Padma and Chef Frumkin step forward to sample Hung's banana, rum, and chocolate pie with spicy peanuts. With strawberry dikes. "It didn't have enough time to set, but it's delicious the way it is," Hung explains quickly. "Why…didn't it have enough time to set? I saw you had a lot of time on your hands," Padma interrogates. "Yeah, um, I didn't use the regular dark chocolate so it didn't set as hard," Hung blithers. According to my pastry consultant, milk chocolate doesn't always set up the way dark chocolate does and often needs gelatin. She thinks the lack of the milk solids in the dark chocolate help it to seize and be less homogenous with the whipped cream and therefore gain some structure. It doesn't explain why milk chocolate would need the stabilizing effect of gelatin if he were just using egg whites, though. Even more confusing, Alton Brown's recipe for chocolate mousse uses heavy cream and dark chocolate AND gelatin. Some cooks and chefs simply feel more comfortable using gelatin because, when done correctly, it is certain to firm up your liquids. Personally, I hate the consistency of gelatinized stuff, so I always risk it. However, it's pretty obvious Hung did so many other things wrong to contribute to his chocolate mooze beyond using unstabilized milk chocolate.
Hung, still not getting it, tells us, "The mousse was not as firm as I'd like it to be, but the flavors were all there -- it tasted delicious." First of all, stop calling it a mousse. What you made looked like pudding -- you made a chocolate pudding pie. Second of all, whether the flavors were there or not, it looked a mess and it's not good enough to hide behind the "but it tastes so goooood" defense when you're in this kind of competition. I make messes all the time that taste good, but I can because I'm not trying to be a top chef. What bothers me most about this defense is that I know Hung knows that and if anyone else on this show tried to get away with a mess that "tasted delicious," he would slam their presentation. Besides, didn't Hung say earlier that his stuff is "all about finesse, style, grace, and elegance"? I'm not seeing much of that on this plate, unless by "finesse" he means the consistency of Finesse.
Howie presents a peach pie "tarte Tatin" with a black pepper and balsamic sabayon served in a shot glass. "I know chefs pervert terms and recipes all the time," the Evil Dr. Mathra interjects, "but it's not technically a tarte Tatin unless it uses apples. Hey, if you're gonna bust on Hung, I'll have to bust on Howie." Chef Frumkin thinks the flavors are "kind of strong."