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'Cake Boss' and the crew go 'Up, Up & Away' on TLC

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Tonight's season finale episode of "Cake Boss" was titled "Up, Up & Away." As the episode begins, Buddy recalls the events of the past year. They have started shipping their famous products all over the country; they survived a hurricane and they made very impressive cakes. There is a drawback; when people see awesome cakes that do things that cakes should not do, they want something more impressive. As a man named Howard came to visit with Buddy, he found out that Howard runs the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, he told Buddy he was the head Balloonatic. What he wanted was for Buddy to deliver an awesome cake inside a hot-air balloon at the press event. Buddy knows that the cake can withstand just enough movement, but a cake landing with no steering or brakes is one huge challenge.

The dimensions of the cake are specific, as the balloon basket is only so large, and Buddy, the pilot and the cake must fit inside. It can be no higher than 30 inches, so the team gets to work making it spectacular, but not too high. So they made the cake from pound cake, the sturdiest cake they bake and proceeded to construct a cloud cake with balloons rising to it.

Next, Buddy got a visit from Talita, who owns Felix’s Restaurant in downtown NYC and her French chef Pierre. They want to celebrate Bastille Day at the restaurant and want Buddy to make a giant Napoleon cake with four or five layers. This is no easy task, as the layers can crack, so they must use caution. Pierre is not a pastry chef, and hopes Buddy can be French for a day.

As Mama Valastro is wheeled into the bakery, it is the day before she returns to Israel for the second treatment for her Lou Gehrig’s Disease. On her first trip, she received umbilical stem cells, and her brother Dominick went with her, so they could extract stem cells from him. She seemed much better after the initial treatment, but on this next trip, they will inject her with Dominick’s treated stem cells. The entire family and fans are hoping this slows the progression of her illness.

As the balloon cake is coming along, the Napoleon cake is also being constructed. Buddy wanted to put cream puffs all around the Napoleon cake, but calls Anthony to task. He is the manager inside the baking room, and whenever there is a problem, he takes offense, rather than correcting the problem. Buddy is on his last nerve with him because of his attitude.

This weekend, Buddy is having his employee appreciation day at his house, and gathers all the employees from the baking room and the decorating room to vote for the Most Valuable Baker, one from each room.

When a video phone call came in from Israel, the sisters were thrilled, but no sound came through. They are praying for their mother’s success.

The Napoleon cake was awesome, with the Eifel Tower on top. The problem will be delivering it to the restaurant, as it is so delicate. The day arrives at the restaurant and Frankie and Buddy deliver it to an excited crowd. The owner and chef loved the cake, and everyone at the restaurant was in agreement that Buddy was an honorary Frenchman for a day.

Ashley came to meet with Buddy because her internship is nearly over. She speaks frankly to him, and he gives her some information too. She will have to learn how to operate a bakery from one end to another. It is not just about baking cakes, but running a profitable business.

As the finishing touches are put on the cloud cake, they put cotton candy all over the outside of the clouds and add the balloons to the pointed sticks they installed. Suddenly it is awesome, now if it fits in the balloon basket and does not get smashed upon landing, all will be well.

Buddy came over to help Anthony prepare cream puffs, and hopes that he is in agreement. Anthony does not want to be Buddy’s yes man and continues to disagree with his suggestions.

As Buddy works on the employee appreciation cake, his daughter Sofia and son Marco are there to help. They made tuxedo strawberries dipped in white and dark chocolate and decorated to look just like tuxedos. Buddy got help spinning the turntable as he added ganache to the cake. It was spectacular.

At the Balloon Festival, the cotton candy was melting because it was so hot. As they continued to decorate the cake, it was time to put it in the balloon. The winds that day were not completely in agreement with the plan. The landing was the worst-case scenario, but the cake made it with just a few minor bumps and bruises.

At Buddy’s house, the gang was there, and the pool was filled with kids and friends. The employees who won the votes, were Lou the baker and Jessica the decorator. They loved Buddy’s tribute cake, and the food was abundant. Then a surprise visitor came to see everyone; Mama Valastro back from Israel. She will know more in about a month if the treatment works.

Three days later, at the bakery, the troops were gathered, and Joe announced that Anthony left the bakery to move to Florida with his family. Everyone was shocked at the decision, as they did their best to train him to become the best baker he could be. All they received was a phone call, and he was gone on this episode of "Cake Boss."

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