We are at the halfway point for Episode 7 of Food Network Star!I am so excited to have made it to this point. This episode was designed to showcase our presentation skills under the pressure of the media. We were to make one signature recipe that would tell the media who we were in one bite. After a short on-camera presentation about us and our recipe, we were to talk to elite members of the Hollywood press and food blogosphere: Ed Levine from the hugely popular Serious Eats, Christina McLarty from Entertainment Tonight, and Jess Cagle and Jill Bernstein from Entertainment Weekly.
There are three big twists this episode: 1-This challenge and all others going forward are individual challenges. 2-We are cooking and presenting without our mentors. 3-We finally get to cook in the Food Network studios at Chelsea Market.
It feels pretty surreal to walk into Chelsea Market with the realization you are actually going to BE in a Food Network show. I've been there several times and even got to watch an episode of Ultimate Recipe Showdown a few years ago so it was beyond surreal for me.
The recipe was to be a signature bite... one that would tell the panel who we are and what we are all about in one bite. I felt like nothing said "party" like ice cream and cake so I decided to bake my favorite Chocolate Soufflé Cake and spin a simple vanilla bean ice cream. What is a party without cake and ice cream, right? Well, I had to punt and execute my Plan B when there was no ice cream spinner in the kitchen AND the cups I had to bake in were not able to go in the oven. Ugggh! I knew the ingredients I had were also the ingredients for a little more complex dessert that I love to make, Chocolate Roulage. With just minutes before the timer started, I decided to make it instead but knew I had to work fast.
We had an hour. The cake only takes about 17 minutes to bake however, it needs to cool 30 minutes before you spread the cream and roll it up. That is 37 minutes. I only had one hour total. Ideally, I also like to put it in the freezer for a bit before serving so it slices better. No time for such luxuries on this day:) Thank goodness for my sweet friend and teammate Justin Warner. He saw me struggling to slice and plate and pitched in to help. He's awesome!
The judges gave thumbs up for both my recipe and my presentation. Get my recipe for Chocolate Roulage...
Watch the full episode... Justin and I win this challenge. Sadly, our Team Alton teammate Emily does not fare as well.