Halloween Baking Championship's Zac Young Can't Stand This Baking Tactic - Exclusive

Spooky season is upon us in all its witchy glory. Halloween is a unique holiday that is definitely filled with ghosts and goblins, but it also brings to light the most important topic of them all — candy. Aside from pumpkin, sweets and treats are what October is all about taste-wise, so it's only fitting that there's a television series dedicated to your sweet tooth. Food Network's "Halloween Baking Championship" is now on its eighth season with fan-favorite judges Stephanie Boswell, Carla Hall, and Zac Young, and it's the perfect show to grab some tips and tricks from.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Young revealed his favorite costume from the season so far (Bob Ross), his best holiday dessert hacks, and the baking tactic that bothers him the most. The pastry chef also described his judging style as the Simon Cowell of the group before Boswell joined the series. Young explained, "Now, I feel like I can be the Paula Abdul, which is really who I am." The television personality mentioned that he knows all of "the cheats and tricks" of the show at this point, and he has "no problem calling [the contestants] out on them." This begs the question — what exactly does Zac Young call bakers out on?

Young is not a fan of coating chocolate

"Halloween Baking Championship" judge Zac Young named the simple advice he will always give contestants — never coat chocolate. He told Mashed, "I think everyone knows how I feel about coating chocolate, which is great at home. It's very fun to play with. It's a great way to make characters, to make cake pops, et cetera. But in the baking kitchen, [for] these pastry chefs, it's just as fast to temper some chocolate versus melting coating chocolate."

The term "coating chocolate" refers to covering a candy or other food — often a pastry — with a layer of chocolate (per Valrhona). But Young prefers the bakers to "microwave temper regular chocolate." According to Ghirardelli, tempering chocolate involves heating and cooling chocolate for stability when making candy or other treats. The Food Network star added, "It's not going to be as perfect as if you tempered it properly, but for our purposes, it's much more tasty and much more representative of what you want to put forward as a pastry chef."

If you are planning on applying for "Halloween Baking Championship" any time soon, now you know the secret to a thumbs-up from Young — and if a competition show isn't your style, you can still use this advice to make your house the trick-or-treat spot this holiday.

Food Network's "Halloween Baking Championship" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. Check out Zac Young's Instagram page for his latest projects.