Baking desserts on a competition show can get pretty nerve-racking, but Josh Livsey has made it look easy all season on "Holiday Baking Championship."
The New England native and executive pastry chef at Cambridge's Harvest is a finalist on the Food Network series, where he's in the running for a cool $50,000 grand prize. Livsey, who's won more challenges than any of his fellow competitors this season, hopes his work on the show has made Boston proud.
"Hopefully I'm representing Boston well," Livsey says.
Before Livsey throws down on Monday night's finale of "Holiday Baking Championship," check out a few of his tips for novice bakers in the kitchen.
1. Do your homework
Before you even break out all the measuring cups and bowls, Livsey suggest putting in the work to find the right recipes for your tastes and skill level.
"You really just have to find good recipes," says Livsey. "Try to find recipes you can trust."
So basically do your homework and don't just go for the first recipe that pops up on Google.
2. Stick to the plan
Once you've got a gameplan, make sure to carefully follow the instructions, as baking requires precise measurements with little room for improvisation. One wrong move could spell disaster for your dessert, so leave the kitchen creativity for the decorating part of prepartion once everything has been baked.
"Get creative when it comes to decorating or making it look presentable," Livsey says. "But when you're in the actually baking process, try to follow those recipes as closely as possible."
3. When in doubt, make cookies
If you don't know where to start when it comes to baking for the holidays, Livsey recommends making a batch of cookies. As far as desserts go, they're pretty easy to make and don't require a lot of time or effort. Plus, there are a ton of cookie styles you can try.
"They're quick, easy and I think they taste really good," Livsey says. "That's usually my go to."