JUDGE | LAURA CALDER
I really worry when I see people bring brownies to the competition because I think, ‘ugh not another brownie.’ Everybody thinks they’ve got the best brownie recipe.
We had Tracey who brought us her Dulce de Leche brownies. The Dulce de Leche just makes the brownie that much more decadent. If you’re going to have a brownie, that’s the way to do it. And I think it even improves on the brownie taste. This was an exciting recipe! Sometimes you don’t want food to be overly complicated.
With Dianne’s Glazed Lemon Pecan Cookies you get just a really tasty tea cookie and I really love the flavour of lemon. Sometimes the simplest recipes can be the biggest hits because those are the ones you find yourselves reaching for over and over again. But by the time the cookies were batched up, the lemon hadn’t been adjusted correctly and the look wasn’t exciting enough. I think I would have preferred if they were a bit daintier. I just don’t want another round boring cookie.
I LOVED Chantal’s cookies. I’ve never tasted anything like them before. I loved the concept of breaking the cookie and finding the super-thin layer of fig inside. They’re also one of those recipes that could go well with tea or dessert. I’m just dying to try it with a slice of blue cheese and a glass of port!
Dulce de Leche Brownies
JUDGE | DANA McCAULEY
Dianne is a really nice lady but she was so stuck in doing it her home-cook way, even when I told her it’s never going to work this way in the commercial world. Why not make some changes now? She adamantly refused. That was really disappointing and I think she could have gone a lot further if she had been open to changing her technique (not the flavour; the flavour still would have been the same).
Poor Tracey. I really felt badly for her. I really think she had a star-crossed bad day. She seems like the kind of person who knows her recipe inside and out and yet just everything went wrong. Who hasn’t had a day like that? I just felt really bad for her.
Chantal managed to put together a recipe which was fantastic. But that point of keeping the cardamom in check – she wasn’t able to follow through on that and that ultimately was her downfall.
Glazed Lemon Pecan Cookies
JUDGE | TONY CHAPMAN
Tracey's recipe was the most on trend of any contestants we have ever entered the competition - Dulce de Leche - with the notes of Argentina (dark chocolate, salt all on top of one of the most desired desserts: a brownie). She struggled in the batch-up, but it was expected in some ways given the complexity of the recipe, and in the product launch - she buried the fact that her recipe was a brownie. Worse still, she buried the trends in her recipe name, thinking Chocolate Diamonds was a better name. But her personality shined through.
I loved Chantal’s story, how Iraq inspired her recipe, and how original it was. It hit the 'sweet' spot for consumers - better tasting and better for you. She struggled in the batch-up challenge, relying more on her instincts as a home chef, versus coming up with a recipe. The end result created a flavour profile of too much cardamom that polarized. She had a successful product launch that both captured and captivated, but I would have liked to see her personally more engaged and smiling. It was one of the toughest deliberations to date, but she lost to a product that was ready for prime time.
What isn't there to like about Dianne's recipe? At audition she brought the type of cookie you bake at home. She struggled as well in the batch-up with sizing and presentation. When it came down to the batch-up elimination we felt her recipe was something consumers would bake themselves rather than buy.
Mahbooz Date Cookies
If you missed it, you can watch the full episode here.
by Souzan Michael