Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chopped, the Final Round

Sour grapes aside, I did tell the judges that they shot themselves in the feet.  Let's face it, I'm a dessert girl, and I knew I would have rocked this round.  But, the nicer side of me said that by eliminating me and my liquid gold caramel (which I planned to make regardless of other ingredients) the judges leveled the playing field for the 2 remaining teams.   Both of them were captained by guys who were more grill masters than treatmakers.

Their desserts had to include:
Buttermilk; Imitation Bacon Bits; Cilantro; and Salt Water Taffy.

One team hit the ground running.  Two of the kids on their team knew how to make a butter crumble, so they got to it.  The captain began improvising immediately, and directed his other sous chef to start melting the taffy.  They had many fits and starts, and one minor burn--the team captain scalded his son, who cried out in pain, and the father said, "Get back to that crumble, we've only got 15 minutes left! Sorry, bud, I burned myself too."  They ended up with this:

Buttermilk pancake topped with strawberry and crumble,  banana and salt water taffy filling and a side of bacon-chocolate sauce.  The accompanying beverage was a buttermilk and condensed milk shake infused with cilantro.

 The other team sat at the table for quite some time.  They started with a riff on candy apples, attempting to melt the salt water taffy and drizzle it on the peeled Granny Smiths:

 This resulted in a burned, sticky mess, which they promptly discarded.

They eventually presented bacon chocolate fondue with bananas, strawberries and apples and a buttermilk/salt water taffy/cilantro drizzle.

The winner:  the pancake crumble.  Unfortunately for the fondue team, the salt water taffy they chose to melt into their buttermilk sauce was a very strong fruity one and it dominated the entire dish with an artificial flavor.  Had they selected a vanilla or more neutral taffy for the sauce, the round would have been closer.

For me?  I'd have made buttermilk donuts with three dipping sauces:  chocolate infused with bacon; caramel infused with salt water taffy; and strawberry cilantro.     Now THAT sounds like a winner, don't you think?

For the 11th Birthday, I think we'll stick some cash in a card.

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