Tri-State girl competing on Food Network’s ‘Kids Baking Championship’
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Madeira girl is competing for the title of the best baker on the Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship” right now.
Lucia Calonge may only be 10 years old, but she has plenty of experience in the kitchen.
“I have always loved baking,” explains Calonge, “I started baking when I was two years old, but it wasn’t really baking, it was helping mix ingredients.”
The 10-year-old Madeira native is one of 12 contestants on the Food Network’s show.
“We’re not really competing against each other,” Calonge adds, “We’re just, it just feels like baking with your best friend. But I still want to win.”
There have been three episodes with an elimination each week and Calonge is still competing for the grand prize.
The person who survives to the end will win a $25,000 grand prize and the chance to be featured in Food Network Magazine.
“Actually, being on there [the show] was a dream come true,” exclaims Calonge, “I have lots of highlights. One of them was meeting all the bakers and casting and producer teams and Duff and Val. That was just awesome seeing them eat my dessert because it’s just so cool.”
The show hosts are Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman.
Calonge says she’s learned a lot from the hosts and judges and looks forward to using their knowledge to expand her own skills and continue baking sweet treats.
“Lately, I’ve loved to try different recipes because I got a lot of new cookbooks for Christmas,” explains Calonge, “And I am loving trying new recipes and new flavor profiles and different decorating techniques and I just love baking.”
Calonge has even offered up her favorite brownie recipe and some tips so that I could be just as good as this television baking star.
“Lucia’s tips were to not over mix the batter. She recommended a recipe with both melted butter and oil. She also includes cocoa powder and melted chocolate. She lines the pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
When the brownies are done baking, let them cool for 30 minutes and then put them in the refrigerator before cutting them.
You can also follow Calonge on her Instagram page: “Baking my way to Heaven.”
Here’s her recipe:
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 ounces (57 g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup (28 g) unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder (see note)
- 2 ⅓ cups (495 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable, canola, or avocado oil (could also try melted coconut oil)
- 4 tablespoons (57 g) salted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups (249 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (170 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch metal pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray (the lining of the pan is optional but helps with cleanup or pulling out the whole slab of brownies).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the boiling water and chopped chocolate until smooth (if the chocolate doesn’t melt fully, microwave the water/chocolate mixture for 20-30 seconds). Add the cocoa powder and whisk together.
- Add the sugar, oil, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well-combined.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined and no white streaks remain. Stir in the chocolate chips (don’t overmix, just fold them in until evenly distributed).
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crackly on top and set around the sides. Cool completely (and chill, if desired – makes cutting easier and chilled brownies are just straight-up divine).
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