Arts & Entertainment

Livingston's Teen Baker Struggles Through Week Four of "Kids Baking Championship"


NEW YORK, NY — After losing a male baker for three consecutive weeks on Food Network’s “Kid’s Baking Championship,” the streak was finally broken—but not by Livingston 12-year-old Soleil Thomas, who advanced to the top eight.

Although she made it to week five, Thomas struggled through Monday’s challenge to create an ice cream cone drip cake inspired by a classic ice cream flavor in two hours. Thomas, whose flavor was cookies and cream, landed in the bottom three due to decorations that weren’t up to standard.

The kids explained that an ice cream cone drip cake is a regular cake with a ganache dripped over the top to create the illusion that an ice cream cone is melting over it.

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At random, each baker chose a traditional ice cream flavor—between mint chip, raspberry-vanilla swirl, Neapolitan, butter pecan, pistachio, chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate chip, rainbow sherbet and cookies and cream—that would ultimately inspire their cake. In addition to baking their cake, the bakers also had to satisfy mentors Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli’s mid-challenge twist to also make a side of ice cream.

“Cookies and cream is one of my favorite ice cream flavors,” Thomas said early in the challenge. “What could be more perfect?”

Thomas opted to bake a cookies-and-cream cake, with a cookies-and-cream buttercream, a hot-pink chocolate drizzle and a side of cookies-and-cream ice cream. To do so, she added crushed-up cream-filled sandwich cookies into the biggest batch of cake batter she has ever made.

It was her thick cake that ultimately led to her downfall, because it took too long to cook and left Thomas with very little time to decorate. At the last minute, Thomas covered the top of her cake with pink sprinkles that the judges were not pleased with.

“I don’t know if this is a successful drip cake,” said Goldman. “It is a cake, and there are definitely drips on it, but I don’t think you controlled those drips like you wanted to.”

Goldman added that there was too much sugar on top, which they avoided eating. However, Bertinelli said her cake was “fabulously moist.”

“Your cake though, while good, I believe was over-mixed,” said Goldman, who then raved about her ice cream.

“That is a really good cookies-and-cream ice cream,” said Bertinelli. “I think the cake is very moist, I’m more disappointed in your decorations. I know you can do better and this is really not the mess that I expect from you.”

Ultimately, “Kids Baking Championship” said goodbye to Beverly Hepler, 10, of Foster City, CA.  Tune into Food Network on Monday at 9 p.m. to see Thomas compete in the top eight. 

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