A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Lots of common and obscure baking terms and concepts (petite gateaux, aerate, crèmeux, isomalt, tempering, caramelization, etc.) are used and modeled. Young viewers may be inspired to give baking a try.
Pursue your dreams with dedication and passion. When you fail, or make a mistake, you can still learn a lot from trying. Incorporate the invaluable feedback of experts into future work; that's how you get better. Be kind and supportive to others, it gets you farther than pure talent will.
Positive Role Models
Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo are generally kind and supportive hosts and judges, critiques are typically coupled with praise and as areas to work on. Zumbo creates mind-bending desserts that inspire the contestants. The amateur baker contestants are very talented and dedicated. They are diverse in terms of age, experience, and vocational background; they are slightly less diverse in terms of skin color and gender.
A contestant in Season 1 is unkind and condescending in their assessment of other contestants' creations and skills several times.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zumbo's Just Desserts is an imagination-fueled Australian baking competition show hosted by pâtissier Adriano Zumbo and British cook and author Rachel Khoo. Amateur bakers compete in fantastical baking challenges for the ultimate prize of $100,000 and the opportunity to have one of their desserts featured in Zumbo's stores. The show will be an education in common and obscure baking terms and concepts (aerate, temper, crèmeux, etc.) for youngsters, with positive messages about dedication, handling pressure, and learning from setbacks. As judges, Zumbo and Khoo offer constructive feedback to the contestants, who then apply the advice in their next creations, modeling the important life skill of accepting and incorporating feedback. Contestants are generally kind and supportive of one another.
Is It Any Good?
The fantasy setting, drool-worthy desserts, and gripping suspense of this Aussie baking competition will win over fans of the genre. Zumbo's Just Desserts is set in a cavernous, technicolored hall with a Willy Wonka aesthetic called the dessert factory and it intends to wow. The Harry Potter score provides a soundtrack to slowed down sequences of billowing steam, creamy liquid chocolate being poured and tempered, and ingredients being gently folded into batters, adding to the magic and drama. While the Sweet Sensations tasks play to the baker's strengths, the Zumbo test is a mighty challenge full of tension and emotion. After a theatrical, dry-ice fueled reveal, bakers gasp at the impossibly constructed dessert. The two unlucky contestants toil through the test, and viewers will agonize right along with them. The judges provide detailed feedback and it's a joy to watch the bakers who don't get eliminated grow their talent over time. The judges' personalities are, admittedly, a bit lackluster, but the show is otherwise so satisfying that many viewers won't much care. The refreshing absence of nastiness between contestants means even younger kids can watch, so it's a great pick for the whole family.
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