Solution to The Emperor's New Kitchen

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Answer: PIZZA

by Danny Bulmash

This puzzle presents a bunch of cooking videos, but not only is every mention of an ingredient bleeped out, but the ingredients themselves are not shown in the videos! Using visual and audio clues along with cooking knowledge, solvers can deduce what dish is being cooked.

The precise recipes are not canonical, and some substitutions could be made - for example, the video for chocolate chip cookies would also work as peanut butter chip cookies. However, each dish is missing a very important and unambiguous ingredient.

Reference recipes for each dish, each bleeped ingredient, and the missing ingredient are, in the order they appear in the puzzle:

DishIngredients (in video bleep order)Missing ingredientComments
Marshmallows Gelatin, sugar, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, cornstarch Water Molasses, which was a major part of the theme of Mystery Hunt 2019, appears in dark corn syrup but not light corn syrup. Also, granulated sugar can be blended to turn it into powdered sugar, and cornstarch can be used to make non-Newtonian fluid.
Bread Sugar, salt, water, flour, oil Yeast The bowl is white - yeast would be very visible in this bowl, while it would be harder to see sugar and salt.
Chocolate chip cookies Baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, chocolate chips Flour The quantities of dry ingredients are too small for them to be the flour.
French fries Potatoes, water, oil Salt Double-frying should make this one pretty clear.
Pasta aglio e olio Water, salt, pasta, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, parsley, red pepper flakes Olive oil Apparently the inclusion of cheese in this dish is controversial, but it was included to avoid being a red herring.
French onion soup Butter, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, salt, wine, bay leaves, stock, bread, cheese Onion The onions can be disambiguated from garlic by the fact that onions are not usually "finely minced" in this dish.
Pesto Basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper Garlic "Nice, crunchy" and the comment about substitutions should disambiguate pine nuts from garlic. While raw garlic is crunchy, it would be strange to describe it that way, and it seems far more likely that someone would try to substitute pine nuts than garlic.
Shakshouka Onion, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, eggs, pita Tomato Tomato is distinguished from onion and bell pepper in this dish by the timing - it wouldn't get cooked at the very start.
Caprese salad Balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper Mozzarella cheese This salad can be distinguished from others by the balsamic reduction and freshly picked basil.
Cornbread All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, brown sugar, honey, egg, buttermilk, vinegar, milk Cornmeal Baking powder is indeed made of baking soda, along with some cream of tartar and sometimes cornstarch. The honey and buttermilk should disambiguate this from other recipes.

The missing ingredients can themselves be combined to make a dish. In fact, they appear in the order they might be used in a simple recipe for a PIZZA, the answer to this puzzle.

Author’s Notes

This puzzle was inspired by the Imaginary Pie episode of the excellent Youtube series Binging With Babish (which also led to the inclusion of the pasta aglio e olio recipe), and the style of "censoring" was inspired by The Count Censored.