Graysen Pinder has been baking cakes with her mom almost every week since she was just 3 years old. And in the spirit of true Southern hospitality, the duo have always shared their sweets with neighbors in Wilmington, NC. The 14-year-old loves baking for others so much, she even started her own catering company, Gimme Some Sugga — an experience that she thinks helped her clinch the Kids Baking Championship title. “The fact that people are willing to pay for the desserts I make gave me confidence and let me know that you don’t have to be a certain age to do what you love,” she says. Food Network Magazine asked Graysen to walk them through one of her winning creations on the show: this fun fake-out BLT, which she made for one of the “dessert imposters” episodes. It turns out she had an edge for this particular “Sammy Whammy” challenge: Her parents own a sandwich shop! Here’s how to make a simpler version of her clever creation at home.
Make the bread: Cut 1 pound cake into twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices, then halve each slice on the diagonal. Mix 2 teaspoons almond extract with 1/8 teaspoon brown gel food coloring; brush lines on the pound cake with a food-safe paintbrush or press on with a wooden skewer.
Make the tomatoes: Heat 1 cup each sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until dissolved. Add 2 cups thinly sliced strawberries; let soak, turning occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Let cool.
Make the mayonnaise: Whisk 3 egg whites and 1 cup sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan; beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff and glossy, 5 minutes. Beat in 2 sticks softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Make the lettuce: Melt 1 cup each light green and dark green candy melts and 1/4 cup white candy melts in the microwave in separate bowls. Pour over a crumpled piece of parchment on a baking sheet; swirl the colors with a toothpick. Let set, then break into pieces.
Make the bacon: Roll out 2 ounces each pink, white and brown fondant into three 10-inch logs; twist together. Roll out the log into a 6-by-12-inch rectangle on a cornstarch-dusted surface. Fold in half and reroll. Cut into twelve 1-inch-thick strips, then shape into wavy strips of bacon and let dry.