Take one part "Chopped", one part "Top Chef
Just Desserts", and then throw in the original Chairman from "Iron
Chef", and you have... this. Four pastry chefs will play three rounds in
this sweet cookoff - using all of their skills, inspiration, and
creativity, they'll have to turn ingredients not just into delicious
desserts, but edible art. Whoever passes Ron Ben Israel's tests of
genius will earn $10,000 and the title of... Sweet Genius.
Today's four candy combatants...
Port Washington, NY
pastry chef/owner of Main Street Bakery
executive pastry chef/owner, Sweet
Staten Island, NY
pastry chef/owner, Pasticceria Bruno
pie baker, Baking with Bertha
There are three rounds: frozen, baked,
and chocolate. Each one will have mandatory ingredients and one
inspiration. These must be incorporated in order to be judge.
Round 1: FROZEN (40 minutes).
Your dish must incorporate cinnamon hot candies. The theme... darkness. And
that's not the only thing that Chef Ron may have in store for you.
Salvatore: Chocolate Gelato with Cinnamon Hot
Michael M: Passion Fruit Sorbet with Cinnamon Hot Sauce
Michael B: Ice Cream Pie with Cinnamon Semifreddo
Alina: Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Michael M will also add a honey shooter with
blackberry worms. Michael B decides to use lady fingers for crust. Alina...
needs to turn on her ice cream maker when...
Chef Ron adds another requirement... Rambutan, a
fruit native to southeast Asia. It is very delicate and has a high fruit
Alina has a rambutan sauce as well. Her dish is
refreshing and hot, and the ice cream was deep and intriguing. Michael M.
describes his dish as a trickery. His dish is not too sweet, but very fresh and
colorful. Michael B's semifreddo is tender... and bland. Salvatore thought about
Hell. It looks like a birthday dessert, but it's airy and exciting, with a rich
chocolate bottom. But not as dark.
The first chef to fail Chef Ron's test... MICHAEL
Round 2: BAKED (50 minutes).
Next test must feature champagne. The inspiration...
a Faberge egg. The famous Russian bejeweled egg with a surprise in the center.
Alina: Custard Tart with Champagne Sorbet
Michael M: Rosemary Financier with Champagne Gold Leaf Gelee
Salvatore: Puff Pastry with Eggnog Custard
But hold on... there's another
ingredient... Frozen waffles. Michael will use the waffle to make a pain
perdu, while Salvatore makes breakfast with maple syrup champagne. Alina
diamond cuts the waffle and toasts it.
Michael's dessert is a little rubbery,
and the financier was disappointing. The French toast is citrusy, and
the gelee is intoxicating. His champagne gelee pop is... childish.
Alina's sorbet is bubbly, while her waffle is chewy. Salvatore's dish is
a bit traditional. It's very attractive, but it doesn't say "luxury", it
says "homey". The deviled egg with champagne gelee is genius.
The next chef to head to the door is...
Round 3: CHOCOLATE (60 minutes).
Other than chocolate, you must also have... marrow bones. Its flavor tends to be
unctuous, fatty, and fruity. The inspiration... Sand.
We're one hour from a winner.
Michael M: Marrow Hot Dogs with Mint Butter Sauce
and Chocolate Mousse inside a Chocolate Cylinder
Alina: Chocolate Sand... and Bone Marrow Sand
And we have another twist... with coffee beans.
Alina's going to make more sand, while Michael
will go for a white chocolate mocha ice cream. Alina will add... Peanut butter
sand. That's a lot of sand, lady.
Alina used her bone as chocolate driftwood. The
chocolate coral is not successful. The bone marrow is meaty. The rest of the
dish makes him happy, as he finds it ingenious. Michael's dish does bring back
Coney Island... but where's the coffee?
Two different interpretations of sand, but only
one of them is Sweet Genius.
Today's Sweet Genius is... ALINA! She wins the
$10,000 on her take on chocolate and sand.
Let this be a lesson. Sometimes being a sweet
genius is about creating a memory. Hopefully this episode will leave a sweet
memory with you as well. Until next time...
extras from this episode, visit the
official website at