It can be hard to root for any given contestant on Recipe to Riches. They come and go so fast, without the multi-episode arcs of other reality shows, each peddling a recipe that will almost surely get changed anyway. Plus, it’s just not a “character” reality show: there’s no big villain, no everyman hero, no lovable quirky clown. It’s one shot, two if you’re lucky, and then home. But when we first saw Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec’s sweet Chantal Bekhor trying, in vain, to eyeball her recipe for the batch-up challenge, our Recipe-hardened hearts softened up. After all, just how does one multiply a pinch of salt by a thousand?
First off: Etobicoke’s Tracy Rigden, with her Salt-Kissed Dulce de Leche Brownie. She’s apparently the type to bring baked treats to work, but if the footage is any indication, her office isn’t exactly huge, so she was shocked when the batch-up challenge required her to make 1,000 little brownies (we were, too; the last one only required 400). Indeed, the massive scale-up rattled all the contestants, leading to a batch-up that was more like a botch-up. Diana Tynes’ Glazed Lemon Pecan Cookies were the worst of the lot—deemed unattractive and too simple—and she was went home. For the product launch challenge, that left Rigden and our aforementioned favourite, Chantal Bekhor, backed by her Mahbooz Date Biscuits (of Jewish-Iraqi origin, they’re essentially thin, spiced biscuits with date filling, and easily one of the most interesting products to appear on the show.) Taking a leaf from episode 2 winner Stephen Childs’ playbook (it’s one page long and just says “sex sells”), Rigden recruited showgirls to push her brownies (unfortunately rechristened Chocolate Diamonds) with a 1940s glamour theme (forget World War II–era austerity). Bekhor, meanwhile, was coaxed into working belly dancers into her marketing effort, opting for the atmosphere of a North African tea house. The customer response numbers were pretty decent in both cases but, in a gross abrogation of justice, Galen and co. went with the safe bet (a sugar-laden brownie), and our beloved Bekhor was sent home.
Best line:Dana McCauley, on first seeing Rigden’s brownie, “Oh, jeez, not another friggin’ brownie.”
Best product that the judges passed on: Cat’s Ultimate Danger Cookie
Let’s get the usual half-praise out of the way first: “good for school bake-offs”; “you could pass this off as something you made”; “they taste less artificial.” Compared to the the Bees’ Nests and Chili Bombs, these are rave reviews. But then one of our office tasters contemplated his sweet, rich little cube, overcame his anti–frozen stuff bias and haltingly exclaimed: “These. Are. Good.” It was pretty much unanimous: Rigden’s Salt-Kissed Dulce de Leche Brownies really are pretty great (and the name is just so much better than “Chocolate Diamonds”). President’s Choice didn’t skimp on the salt, and the three distinct textures—cakey brownie, gooey dulce de leche and semi-firm ganache—worked in a tasty little harmony. Yes, they are extremely sweet (one taster called it a “sugar bomb”), and they sit a little heavy in the stomach, but let us reiterate: “These. Are. Good.”
Suggested pairing: Milk. As much milk as you can drink. Or ice cream, of course.
18 thoughts on “Recipe to Riches reviewed, episode 3: Salt-Kissed Dulce de Leche Brownies”
Re the entire season…. the end product is not what is shown on TV… what they did to the cheesy bees nests and chili slams is not the original recipe… what happened to the peach slices and the polenta? I would have bought the original product, but not these jam covered filo??? cups nor the ‘wraps’ (a completely different shape and wrapping)… the whole point of the chili was the muffin tins for leftovers of any type and the puck that could be covered with polenta…. too bad these cooks sold their recipes to a greedy conglomerate who don’t appreciate their ingenuity… I will make the products at home and view the series as purely educational. Last year, every product became part of a Christmas Eve tasting event for my friends. I wouldn’t serve them these end-products this season.
love these brownies best one so far !!!!
What I don’t understand is how 2 of the “top” advertising firms in *any city* come up with product names as awful as Chocolate Diamonds or Wrap Attack
the only Recipes to Riches product that I’ve tried is the Peach Cheesecake (which turned out tasting more like frozen cardboard) and I was curious to try out the dulce de leche brownies because they look so irresistible and the reviews on the PC website were mostly positive. So I went to an Extra Foods to pick one up, but I think I will only get it when I’m comfortable enough to spend $8.99 for it. I’d probably would have gotten if it was priced between 6.99 and 7.99 but I wouldn’t want to pay mostly for the product packaging than the actual brownie.
I made the mistake of thawing the whole thing before reading the package. You can’t eat more than one 2″ square of these things in one sitting–they’re sickly sweet–but you have to consume the whole thing within 48 hours of defrosting. That means that about $8.40 worth of the $8.99 desert is going in the bin. I think either one of the cookies would have been a better choice.
I was very disappointed that the date cookies weren’t chosen. I would have enjoyed trying those, but this sounds too rich to be appealing.
We are trying each Recipes to Riches winner. Loved this weeks! Let’s support our Canadian reality show.
The best dessert i’ve tasted in a long time….until i hit a piece with sea salt on the top. I didn’t like that at all.
I agree with Jay, I would not serve these or any other product from this season. I really thought the *brownies* would be fantastic but woe is me they are heavy, the dulce de leche is the worst taste ever… kind of like the salty touch but that’s all. Won’t be buying anything else from this year after trying and nixing the bees nests and chili slams. Where did the lemon puddings disappear to? loved them!
I really enjoyed the blend of dulce de leche and sea salt on the ganache. Sure they were sugar bombs and pricey but they were yummy for someone with a sweet tooth.
I am beginning to wish that they offered a limited amount of the second place item just so I could try those date cookies.
Tried these brownies…they taste fantastic with the salt..however the brownie was dry, too much dulce de leche and the ganache remained too hard to eat as finger food without either getting messy or smashing it if trying to eat with a fork. Overly sweet and could quickly get sickening. Will try the original recipe and see if that is better….PC you missed out again.
I was disappointed the date cookies weren’t picked, I would have loved to try those. In fact, I’ve printed up the recipe and am going to make them myself. As for the brownies, absolutely no interest in buying them.
Brownies,totally addictive,my family couldn’t leave them alone,the best ever!
I was excited about the brownies they looked so good on tv. I even spent the $8.99 which I think is pricy for brownies even if ther is caramel in it. Anyway I was not impressed, what the hell is the salt doing on them. There was no salt on tv. I will not be buying this again.
These were excellent! I let them defrost slightly so I could get my knife into them and then cut 16 equal squares, took out two for myself and my husband and the rest went back in the freezer……then it’s easy to take additional pieces out when frozen. Yum…
Absolutely there was sea salt on them when they were on the show – hence the name “salt kissed”. I personally loved the salt and wish there was more on the tray I bought. And love dulce de leche. I’m not a huge sweet person but loved the whole idea of this recipe and it didn’t disappoint!
we absolutely love the brownies!!! and the chipotle cili slems are good for a quick snack,
The brownie was amazing..I dont like sweets and my whole family enjoyed!!! Not at all dry and if people actually watched the entire of the show and paid attention yes there was sea salt added!! As for being over priced..Not at all..Well worth the money!!!
Comments are closed.