This year’s Great Viking Bake Off featured three themes: cupcakes, French-inspired sweets, and flowers. On her debut, Melanie Qin’s creative presentation and lemon-kiwi toppings grabbed the judge’s attention, propelling her to the second round. Ellen Hansen and returning champion Sam Whitson both showcased their excellent baking abilities with multi-dimensional and historically influenced designs.
Next, the students were presented with a French technical challenge, forcing them to step outside their comfort zone and experiment with various desserts and sweets that featured multiple components. Again, Melanie’s playful and unique design alongside her flawless technique propelled her to the top. Ellen also earned a finalist spot, impressing the judges with a complex bake: a Gâteau St. Honoré. Last but not least, Sam’s cream puff swans delivered on flavor, style, and fun, receiving the last available seat.
The final round came down to the flower theme. Ellen’s vanilla chamomile cake with orange and honey mousseline buttercream, garnished with candied oranges and rice-paper flowers amazed all the senses. Sam’s yule log, featuring rose-infused chantilly cream and molded candy roses excited the judge’s tastebuds. However, Melanie’s Japanese cheesecake took the show. Adorned with berries and bursting with moon cakes, it represented not only expert technique and flavor but also a representation of Chinese New Year.
The 2022 Great Viking Bake Off lasted from Wednesday, January 5 to Friday, January 28.