Masterchef…immunity challenge Jim McDougall

So Ashleigh, Rose and Matthew have the chance to win the immunity pin tonight and of course Shannon Bennett’s in the kitchen along with Gary, George and Matthew.

For round 1 there’s a bench full of old school kitchen items, things from when your grandma was about and it is a baking challenge and they have to make their own version of a sticky date pudding with a twist.  They have 60 minutes to cook.

Rose is using oranges in her pudding and Ashleigh is using a recipe of her grandmother’s and has added ginger because it is from her home town.  Matthew is focusing on a very caramelly sauce and is putting walnuts in it.

God love the old style hand mixer…they look so awkward while they’re using it.

George goes over to talk to Matthew who’s very nervous and he keeps asking if he’s okay, then he sees the caramel sauce on the stove and asks Matthew what it is…the poor thing has to start it again.

Rose then also has issues with her sauce.

Then Ashleigh tries to get her puddings out of the dishes as soon as they’re done, but they start to stick on the dish and she should have left them a bit before she took them out of the dishes says Gary.

Matthew takes his out of the oven and tells Shannon they’re going to be staying in the dishes to be served…um okay.

Rose goes to take her cakes out of the dishes and she tries a bit of one and thinks they don’t taste right, they’re too dense.

Tasting time…Rose is up first and yes she was right, the sponge is very dense, but Gary loves the sauce and Shannon loves the orange in it, Matt loves the lemon in the cream.  Next up is Matthew and they all think that it looks beautiful, but then Gary whispers to George that he can taste baking powder, but tells Matthew that it is seriously delicious with loads of caramel sauce and custard and then there’s the aftertaste or baking powder and bicarb.  Last up is Ashleigh and Gary mentions about leaving the cakes before they were turned out of the dish…and off to a damn ad break we go…but they think it is beautiful and absolutely gorgeous and she is winner of round one without a doubt.

Time for round two…she is up against Jim McDougall from The Black Stump Bistro in Mildura, but he has previously worked under Shannon Bennett at Vue de Monde.  As usual Ashleigh chooses the pantry and she gets 75 minutes and he gets 60 minutes.  The choice of pantry is between north…northern Australia with things like pineapple, bamboo, bananas and the likes and south…southern zone like berries, fennel and the likes.  She chooses the north pantry and he would have preferred the south pantry.  They also have milk, cream, eggs, butter and vinegar at their benches.

Ashleigh wants to make dessert, so she’s going to make a passionfruit semifreddo.  She’s cooking away and Shannon’s in Jim’s ear about how great a pastrychef Ashleigh is and he’s getting a tad nervous.  He starts and decides to make a fish dish with red emperor with smoked butter, but is smoking it with tea and coconut husks, mind you he can’t let the butter melt, so it gets smoked, then put into the blast chiller and smoked again and into the blast chiller and keep on repeating until it is smoky enough.

Shannon suggests that Ashleigh make a chocolate mousse to go with her semifreddo but it’s her risotto of Masterchef, she keeps buggering it up since she’s been on Masterchef, but she gives it a crack.

Now because Jim has no stock for the sauce, he uses coconut water…as you do.  Now he’s adding vanilla to it.

Less than 10 minutes to go and Jim puts the fish in the oven…no rush there, plus he’s stressing because he doesn’t know the oven.  Then with less than 5 minutes to go it isn’t cooking fast enough for him so he puts it in a pan.

Ashleigh is plating and gets onto the mousse and she’s happy with it and the semifreddo looks great.

Jim puts the fish on the plate with about 2 seconds to go.

Tasting time…Jim is up first with red emperor with smoked butter and vanilla sauce and amazingly the judges can tell it smells like coconut water.  George says the fish is cooked beautifully while he’s cutting it and of course Gary wants extra sauce and says he can’t make his mind up about whether or not he likes the sauce because it’s like custard but it’s being eaten with fish and George says it’s challenging with the sauce and the flavours and the sweetness of the coconut water and they says it is a lot like melted ice cream.  Matt says it is a hard dish to score.

Time for Ashleigh’s dish…passionfruit semifreddo with chocolate mousse and coconut crumb and Gary thinks it is Ashleigh’s but says her achilles heel is chocolate mousse and another damn ad break.  George is happy because it is so delicious and there’s a lot going on on the plate, but it all goes well.  Matt loves the warmth and smell of the ginger and the chocolate.  Gary loves it.

Decision time…Jim’s scores first.  He got 7/10 from Gary, 8/10 from George and 7/10 from Matt giving him 22/30.

Ashleigh gets 8/10 from Gary, 9/10 from George, who says he loved it so much that he licked the plate, and 9/10 from Matt giving her 26/30 meaning that the winner is Ashleigh!!!  Well done love!!!  Even George manages a “well done sweetheart” while he puts the pin on her.

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