Masterchef…finals week…mystery box

We’ve reached finals week….finally…and Heston week is a distant memory, or it will be given that apparently one of the top 6 is going to be eliminated tonight and there isn’t an invention test like there normally is on a Sunday night.

But the bonus is that Darren Purchese is on tonight and I love myself a bit of Darren Purchese…good thing I don’t live in Melbourne or I would be regularly going to Burch and Purchese for something sweet to eat.

We’re starting the week with a mystery box and they’ve all got different ingredients and an envelope and yes they were chosen by their families.  Emilia got a letter from her mum…and yes the tears have started before she starts to read the letter out loud.  Jamie gets a letter from his partner and daughter…and he manages to read it without any tears, but he’s close.  Laura gets a letter from her dad and the tears come by the end of the letter.  Ben gets a letter from his partner and he manages to not cry.  Tracy gets a letter from her husband and manages just to hold on without crying.  Brent gets a letter from his partner and just holds back the tears.

Brent’s got a bizarre mystery box, all the ingredients his girlfriend loves to eat, including fruit and lots of chocolate…which gets everyone laughing.  But he’s worked out that one of the first dishes he ever made for his girlfriend was panna cotta which set like a brick and he’s guessing she wants him to make panna cotta.

Anyhow, they judges are looking for the top three dishes and they’ll be safe from the next challenge…the bottom three are cooking in an elimination challenge today and they’ve only got 45 minutes to cook.

But will Georgie Boy ever learn that it’s not bom bom shake the room… it’s boom…so that it rhymes with room.  I’m begging please learn that.

Well Brent’s made the panna cotta…and they’ve set in the blast chiller, but he’s not sure how to get them out of the rubber mould….oh dear.

Jamie manages to overcook the quail breasts and Emilia doesn’t have crispy skin for her fish…gee cooking chaos all over the joint and Brent’s using a blowtorch to get them out of the mould…holy heck!!!  Then Tracy goes to strain her sauce, but doesn’t have anything for it to go into and there’s sauce all over the bench and none on the plate.

Jamie is up for tasting first, he’s made pan-seared quail with pureed couscous and beetroot.  Gary loved the beetroot variations but is missing the quail breast.

Emilia is up next, she’s made snapper fillet and wing with spring onion, chilli and coriander salad and roast pineapple.  George says it is extraordinary.

image from tenplay.com.au/masterchef – click on the image to go to the recipe

Tracy is next, she’s made chicken breast with cauliflower puree.  George says it is delicious but there is something missing.

image from tenplay.com.au/masterchef – click on the image to go to the recipe

Ben is next, he’s made pan-fried duck with fried polenta and red wine sauce.  George says it has interesting presentation…and I’m not sure he’s being overly nice by saying that.  Matt says he thinks it looks a bit weird, even though he whispers it.  Oh no the duck is overcooked and it is fatty…oh yucky, yucky, yucky.

Laura is next, she’s made crispy skin duck with onion, red wine and orange reduction.  Gary loves the mashed potato…but the duck is overcooked.

Last up is Brent, with his panna cotta with hazelnut praline and passionfruit.  The judges go into a whisper with each other and George says “it is so delicious”.

image from tenplay.com.au/masterchef – click on the image to go to the recipe

Now the top three…the best dish was Brent, then Emilia and Tracy.  Which leaves Ben, Jamie and Laura fighting in the elimination challenge.

Oh and they’re up against three chefs…Darren Purchese, Nick Palumbo and Christy Tania and the three chefs worked together to create one dessert…oh dear god bring it on!!!  All three lift their cloches to show components of a banana based dessert and it’s a banana split of sorts.

image from tenplay.com.au/masterchef – click on the image to go to the recipe

They’re cooking and Laura thinks she’s going well, except when Christy asks if she’s smashed the cardamom pods, which she didn’t and she tells her she should start the coconut foam again.  Oh dear…now she hasn’t reduced the bananas enough in the oven…poor thing.

Oh no…Jamie’s put his ice-cream in the blast chiller and not the freezer so it’s solid and won’t churn in the ice-cream machine so he’s mixing it by hand every 10 minutes or so.

Ben’s making the parfait and next thing you know he has scrambled eggs and not custard…oh dear.  Now Jamie’s over-whipped the cream and made butter.  Now Ben’s tuilles are too thin when he takes them out of the oven and they crumble everywhere.

Cooking and prep time is up…

They now have 3 minutes to spray the bananas and get all the elements onto the trolley before presenting to the judges, then they plate up in front of the judges.  First up is Jamie and George says he loves all of it.  Gary thinks the ice-cream has great consistency…which is great given what happened with it.

Next up is Ben and he’s shaking as he’s plating up and his coconut foam is rather sloppy and the chocolate peanut sauce looks oily and has separated, which is no surprise as he did it with two minutes to go and on very high heat.  Gary loves the ice-cream, but doesn’t overly like the parfait.  Matt doesn’t like the sauce or the tuille and thinks the banana needs more punch.

Last up is Laura and it looks good on the plate.  Gee I hope she doesn’t go home today…I quite like her.  George is keen to try the foam because of the cardamom issues, mind you he loves the parfait and the cherry and the sauce.  Gary loves the parfait and loves the foam, but Matt says that it lacks the spice of the cardamom and they all notice that the ice-cream has issues.

Decision time…Jamie is safe and he’s in complete shock.  It’s now down to Ben and Laura…oh dear, I’m not liking this.  Yes we know they both had good things and bad things with their dish…just tell us…oh Ben’s eliminated…poor bugger.  I didn’t mind him either.  Now that he’s left the kitchen he’s doing work experience at The Stokehouse in Brisbane.

Now we’re down to the final 5…gee it’s getting closer to the end!!!  There’s a challenge with no rules, but a lot of pressure and an elimination.

 

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