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'Just Desserts': Dessert Wars

October 29, 2010 | 12:04 pm

NUP_138928_1480 Thursday night, the first Dessert Wars ensued, Team Diva disbanded and Nancy Silverton paid a visit to the "Top Chef" set.

The remaining six pastry chefs were divided into two teams for the bakery challenge, in which each team had to make nine desserts: three per contestant, including one bread item and two prepped a la minute.

After losing the pastry prep quickfire, Morgan, Danielle and Eric were hungry for a win. (Hey, I'd be salivating over a $30,000 prize too.) They stocked the beautiful display case with Eric's vanilla malted cake with chocolate butter cream and a banana loaf with brown-butter-and-tangerine icing; a pistachio shortcake and coffee cream pie with hazelnut brittle from Danielle; and chocolate cake with mousse and creme brulee center and chocolate glaze, as well as a lemon fried pie with salted caramel ice cream from Morgan.

Though the Divas proclaimed that they were superior in style, their Adult Playground concept presented their customers with a sad, sparse display case. And Heather, who insisted on rolling the dough by hand instead of using a sheeter, whipped up some of the thickest crust the judges had ever seen. To make matters worse, she was in charge or rolling dough for Yigit, whose chocolate tart with salted peanuts and caramel was ruined by the dense dough.

Keeping true to the format of a real bakery, the other team's Whisk Me Away bakery had stocked jars with staples such as chocolate chip cookies. But when it came to the bread, guest judge Silverton was more impressed with Zac's white-truffle-and-kalamata-olive brioche than Morgan's soft, salted pretzel. That was about the only thing that Team Diva had going for them, though.

Well, that and the fact that they had the adorable Yigit working the front of the house. The judges didn't quite take to Danielle's lackadaisical hosting, but it wasn't enough to whisk her team away to the chopping block.

In the end, Heather got the boot, breaking up the giggly Diva crew. With Team Diva disbanded, will Zac and Yigit still have their flare? As long as there's disco dust, it's safe to say so.

-- Krista Simmons

Photo: Morgan's chocolate cake with creme brule center Credit: NBC UMV