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Monday, March 17, 2014

Chopped!! (The Dessert Round Finale!!)

Noah James' Entry!
I recently had an email informing me that I had left some friends hanging over our Chopped: Feav Family Edition!  Apparently, I neglected to post details of the final round and announce the winner.  Shame on me. . .it was WAY too glorious to have overlooked!  Here's what happened:

Hot off the heels of the Appetizer and Entree rounds, my oldest (17) and youngest (7) were in a pretty heated neck-and-neck race.  Though this started out as a bit of fun, it quickly became serious and my two budding chefs were definitely bringing their 'A' game to the contest.

The 'mystery basket' ingredients this time around included cream, stale angel food cake, chocolate chips and two leftover Christmas decorations.  I could see their little minds working like anything as we readied to start the clock.  As soon as we said 'GO!' they were off!

Noah James decided to make ice cream.  I tried, casually, to
get him to re-think that particular choice, as we don't have an ice cream maker or a blast chiller and the time was so short.  He was undeterred and made a concoction of cream and sugar and almond AND lemon extracts (I was a little frightened at this point!!) and popped it in the freezer.

Linza's Entry!
Linza, on the other hand, went in a VERY creative direction.  She took the angel food cake, cut it in slices, then dipped it in chocolate and put it in the fridge to set.  She then made two sauces. . .a chocolate/marshmallow fudge sauce and a TO DIE FOR peanut butter cream.  Her final flourish was an almond whipped cream.  When she plated it, she put a slice of the angel food cake (which was SOOOO like a malted milk ball!!), added a scoop of pre-made vanilla ice cream, drizzled the plate with her two delectable sauces and a dollop of her whipped cream.

Meanwhile, back at Noah James' station, creativity also kicked into high gear!  He made a chocolate and angel food cake sauce (which I also thought would not work!) and then a brittle with small chunks of angel food cake and nuts in it. (that was the only thing I 'did' for him as I am not ready to have my seven year old handling boiling sugar. . .but he supervised every aspect from ingredients to cooking time!)

When he was ready to 'plate' I was pretty dubious about how that was all going to come together.  He swept a large spoon of his chocolate/angel food cake sauce on the plate, put a dollop of his (miraculously wonderful) ice cream (I had no idea that such a smooth, creamy, gorgeous ice cream could be made in so little time in just a bowl in the freezer!!) on top of the sauce, and then stuck a shard of his brittle into the ice cream.  It was freaking beautiful.

We sent the 'contestants' out of the room to deliberate. . .and, honestly, both my husband and I were dumbstruck.  Lindsay's sauces were better than ANYTHING I have ever had on ice cream. . .especially her peanut butter cream. . .just soooo good.  And who knew that toasted angel food cake covered in chocolate would mimic malted milk balls exactly?  It was rich, yet refreshing, and utterly delicious!

Noah James' offering surprised the heck out of us, though. . .I would NEVER have put almond and lemon extracts together and expected to be able to eat the results!  And blending cake into a sauce?  Sounded kind of dodgy to me!  But OH! it was soooooo good!  The ice cream was absolutely magnificent, and the brittle was, too.  It all worked together so well you'd have thought it was intentional rather than the good luck it probably was!

So, who was the winner of our first ever "Chopped:  Feav Family Edition?"

Barely edging out the competition because of a little too much almond extract in her whipped cream, Noah James, seven year old chef-in-training, took the prize!!!!

So incredibly proud of both my beautiful babies!  

Can't wait for the next episode!!

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