It was so cute all wrapped up and cut in half.  It would definitely be an easy dessert to run through a water park and eat at the same time.  Finally, Megan served a strawberry soda float, which I think was beat out by the other two desserts on her team.

The blue team had a hard time in this challenge.  Carlos started off by serving a captain crunch popsicle (cereal again!).  The judges were not fans because it was too sweet and not refreshing at all.  I don’t blame them. Next up, Sally served a simple berry smoothie (luckily she had immunity).  I must reiterate the same question Johnny asked her… What was she doing for the 6 hours they were given?  I make a smoothie every morning in 5 minutes.  Waiting patiently in the wings was Amanda with her funnel cake with pineapple jam and coconut sorbet.  The funnel cake sat too long and was hard and crunchy by the time it was served to the judges.

Johnny had a ton of mean comments for all of the chefs except for the green team.  The green team was definitely the top team and Katzie was picked as the winner with her Baked Alaska with a Spumoni Twist.  I think Johnny had a lot to do with that decision since he kept commenting on how much he loves spumoni.  Unfortunately, because of her patience and letting the other chefs present to the judges first, Amanda was sent  home for her hard and crunchy funnel cake.

Next week:  The cheftestants will be creating dishes made from the Beastie Boys pantry – mainly canned foods and beer.

If you didn’t read in our post about theme park food, I looove funnel cakes!  So when Amanda went home for her bad funnel cake I had to try my hand at a homemade funnel cake.  Here is our Top Chef Just Desserts inspired coconut oil recipes this week:

Mini Funnel Cakes

Recipe adapted from this one


14 oz Kelapo Coconut Oil (for frying)

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Your favorite funnel cake toppings (I used sliced bananas, melted caramel, and powdered sugar)


1. In a small pot heat coconut oil to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl beat together milk and eggs.  Then mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the toppings.

3. Get a funnel, squirt bottle, or piping bag and pour about 1/4 cup of the batter in while covering the hole with your finger.  Swirl the batter into the hot coconut oil.  Fry on both sides until golden brown.

4. Drain funnel cake and cover with your favorite toppings.

I know this dessert might not have been the judges favorite in a water park on a scorching hot day, but I couldn’t resist.  I ate every last bite.  And these funnel cakes didn’t get hard and crunchy after posing for pictures.  Enjoy!


– JR

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