Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x02




The second episode of KBC starts with the top 11 young bakers walking on the set to see a giant volcano and learning they have the make a volcano cake. They have two hours to use two Bundt cakes and create a literally smoking cake.

Cole is because he has made a lot of volcano cakes before. Today he is making a Chocolate Cinnamon Strawberry Cake which he says should taste just like a chocolate covered strawberry. Aiden asks him what he is doing and is wowed by the addition of pop rocks. 🙂


Jason is making a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache. Aiden thinks his ganache looks good. 🙂


Justice says volcanoes have to do with geology and weather, and he’s into both of those things. He is making a Raspberry Sour Cream Bundt Cake with raspberry frosting because he is into raspberry flavor. Aidan checks in with Justice because he says it helps to know what he is up against. 🙂

Keili has never made a volcano cake before but she has walked over volcanoes so she still feels really confident. She is making a Lemon Chocolate Cake. She covers her mixer with a towel to keep the ingredients in and to hide it from Aidan. 🙂


Maya says she is a little weirded out by the giant volcano, it’s bigger than her. She tells Aiden she is making Vanilla Sour Cream Bundt Cake and she plans to build on the decorations. “Aaahhh,” says Aidan. 🙂


When Aidan thinks of volcanoes he says he thinks of lava erupting and tropical places so he is making a Passionfruit Volcano cake with Banana Buttercream.


Kaniyah is making her volcano cake with her favorite, strawberries. She is using macerated strawberries in the batter to make a Strawberry Chocolate Cake. Her Dad always loves this cake.


Dylin has never made a volcano cake before, but he has made a volcano for science class. He hopes this helps. He is making Vanilla flavored cake.


Reese says he is up to challenge of sculpting the volcano cake because he has helped his mother in her bakery. Sometimes her sculpting is so good people think she is selling purses, not cakes.


Charlotte is making a Ginger Chocolate Cake. She is adding Greek yogurt to add extra moisture and tang.


And finally Audra. She is making a Raspberry Puree and Sour Cream Bundt Cake but she is moving slowly. Cole’s cakes are out the oven already. Aidan tells Audra she had better get her cakes in soon so they will cook in time. 🙂

Then the Judges say the kids have to make at least four edible boulders along with their volcano cakes. Audra is now in double trouble with time.

Reese is using rice crispy cereal treats to mold his boulders. This is a professional move he probably learned from his mom. Dylin steals the idea and makes his boulders this way too, but nearly as big. Justice is making his out of his left over cake wrapped in fondant. They look just like hunks of volcanic ash. Similarly, Jason wraps melted chocolate in black fondant. Charlotte is doing boulders 2 ways. First, is just a ball of white and black fondant mixed together. Second, is a melted chocolates in a mold. Keili also mixes fondant for gray color and adds chocolate chips for texture. Kaniyah is dipping a huge chunk of fondant in chocolate crumbs. Cole is using pecans to make truffles. Very edible. Aidan and Audra are both using cream filled cookies to make boulders. And Maya is using coconut flakes and extra buttercream shaped into balls.

Back to the cakes.

Jason’s are raw and falling apart, back in the oven! Charlotte takes her cake out too early and is forced to mold the crumbled pieces into a volcano shape. Aidan makes isomalt fire. He says, “Isomalt is a special kind of sugar that when you melt it down it does not turn brown and it can stand against humidity. It is so cool!” Maya uses flowers to make her cake the prettiest in the room.


Time is up.

Audra’s cake looks very messy and is a little under baked in some parts and over baked in other parts. And her cookie crumb boulders needed to be baked.


Justice’s cake tastes very good but it is a little dry. Duff loves the boulders and the tropical theme.


Charlotte’s cake is too short and very under baked! 90% raw! The chocolate taste is good but the ginger flavor is not strong enough.

Maya’s cake is covered in happy pink lava. The judges say the vanilla tastes good but it is a little overcooked. And the boulders coconut filling would have been better toasted.


Dylin’s volcano and boulders look great but the cake is way under baked and the icing is way too wet and the cereal treats needed more marshmallow and butter.


Keili’s cake is a hot messy volcano. Duff doesn’t like the chocolate and lemon flavor combination, but Valerie likes it. The cake is nice and crispy on the edges, but overall it is too dry. The frosting is good, but the all fondant boulders are not something Valerie wants to eat.


Reese’s cake looks good, but the boulders are so big they make the volcano look too small. And the boulders are very hard. He forgot to add butter to the rice crispy treats. The cake tastes great, but still a little dry.


Cole’s cake looks and tastes amazing and the boulders are great. Cake is moist and the truffles are delicious.

Kaniyah’s cake is dramatic and tastes very good and all the flavors go well together. The boulders look good, but the judges don’t want to eat the solid fondant.


Aidan’s cake looks amazing and it is very moist. Everything on the cake is awesome and the flavors really go together. The boulders are the best and go well with the cake.

And Jason’s cake is too small and has too much chocolate. The boulders are too hard and also too chocolatey. Valerie says her palette needs a break from the chocolate flavors.


Cole, Aidan and Kaniyah had the top 3 volcano cakes. The best cake was made by Aidan!

Keili, Maya, Justice, Audra and Reese are safe.

That leaves Charlotte, Dylin and Jason. The one going home is … Charlotte. 😦

Charlotte gets a big hug from Valerie and hugs from all the other young bakers before she says goodbye.  🙂


Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x01

img_0029This is a show on the Food Network that is like MasterChef Junior, but every challenge is a baking challenge. The kids are ages 9 to 13 and competing for a $25,000 prize. The judges are Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman. Valerie is a two-time Golden Globe Award-winning actress, spokeswoman and New York Times best-selling author. She’s really nice to the kids. Duff is a pastry chef, the executive chef of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes and a television personality. He is tough, but funny.dbc5d60b1c62a8903816a7757aa4e61f



The first episode starts with the 12 young contestants meeting the judges. The kids compete for an advantage by throwing balls at Duff. And then find out their first baking challenge will be making Carnival Themed Cupcakes. When the kids are cooking we meet them one by one.


First we meet 11 year old Jason Intravartolo from Seattle, Washington. He really likes science. He says “I think baking is like science, but you get to eat your experiments!” He is making tie die cupcakes.


Next we meet 10 year old Audra Tow from Aurora, Colorado. She loves her cat and her Nana, who taught her how to bake when she was five. Audra says cupcakes are her specialty so she is not worried about the challenge. “I can’t wait to show the world what I can do!” She is making lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting.


Next we meet 12 year old Aidan Berry from Shalimar, Florida. Aidan says watching the “Kids Baking Championship” inspired him to become a very serious baker. He is making Maple Bacon Cupcakes.


Then we meet 10 year old Keili Gorczyca from San Francisco, California. He name means mustard seed. She says she is “weird” and sometimes she likes to cook weird things, like cutting up grasshoppers, coating them in chocolate and making grasshopper chocolate chip cookies. She is also making tie dye cupcakes.


Next we meet 12 year old Cole Frederickson from Thousand Oaks, California. Cole says he is a self-taught baker and thinks he is the best in America. He wants to be the first boy Baking Champion. He is making Yellow Cupcakes with Root Beer Buttercream.


Mid challenge the kids learn they have to feature a carnival treat in their cupcakes. Jason won the advantage earlier, so he gets to decide who gets the churros, cotton candy, kettle corn, pretzels, chocolate covered bananas or caramel apples. This makes the challenge even harder.

Then we meet 10 year old Kaniyah Cary from Portsmouth, Virginia. She loves to bake and dance. She says, “I am the Beyoncé of baking. The queen of cakes.” She is making Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Cola Buttercream.


Then we meet 9 year old Maya Jindal from Great Falls, Virginia. Maya is the youngest and smallest baker but she mighty. She is making tie dye cupcakes with all the colors of the rainbow.


Next, 12 year old Dylin Musgrove from Augusta, California. Dylin’s father is in the military and this has allowed him to travel all over the world. He describes his baking as Global. In Dylin’s audition video he shared he is blind in one eye and half blind in the other but he doesn’t let it stop him from cooking. He is also making lemon cupcakes. Judge Valerie who is known to love lemon.


Then we meet 12 year old Justice Faustina from Napa, California. He loves weather and knows a lot about the science behind it. He is making Swirled Vanilla Cupcakes.


Then we meet 9 year old Brooke Cumberland from Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She has been baking with her grandmother since she was two and now has a successful baking business. Brooke accidently drops the egg whites for her Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting on the stove! She needs to think quick to get her lemon cupcakes frosted.


Then we meet 10 year old Reese Smith from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His mom owns a bakery and has taught him how to bake. He also likes to play sports. Reese is the only baker making Red Velvet Cupcakes with banana flavored frosting.


And last but not least we meet Charlotte D’arbian from Coronado, California. She is the daughter of Food Network star Mellissa D’arbian. Charlotte says she has a passion for fashion design and that helps her with her decorating. She is making Orange Cupcakes.


Frosting becomes challenging for many of the young bakers. Jason is having trouble with the Cotton Candy because it is melting into his whipped cream frosting. Valerie says maybe he picked it for himself because he wanted to eat it! Kaniyah has to redo her frosting because adding the cola seemed to mess it up. And Charlotte’s frosting came out so runny she decided she would have to call it a glaze.


Time is up. The judges now taste and critique everyone’s cupcakes.

Aidan’s cupcakes look funky but the bacon is very good and they LOVED the buttercream. (I gotta get that recipe!)


Audra’s lemon cupcakes with caramel frosting are super small with a lot of frosting. The cake part tastes good but her frosting is too sweet.


Charlotte’s orange cupcakes are tiny and the frosting is too thin. The orange sponge cake is delicious but the frosting doesn’t work.


Brooke’s cupcakes are decorated like a face. They are under baked and the frosting is under mixed.


Cole’s carnival cupcakes are creative and really tasty. The cake is moist but there is a little too much root beer flavor.


Dylin’s lemon cupcakes are a little too sweet for the judges. Valerie likes lemon and chocolate combo, Duff does not.


Reese’s red velvet cupcakes are really good. All the flavors work together so well it tastes like a banana split.


Justice’s cupcakes look very good and the cake tastes amazing, but unfortunately, his buttercream frosting separated.


Kaninayh’s vanilla bean cupcakes with kettle corn look amazing and taste very good. Valerie says she hit it out of the park.


Keili’s cupcakes taste good but are a little confusing to the judges. They look chocolate but taste vanilla. And the pretzel pieces are too big.


Maya’s vanilla cupcake’s rainbow inside look good and taste okay, but the batter may have been beaten too much because the texture is a little tough.


Jason’s tie die cupcakes don’t have any frosting. The cake is moist and colored well, but ultimately dry without real frosting on top.


The judges decide that Justice, Reese and Kaniyah made the best cupcakes but Kaniyah’s were the best of the best. Kaniyah wins the first baking challenge!

Aidan, Cole, Maya, Keili, Dylin & Audra are safe. Jason, Brooke and Charlotte are in the bottom and the young baker going home is … Brooke. 😦

When she is walking out all the kids looks very sad. Aidan looks super sad poor kid.

#This week was crazy.





Max’s Recap MasterChef Celebrity Showdown

The exhilarating special starts with Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi announcing that Celebrities will be competing for 25,000 dollars for the charity of their choice. The losing dish will still get 15,000 for their charity 🙂

The first celebrity cooks are Cheryl Hines, from “Son of Zorn” and Kal Penn from “Super Human.” Cheryl is competing to win money for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida, an organization that helps children and families coping with this disease. Kal hopes to win money for The United Nations Agency for Relief and Works for Palestinian Refugees, an organization that helps feed people in desperate need of support. Their Mystery Box Challenge is to cook a dish made with Beer.

Cheryl is making Chicken & Waffles. Kal is making Fish Tacos. Just as the cooking gets started the mischievous Cheryl accidently pokes Kal in the eye with her tongs! Now he is cooking with one eye!

When time is up Gordon and Christina taste the dishes. Kal’s Halibut Tacos with Beer Marinade, Citrus Coleslaw and Chipotle Beer Aioli are first. Unfortunately, one of the tacos is soggy! But the rest are nice and crunchy and the fish is cooked well. Cheryl’s Beer Battered Chicken and Waffles are next. The fried chicken is cooked perfectly and tastes very good, however the waffles are too sweet for the judges. And the winner is KAL!

The next cooking competition is between two married couples. Nene and Gregg Leakes from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” want to give the money to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Trai and Grace Byers from “Empire” want to give the money to Saving Our Daughters, an organization that empowers young girls to overcome bullying. They will have to cook in a Tag Team Challenge to replicate a “MasterChef Game Day Party Platter” with Chicken Wings, Jalapeño Poppers, Sliders, Pig in a Blanket and Guacamolee & Chips.

After sixty minutes of working together the platters are ready to be tasted by Gordon and Christina. The Leakes’s platter looks good. Their Poppers are spicy and the Pigs in a Blanket are tasty. Their burgers are a little overdone but still taste fine. The Byers’s platter also look good. Their burgers are cooked perfectly and taste delicious. Their Poppers and Pigs in a Blanket are amazing. The winners are THE BYERS!

The next competition is between two sets of famous twin brothers. Joel and Benji Madden from the Rock Band Good Charlotte will be competing for MusiCares which provides financial assistance to struggling artists and musicians. Rondi and Tike Barber, both veteran NFL players will be competing for KultureCity an organization that supports autistic kids. Each team will have one hour to bake a perfect box of twelve cream puffs.

The Barber Brothers are confident because they are used to competing. The Madden Brothers have trouble with their dough and fall behind. But when time is up both teams have filled their boxes with cream puffs. The Barber Brother puffs are  little ugly, small and not completely filled. The Madden Brothers puffs look great and nicely filled but they have an egg shell in one of them. The winners are THE MADDEN BROTHERS!

Then we see an epic preview of Masterchef Junior Season 5! 🙂

The last cooking challenge of the two hour special is Gordon & Anthony Anderson (from “Blackish”) verses Christina & Jordana Brewster (from “Lethal Weapon”). The red apron wearing men will be playing for The Watts and Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club in California. The blue apron wearing women will be playing for No Kid Hungry, an organization that combats childhood hunger in the United States. Both teams will cook the ingredients under identical Mystery Box’s and create one stunning dish.

When the time is up the judges are revealed. The last MasterChef season winner, Shaun and 2 new MasterChef Junior contestants from the up-and-coming season, 13 year old Shayne and 11 year old Justise.

Gordon & Anthony made Veal Parmesan. Justise says, “I don’t like it … (cut to commercial) … I love it!” They also made an apple pie, which is actually undercooked. 😮

Christina & Jordana made Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce. Shayne says, “Visually, it looks stunning! It makes me hungry!” He loves the taste. They also made a dessert, one of Chef Ramsay’s specialties, a Sticky Toffee Pudding. All 3 judges love it and the winners are the Blue Team, CHRISTINA & JORDANA!

This show was fun to watch. It was a great warm up for the next MasterChef Junior Season which starts Thursday, February 9th at 8 pm! I’ll be there! And recapping every episode!