Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x03


The “Just Like Gordon” episode starts with 20 of the most talented home cooks between the ages of 8 and 13 running into the MasterChef Kitchen. They meet special guest judge Chef Aarón Sánchez. To kick off the first Mystery Box Challenge the most commonly eaten crop in the entire world is dumped on the kids’ heads: RICE!

They go to their stations to lift the Mystery Boxes and find popular ingredients, like chicken, chocolate, beans and broccoli. They have 60 minutes to make their first amazing MasterChef Junior restaurant-quality dish. The judges want to see the young home cooks on a plate!

While the kids cook the judges watch very closely. They want to see how the home cooks work at their stations and how they season their dishes. They also taste everything as they go along. When the time is up the judges decide which three dishes look best and call them forward to take a closer look and have a final taste.

The first dish belongs to Afnan, a 12 year old boy from GA. His family is from Bangladesh and he can make Bengali food but he wants to show the judges he can also cook other kinds of foods. He made an Asian-style Paella with Shrimp, Steak and Sautéed Vegetables. Everything on the dish is cooked well. Chef Aarón is impressed he has toasted his spices and says it is a professional quality dish.

Next dish belongs to Cydney, 10 year old from New York. She says this dish is “Me on a plate.” She made a Green Bamboo Rice Pudding with Raisins, Pistachio Crumble and Caramelized Peaches. It is an odd idea to use this kind of rice, however it is colorful and has a great taste. Chef Christina loves the elements but would have liked to see a smaller portion and more moisture.

And the last dish belongs to Mashu, a 13 year old from California. (Even though Shayne is a little sad he was not picked for the top three he is happy for his friends 🙂 He says Mashu’s dish looks “top-notch!”) Mashu made Risotto with Mushrooms, Parmesan and Shrimp. Visually it is stunning. He nailed the cook on the shrimp and the rice. Both Chef Aarón and Chef Gordon love the flavorful dish.

And the winner of the first Mystery Box Challenge is AFNAN! He is safe from the first Elimination Challenge and gets to choose 3 other kids to join him on the balcony. He picks Avani, Eddie and Shayne.

The rest of the kids have to replicate Chef Gordon’s 3-Michelin-Star Sea Bass dish. He shows them how to make it, step by step, and then lets them have a taste. While the young cooks do their best recreating the fish dish Afnan, Avani, Eddie and Shayne get to eat Chef Gordon’s signature dish on the balcony.

During the cook time Adam is confident in cooking fresh produce because he cooks these kinds of ingredients a lot back home. He says “I think this challenge is hard, but if I focus I can do it.” Elisabeth is nervous because she has never tried to make anything this fancy before and she doesn’t even like fish! Sam accidently burns his hand dropping the tomato into hot water and is very upset, but he is ok. Shayne who has been cheering for his friends from the balcony the whole time covers his eyes and says, ‘This is too stressful!” He really cares for his friends. 🙂

Time is up. Hands in the air!

Adam’s Sea Bass looks amazing. The fish is glistening, the skin is crispy and everything is delicious. Chef Gordon says he’d be happy to be served this dish at one of his restaurants.

Cydney’s Sea Bass is “a remarkable, delicious dish!” Chef Aarón says she did a great job and she is going to be a cook to look out for.

Justise’s beets are cooked beautifully, the puree is soft and silky and the Sea Bass is cooked perfectly. She says she is glad Afnan didn’t pick her to go up on the balcony because she wants people to realize she is a really tough competitor.

Sam’s Sea Bass is undercooked and the skin is a little too crispy. He showed grit by sticking with his cooking after being burned and Chef Christina says his dish is a good effort.

Elisabeth’s dish has some issues. Her cauliflower purée is missing and her Sea Bass is a touch overcooked. The caramelization on her beets is perfect though. Chef Gordon says, “Really strong effort. Well done.”

Gonzalo’s Sea Bass dish could be better. He scored his fish well but didn’t it needed more browning. Chef Aarón says his beets are “spot-on” but his purée is “all over the place.” His fish is cooked well on the inside.

Mark’s Sea Bass dish looks good. All the components are seasoned well but the fish is a little overcooked. Chef Christina says, “You gotta give yourself big ups!”

Lila’s Sea Bass is cooked great and tastes delicious. Her beets and purée are also successful. Chef Gordon says, “Well done!”

Lastly, Solomon’s Sea Bass dish has all the elements on the plate but a few flaws. Chef Christina says his fish is about 60 seconds overcooked and his presentation is not as tight as it should be. “Overall it was a really good effort.” Solomon is worried he may be in hot water.

When the judges are talking about the dishes the kids on the balcony return to their stations. A lot of the kids are supporting each other as they nervously wait to hear who has won and who will be going home. Adam, Mark and Charlie hug Gonzalo, who is worried his dish is not good enough to stay.


In the end the dish that stood out head and shoulders above the rest belonged to … ADAM!


Gonzalo, Sam, Elisabeth and Solomon’s dishes fell short a little bit and are on the bottom. Sam and Gonzalo are safe, which sadly means Solomon and Elisabeth are going home. 😦

When they are walking out Shayne puts his arm around Solomon and comforts him. He is really going to miss his H-town buddy.


Elisabeth says “Even though I didn’t get the trophy and the 100,000 dollars, I’m gonna still try to open my bakery in Sweetwater TX. I’m gonna take my apron back home and I’m gonna but it on my wall and my brothers and sisters are gonna be so excited it’ll be a memory to share.”

Solomon says “Today, I’m saying bye to MasterChef but back home in Houston, my friends, I think they’ll be really proud of me. I’m definitely gonna keep cooking, like when one door closes another one opens up.”


Now 18 young home cooks left.

I really liked this episode because I liked to see the competition finally get started. And, I like to see the kids being supportive of each other. It’s never easy seeing kids go home, but it always helps to see the way they offer hugs and kindness to one another.  🙂

Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x08

In this “Pet Shop Joys” episode the formidable five remaining kid bakers have 90 minutes to make desserts inspired by one of five adorable little critters: silky chicken, turtle, guinea pig, rabbit or a mini pig. The kids have to pick a card to find out their animal, plus make a tiny dessert pet for their animal too. Their dessert can look like their animal, be something the animal eats or in some way be connected to the animal they choose.

Aidan is happy he got the Turtle because that is the one he wanted. There is a pond at the end of his street that has loads of turtles and he feeds them all the time. He is making a dessert that looks like a turtle. It is a Vanilla Cake and Frosting with Chocolate Shell.




Kaniyah is hoppy (ha!ha!) she got the Bunny Rabbit because she knows rabbits eat pineapples and knows how to make pineapple upside-down cake. Valerie is not sure about that, but Kaniyah says “Don’t you doubt me!” She’s making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Pineapple Ice Cream.


Justice got the Guinea Pig. He really wants to make a pie. He has used peaches a lot at home so decides he is making Mini Peach Pies. He says he will use his big imagination to connect his pies with Guinea Pigs later.


Cole got the Mini Pig and immediately thinks of bacon, his favorite part of the pig. :O He decides he will try adding bacon to his dessert for the third time this season. He is making Baked Maple BACON Doughnuts!


Audra got the Silky Chicken whose name is Einstein because he has a big fluffy head. She is making a Banana Cake with Vanilla Frosting. To connect her dessert to Einstein she will add fondant chicks on top of the cakes.


When the kids find out they have to make a mini project pets for their animals everyone on the kitchen gets a little stressed.Cole’s doughnuts are too big and needs time to fix them. He starts too freak out when he finds out he needs to start another project, but he pulls it together when Valerie gives him a pep-talk. He decides on a fondant spider mini pet (Charlotte) for his mini pig (Wilbur).Aidan is having a lot trouble with his chocolate shells and has to start them over. With very little time to spare he decides his Turtle’s mini pet will be an orange colored buttercream frosting fish. Aidan is rushed down to the last minute to plate!With only 40 minutes left Justice finally gets his pies into the oven. He uses his extra ingredients to make little Guinea Pig babies as mini pets. He wraps extra peach pieces in left over pie dough and cooks them in the deep fryer to make little peach filled donut holes with eyes!Kaniyah decides she will make Kitty Cat Sugar Cookies as her mini pet twist to go with her cake and ice cream. She wants to show the judges she can make a good sugar cookie after last week’s fail.


Time is up.

Justice connects Guinea Pigs with Peach Pie with a story about a nasty hawk and the judges buy it. His mini pet donuts are a little greasy but still tasty. His pie looks nice and crispy, Valerie likes his lattice work and the crust is cooked perfectly. It tastes very yummy.

Cole’s Maple Bacon Donut links to his mini pig for obvious reasons and he tells a good story about the mini pet connection, using Charlotte’s Web as inspiration. But Duff says the spider looks like a tick and Valerie says the chunk of fondant is inedible. The donut is great combination of sweet and salty. It is more like a pound cake than a donut, but still tastes great.

Aidan’s Turtle Cake is very creative but the execution is messy. The judges are disappointed that the mini pet fish is just a blob of frosting, but the chocolate covered cake has great taste. The judges just want to see more from Aidan flavor wise. Valerie says, “We know now you can make a perfect vanilla cake and perfect buttercream. Now, what else can you do?”

Kaniyah’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a big hit. “It’s better than mine.” “It’s out of this world!” “The best I’ve ever had!” “All I want to do is put my face into that pineapple upside-down cake.” Her min pet cookies look okay, but they are undercook. No redemption there.


Audra’s barn yard love story about Einstein and Bella chickens makes the judges laugh. Her mini pet egg baby is a little weird though. And too big. Her Banana Cake looks well done but is missing decorative details. The banana flavoring in the cake is way too strong, but the cake is moist and best she has made.

Justice and Kaniyah are the top 2 bakers today, and Kaniyah wins first place!


Aidan and Audra are in the bottom. And the one going home his … Audra. She says, “Even though I didn’t win, I’ve shown the whole world that I can bake well. And everyone here is so nice, I’m just going to miss them, but as soon as I get home I’m going to hug my cat. I’m excited to see her!”The four remaining kids hug her good bye and tell her they are going to miss her so much.



Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x01&02


For the first time ever the top 40 kid cooks from all of over the United States will compete for a coveted MasterChef Apron in groups of 4. Two kids will win an apron and 2 kids will go home. The remaining twenty home cooks will compete for $100,000 prize and the fifth MasterChef Junior Trophy. Gordon and Christina will be the two main judges with a new guest judge each week.

The first four cooks are lady bakers who have to make a tartlet to win an apron and a place in the MasterChef Kitchen.

9 year old Elisabeth from Sweetwater, Texas is one of five children and did a fundraiser to help get her to the auditions. And 9 year old Barbara from Staten Island, New York has been traveling since she was born and loves love cooking Colombian food.

10 year old Cydney is from Brooklyn, New York. She is a fifth grader who likes to knit as well as make magic baking in her kitchen. And 10 year old Na’imah from Chicago, Illinois, whose grandmother taught her to bake and runs a baking business with her sister.

When 45 minutes is up it’s time to taste the desserts. Elisabeth’s Lemon Crusted Tart cuts well and has a great taste.  Na’imah’s Vanilla Bean Tart has great flavors but the pastry is undercooked. Barbara’s Vanilla Crusted Tart hits the mark with pastry cream but the shell is undercooked and the bananas are overcooked.  Cydney’s Dark Chocolate Tart looks amazing and tastes absolutely delicious.

And the winners are CYDNEY & ELISABETH!


The next 4 kids have 30 minutes to make a salmon dish.

9 year old Donovan from Brooklyn, New Year has been cooking for 7 years and likes Asian cuisine that his babysitter from China has taught him to cook. And Kamryn is eleven years old and from Saginaw, Michigan. She started cooking with her parents when she was four year old and also likes singing and dancing.

9 year old Syd from West Ben, Wisconsin. She has been cooking since age 3 and describes herself and her flavors as unique! And 10 year old Logan from Evanston, Illinois learned to cook seafood from his father. He considers himself an expert at cooking fish and his friends call him “King of the Sea.”

Kamryn’s Brown Sugar Salmon is a little overcooked and lacks texture, but tastes good.Donovan’s Pan Seared Salmon is also a little bit overcooked but has a great sear and his caramelized bok choy is fantastic. Logan’s Salmon Tacos are good but lacked a little seasoning. Syd’s Salmon En Papillote looks stunning and smells delicious. The fish is cooked perfectly and tastes delicious.

SYD gets the first apron and DONAVAN gets the second!


Up next are four young southern cooks out to prove their home state is the country’s capital for the best cuisine. They will have 40 minutes to make a pork chop dish worthy of a MasterChef Jr. Apron.

Liani is a 10 year old from San Antonio, Texas. She is the next generation of cooks in her family and likes to make Tex Mex food.11 year old Jasmine from Milton, Georgia is half Jamaican and brings these flavors to her Southern Style of cooking.

Mark is a 13 year old from Starkville, Mississippi. He loves family, hunting and football as well as cooking and baking.And 11 year old Kaitlyn from Blauvelt, NY is from a big Latin American Family and loves to make Latin food. The only thing she loves more than cooking is playing sports.

Liani’s Southern Breaded Pork Chop tastes good but sadly, it is overcooked and in need of a little more salt.Jasmine’s Jerk Pork Chop looks like a simple dish but it is cooked perfectly and tastes wonderful Mark’s Grilled Pork Chop has great diamond grill marks and tastes delicious. Christina loves that he not only cooked the pork but also baked his biscuits.And Kaitlyn’s Pan Seared Pork Chop is a very strong effort but the meat is undercooked near the bone and a bit unseasoned.

The winners are MARK & JASMINE!


The next four young aspiring chefs have 30 minutes to replicate Gordon Ramsay’s Seared Scallops with Chard and Blood Orange Gastrique. Tough challenge.

11 year old Gonzalo from Whitestone, New York likes to cook meals from his Peruvian heritage that his grandmother taught him. He wants to prove he can cook. 9 Year old Madyson from Temecula, California lives in the heart of wine country and she loves to cook with wine.

12 year old Emma from Boston, Massachusetts likes seafood. Her nana, mother and father are all cooks and she wants to show them she can do it too! And, 10 year old Justise is from Sugar Hill, Georgia. Both her parents are cops and she wants to be a teacher someday.

Madyson’s scallops look good, but are a bit undercooked. She did season them well and her gastrique is delicious. Gonzalo’s scallops are cooled well and taste good. As he feared, the acidity of his gastrique is a little over, but nice effort overall. Justise’s scallops are visually amazing and they are cooked perfectly. Her gastrique is good too, but her chard is slightly undercooked. Gordon says an almost perfect dish. And, Emma’s scallops look over seared. The seasoning is well done but the scallops are overcooked.

The first one to get an apron is JUSTISE and then GONZALO!

Next up, East Coast verses West Coast bake off for the MasterChef Jr. Aprons. Four kids who love to bake will have 1 hour to bake and decorate 6 identical cupcakes. (I wonder what Gordon thinks about that?)

12 year old Adam from Sacramento, California really likes food and chemistry, so he combines them with molecular gastronomy. And he also likes to bake, because baking is science.10 year old Peyton from Ringoes, New Jersey travels a lot. She says her trip to Paris changed her life because it is the food capital of the world!

12 year old Jazzy from Charlotte, North Carolina has always loved to bake and jazz things up with the perfect icing. And, 9 year old Dredyan from Vista, California also likes to bake. His family loves what he makes and he is anxious to impress Christina.

Adam’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Strawberry Compote Filling look incredible. Gordon says, “WOW!” They taste scrumptious, the strawberry is great, and smoked spices are balanced perfectly. Jazzy’s Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting taste good but Christina says they added candy weigh the batter down and cakes need a bit more frosting. Dredyan’s Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache Filling and Chocolate Frosting don’t look the best but they taste really good. Gordon says he showed tenacity, strength and great determination by not giving up after the first batch failed. And Peyton’s Blood Orange Cupcakes with Blood Orange Frosting and Raspberry Splatter Sauce cupcakes look a little messy but have bright flavors and taste delicious.

The first apron goes to West Coast ADAM

& the second apron goes to East Coast PEYTON!


Next are 4 Texas kids who are competing to make their state proud. They have 30 minutes to make a steak worthy of the MasterChef Kitchen.

11 year old Anna from Houston. She likes to cook Jewish food and barbecue. “I really want to show the judges, I am a Texan! I am a Jew! And show my culture through my food.”13 year old Shayne from Spring is 200% Texan. He really loves cooking meat and says, “from grilling to frying, I love my food with a Texas kick!” He also loves playing football. They call him Shayne the Train because “I like finding the biggest guy, and going right at him.”

10 year old Solomon from Houston does band, computer coding and gardening. But when he grows up, he wants to be a professional chef. “I believe cooking is art, it’s a passion, it’s culture, it’s life.”9 year old Nicholas from Cypress has been cooking for about two years. His dad works in a restaurant and has been teaching him. And, he says, his red hair gives him special powers.

Shayne’s Cajun Rib Eye Steak is cooked beautifully, the Cajun seasoning has a great kick and the mushrooms and onions taste delicious. Solomon’s Rib Eye Steak has an incredible sear and it is tender and delicious. Gordon says it is “Brilliant.” Anna’s Salt & Pepper Rib Eye Steak is cooked nicely on one side but left too much fat on the other side. Her latkes are beautiful but could have used more seasoning. And although Nicholas’s Rib Eye Steak has a great sear on the outside it is a touch overcooked inside because he put it in the oven. His piquillo pepper sauce tastes great and his steak is still nice and juicy.

And the winners are SHAYNE & SOLOMON!

They give each other a big hug. They are really good friends already.

Up next 4 young home cooks will compete by cooking their signature chicken dishes.

8 year old Avani from Chicago, Illinois loves cooking Indian food and cooks advanced for her age. 9 year old Eddie from New York City cooks with his mom cook. He likes to cook mostly Chinese and a little bit Jewish. He rates his cooking at 9.99.

8 year old Grace from San Diego, California loves to surf & boogie board and has a heart for cooking. “Everything I make is from scratch.” 9 year old Londyn from Atlanta, Georgia has been cooking since she was three years old. She likes cooking Southern Style food and her fried chicken makes a lot of people happy.

Grace’s Stuffed Chicken Breast looks good but the chicken is undercooked! The lemon flavor is bright and vibrant and the mashed potatoes are delish, but will it be enough?Eddie’s Chicken Marsala is cooked well, good color outside, tender and moist inside, and amazing flavor. Avani’s Thai Curry Chicken is good. Christina like the creamy coconut and kick of heat and sweet chicken thigh meat together. Nicely done. Londyn’s Spicy Jamaican Chicken wings are cooked well and her slaw is delicious but the barbeque sauce is a little too tart. Gordon says, “Great effort.”

And the apron winners are EDDIE & AVANI!


The NEXT FOUR APRONS go to young cooks super inspired by global influences.

13 year old Mashu from Thousand Oaks, California was born in Japan and wants to serve Italian Japanese fusion. He won with his signature ravioli. Gordon thinks he must be a little Italian, but Mashu assures him, 100% Japanese. 10 year old Evan from Chicago, Illinois has been to Mexico, South Africa and Italy. He says pesto changed his life and won with his signature grilled shrimp dish. Gordon wants the recipe.

9 year old Charlie from Chicago, Illinois says “Just give me a spatula and a pan and I can knock your socks off.” He won his apron by making a beautifully burger that all of Chicago would envy.And 12 year old Afnan from Jonesboro, Georgia was born in Bangladesh and believes he has eaten more different foods than even Gordon. He won his apron with what Gordon called “The Rolls Royce of Burgers!”

The final challenge features lobster and four young home cooks from MASSACHUSETTS. The young cooks will have just 30 minutes to turn the live lobster in front of them into a delicious dish. Just two aprons remain.

9 year old Lila from Rockport lives on the Island of Cape Anne. She started cooking at age 7 and is self-taught. She tells Gordon, she has lobster, literally, in her back yard. 11 year old Jake from Bellingham come from a family of chefs. He cooks in memory of his father who passed a few years ago and hopes he will someday be the first member of his family to own his own restaurant. He says, “To me cooking is love, is knowledge, to me cooking is really everything.”

8 year old Jayda from Leominster (the same town my Aunt Annie lives in!) really loves hockey and really loves cooking. She says she is going to be a chef and a hockey player. 9 year old Sam from Concord loves cooking and fencing. “Just like in fencing, when I cook, I use my blade work, I use my speed, I use my strength.”

Jayda’s Lobster Rolls look wonderful and are seasoned well. Unfortunately, the lobster is a bit undercooked and the celery leaves a bit bitter. Jake’s Lobster Mac and Cheese is gooey good but sadly the lobster is not really the star of the dish.Sam’s Lobster Summer Rolls are a surprisingly successful. The lobster is cooked well and the rolls taste good, but the sauce is a bit thick. And, Lila’s Lobster Wontons look bright and vibrant and offer so many different flavors coming from different directions. Christina says she’d add a little more mushrooms, but overall a very good dish.

The winners of the final aprons are LILA & SAM! Now we have the full top 20!

I like these season openers because I really like getting to know the kids and seeing the amazing things they can cook. Can’t wait until the next episode!





Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x07



In this “Mobile App Cookies” episode the six remaining kids have to make and decorate a dozen sugar cookies in ninety minutes. They have to grab three make-believe App name magnets, decorate their cookies with three different app designs and come up with fun explanations of what the apps do during tasting. They also have to add a citrus flavor to their cookies: orange, lemon or lime!


Audra is making lemon sugar cookies. She wants to make up for the last time she made a lemon flavored dessert and “totally bombed.”


Justice starts by putting rose water in his cookies, but after learning about the twist decides he will be using oranges for his citrus flavors. Justice is really getting more confident in himself as the competition goes on.



Jason is also putting orange in his vanilla cookies. When he gets his dough together he doesn’t listen to Justice about putting the cookies in the blast chiller to firm up before cutting into shapes. This could be a problem.


Cole picks lemon for his citrus twist. He wants to impress the judges, especially Valerie, by using lemon juice and lemon zest. He adds a little extra flour to make the dough just right.



Kaniyah is making orange sugar cookies. Her station is very messy. When Duff asks her what’s going on, she says, “I have no clue. I’m the Cookie Monster. :O



Aidan chooses limes because no one else is using this citrus flavor and he wants to stand out. He adds zest and lime juice. Then he adds more juice for more flavor and it makes his dough very wet. He says, “Oh my gosh! This is a disaster!”


The simple sugar cookie challenge is turning out hard for some of the bakers. Audra’s cookies are very messy and uneven. Jason burns his cookies! Kaniyah forgot to add her orange and has to roll her dough all over again. And Aidan takes his cookies out of the oven too soon.


Time is up.


Cole’s cookies look great and he has three good stories about his make-believe apps. His cookies taste good, but his frosting is very thin and he put too much rose water so they taste a little perfumey.


Audra’s cookies are almost bare! And the decorations don’t tell the story of app game. Valerie asks about her time management today and Audra says, “I felt like I was moving fast, but I guess I went slow.” Her lemon cookies taste yummy though.



Jason’s cookies don’t look so hot. Duff says he agrees with Jason that decorating is not his strong suit. His cookies have good texture but Jason has no stories to tell about his apps. The stories were an important part of the challenge.



Justice’s cookies look good and he has 3 very imaginative stories. His orange flavor cookies are delicious. Valerie says his cookies have the best flavor but his app designs just needed a little more color. Justice is really starting to be a front runner in the competition.


Kaniyah’s app stories are really fun and they go well with her decorations, but the fondant is too thick. Her orange cookies are chewy and crunchy means she over worked the dough and they taste a little bland.


Aidan has great stories for his apps, but his decorations are a bit disappointing. The lime cookies are flavorful but underbaked.


Cole and Justice’s cookies are the top 2  … Justice wins the Mobile App Cookie Challenge!


Jason and Audra’s cookies put them on the bottom and the one going home is … Jason L


It is getting harder and harder to say goodbye. The other kids look very sad and hug Jason good bye. He says, “I’m feeling a little sad. But I’m still thankful that I made it this far. And it was awesome to be able to meet Duff and Valerie in person. CHOCOLATE!” 






Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x06



The sixth episode of the season is called “Breakfast Desserts.” The kids have to cook cakes that look like either waffle or pancake stacks. Aidan, Audra, Cole and Justice are on Duff’s Waffle Team. Kaniyah, Jason and Reese are on Valerie’s Pancake Team. Everyone on the winning team will be safe from elimination. Someone from the losing team will be leaving the competition.

Jason is making a vanilla pancakes cake. He used to love pancakes until he discovered crêpes. Jason says if he wins Kids Baking Championship he wants to open a Crepe Stand called Jason’s Crêpes and Bakes.


Aidan is making a cinnamon roll stack of waffles cake. He wants to redeem himself after last week’s disaster éclairs. He will have to master cooking cake in the waffle iron to do so.


Audra is making a strawberry cheesecake waffle cake. Strawberries are her favorite fruit so she is excited to get started but she is having a hard time getting the cooked cake out of the waffle iron.


Kaniyah is making a rainbow lemon pancake cake. She has been making pancakes since she was 7 years old and she is all smiles.


Reese makes pancakes for his family all the time and knows how to do it. He is making a carrot cake pancake cake with cream cheese buttercream. His pancakes break apart when he tries to flip them.


Cole is making a chocolate hazelnut waffle cake with bacon and frosting between layers. He wants to be the first boy Kids Baking Champion and his waffle cakes will have to be good to get him there.


Justice is making an orange waffle cake because orange juice completes a balanced breakfast. He is not big on waffles because he is not a breakfast guy. “I really like to sleep.”


Aidan says, “The thing that will make this waffle stack special is his cinnamon, brown sugar, butter swirl mixture, a nice thick almost kind of a sludge, but the best possible kind of sludge.” His first batch burns and falls apart. But Aidan does not freak out and makes a new batch.


The judges announce the kid bakers have to decorate their cakes with a kids’ cereal. Aidan is happy to pick cinnamon crunch cereal because it will go perfectly with his waffle and ice cream dessert. Kaniyah is doing well with her colorful pancakes and adds fruity crisps. Valerie notices she is having a lot of fun and dancing a lot. Kaniyah says, “I’m liking this challenge!” Justice picked corn flakes to add texture. He is using curd between his waffles. Duff says his frosting piping is professional chef quality. Reese is really struggling with his pancakes that have all fallen apart! He forgot to butter his griddle before cooking them. He stack the pieces like making a puzzle, using his frosting like glue. As time winds down Justice comes over to help Reese get his dessert finished.

Time is up.

Audra’s cake looks pretty bad, it fell apart. Her waffles are nice and crispy, and the strawberry flavor works, but the frosting is very sweet and the corn cereal doesn’t really work.

Justice’s cake looks spectacular. The waffles are delicious, the buttercream is very good but the curd is too sweet and too bitter. Too much sugar and too much orange rind. Otherwise, a perfect dessert.

Aidan’s cake is a little messy, but Duff says it is a good messy. He made ice cream too, which the judges love. His waffles are really good. Valerie says he could put less sugar in frosting so you can taste the cream cheese more. Overall, great job.

Cole’s waffle cake looks gorgeous. The bacon and cake tastes great, but Duff wanted the bacon cooked a little longer. Otherwise his flavors go together really well.

Reese’s cake is a mountain of mess. When the judges taste it they immediately notice it has way too much nutmeg and the chocolate toping is too sweet. But they like the added crunch of the rice cereal in the delicious cream cheese frosting.

Kaniyah’s rainbow pancake stack cake is beautiful. Duff says, “It looks like Dr. Seuss made it!” The judges like the cake and buttercream flavors. Duff and Valerie disagree about the lemon flavor. Too much or just enough?

Jason’s cake looks festive and happy. The judges can tell he had fun making it. When they taste it the cake is dry and the frosting is way too sweet. It didn’t taste as good as it looked.

The winning side is … waffles!


Aidan has the best breakfast dessert. “I can’t believe I won. I was in the bottom last week and I won the waffle challenge!”

Kaniyah’s pancakes keep her safe. Reese and Jason are is the bottom and the one going home is … Reese. 😦

He says, “Even though I’m going home, this is one of the best things that happened to me in my whole entire life. I think my whole family is going to be proud of me and how long I’ve stayed here.”

All the kids give Reese a big hug goodbye and tell him they will miss him. 🙂





Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x05


In this Throw Back Dessert episode the kids have to make homemade éclairs inspired by popular 1970’s desserts. They each pick an “old fashioned” dessert and have to use three key elements in an up-to-date trendy éclair.

Justice is making a Black Forest Cake inspired éclair by using whipped cream, chocolate and cherries. He has been making eclairs since he was two years old and they always come out good at home.

Aidan who loves eclairs is making a Banana Cream Pie inspired éclair by using bananas, vanilla custard and graham cracker crumbs. He thinks this challenge will be easy and fun.

Maya is doing a German Chocolate Cake inspired éclair showcasing chocolate, coconut and pecans. This kind of cake is not her thing and she is very worried about getting it right.


Kaniyah is making a Cherry Cheesecake inspired éclair using cherries, cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs. She loves making cheesecake at home and she wants to make the best cheesecake éclair ever.


Audra is making a Chocolate Pecan Pie inspired éclair using chocolate, pecans and brown sugar. She is happy about this challenge and says “It’s my time to shine!” Audra wants to buy her cat lots of toys when she wins Kids Baking Championship.


Jason is making a throwback Grandma’s Apple Pie éclair with cinnamon, apples and nutmeg. He is feeling very confident with this simple dessert.


Cole is making A Coconut Cream Pie inspired éclair using vanilla custard, coconut and whipped cream. He does not like eclairs and he is having trouble with his batter.


Reese is making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake inspired éclair using pineapple, brown sugar, and cherries. He is very excited to get this cake because his recently made one and he knows what to do.


Maya’s second pate a choux is also too thin and she starts to cry. But Valerie helps her clam down and they walk through the recipe and technique. She tries one more time.


Duff and Valerie give the kids lunchboxes with dried fruit inside. The extra twist to this challenge is they also have to incorporate the dried fruits into their éclairs. No one is thrilled.


Time is up.

Justice’s éclairs taste amazing. The dough is perfect, crispy on the outside and eggy on the inside. The pastry cream not too sweet and the fresh cherries are a nice surprise.

Audra’s éclairs look okay, but they are not consistent. The filling tastes good but it is very thick and doesn’t spread out inside the dough.

Aidan’s éclairs don’t taste like banana cream pie because of the strawberries he added to hide the date flavor. Unfortunate misstep, but otherwise they looked good.

Jason’s éclairs have no glaze which the judges wanted to see. His cream is a little thin but the flavors worked.

Cole’s éclairs are a little blonde, not crunchy on the outside like they should be. The chocolate really works with the added cranberry.

Maya’s éclairs are too flat. Duff thinks the dough had too many eggs. The flavors are there, but the textures are off.

Kaniyah’s éclairs have very good filling and they are nice and sweet. Duff says, “It really makes me think of cheesecake.”

Reese’s éclairs are a little wonky and need more cream in them! But he was creative by putting the raisins in the dough.

Justice and Kaniyah’s éclairs are the top 2 and the best Throwback Dessert goes to … Justice!

Aidan, Maya and Reese’s éclairs are in the bottom. The baker going home is … Maya. 😦

She says, “It’s really sad, but you’ll see me, probably in the White House, or probably in space, or something big. So watch out for me!” 🙂

Reese picks Maya up as all the kids surround her for a huge group hug. Her feet dangle in the air and the sweet way the kids are with each other really charms Valerie.





Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x04

20170206_110704In this “Color Me Wow” episode all the kids have to make a tie-dye cake bursting with color and flavor.

Audra is making an Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting. She uses a lot of orange extract which makes Valerie nervous.


Keili is making an Apple Cinnamon Cake. She is adding shredded green apples and lots of liquidy die to the batter. Duff isn’t sure how that is going to work out.


Jason is making a simple Vanilla Cake with strawberry puree. He is adding food coloring to layers of batter for the tie-die effect.


Kaniyah is doing the same as Jason. She has never made a tie-dye cake before, but she has seen lots of videos on how to do it. Unfortunately, her cakes are not baking in time and she starts crying! 😦

Reese is making a Yellow and White Cake with American Buttercream. His inspiration comes from a tie-dye shirt he made for his fourth grade graduation. He hopes to impress the judges by making two kinds of batter, but it takes a lot of time.

Maya is making a Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. She doesn’t have a lot of batter so she is baking a single layer cake and hoping for the best.


Aidan yet again has the best idea with his White Cake with Strawberry, Orange Lemon and Lime. Each color of cake has its own flavor!

Cole is making a White Cake with Airbrushed Fondant. He is very confident because he loves making cakes and makes them at home a lot.


Justice is making a Strawberry Vanilla Cake. He has never used strawberry powder in cake batter before, but he is hoping for the best.


Then the judges say they want the contestants to make swirled ice-cream to go with their tie-dyed cakes. The kids are getting pretty stressed.

Cole is making vanilla ice-cream with a strawberry, mango and passionfruit swirl. Aidan is making vanilla ice-cream with a raspberry and passionfruit swirl. Jason is making a raspberry jelly to swirl into his ice-cream. Maya is making a vanilla ice-cream with a raspberry sauce. Reese first batch of ice-cream base is over whipped and curdles so he starts his vanilla ice-cream all over. Then he swirls in blackberries. Audra is making vanilla ice-cream with orange white chocolate swirls. Keili is making cinnamon ice-cream with a raspberry coulee swirl. And Kaniyah is making a vanilla-blackberry swirl ice-cream.

The cakes are coming out of the ovens. Aidan’s drop from his pans perfectly, but Kaniyah’s cake is not completely cooked. And Keili’s cake is hardly cooked at all. 😮  It collapses and SHE CAN’T FIX IT!!!! Decorating goes better for the bakers who have enough time to do a good job.

Time is up.

Aidan’s cake looks really cool. When the judges cut into it Duff says it is colorful and pasts the tie-dye “shirt test.” The cake is very moist and tastes delicious. Valerie is impressed by the orange flavor of the orange colored cake. Aidan’s ice cream is very creamy and not too sweet.

Cole’s cake looks stunning and it was the perfect time to use his trademark glitter. The cake is very moist and tastes amazing. Cole’s ice cream has good texture and great flavor. Duff says it tastes just like his mother’s ice-cream.

Audra’s cake has beautiful colors. The cake is moist, but Valerie’s face tells us something is very wrong. The judges say the orange extract flavor is much too strong. Her ice-cream also has too much extract. Duff says, “Extract is not juice. Big difference.”

Keili’s cake is a collapsed raw mess. Duff says when she added the wet ingredients to her batter she changed the chemistry of the cake and it couldn’t cook all the way through. But, luckily, her ice-cream is delicious. Could it save her?

Kaniyah’s cake is messy and she is afraid it didn’t cook all the way. When she starts to tear up Valerie assures her it will be okay. Duff says it is a little raw in the middle and dry on the edges, but the colors and flavors are good. Her ice-cream is fine, but could use more flavor in the swirl. Overall not a bad job.

Justice’s frosting has a cool ombre effect from light to dark. The cake has bright colors and tastes moist. It’s very good. His ice-cream is great and he has the best looking swirl.

Maya’s cake is really “short” but it has a colorful sprinkle topping. The slice is very moist and tastes great but the sprinkles are too much. Her ice-cream was very well done with the best tasting swirl.

Reese did not finish frosting his cake so it looks bad, but Duff says the layers are stacked nice and straight. Inside, the colors are bright and beautiful and the buttercream is good but the cake is a little dry. Reese’s ice-cream is tasty but the blackberry swirl needed more flavor.

And finally, Jason’s cake looks really good. Duff says his fondant job is actually not that bad. But when they cut into it, the cake is crumbling and falling apart! Maybe because he put the hots pans into the blast chiller? His ice-cream tastes good but the swirly parts taste weird  because of lumps of frozen corn starch.

Cole and Aidan are the top 2 tie-dye bakers. Coles was the grooviest!

Reese, Kaniyah and Keili desserts are on the bottom. And the baker leaving is … Keili. 😦

Keili said, “I’m really disappointed because I know I can do better. But I learned that I can do anything, because I did this.” 🙂

All the kids give her a big hug goodbye! 🙂





Max’s Recap Kids Baking Championship S3x03


In the third episode the kids have to make DESSERT IMPOSTERS! Sweet dishes that look like savory dishes. Each kid chooses an order ticket which tells them what diner-style-comfort-food they have to bake.

Justice got fried chicken. He is making fried chicken lemon cake with gum paste bones.


Aidan got meatball sub. He is making pâte à choux buns with meatball brownie filling.


Kaniyah got grilled-cheese sandwich. She is making almond cake bread with almond paste cheese.


Maya got a roast beef sandwich. She is making yellow cake bread with brownie meat.


Audra got mac and cheese. She is making a deconstructed lemon pie.

Reese got chili. He is making chocolate ganache with nuts, chicken cake and filo dough chips.


Dylin got a hot dog. He is making vanilla cake bun with a buttercream hotdog.


Cole got meatloaf. He is making chocolate cake and strawberry coulis loaf with pecan top for added texture. His cake starts to ooze out of the pan so he covers it with aluminum foil


Jason got a burrito. He is making pound cake chicken and homemade crepes for tortilla.


Keili got peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She is making a white cake sandwich bread with peanut butter chip and grape buttercream fillings.


Then the judges say they also have to make dessert imposter chips and salsa! What?

Jason is psyched because chips and salsa will go great with his burrito. He makes deep fried crepe triangles and colored milk chocolate and buttercream salsa. Keili makes thin cake chips with chocolate malt coconut flakes and sprinkles. Aidan makes sugar cookie chips with pureed fruit salsa. Reese already has filo chips for his chili so he makes raspberry compote salsa. Dylin also makes filo chips with diced apple and cherry salsa. Kaniyah makes filo chips with blood orange puree and coconut salsa. Maya makes chips out of deep fried crepes with colored coconut flake and mashed frozen cherry salsa. Justice makes filo dough chips with watermelon and apple puree salsa. Cole makes deep fried puffed pastry chips with mango-pineapple salsa. And finally, Audra makes fried dough chips with passion fruit puree and mini marshmallow salsa.

Time is up.

Jason’s chips and salsa are amazing and his burrito looks real and tastes very good.

Aidan’s chips and salsa are just okay. The fruit salsa needed more seasoning. His meat ball sub looks just like a real sub and it tastes amazing.

Reese’s chips are a little thin but his salsa is good. His chili looks good but its tastes a little weird. Valerie doesn’t like the boiled nuts.

Keili’s chips are like yummy donuts, but the salsa is a little dry. Her PB&J doesn’t really look like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but it tastes just like one.

Cole’s meatloaf dish looks impressively real with mashed potatoes and green beans. And it tastes good, too. But the judges think that the glitter on top takes away from the presentation.

Kaniyah’s salsa doesn’t look like salsa, but it tastes great. Her grilled cheese looks exactly like a real Texas toast sandwiched and it tastes delicious. “You eat it, you swallow it, you like it!”

Audra’s salsa looks like tomato soup with crackers but tastes pretty good. Her max and cheese doesn’t look very good and is too bitter and too sweet.

Justice’s salsa is the best looking salsa of the day. His fried chicken leg looks great and Duff says the flavors are “Spot on.”

Dylin’s chipotle salsa has a little too much red dye and his chips were a little too thin. His hot dog looks a little messy and is underbaked. His buttercream is delicious.

Maya’s chips are good but her salsa is too bland. Her roast beef sandwich doesn’t really fool anyone but her cake is beautifully baked.


Aidan, Cole and Jason are the top 3 Imposter Bakers and Jason’s dish is the very best.

Audra, Dylin and Maya are in the bottom 3 and sadly, the one going home is Dylin. He is a good baker and everyone is going to miss him. All the kids hug him goodbye.