Celebrating the Holidays - Nailed it! Style

How do you celebrate the holidays when everyone is working remotely? You embrace the access to a mulitude of ovens and set out a baking challenge!

On Friday, December 04, 2020, three intrepid bakers embarked on the baking challenge of their (short) baking lives. Based on the framework of Nailed it! (starring the amazing Nicole Byer), we issued a call for home bakers who were up for taking on the challenge of recreating a professional-level holiday cake (watch the trailer for Nailed It! Holiday to really preview the show - it's on Netflix!).

Let's meet the bakers!

Via an intense application process, three open-minded and "up for anything" bakers were selected to participate in the challenge. Before they could regret their decision, a box of baking supplies arrived on their doorstep and the challenge was on! Baking was Mikhail Burke, Anna Limanni, and Tom Coyle.

Let's meet the cake!

We wanted to balance a challenge with feasibility, so we avoided the route of a fully fondant cake (though we were tempted to challenge the bakers with a very impressive fondant Holiday Minion cake). In the end, we selected this frolicking penguin winter wonderland cake. To make it a touch more fair, and since we knew our bakers (unlike the show contestants) wouldn't have access to a blast freezer, we asked the bakers to pre-bake their cakes and make their icing. We didn't reveal the final design, just enough to start them in the right direction.

And how did they do?

The bakers crushed it! Unlike the contestants on the show, each truly produced a work of art (pay particular note to Mikhail's abstract but beautiful penguins, the staggering height of Tom's masterpiece, and Anna's attention to detail - those snowballs!). 

Third Place: Mikhail Burke

Personally, I find the wind swept abstract scarves a glorious touch on this creation. While explaining his motivation and strategy, Mikhail mentioned an ode to the Platonic ideals, which I think were captured in these penguins.

Second Place: Anna Limanni

Anna was foiled during the baking time, as one of the judges won a disadvantage that they could hand out to one of the contestants. The disadvantage? That Anna had to add snow-person (the politically correct way to say snowman in 2020) to her cake. Unfortunately, she heard literally "snow person" - but the results were a delight as we can see said snow person featured prominently on her cake entry.

First Place: Tom Coyle

Knocking our socks off in first place was Tom! Who knew the man was such an artist? Apparently, a background in materials engineering is an excellent foundation for cake construction. Amazing!

Thanks to everyone who participated (and to our judges/audience) for their time, energy, and fearlessness! Until next year!

Article Category: EdTech Events
Tags: Holiday, Fun