The season finale of FOX's Crime Scene Kitchen is here and host Joel McHale is joined by judges Yolanda Gampp and Curtis Stone as the final four teams of bakers play dessert detective and recreate whatever was created in the crime scene kitchen. Last week's semi-finals saw Erinn & Amanda leave the kitchen. The remaining teams Luis & Natalie, Lorie & Jason, Emma & Leslie, and Thomas & Cathy headed into the last first round, which was turned into an elimination round, for the first time. In the final dessert round of the season, the clues in the kitchen were butter, flour, and a rolling pin; fresh raspberries in a colander with pastry cream on them; cocoa powder, and a chocolate-covered toothpick.
Emma & Leslie are making chocolate Napoleons (featuring cocoa powder in the puff pastry), same as Lorie & Jason; Thomas & Cathy are making traditional Napoleons as are Luis & Natalie. A Napoleon is a layered pastry comprised of puff pastry, creme patisserie, and raspberries and topped with chocolate. The mystery dessert for the first round turned out to be Napoleons…classic, traditional Napoleons.
The team that got closest to the mystery dessert was Thomas & Cathy, though there is no reward with extra clues for the next round…only an elimination, which sadly means the team that was the furthest off and the first to go was Emma & Leslie, owing to their incredibly uneven Napoleons.
Switching things up yet again for the final showstopper round, Yolanda requested the bakers use the next round to make her a birthday cake (since today, July 21, is her birthday). The bakers are to use the clues in the kitchen in their own way to create a birthday cake of original design using the flavors found in the final crime scene kitchen however they like. Yolanda's favorite flavors she gave the teams to work with are raspberries, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla bean.
Luis & Natalie went with a "more is more" approach with a different flavor for each of their three tiers; the first a vanilla confetti cake with a raspberry buttercream (and a sprinkle surprise inside), a lemon blueberry cake, and bananas foster devil's food cake chocolate espresso cake. The star of their cake was the decoration: it was pink, sparkly, had a candle on top, and screamed "birthday".
Lorie & Jason presented a three-tier cake with different flavors in each: raspberry lemon cake, a butter pecan salted caramel cake, and on the lowest tier a coffee and chocolate cake with raspberries inside. On the outside, it was marbled and elegant with a muted, abstract artistic design.
Thomas & Cathy made a trio of chocolate cakes with the first featuring raspberries and pistachios, the second showcasing salted caramel, and the third being coffee chocolate with a dark chocolate ganache. Their design was also restrained, but in an upscale classy way – the colors were white and gold, with luster dust being used to give it that "Yolanda sparkle."
In the end, the judges' favorite cake and the one birthday girl Yolanda chose belonged to Luis & Natalie. With their prize money from winning it all, they plan to open their own bakery, which Natalie is excited about because it means she can spend more time with her son and set her own hours. Luis is grateful to be able to give back to his parents, who moved their family to the United States when he was young, giving him the opportunity to go to pastry school and follow his dreams and passion. We can only hope that FOX's Crime Scene Kitchen returns for a second season – though season one did come to an incredibly sweet conclusion. Congratulations to Luis & Natalie – I can't wait to visit their future bakery if that's what they end up doing!
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