Episode four... we walk in and Jesse comes bursting through a door with wine bottles telling us he's come to the party and hey where are the desserts we were supposed to make??? Huh???
We have no idea what he is up to and then he pulls a box on a table up revealing several boxes of yellow cake mix. Crap, I'm thinking I never use mixes. Then he explains that we are to make anything other than a cake with this mix.
Racking my brain as we walk around looking at ingredients, I see canned pumpkin and I remember Cliff's amazing pumpkin spice cookies that she was embarrassed to tell me were just a box of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. I can do that! I need another cookie or something else.... Those cookies are very cakey and so I think if I put an egg in the mix and some cocoa powder, red food color I can make a red velvet cookies... orange and red nice fall colors. I add chocolate chips and white chips to the red velvet cookies...but I need more.
We have an ice cream store downtown that has fun flavors and one day I saw a poster on their window for birthday cake ice cream. My friend mentions that she read it was just cake mix and ice cream base. I begin thinking that cake mix is, sugar, flour, leavening, and flavor. If I do not add too much of the mix to the cream it can work. So I just use cream, milk, and a cup of cake mix and put it in the ice cream freezer. It comes out creamy smooth and tastes like cake mix. I decide I want to give it a complementary flavor. So I cook pecans in butter for a butter pecan cake mix ice cream. I turn it into a sundae so the cookies compliment the ice cream.
The cookies got mixed reviews, Lorraine loved the red velvet, Duff thought I should have put chocolate chips in the pumpkin (good point), and Nancy loved the ice cream and so did Lorraine... but Duff... not so much. He just didn't get the idea of how cake mix could turn into ice cream without having a floury taste. We did this cute back and forth banter about it and finally he says, "I just don't know if it would be any different without the cake mix." DUFF! the cake mix has the sugar and the flavorings, without it you would have been eating frozen cream. Thats all! Lorraine said "Stephany was really thinking out of the cake box!" And what you didn't see was Nancy standing up for me and telling Duff he is crazy I really did something special with the cake mix! Thanks, Nancy!
Ian wins this round with his amazingly delicious caramelized apple crepes with bacon! Nancy tells him she is going to buy cake mix for her pancakes from now on!!
His advantage is he gets a head start on the next challenge. 10 minutes. The challenge is we have to run up to a table filled with classic desserts that are not holiday and make them a holiday dessert.
I see coconut cream pie, Summer fruit trifle, Fresh fruit tart, strawberry shortcake, banana pudding, and birthday cake.
Ian picks first and he gets coconut cream pie...the rest of us are breathing a sigh of relief since none of us wanted that one... I am thinking strawberry shortcake, or fruit tart would be the best for me... Birthday cake would be easy to transform but we only have 80 minutes and that is just too tight.
It's time for us to go and I run to my table open the envelope and I got strawberry shortcake!
I made cranberry orange scones with strawberries macerated in ginger juice. Fresh whipped cream with a mascarpone cream on the side to look like a tree and then cranberry compote on the other side.
Then comes the twist...fresh cherries with pits! I immediately think these can go into the compote and compliment my dish.
I add a cinnamon stick to keep it in the Christmas theme.
I make snowman shaped scones with cranberry buttons. The plate looks ok but it really needs some pizazz. So I melt some chocolate to write on the plate... I decided to write Jingle Bells since that hasn't been done yet. Dang it, I do not like the look of the chocolate on the plate. I run to the shelves and grab red sugar crystals pour them over the wet chocolate and shake off the excess and it looks great! Wooo hooo! I got his one! I hope. I never know what Josh is going to come up with... he is so creative and clever!!
Josh got the birthday cake and as I glance his way I do not see him doing too much decorating. He is mostly concentrating on getting the icing on evenly... the cake looks like it is still warm. I may have a chance at this one...
My turn for the judges...They love it... especially the writing and the compote. Duff said he, "got nothing" on the ginger in the berries... sigh... but they thought the flavor combo was delicious and the design was perfect.
No advantage, just bragging rights but thats ok with me!