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As four baking teams yearned to be the Crime Scene Kitchen winner, only one pair would earn that crowning victory. Although many people had picked their favorites going into the finale, the only opinions that mattered were the judges. Which team earned that sweet victory?
Throughout the season, the baking teams adapted to solving the clues. While some teams were more successful than others, this baking competition is unlike other food television shows. Combining execution, knowledge and skill are the keys to earning the victory.
While everyone wishes for the glory and pastry crème, the pastel Thunderdome is unpredictable. Former success does not guarantee that moment in the winning spotlight. Did the pressure become too overwhelming?
Did the Crime Scene Kitchen winner shine during the dessert round?
Since it is the Crime Scene Kitchen finale, the reality is that the dessert round was going to be difficult. As Yolanda Gampp said, “expectations are high and there is no tomorrow.” These bakers need to bring the boldness.
In a twist, the dessert round did not come with an extra clue for the showpiece challenge. Instead, the least successful baking team will be sent home. To say that this extra ingredient raised the temperature in the kitchen is an understatement.
For the finale, the judges picked a highly technical challenge. Making puff pastry in just three hours was quite difficult. Add to that aspect that the judges were going to be even more strenuous with the judging, the bakers had nowhere to hide.
The final dessert round challenge was a napoleon. While all four teams guessed the dessert correctly, one clue made the difference. Only Thomas and Cathy and Natalie and Luis made the classic Napoleon, the correct dessert. Both of those baking teams moved onto the showpiece round.
Unfortunately, Emma and Leslie and Lorie and Jason mis-read the chocolate clue. Making chocolate puff pastry was the wrong choice.
In addition, both desserts had technical flaws. Lorie and Jason’s pastry had too thick of a texture. Emma and Leslie had uneven layers.
The baking team eliminated was Emma and Leslie. The uneven layers were their downfall. After all the tears in last week’s challenge, just making the finale was a positive. Unfortunately, the execution let them down.
Did the Crime Scene Kitchen winner cake it to the limit with their showpiece?
Unlike all the other challenges from this season, the Crime Scene Kitchen finale showpiece allowed the baking teams to create their own cake. Instead of solving for the right showpiece, they were finally able to let their creativity shine.
For the finale showpiece, the baking teams had to make a birthday cake for Yolanda Gampp. The clues pointed to her favorite cake flavors. But, the baking teams could incorporate those flavors in any way that they wanted.
While all three teams executed beautiful cakes, the difference was the team who embraced that boldness to impress the judges. This challenge was not the time to play it safe.
The flavors could be molded in a variety of ways and each of the finale cakes took the flavors in different directions. Two teams had three very different layers and Thomas and Cathy offered variation on chocolate.
The flavors that had to be used in Yolanda’s birthday cake were raspberries, caramel, chocolate, coffee, cocoa powder and vanilla bean. The three teams incorporated those flavors quite differently. But, flavor was only one component of this challenge.
Looking at the cakes’ flavors, it was clear that Natalie and Luis wowed the judges. Their chocolate layer with bananas foster made Yolanda swoon. Overall, their cake was the clear winner on flavor.
For the decoration, the three cakes were very different. Thomas and Cathy took a more simple approach. While their cake was elegant, the reality was that it didn’t really scream birthday cake.
In some ways, the same could apply to Lorie and Jason’s cake. Although there cake had more wow décor, it didn’t instantly say birthday cake. It could have been a wedding cake at first glance.
With Natalie and Luis, they brought their Vegas flare to the cake. It was very, very clear that this cake was Yolanda’s birthday cake. From the decorative slice as a cake topper to sprinkles reveal in the top layer, everything about this cake said it was a celebratory cake.
But, only one baking team would be the Crime Scene Kitchen winner. In the end, one cake captured not only the theme but made a huge impression on the judges.
The Crime Scene Kitchen winner is Natalie and Luis. A well deserved win for this Las Vegas duo. Even though there were a few missteps on the journey, they rose to the top and earned the title.
What did you think of Crime Scene Kitchen? Would you like to see a second season?