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Twelve pastry chefs fight it out to see who's the best and who's... just desserts

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Gail Simmons
Judges Johnny Iuzzini
Hubert Keller
Danielle Kyrillos
Creators Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz (based upon "Top Chef")
EP Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz
Casey Kriley
Fred Pichel
Andrew Cohen
Dave Serwatka
Packager Magical Elves for Bravo
Origins Los Angeles
Web www.bravotv.com/topchef  
Airs 10p Wed, Bravo

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Mr. Chocolate
September 15

"Top Chef", an already sweet little number from the folks at Bravo, just got a little sweeter, as pastry chefs from across the country play the game with cakes pies, tarts, and today... chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. At the end of the ride, an even sweeter deal: a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, a 2011 Buick Regal, $100,000 from Godiva Chocolatier, and the title of... "Top Chef: Just Desserts".

Let's meet the combatants!

- Malika Ameen, 35, Chicago
- Seth Caro, 34, Chappaqua, NY
- Heather Chittum, 37, Brooklyn, NY
- Erika Davis, 40, Tamms, IL
- Heather Hurlbert, 40, Seoul, South Korea
- Danielle Keene, 29, Los Angeles
- Tim Nugent, 41, Alburgh, VT
- Tania Peterson, 39, Cambridge, MA
- Yigit Pura, 29, Ankara, Turkey
- Morgan Wilson, 37, Sonora, CA
- Eric Wolitzky, 38, Rochester, NY
- Zac Young, 27, Portland, ME

Judging the creations will be acclaimed pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, Top Chef Masters finalist Hubert Keller, and food and lifestyle columnist Danielle Kyrillos.

Like "Top Chef", the rounds are split into two: the Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge.


Create a signature dessert. The winner gets immunity from elimination. You have 30 to shop, 90 to cook. And check your recipe books at the door. They're not allowed.

And because this is "Top Chef", it's NEVER as easy as that. Gail and Johnny want you to transform your signature dish into... a cupcake. You have 75 minutes left... GO!

Tania - Chicory Mousse Cupcake with Mesquite Flour & Creme Fraiche Caramel
Heather C - Carrot Cupcake, Creme Fraiche Cream Cheese Icing & Fried Carrots
Zac - Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Lemon Curd & Blood Orange Marshmallow
Danielle- Chocolate Cupcake with Mint Chip Filling & Toasted Meringue
Eric - Devil's Food Cupcake with Buttermilk & Coffee
Tim - Pistachio Semifreddo
Seth - Steamed Malaysian Coconut Cake with Basil Buttercream & Candied Pine Nuts
Morgan - Dark Chocolate Souffle Cupcake, Supreme of Tangerine & Caramel Buttercream
Malika - a whole lot of nothing.

Least favorites were Malika, Tim, and Zac. Best of the best were Seth, Tania, and Heather C. The winner.... SETH.


The chefs are going to work with chocolate. And lots of it. It can be very temperamental, but if you create the most luxurious chocolate dessert ever, it may prove to be very profitable. You have to impress a room of 50 chocoholics, including Mr. Chocolate himself, Chef Jacques Torres. You'll have four hours to cook in the kitchen and one to serve in the dining room.

One of the major issues with the chefs is the ovens. Seth is coming into this with immunity, so you expect him to take it easy... he isn't.

Tania's dish is turning into a chocolate hummus, which is totally NOT what she wanted. She's hoping that she can get on with taste alone.

The tasters and the judges arrive... and so does the chocolate.

Morgan - Chocolate Fried Pie with Milk Chocolate Bourbon Flan
Heather C - Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with a Mini Whoopie Pie
Eric - Spiced Brownie with Ancho Chile, Ginger & Cinnamon
Heather H - Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce
Zac - Chocolate Fondant Brownie Sundae
Tania - Flourless Chocolate Torte with Earl Grey & White Chocolate Mousse
Danielle - Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Brittle
Seth - Madras Curry & Chocolate Palette with Raspberry Gelee
Yigit - Flourless Chocolate Genoise with Custardless Ice Cream
Tim  Chocolate Cake with Ganache & White Chocolate Cream
Malika - Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Cake with Braised Cherries & Nougatine
Erika - Chocolate Caramel Banana Crunch Bar

Seth, Heather H, and Zac are called to the Judges Table. All three... are the TOP THREE in this challenge! The winner, the one who embraced the chocolate decadence.... HEATHER H! She's charged with calling back three of her colleagues... Danielle, Tania, and Morgan.

These... are the bottom three. Danielle's dessert was impossible to eat, and using a freeform idea made it explode onto the plate (and not in the good way). Tania's mousse had a very gritty texture. The judges really liked the chocolate layer and wanted more of that. Morgan did notice that his flan separated. And helping it out just added to the jarring contrast.

Morgan's biggest problem was himself. He spread himself too thin. Tania had plenty of time to remake a broken mousse. Danielle was a bit defensive with her dessert.

Morgan has the technique. Danielle needed to take some time about construction. Tania didn't correct her errors.

First out the door in "Top Chef: Just Desserts"... TANIA. Please pack your tools and go.

Things are just starting to heat up in the TCJD kitchen. Come back for another helping next time.

To see this episode in its entirety, or to get recipes from this episode, go to www.bravotv.com/topchef.