TC: Just Desserts – 2.05 Make a Splash

aka I scream, you scream, It’s all about the ice cream machine.

Doesn’t this photo of Johnny just say it all? Do I really need an opening blurb this week? The things that man could do to me with that mouth. Add in some pastry and I am so there.

But this week we also get lesbian crushes, chefs in shorts, and the most unexpected kitchen cooperation moment in the history of TC:JD.

This week opens up in the loft the morning after the Wonka Wank. Everyone is pretty much bemoaning Katzie’s win, though mostly behind her back. Even Sally gets in a dig that Katzie’s not that good and still has a lot to learn as a pastry chef. Whatever. Y’all are just jealous that she was creative and executed everything beautifully. Get over it, bitches.

Into the kitchen for the Quickfire Challenge and Katzie gets nervous when she sees the guest judge — Pichet Ong, owner of P*Ong & Village Tart. Apparently he’s awesome and everyone knows who he is. Katzie’s not sure she’s ready to be judged by him. (Don’t let the haters get you down, girl!)

The challenge — to create an original candy bar. They want to see some creativity with ingredients and structure. They’ve got 1 3/4 hours to do it, which isn’t much time when you think about chocolate and fillings having time to set — something Amanda notes right away.

They’re off and running and mixing and melting and generally getting their grooves on. Then Carlos accidently whacks a half-rack against Rebecca’s broken arm. Orlando thinks she’s a little sensitive and says he doesn’t like crying. Dude! She has a broken wrist that just got smacked. Of course she’s crying. Then he lets us know he’s very good at making people cry. What a gem!

Matthew is trying to make a mold for his candy bar so he can have an original shape, but it’s not something he’s done before. We’ve got a couple people doing stuff with banana. I have to say I’m not really sure I want a banana-flavored candy bar, but maybe they can sell me on it. We learn Sally, like Pichet, uses a lot of Asian ingredients. Do we have a ringer here? Hmm.

Chris, Mr. Overachiever, is doing both a milk chocolate and white chocolate version of his bar. Meanwhile, his boyfriend Matt is having trouble with his mold and has to coat his bar with chocolate on a rack. As a result his bottom isn’t covered. (Get on over there Chris!)

Bang! Accident in the kitchen leaves Rebecca’s dessert all over the floor. And who comes to her rescue? Amazingly it’s Bitchy!O. He steps in, asks her what she needs (because he’s already done), and in the last five minutes actually helps her get her stuff together. She’s floored. So am I. But I predict that if Rebecca wins, he’ll get really pissy about it. I love it when he tells the camera, “I am human. So I have a little bit of a heart.” A little bit? What’s that mean? An empty pericardium? Should I rename him the Tin Man?

What they’ve made:

Katzie – “Caramel Cove” – Brown butter and caramelized banana curd, ganache with dark chocolate. There’s some praline crunch too. It looks weird. And apparently the banana was “kinda liquid”. Me thinks Katzie’s not winning the Quickfire.

Carlos – “Choconana” – Peanut butter crisps with fudge cake, banana pudding, and chocolate pop rocks. I repeat – chocolate pop rocks. I love how original he is. There’s a lot of flavors and Gail and Pichet seem to like it. Hey Carlos, is that banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see Gail?

Sally – “Who’s It?” – Peanut butter, chocolate, black forbidden rice, cocoa nibs, and milk chocolate ganache. It’s nicely layered like you’d expect from a candy bar with multiple ingredients. Katzie comments (off-scene) about the use of black forbidden rice, which she knows Pichet likes. And Pichet does like it. He likes the bar, and especially the texture. Ringer!

Matthew – “M Pastry Bar” – He’s gone “really simple” with Hazelnut feuilletine praline with orange vanilla chocolate crème anglaise. (That many ingredients without a comma anywhere isn’t my idea of simple. Nor is anything with “feuilletine.” Just saying.) They ask about the bottom and he tells them about his mold mishap. His BFF Chris looks over with a smile that seems more, “Your loss could be my win” than “I heart you forever!”

Orlando – “Berry Blast” – Blackberry port jam, creamy chocolate ganache, and chocolate. I should note that earlier he commented about owning a chocolate shop and how he’s always wanted to make a candy bar. His is actually molded as a bar with squares that break off.  Nice presentation that way. Sadly the jam didn’t have time to fully set and it’s a little liquidy. Oops.

Chris – “Lil’ Darling” – White chocolate with banana caramel (bar #1) and milk chocolate with chocolate ganache (bar #2). He snootily points out that he tempered bar #2 with 66%. Poor Matthew’s convinced Chris has it in the bag and will win because of his two bars. I’m not so sure about that. Sometimes less is more and more is annoying.

Amanda – “Royal Chocolate Bar” – Earl Grey tea white chocolate ganache with butter orange caramel. And her chocolate coating is gorgeous and shiny. Nice work, girl. Pichet and Gail both comment on the coating.

Megan – She’s from Ohio and grew up making Buckeye candies with her grandma. My coworker just made some of these for me last week and they were yummy. Peanut butter balls in chocolate made to look like an actual Buckeye. So inspired by her past, Megan has made “Ginger Buckeye Blast” – Peanuts, peanut butter, butter caramel, ginger, and feuilletine (for the snap like a gingersnap cookie). Pichet asks if she grew up in Ohio with feuilletine. This dude’s a little snooty.

Rebecca – “Fruit on the Bottom” – Granola, panna cotta, orange marmalade, vanilla, and white chocolate. It doesn’t look that appealing to me because it’s too white and tan, but the judges find it interesting. She gives a shout out to Orlando for helping her get plated. He smiles in a self-deprecating fashion I don’t believe.

I should note that everyone has received special wrappers for their candy bars. The wrappers are all the right size for what they’ve made and have the name printed on them. If this was only for the photographed plates, it wouldn’t be weird. But they’re on the presentation plates too which makes me question the time issue. But we’ll just imagine they’ve got some amazing producers doing this shit and pretend that everything on reality TV is real and just like they say it is.

So Pichet’s least favorites — Matthew (not enough time for his bottom — I know some boys who could help with that) and Katzie (Pichet calls it “a mess on a stick” which annoys her because it’s not on a stick. Yes, dear. But it’s still a mess.)

When asked for his favorites, we see Chris steeling himself for the win already. He shifts his body, looks down, and waits for it. Dear lord, this boy’s got some ego.

Pichet’s favorites — Sally (great ingredients and forbidden rice was nice) and Rebecca (her candy was really interesting, esp. the panna cotta and she thanks Orlando again).

Winner — Sally. She’s got immunity now for elimination. Chris applauds for her as he slightly shakes his head and his eyes are screaming, “WTF, I didn’t even get mentioned?” No baby, you didn’t. Poor thing. Maybe Matthew can stroke his ego … and other things.

I’m not showing the winning dessert because I don’t care about it. You can look at it online (links at bottom of article).

Elimination Challenge

They all draw popcicles to get teams of three.

Blue (Rapsberry) – Carlos, Amanda, and Sally (Carlos is happy with the combination and so am I. They’ve got a real chance here.)

Orange – Bitchy!Orlando and the Mattris boys (Orlando comments on their combined level of talent. Clearly he thinks they will win.)

(Lime) Green – One-Armed Baker, Megan, and Katzie

Before we even find out what the challenge is, I’m worried for the Green team because of Rebecca’s arm and because they’re a group of chef’s who have been hit or miss. But when those ladies are on? They are on.

So what is the challenge? Beating the heat at a water park. Amanda’s never been to a water park. Emotional backstory: Her mom is an immigrant from “communist Russia” so they didn’t do the whole water park thing when she was growing up. Okay. Moving right along… (That’s them moving, not me even though I would have anyway because who cares, right?)

Each team will create refreshing desserts for park visitors. And they’re off.  Rebecca’s excited because Katzie’s creative and Megan is a team player. They’re going traditional summer treats. As long as they put a twist on it, I think they can do really well.

Orange team is going to try to be different and “refined”. Nothing on a stick. Umm… Refined? At a water park? Really?

Blue team is also thinking outside the box, but when Carlos does it he usually excels. Sally is doing what the team wants since she has immunity. It’s never good when the person with immunity just does stuff for her teammates.

We find out that Orlando grew up in the Caribbean and his grandfather taught him to swim by leaving him in the ocean and telling him he’d meet him on shore. Then he says Top Chef is also about pushing limits. Whatever. I care not about the childhood that made you the bitch you are today. There’s more interesting stuff going on.

They’re all going to fight over the two ice cream machines. Remember that there are three teams? Two machines? Summer treats? You do the math. The Blue team has taken them both over and Katzie is pissed. She says, “I don’t want to be a bitch, but don’t mess with me and my desserts.” Better be careful guys, that bitch will cut you.

Katzie calls dibs on the machine, then Megan, then Sally. I think. Then Matthew comments that he’s glad he’s not using it. We shall see — how can they not end up needing it at some point?  Oh wait… they do. Chris needs it, but he’s going to go with plan B and “Paco” his ice cream. This means you freeze the stuff first and then aerate it in the Pacojet machine the next day. So he fills his containers and puts them in the freezer.

Johnny’s here! Over on the Orange team Bitchy!Orlando explains his root beer float/ice cream sandwich combo dessert. Johnny’s concerned about it being difficult to eat if it’s not really a float and not really a sandwich. I’m trying to figure out what such a dessert would even be.

On the Green team Katzie’s doing baked Alaska on a stick with a spumoni twist. She just went to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn and was inspired. Apparently the owners are like family to Johnny and he loves spumoni. Katzie didn’t know this before. She does now. Please let this not be a disaster. Please, please, please impress him.

For the Blue team Amanda’s going with funnel cake. There’s a danger with fried stuff in the issue of prep now and cook later. But Johnny likes that she’s challenging herself.

All of a sudden we’re alerted to Katzie’s ice cream spilling over in the machine. There’s cherry sorbet everywhere and she’s embarrassed in front of Johnny. Oh well. Make up for it, girl.

Sally calls Katzie a hot mess. I say she could make a hot mess on my face and I would lick it up like cherry sorbet. Ahem.

Carlos is in trouble. He doesn’t have enough molds to make all his pops at once. So he’s using liquid nitrogen and the blast freezer to get them made and out of the mold for the next batch. He starts speaking Spanish which we know he does when he’s nervous or frantic.

Mattris are pouring liquid nitrogen over their Pacojet containers to get them totally frozen so they’ll definitely be done the next day. Carlos turns around to get more liquid nitrogen and the container he’d just refilled is empty because Mattris took it and used it all.

Next morning at the loft. The ladies discuss what to wear. Bathing suits? Shorts? Katzie doesn’t want to be seen in a swimsuit. We get more glimpses of Amanda’s tat. And then Sally says if she were a lesbian she’d go for Amanda. She calls Amanda her “lesbian crush.” Sally and Amanda, me and Katzie. We could have a little orgy. I’ll bring the pudding, ladies.

They’re at the park. They’ve got 1 1/2 hours to get their stations set up. Mattris has to get all their ice cream spun now. Orlando’s got some plaid Bermuda’s with his chef’s coat. Matthew has orange/red shorts. And Chris is in frat boy cargos.

Rebecca comments on the guys having “composed dishes” and how her team paid more attention to their environment. She thinks that will be a plus for them. So do I, because I’m not sure anyone else has really thought about where they are.

Amanda’s got to test her funnel cakes. They have to fry fast and then get out to the customers. No delay or they get firm. Sally’s checking them and jokes about the $40k she spent on culinary school really paying off. (This might not be the only sign you wasted your money, dear.)

The clock is winding down and then it’s time. There are people everywhere. The chefs are pretty much overwhelmed by everyone at once. And Orlando is being nice as he hands out desserts. I don’t know how to process this — first he helps Rebecca, then he’s nice to strangers. It’s like Bizarro world.

The Green team is squirting lavendar spray at people. It’s supposed to be “refreshing” I guess. There are some dudes who don’t like it. The girls are lucky these guys don’t squirt something back.

The judges are here! Johnny and Gail, of course, Dannielle Kyrillos (I wondered where she was because she’s supposed to be a regular this season but we haven’t seen her since the fairy tales), and Pichet Ong from earlier.

Orange team:

Chris – Passion mixer with ginger fizz and cilantro infusion. (I love when they use herbs.) There’s poached pineapple in this and it gets served into the glasses through a luge which in this case is not a crazy Olympic sled, but rather a block of ice with a chute drilled through it. Johnny has a sticky after-effect in his throat. *cough* That sort of stuff’s supposed to be between my Mattris boys. Chris is not the only one to quirk an eyebrow at Johnny’s comment.

Orlando – Chocolate vanilla rootbeer surprise. It’s a diced brownie cake on the bottom with some fizzy rootbeer foam and a cookie. Pichet thinks of fruit in the summer; this ain’t fruit. Gail thinks it’s a little heavy. Orlando says he wanted to get away from the traditional float and Johnny says “then don’t call it that.” Orlando is defensive and clearly not getting the problem.

Matthew – He’s serving à la minute so he steps away to plate. Johnny’s annoyed they’re now waiting and not able to be in the water having fun (OMG, PLEASE LET ME SEE THAT!). Here it is at last – strawberry shortcake with sautéed strawberries and ice cream. (Wait, I thought Matthew didn’t need the ice cream machine, that only Chris need it for his passion fruit sorbet. Where did this ice cream come from?) Johnny says the ice cream is gummy and Gail doesn’t want warm strawberries in the heat. Matthew agrees with them that he missed the boat with the warm berries.

Some people in the crowd love their desserts. Some people don’t.

Green team:


Katzie sprays the judges with lavendar mist to refresh them. Johnny gets some in his eyes. I’ve heard that shit burns.

Rebecca – Lemon snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich. She thinks lemon in the summer and I’m right with her. This looks great. Light, refreshing, summer. I want one of these. Danielle likes the presentation of having it wrapped in wax paper and Johnny’s impressed by the firmness of the ice cream despite the heat. It’s a success.

Megan – Strawberry soda float with white peach and basil sorbet. (More herbs!) Johnny comments that there’s just enough basil, which is good because it’s a risky flavor with kids. Gail says the strawberry is too sweet for her. But overall they seem okay with it.

Katzie – Baked Alaska with Spumoni Twist. She actually dips the ice cream (on a stick) into the meringue and toasts it with a torch right there. Fizzy Ranier cherry on top. I’m in love with this idea. Danielle seems to love it too. Johnny likes the contrast of sweet against the tart sorbet. Pichet makes another comment about “a mess on a stick” but he likes this one and how it “melts in your mouth.” Katzie is at least smiling about his comment this time.

And the crowd is loving their stuff.

Blue team:

Carlos – Cap’n Crunch ice cream bar with white chocolate and fruity pebbles. (This guy loves working with cereal.) There are also chocolate pop rocks in the dish. Pichet says it’s not refreshing. Johnny says it’s a lot of sweet. I’m worried about this one.

Sally – Berry smoothie with white chocolate rice krispies. Sally wanted to do something a little more healthy. I think it looks boring except for the krispies which look gross. Danielle thinks the krispies are fun, but Johnny wishes she’d taken them to the next level. They need a Tim Gunn in the kitchen to tell them how to make this stuff work.

Amanda — Her dessert has been sitting on the side while the others went first. Funnel cake with coconut sorbet and pineapple jam. Did it sit too long while Carlos and Sally presented? Yep. It’s crispy now. Johnny says not to stage them but actually do them à la minute. I say it’s either that or be more aggressive.

Mixed reviews from the crowd. Carlos is bummed that he got some negative comments from the judges. He’s not used to more negative than positive. Amanda wishes she’d pushed to serve her dessert first.

After service they actually go and get to play on the water rides. Katzie lost her shorts on one of the slides (sadly fortunately, she had a bikini bottom underneath). We don’t really get to see anyone else half dressed.

Stew room — Katzie mentions Pichet’s comment about her dessert on a stick. Sally’s all “Oh wow” in a tone that’s more, “Oh, ouch.” One-Armed Baker asks Sally if she would have done something different if she didn’t have immunity. She said she would have done her own dish and that she sacrificed herself. One-Arm points out that sacrificing herself would have been doing that without immunity.

Gail comes in and asks for Megan, Katzie, and Rebecca. Team Green! I admit I was a little worried about them at first. Matthew says “it totally sucks being on the bottom.”

Judge’s table – The Green team is the winning team. Hurray! All of their desserts were winners. Johnny liked that in a way, everything they made could be found on an ice cream truck but was elevated to the next level. The individual winner is Katzie! Again! Oh god, the others are going to be catty with her later, I can tell.

The ladies are asked to send in the other two teams. They go back and tell everyone Katzie won; Bitchy!O is all bitchy and Sally looks irritated. They all file out and are told they were the least favorite teams.

Johnny turns to Sally first, asking if she played it safe because of immunity. She says no. Danielle says she appreciated the attempt at something “healthy” but it didn’t come out as great as she probably intended. Johnny asks if she put six hours of thought and work into it. And he says her dessert wasn’t special.

Carlos – Pichet says the idea was good, but it was too sweet. Gail says it was “the dessert equivalent of a log of foie gras”. Wow. I’m trying to imagine that and it’s not good. Johnny says a tart/sour coating would have cut the sugariness.

Amanda – It was a difficult to eat plated dessert because the cake was cold and turned so hard. Everyone had issue with it and it appears to be what really hurt the team the most. She gets all defensive that she made it when they came over and wanted to go first, but they asked Carlos. Uh… what are we, five years old? She could have said she had an à la minute and prepped another one after Carlos and Sally finished OR while Carlos and Sally were serving their own. Johnny said it was her choice to serve crap or let them wait and she made the wrong choice.

Orlando is “uncertain” why the Orange team is there. Gail says they didn’t really think about how people would hold their desserts, they didn’t consider their audience. “It wasn’t necessarily practical.”

Chris says his dessert was practical and Johnny slams that it wasn’t refreshing because of the sticky sweet after-effect.

Orlando – Danielle asks if he’d change any components of his dessert looking back and he says no. They just didn’t find it refreshing. He’s so shut down you can tell he’s not really taking in what they’re saying. My problem with him shows right here — he thinks he knows best and isn’t open to constructive criticism, and Johnny sees it too because he just smiles back at O and opens his hands in that “okay then” gesture.

Matthew liked both the other dishes as well as his own. Pichet says he’d love the strawberry dessert in a restaurant, but it’s not water park and hot summer day. Danielle mentions the warmth again and Matthew nods. We know from earlier that he agreed with that criticism. He’s a good boy and doesn’t argue but listens. Pay attention, Orlando.

Back to the stew room. Matthew raises his hand when they walk in and fakes out Rebecca that he was cut. But the judges are still to decide.

Back at the Judge’s Table Gail feels like neither team saw the problems with their desserts. Pichet points out the lack of recognition of audience. Carlos’s dessert was to sweet and lacked finesse. Amanda rethought the funnel cake in a good way, but it was unacceptable when it got to the table. Orlando had no idea what was wrong. Chris’s passion mixer had the most potential.

Stew room. Chris is whining about how he’s happy with what they did and stands by their decisions. Team Orange just doesn’t get it, except Matthew who wipes his hand across his face and makes me want to cuddle him and tell him it’ll be okay.

Decision time. Sally and Mattris are all safe. Back to the stew room with the winners who seem surprised.

Who’s packing up their tools this week? Amanda.

She’s humbled by her elimination. She admits that she took a risk and she didn’t have the right execution. She’s teary in her exit, but she had a lot of fun.

And next week we get the guest judge I’ve been waiting for and a challenge that looks very interesting and extremely difficult.

Be sure to watch the extended judges table video and Amanda’s exit interview at

You can also view and vote on this week’s plated desserts and check out candids from the set.