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Hottest Home Baker – A finale and a rant…

June 15, 2012

I don’t know where to start!

 I am sad to see that Esme lost, but happy for Emily that she won. I’m sad that the series is over but happy to resume blogging as normal!

They both quipped last night that baking is how they show love and I adore them both for that.

 I’ve made no secret that I was TEAM ESME from very early on. She is a strong vibrant woman, who was honest and funny and endearing. She has mad skills and you could just tell she has spent many many hours in the kitchen. Esme had 85% percent of the vote in the TV3 poll last night, and backlash on facebook, twitter, the trade me message boards and fan pages shows that viewers were rooting for an Esme win.

 But, TV is made for TV. It’s about drama, chaos and getting people talking. 90% of the filming is left on the cutting room floor. Judges decisions are final. And we all need to put our big girl pants on and not throw too much of a hissy fit. I was really sad to se how many sore losers there were hiding behind their keyboards last night. A facebook page was set up calling for the boycott of Chelsea products and had defaced a picture of Emily. THAT IS SO NOT OK. Made my blood boil.

 Every viewer is entitled to an opinion but please, let’s be adults? Yes I think Esme should have won, but I do not think the horrible comments put forward by cyberspace cowards are OK.

 Emily, I hope you do not take single negative comment to heart. Congratulations on your win, you have an exciting time ahead.

 Rant over. 

Bakermelz

Chelsea New Zealands Hottest Home Baker – Season 3, Episode 7

June 10, 2012

OH MY LORD. Such sweet drama tonight!

Starting with a Jam Off of sorts in the mini challenge, I would have been hard pressed to identify any of the fruit in that bowl. I would have been tempted to use the Black Boy Peaches as a base and then throw in a bit of everything – ‘Tropical Jam’ anyone? But I’m sure those judges would not have let it fly.

Chelsea’s Jam Setting Sugar was the star of the mini challenge tonight, not just because there were more promotional shots than I could count but because it has added pectin, which is something a lot of those tropical fruits were in need of.

Pectin is a “structural heteropolysaccharide” (thanks Wikipedia, don’t I sound smart) found in the pith and skins of fruit. Basically it is what makes jam set, and so the higher the pectin content of your fruit, the better jam it makes. But some fruits have a very low pectin amount-count-percentage (trying to sound smart is failing)… i.e citrus fruit for the pectin win but apples not so much.  You can absolutely make jam with normal sugar. I’m not preaching the Chelsea gospel here (even if they did send me a box a fabulous products I’ll blog about later – THANK YOU)… BUT I’d really recommend a quick google about the pectin content of your chosen fruits before jamming out. Let my watery dribbly never setting strawberry jam attempt be a warning for you all.

Earlier this year I entered the Wellington Jam Off 2012 and my Bacon Jam made it through to the top 5. You can read about my experience and the recipe for the Jam here.

On to the major challenge! And boy, I felt like a lie down and a cuppa just watching those ladies! I can’t imagine the stamina it must take to just keep going in a challenge like that. I did notice tonight the amount of standing mixer bowls they have on set, and spotted an over flow of dishes on the floor next to Esme’s counter. I know Dean is always harping on about keeping clean but I’d like to see him keep a clear bench and get his dishes done through a challenge like this one.

The rolling challenge was a great way to test the skills they keep reinforcing that Chelsea New Zealand’s next Hottest Home Baker needs but I felt that the nature of tonight’s challenge didn’t leave much room for the innovation they keep mentioning as a core competency too. In the final episode I’d love to see some amazing original recipes.

Thinking back on previous seasons, I notice that this season doesn’t seem to have the same presentation focus as last year. I remember platters and glitter and pretty tea towels being brought from contestants homes last year – it made for some great pictures in the cookbook that followed the show.

Anyway, I’ve gone off track… back to the main challenge.

I’ve never made a swiss roll in my life, and it seemed that there was some trouble with the Edmonds recipe tonight. Both Alice & Esme used it and both had a bit of a fail. Emily’s winning swiss roll recipe is up on the TV3 site here, I am planning to give it a crack myself. Such a traditional dish that I’ve never given a thought to making myself and now it seems like a good wee challenge.

Tonight’s quote of the night was definitely a tie. Firstly is Collins line “I’m not the only exotic fruit in the kitchen” and then Alice’s parting words to Esme. They seem to have caused quite a stir and potentially some unfair comments from viewers. Alice has a fabulous blog herself now and addressed that last line with the following:

“One last thing… by turning to Esme and saying she was ‘Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker’, I wasn’t insulting Emily or her effort that day – she deserved that win. I truly believe that Esme is the best baker out of everyone on the show. and if it had been her and I in the final, I still would’ve thought that (and picked her to win!). Esme is her own biggest critic and during the course of the show has shown some total undeserved self-doubt. I wanted her to know I believed in her and that she had the skills to win and the talent to shine in the final. It was my final pep talk to her!”

This season certainly has had more drama than those in the past! And they have set up the final episode to be a pretty sweet battle. I’ve said it before, I’m rooting for Esme but Emily really impressed tonight. So cool and calm and some really great baking – I’m hoping they will publish her jam recipes.

I’m all ready for the final episode and will be sad to see the series end! But glad to get back to my own baking – blogging about which has been lacking off late. I’ve loved writing about the show, and thanks to all my new readers I hope you stick around.

Don’t forget to let me know what you thought of this episode!

P.S has anyone else noticed the awesome pull out cabinets they have on set? The tall ones full of the cake tins etc? I’d LOVE one of those in my kitchen. I’m forever digging forgotten tins and pans out of dusty deep cupboard corners.

Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker – Season 3, Episode 6

June 10, 2012

Alrighty episode six! This one had me on the edge of seat and potentially had the highest number of yelling at the TV incidents this season so far.

Cake decorating is my most favourite hobby BUT it is also the most frustrating, expensive and stressful hobby. I remember the first time I tried to roll fondant onto a cake. I had ideas of complete grandeur. I was going to be a wedding cake designer for sure. Oh lordy lordy how wrong I was! The professionals just make it look so easy don’t they?

Decorating is my favourite bit of baking and I was SO excited to see a wedding cake episode.

My heart sunk when the twist was revealed. NO TOUCHING! NO HELPING! Your husband/partner/brother must do all the decorating themselves. Oh shit balls. Oh shit! My heart was bleeding for them thinking – THIS isn’t fair! It is their skills that got them here! and now there partners might ruin it for them…

Being such a fan of decorating I was actually a bit miffed the helpers were going to do the decorating, I really wanted to see the contestants in action. And how on earth could they judge it based on a complete newbies attempt?

As we saw at elimination – the judges decisions were more based on the quality of the cake, which makes sense. I could tell some of the helpers would never have forgiven themselves if they had caused the loss. It must have been so stressful for the helpers to be a part of the show, and my quote goes to one of them (can you remember who?) for the line “we come in with a twist and I failed her”. Heart strings had a good ole tug.

Sad to see Hamish go this week, I really loved his design and it was great thinking out side of the traditional cake box.

Again, Esme took this episode out! Woop! I could not get over just how calm and attentive her husband Emani was – now there is a man that can take direction!

So excited to catch up on next weeks episode now! Down to a final three!

BTW, readers – have you ever checked out www.cakewrecks.com ? Love it!

Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker – Season 3, Episode 5

June 10, 2012

Yikes, I’ve been a bad blogger! All good post show and post baking blogs intentions have gone out the window the last two weeks as I celebrated my birthday (twenty something!) and a fabulous anniversary with my man known to readers as Mr Chef and as I attempted to upgrade my blog and failed miserably. Perhaps I should have finished that Comp Sci degree after all…

Never the less I’ve still got a few thoughts about the last two episodes and I am excited to watch (although delayed coverage for me tonight) episode seven tonight!

Episode 5 

Ooosh Pastry. I can only claim to have made my own pastry a handful of times, and I should confess that Mr Chef also worked as an artisan baker and I am preeeeety sure my pastry is only successful because he hovered helpfully.

I have since this episode used Deans sweet pastry recipe (that they used in the mini challenge) with great success and no helpful hovering! Knowing how to tell pastry is cooked is always the part that trips me up though. I know that blind baking is the key – I tend to use rice but you can use a whole raft of things to weigh down your pastry – ceramic balls (spendy), coins (careful they get hot!), beans or lentils.

High virtual five to Esme for taking out the challenge – have I mentioned that I reckon she wins yet? TEAM ESME!

On to the main challenge and I surely would have sunk here. They seemed to have been given a rark up from Dean about timing being key is this challenge and I can see why. 90 minutes? NINETY MINUTES?? Mate – make, chill, roll, blind bake, fill, bake, cool & top – IN NINETY MINUTES! Jeepers.

As I watch the show, I take notes and had written “Wholemeal? Research!” – Alice made a Leek and Feta pie and it got me wondering about whether you have to treat wholemeal flour a bit differently or not when making pastry. I can’t recall ever eating wholemeal pastry myself but then again I am not the healthiest cookie in the jar.

Sabotage was hot on the lips, or fingers of tweeters during the show and I’d hate to think that Emily did any of that intentionally. Big ups (is that still cool to say? Cool kids, let me know) to Hamish for keeping SO CALM during both disaster moments. Quote of the night goes to him for his line “Man, you are ruining my life”.

But quote from my couch of the night goes to me for yelling “Who leaves a tray on the edge like that!!” right back at him.

Dean is becoming more of a softy every episode, so great of him to get in there and help Hamish out.

I saw the ‘twist’ coming when I realised we had too many bakers and only 4 more episodes to go. I am sad that both Hayley & Ben left, more so those dreamy eyes! I think Hayley pleaded her case to stay really well and I’ll always admire her attitude, so kiwi, just takes a crack at everything! I hope neither of them stop baking.

So – what did you think? Have you mastered Pastry – I know I’ve got the scoffing it down part mastered…

break in transmission

June 8, 2012

Apologies for the break in transmission, thanks to those who have been checking that I am OK!

I chose a terrible time to try and move & redesign this site – and I am having quite a mare of a time making it happen.

Really hoping to have my baking of late, and my thoughts on the last few Hottest Home Baker episodes up this weekend. Tech gods willing.

Here is a teaser of things coming out of my kitchen over the last wee while!

Lemon & Raspberry Melting Moments

Kiwiana Fondant Toppers

Winter Apple Cake

Birthday Related Goodness

And some other goodies…

Back soon!
BakerMelzxx

Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker – Season 3, Episode 4

May 17, 2012

Yikes! What an episode… SO MANY DISASTERS tonight.

Quote of the night (yelled from couch) goes to ME. And to be honest I didn’t really say anything… it was just the sound I made when Alice dropped her cheesecake at the last minute. Oh man, there would have been tears if it was me.

The quick challenge tonight was interesting – is candy making baking? Does NZ’s hottest home baker need to be able to make Hokey Pokey? I think not BUT then again I make a brownie topped with Hokey Pokey so maybe maybe baby!

Fudge & Coconut Ice always seem like such easy things to make – I open up my edmonds cookbook and each time I seem to forget that I am terrible at it and valiantly try again. The ONLY time I’ve ever managed to make fudge was when I got a candy thermometer. Finally the guessing was taken away and no more bench tops covered in tiny puddles of “is it at soft ball stage yet” fudge crusting up all over the place. I know many people manage without a thermometer but I’m challenged :0(

Like the butter I left on the preheating oven (and then it dribbled all through the elements…) I softened towards Dean tonight. I’m hoping it wasn’t scripted or staged – he said really nice things to Mel. I wouldn’t have had the balls to get back in that kitchen with only 15 minutes!

I was sad to see Mel go tonight, but given her being saved from it last week and her fails tonight it seemed right. In response to the few tweeters and facebookians saying that Emily should have gone home because she had a 15 minute lesson and still failed – I disagree with you! I don’t think that a 15 min chat with a professional is going to fix what was essentially a time management fail. Despite it being undercooked and collapsing they still loved her idea and her flavours.

Much love to Mel and her Cheesecake Monsters 🙂

Mr OH THOSE EYES had a great night, happy to see him win an episode. He wins quote of the night with his “don’t show my crack on TV” line for sure. The judges quip about engineers having foundations cracks got a giggle too.

A few questions for those of you in viewer land:

1) Was that an induction cooker on Ben’s bench at one point? Or just a portable element?

2) Is that actually the Chelsea Sugar factory that they show shots of? The huge orange building?

and finally:

3) What would YOU add to fudge to prove your innovation? I was gutted there was no Peanut Butter & Bacon fudge…. (goes to google to see if that is already a thing..)

Until next week!

xxBakermelz

Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker – Season 3, Episode 2

May 3, 2012

Holy Moly! The claws sure came out tonight! I can’t quite get my head around how mean and yet how confident Rose was on the show tonight. My blog is not quite the forum to repeat the things that were yelled from the couch at her… but Twitter and Facebook statuses seem to agree. And we have to accept that a shows producer can edit things together any way they want. I’m sure we haven’t got the full story.

Tonight’s ‘OUCH’ award definitely goes to Rose “Everyone loves a good stuff up, I think Hayley will do that well!” oh and then the laughing…

I’m sure everyone could hear their mothers in their ears “If you haven’t got anything nice to say…”

Ok, the cat fighting aside, I think Hayley did the right thing by totally owning that her decorating was a mare this time. I’m glad her cake stood up against scrutiny in the end.

The AMAZEBALLS award goes to Esme again, not because she won but for Deans comment ” almost as good as mine ” – woweee!

And the quote of the night from my couch award goes to this little gem – yelled out just after they described a cake as “Beautiful & Luscious” to which she-who-won’t-be-named yelled “JUST LIKE HIS EYES!”

There seems to be a lot of  “I could do better” going on out there in comment land and I have to keep myself from saying that exact thing. But I don’t because I can’t imagine being in the scenario they are! Hello national telly! pressure much? Let alone 2 hours, again with those bright lights and then no control over the theme. I honestly think that even if I pulled a theme out of a hat at home, and timed myself, I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off… Sounds like another blog post to me.

In my experience, baking with raw sugar is OK as long as you’ve got a wet enough recipe. There didn’t seem to be too much trouble using the  Chelsea Raw Sugar though – I was expecting a few more non-decorating related disasters.

From my Judgey McJudgePants position on my couch, I managed to get 7 of the ingredients – how did you do? Man, water seems so obvious but I don’t think anyone got it.

This episode might not of had the most impressive baking but it certainly was drama filled!

What did you think? How would have you handled getting laughed at?

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