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Telstar Meets Chopped

The+required+ingredients+for+the+competition.+
The required ingredients for the competition.

The required ingredients for the competition.

Photo Credit Kelly Hazlett

Photo Credit Kelly Hazlett

The required ingredients for the competition.

Kelly Hazlett, Staff

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Three bakers and Satellite seniors, Kelly Hazlett, Sara Malmquist, and Reed Harper set out in a battle to create the best fall treat around…but there’s a catch. The bakers were given 3 wacky ingredients to incorporate into their dish in addition to full pantry access. Who will prevail?

Mr. Strattan, judge of the first ever “Telstar Meets Chopped”, challenged the bakers to create a dessert that includes sweet potatoes, chocolate, and bacon in just 45 minutes. Malmquist felt that the addition of bacon was definitely a “curveball”, but a challenge she was willing to take on.

Despite the “curveball”, Hazlett, Malmquist, and Harper all stayed calm once the clock started counting down. Malmquist recalled that she “didn’t have a plan” going into the competition but felt that her crepe creation turned out well. To start, Malmquist mashed up the sweet potato then added the crepe batter basics to the mashed sweet potato; vanilla, flour, milk, brown sugar, egg, and a dash of cinnamon to add a bit of fall flavor to the dish. Once the batter was ready and she made each crepe in a heated pan, adding plenty of butter to the pan for each crepe. She then set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate, as without a double boiler, heating chocolate can often be quite a challenge. The melted Kit Kats and crispy bacon were then used as the crepe filling. To top it all off, Malmquist added a touch of maple butter with some light whipped cream. Who knew that sweet potato crepes would be such a success!

Reed Harper took a different approach. He wanted the bacon to be central to the dish, so he pledged to let the bacon “stand on its own” by doing a pancake twist with the bacon cooked right into the pancake. To do this, he made the batter by balancing out the earthy flavors of the sweet potato and adding sweet, mashed up banana and chocolate chips as well as vanilla yogurt for tanginess. The kitchen stress is real, but Harper managed to pull his dish together despite Malmquist’s assertion that “he yelled at me a few times” in the heated competition . Timing was a major challenge, as Harper had to change his plan of making a suzette topping, which is essentially an orange flavored caramel sauce. He ditched the suzette idea and turned to maple butter and kiwi as a topping to add a “slight hint of fresh [and] tart”. The pancake turned out to be the sweetest of the 3 desserts presented.

The last contestant’s dish also took a different approach. Hazlett decided to make a sweet potato donut with a chocolate, bacon, and hazelnut topping. She started by mashing the sweet potato and adding “random amounts of sugar and flour” until “it felt right” as well as cinnamon, butter, and eggs. Once the batter was ready, she spooned the batter into the little donut molds that she found in the kitchen. The donuts cooked for about 7 minutes until they were ready to go. She then microwaved some hazelnut dark chocolate, which Malmquist’s double boiler method would definitely look down upon. From there, Hazlett threw some bacon, brown sugar, and butter in a pan to try to caramelize the bacon. The caramelization was mildly successful, so Hazlett went with it. She added the chopped up bacon bits to the melted hazelnut chocolate and glazed the sweet potato donuts with the topping.

There you have it! 3 completely different desserts with the same 3 ingredients: Harper’s Sweet Potato-Banana-Bacon-Inlay Pancake, Hazlett’s Sweet Potato Donut with a Chocolate Glaze, and Malmquist’s Sweet Potato Crepe.

Mr. Strattan tasted the three desserts and judged them based on both creativity and overall flavor. When looking at the 3 desserts, he immediately exclaimed, “is that kiwi on top?!” Strattan dove into the pancake and commented that it’s “very moist and rich” with “lots of butter”. He did wonder, however, if it should be classified as a “dessert or breakfast”. Next he moved on to the “cute lil donut”  that reminded Mr. Strattan of a “fancy donut shop in NYC”. Although cute, the donut could’ve been more moist, and the bacon topping was “overcooked a bit”. Last on the chopping block was the crepe. Mr. Strattan felt that the “melted Kit Kats work” but, like the donut, the bacon was slightly overcooked.

So, with all that in mind, who conquered the first ever Telstar Meets Chopped challenge? Reed Harper’s Sweet Potato-Banana-Bacon-Inlay Pancake!

1 Comment

One Response to “Telstar Meets Chopped”

  1. sheridan ecker on November 3rd, 2017 2:24 pm

    this was such a good article! very creative idea, gordon ramsay would be proud

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