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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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2012 4:15 pm

    Thanks for being kind and fair Mel. There are some pretty mean and hurtful comments out there so it’s nice to see some people can see beyond the “magic” of tv. Next week will be a doozy of a final! Ps we weren’t allowed to bring any of our own ‘props’ in. As Stevens was a sponsor this year we could only use the stuff they had provided…which is why it all looked the same!

  2. Esme Dawson permalink
    June 10, 2012 6:17 pm

    It might surprise your readers to learn that we didn’t have hot running water! And as I wasn’t a fan of washing greasy mixing bowls in cold water (and lets face it we didn’t really have time to do dishes) I just opted for grabbing a new mixer each time I had to make something different!

    If this was a marathon, then the final is more akin to an iron man event. Hope you enjoy watching 🙂

  3. Becks permalink
    June 12, 2012 3:13 pm

    Oh fantasic you are back!! As you were missed your updates

    There are some episode 7 recipes on the Chelsea website – including some jam ones.

    No hot running water on set – “yucky dor” , that sounds like a set cost saving measure.

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