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Masterchef – The Recipe Challenge

Dani sighed “I am completely out of touch with the home cook”. I loved how Dani tried to blame  the home cook for the dish disaster, when in fact her recipe was poor in concept and badly written.

In fact I would argue her home cook had been following the recipe correctly she should not have plated up the pork belly in her pork belly and wanton soup. They only had 90 minutes to cook and her recipe said the pork belly was to be cooked for 70 minutes, then grilled for 10 – 20 minutes, and then rested for 10 minutes. However the home cook must have missed out on one of those steps as there was pork in the dish presented to the judges.

The challenge for the first day of final’s week was a cracker it was to develop a recipe for the home cook. It had to be something they could cook in 90 minutes. They were judged on quality of idea, how good the recipe tested and how good it tasted. The special guest judge/mentor was Curtis Stone.

Curtis advised that it had to  be clear, concise and to the point.

He also said that if they were going to say it would take 30 minutes to give a bit of leeway to make it fit into the timeframe.

Was Curtis having a go at Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals, where the time frame is only achieveable if you are a professional chef?

The challenge was interesting as it gave an indication on what direction the remaining four were taking with their cookbook concept.

Kate was going for a bit of a Donna Hay look with her Hazelnut and Chocolate Torte with Ganache and boozy oranges.

Dani was going for an asian theme with her soup, Michael was like a outdoor fresh feel with his chicken and cos lettuce dish, even though it was cooked indoors. Alana cooked a dessert of apple and rosemary tart tartin which reminded me a bit of Maggie Beer. Alana when she has a choice does tend to cook desserts.

Once the home cooks hit the Masterchef kitchen the contestant was when the episode got really interesting.

The home cooks had to make the dish exactly how the recipe told them to, which is why I query how Dani’s cook could have got the pork belly in the soup.

Dani’s recipe looked like a Christine Mansfield one. Lots of ingredients and a lot of elements. In fact the person who would make that recipe are the types that won’t be buying Dani’s cookbooks. One of Dani’s mistakes was to put four litres in the soup recipe, whereas she had only used two litres. This mistake meant there was not as much flavour in the home cook’s stock.

Curtis loved the flavour of Dani’s soup. Gary was not so kind, he liked the soup but made a jibe about it being a weekday meal that the homecook would not make as it was too time consuming.

Michael’s lady produced a dish that looked exactly like the recipe. However she did get help from George Calombaris to break down her chicken. Which I thought was unfair, as the recipe should have been more specific in how to break it down, whether it was into four or six pieces and skin or off. The recipe did say to get your butcher to do it for you – but who gets a butcher to break down a chicken?

In fact every butcher in town probably thinking great now every customer will be expecting this service.

Michael’s home cook produced her dish to look like the photo, and Michael cooked his lettuce to get a more smoky flavour. In fact Matt Preston said if it had been an immunity pin challenge, the home cook would have won the immunity pin.

Alana’s recipe did not have any obvious faults, however her home cook’s prototype was not cooked all the way through nor was the puff pastry 100% correct. Apparently it did taste delicious. Also her cook made it in the wrong size frying pan. George liked the taste, and also liked the fact Alana was making people at home make pastry.

It was no surprise that Michael won, and his advantage was going into the pantry with Maggie Beer to see what the four would have to cook tomorrow. It was a chicken terrine and he was also given the recipe to take home to examine. Poh in season one also got this advantage in the final’s week, and she made it through to the finals.

Here is an interesting article in the SMH by TV writer Greg Hassell where he talks about how he would ‘fix’ Masterchef. A lot of what he writes about has been said on this blog by you guys the commenters.

Also The Gruen Transfer advertising “guru” Todd Sampson was in the Sun Herald today talking about how Masterchef Australia “‘the most effective advertising vehicle in Australian history”. Also how this is how advertising will occur more in the future.

Read more:


1 Paul { 08.01.11 at 2:55 pm }

Specifically how has Dani been acting like an ass?

2 Toby Tom { 08.01.11 at 3:09 pm }

I don’t hate Dani, but she’s been in PR so long she doesn’t quite know how to come across as sincere. During interviews she seems to be snatching a soundbyte that would sound good on the show. (Curtis looking mighty fine for last night’s ep) Comparitively, this makes her come across as rather manufactured, and her generally mediocre performance in the cooking challenges, coupled with her ability to come in 2nd last and her utterly disgusting free pass for the immunity pin, seem to have irked a lot of viewers.

Michael is so uncomfortable with the camera you can’t accept him but at face value, while Kate is able to make mountains out of molehills. (I’M IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!) Alana is measured and controlled; even when she was talking about how important the dish she was doing up I couldn’t quite figure out why.

To win? I think Alana is still hard to beat. She’s not a great chef but she’s mentally focused. If the finals are like those from last year, with one dish being more sheer effort rather than skill, she has a good chance of doing just enough to win.

If Hayden was still in I’ve no doubt the ratings would be as high as last season’s. Squeezing that renovation show in between the finals is kind of a dirty trick though.

3 Reality Raver { 08.01.11 at 3:28 pm }

Paul – Maybe I need to make my butcher work harder for his money. I never ask them to do anything. I have to disagree I think they definitely craft the contestants into characters. Dani has had mixed editing she comes across as ditzy, but has shown more personality than most of them. Combine that with having the luckiest ride through the competition of course there is antipathy towards her. Look at Sun’s edit, she barely got seen cracking a smile the whole way through. Chris Badenoch has said he copped a bad editing the way he was never portrayed as smiling or being the fun guy. Also Joanne Zalm was another case in point, and then they went holier then thou when she started getting hate postings on the social media sites. They show them as one or two dimensional characters. And that is what the discussion is about on these boards about what we are seeing.

For example The Block, they always have clips of Josh and Jenna squabbling – eg last night they were squabbling whilst putting a heavy lounge in the ute – something that would be normal in everyday life. Also they are only showing Katrina and Amy out shopping, I am sure occasionally they must be doing some hands on work like painting. Polly and Waz are getting the golden edit of the nice couple who are amateurs but trying.

Culinery Boner – sorry about the wanton soup, but I am sure it would be delicious.

4 Paul { 08.01.11 at 3:51 pm }

I tend to hold those Fairfax recaps as somewhat responsible for the Dani hate.

To my mind they tended to legitimise that it was okay for people to be hateful towards the contestants. The ‘lego head’ reference for example is everywhere now and there is no escaping the fact that that name is intended to be hurtful and disrespectful.

I never understood the antipathy to Joanne. Just didn’t make sense.

With Chris B and Sun if people understand that not everyone is the same, then how they are shouldn’t be an issue.

Dani seems to be the sort of person that naturally has a sunny disposition yet for some reason people want to drag that out of her.

What I sort of get from reading online feedback is there a real want of some people to punish someone who is even slightly different to what is considered the norm. Some people are gloomy. Some people are happy. Some people are giggly. Some people are studious. Some people are family orientated

Can’t we just accept people for who they are as long as they not hurting someone.

Won’t someone think of the children !!!!!

5 Rocky { 08.01.11 at 4:06 pm }

No one is categorizing Dani. The unique thing about this show is that it comes on daily. She had plenty of time to dispel bad impressions. Sun and others had very little because the show barely put her and the rest on, so of course I never drew conclusions and knew she was always edited as morose.

It was too much Dani all the time, and not because she had such witticisms either.

Definitely not for her smiles either. You don’t see many talking about her grin anymore. They’ve all gotten used to that phoniness. It’s the judge manipulation and her meanness in tearing down others and her arrogance. Is all that wrong to dislike?

6 Rocky { 08.01.11 at 4:14 pm }

@RR I think Josh and Jenna are already aware how negative they have been coming off. You could see Jenna holding back with everything she had in her. Her chest even kept rising she was so steamed and couldn’t say anything.

7 Culinary Boner { 08.01.11 at 4:23 pm }

Back to cooking. Am I alone in thinking that Kate’s cake was just about the fugliest cake ever seen on tele? Hell, it looked like it’d spent it’s past life on the set of the Flintstones. Bronto-cake: suitable for eating, but capable of other uses. “Hey Wilma, the Flintmobile’s cracked a wheel, can Barney and me change it for this thing?”

And on her home cook – the lady charmingly referred to in commentary here as “the moll” or “the mole” depending on your spelling prowess – well, she looked identical to the woman who did my ‘hair’ the other day. The same what-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do-with-this-shit expression, though mine had the excuse of having to listen to me prattle on about how make my comb-forward-and-over look natural and debonair.

As this was one of the few really enjoyable episodes this year I demand more Ch 10 stump up more molls please.

8 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 4:31 pm }

Kate’s cake was like a couple of cowpats stacked on top of each other. For me it brought back appalling memories of Julie Goodwin’s “Puddle Poi”.

9 Culinary Boner { 08.01.11 at 4:38 pm }

And another matter…
was Curtis Stone appearing courtesy of Spare Dick Casting?

What do the Americans see in him? A chin and and a bleach job wrapped in an enigma?

10 Chunks { 08.01.11 at 4:44 pm }

CB, I thought the cake looked scrummy. I’d make it, but preferably with all the layers.

11 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 4:49 pm }

Jowlsy and Gary would kill for Curtis’ chin. It’s probably time for Gary to start thinking of cravats to hide that tell tale blubber like the Jowlster does.

Curtis would have to be one of the biggest prawns we’ve ever exported. Once he jagged a gig on Oprah he was laughing.

12 Culinary Boner { 08.01.11 at 4:52 pm }

Chunks, I’ll happily eat with my eyes (closed)

13 ange { 08.01.11 at 4:58 pm }

I really enjoyed the show last night. I thought Peter deserved to win as his receipe was “do-able” by the “home cook”. I think lego-head made a right mess of it, as usual, by making it too long and I can’t see the average home cook buying her book if the recipes are all like that. I think Alana also did a great job and apart from the pan size (which she did specify in her receipe) it was user-friendly. The jury is mixed on Kate’s contribution. It will be interesting to see how Peter goes, considering his advantage. Looks like a hard one.

14 alicia { 08.01.11 at 4:59 pm }

I also did not get why alana brought her tart downstairs to show to kate
I thought that was pretty mean of her to stick her tart in kates fce who was obviously having trouble

15 ange { 08.01.11 at 5:00 pm }

Sorry made a name-error in my message above – it was meant to be Michael I was referring to, not Peter.

16 lulu { 08.01.11 at 5:03 pm }

Now Dani can add grammar (“more simpler’), as well as maths and cooking to her growing list of deficiencies, and the mc recaps in The Age are hilarious (especially the ones by Ben Pobjie, as today’s is). To coin the term ‘legohead’ was a stroke of genius.
ps. It’s ‘moll,’ as in a gangster’s moll, as opposed to the furry, burrowing mammal.

17 Paul { 08.01.11 at 5:04 pm }

I rest my case.

18 Culinary Boner { 08.01.11 at 5:08 pm }

More molls and tarts please.
‘though I can’t bring myself to watch Underbelly – The Syphilus Years

19 smauge { 08.01.11 at 5:17 pm }

oh god, where do I start…
Sooty – Just because you like the person everyone else dislikes (and I’ve hardly seen the word “hate” used in these posts, saving yours of course) doesn’t mean we are all the violent, vitriolic mob you make us out to be.
The producers are not to blame for the condecending comments she made towards the home cook, of which I am one, and I hasten to point out, so is SHE!
I am one of the many that fumed over Julie Goodwin’s win and it had NOTHING to do with her being fat and/or middle aged. It had to do with the fact that she made absolutely nothing spectacular or original throughout the whole series. Did you see her cook for a winning family on 7pm project the next night? How lucky they must have felt when she rocked up and slapped together some chops and mash!
Kate got more than her fair share of critisism on the Dalai Lama thread (you may like to revisit that, or visit for the first time as you must have missed what people wrote about her). The reason people are critical of Dani is because she’s SO GODDAM ANNOYING! I make no more apology for disliking her than I do for cheering on Michael and Alana (sorry Kate you just don’t do it for me.)
And before I get shouted down by you , Sooty, for jumping on a bandwagon, I’ll add that it is well documented amongst the comments of these blog posts that I’ve barracked for more than one unpopular contestant. I loved Alex (AKA Lobes) in a storm of negativity. I was shattered when Jay was eliminated when everyone else seemingly cheered. And at the start of last year I was straight on to the Jonathon train when he was at his most unpopular. He became quite popular towards the end but he definately was on the nose at the start.
Did I accuse my fellow commenters of hatred and vitriol? No, I respected their opinions and enjoyed the diversity of the comments. It seems like that might be too much to ask of you so if you can’t join in and offer your opinion with out resorting to personal attacks on the rest of us, maybe you should just rack off.

20 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 5:20 pm }

Oh dear, what if we drop the “l” and refer to her as “Egohead”?

21 smauge { 08.01.11 at 5:25 pm }

Culinary Boner – thanks for making me LMAO again!! Fugliest cake ever :))

22 smauge { 08.01.11 at 5:28 pm }

Ange – I think the fact that you accidently called Michael “Peter” says a lot about how memorable this series has been.

23 Rocky { 08.01.11 at 5:49 pm }

As for Curtis Stone What do the Americans see in him? A chin and and a bleach job wrapped in an enigma…… Answer: Nothing. He mostly appears courtesy of some Murdoch fawning executive’s teacher’s pet on not so popular shows on basic cable channels. Were he gone tomorrow no one would miss him.

24 smauge { 08.01.11 at 5:53 pm }

I’ve never got the whole Curtis Stone attraction either. A bit too Roger Ramjet for my tastes.

25 Sooty { 08.01.11 at 6:07 pm }

Smauge, thanks ever so. I’ve been here, blowing my opinion out of my arse, for years.

I think I was perfectly clear that I was speaking – using phrases like ‘here and elsewhere’ , ‘on the web’, in a global fashion. Speaking of ‘here’ – it did seem to be on a roll today, and it will gather, should she be so unlucky as to not be eliminated shortly.

Clearly you have taken it very personally. I have no idea why.

26 smauge { 08.01.11 at 6:16 pm }

I took it personally because you were critisizing what I and several others had written here. And saying “elsewhere” in the same sentence doesn’t make it less so (it just means there are other people you are attacking for having a valid opinion elsewhere)
“on a roll” is just a group of people sharing the same opinion. What gives you the right to attack people for that? Why the hell are you even reading this if it offends you so much?
If you don’t agree, fine, say so. But there is absolutely no reason to attack others for sharing a similar opinion about someone.

27 Sooty { 08.01.11 at 6:24 pm }

It isn’t ‘attack’ to comment in a critical fashion on social ways. I don’t recall what you wrote, and I am not scanning back to read it in order to try and understand why you are in such a rage.

Perhaps you could follow the advice in your last line and stop attacking me for having a dissimilar opinion to you, and for occasionally feeling it is my moral duty as a human being with a still-functioning heart to speak out on what I believe to be both wrong, and dangerous tendencies.

28 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 6:25 pm }

Sooty,you think it’s clear you’re “speaking globally” with this stuff,as follows?

“But carry on; once the mob has settled on a target they will smash it with rocks until it’s dead, and then be surprised at what they’ve done and surprised also to find their hatred has evaporated. Had no meaning other than hatred and a target to project it on. Enjoy your final days and nights of despising Dani, gratuitous Dani-bashers, I say, but once the show is over who will you project your disgust and contempt onto then?”

Who are you trying to kid?

29 Emma { 08.01.11 at 6:44 pm }

People can like or dislike whoever they choose to. I don’t agree with personal attacks (appearance, age etc) or threats but all bets are off when it comes to behaviour if someone is particularly irritating. I mean, I wouldn’t go on a reality TV show because I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the constant criticism so ultimately it’s their choice.

I found Elli and Dani to be particularly annoying, to the point that I stopped watching MC. I know the show is manipulated and certain people are shown more than others, sometimes in a negative light, but there’s no denying they both showed those behaviour characteristics at some point.

I watched last night for the first time in a while because it seemed like a good episode and it was, mostly.

Having used cookbooks before with pretty major errors, thinking they would know better and not using my instincts, and therefore ruining the dish – I thought it was really clever to show the contestants how important it is to be clear and factual in a cookbook.

But. I got really sick of the condescending remarks about ‘home cooks’ from a bunch of … home cooks! Sheesh. Maybe they have a few more skills than the rest of us but they’re not professionally trained.

30 Sooty { 08.01.11 at 6:48 pm }

BDD, it’s called rhetoric.

31 smauge { 08.01.11 at 6:59 pm }

That’s what I had a problem with Emma! I think Dani’s been locked in the house too long LOL.
It was fascinating to watch the process of writing recipes. This challenge HAS to be a keeper for future series.
Is it now I should point out the major typo I found in the Masterchef cookbook from series 1?

32 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 7:07 pm }

More like simpering legohead love gawn bad,Sooty.

I know what rhetoric is and your droolings aren’t enough to disguise your hate issues. Beyond that I’ve got a moral duty not to indulge pious wankers. Goodbye.

33 George { 08.01.11 at 7:07 pm }

Seriously people…you come back tired from work…cook & watch the show..why don’t they put the shows on before dinner? That way we can follow the cuisines (results) & save on cookbooks!…Do you think it would work if one channel had the biggest loser & then Masterchef??hmmm food for though…check out mind blowing interactive reality gaming concepts @ or George Stingas Concepts (facebook)

34 dmc { 08.01.11 at 7:28 pm }

Personally can’t see the Dani hate. She’s undeserving of her place in the final four, but that’s the way the show rolls I guess (see SMH article). She won’t win, that’s for sure. But worthy of hate? Nah.

35 Moonstruck { 08.01.11 at 7:42 pm }

Sorry guys but as someone who has used audio and video editing apps, I know how easy it is to cut only the bits you want. What we were shown is taken out of context and if we saw a complete comments it would be totally different.
So yes the producers are manipulating the reactions of the viewers. They are creating a narrative. Even politians have started talking about narratives.
Commenting and criticizing the cooking is fine but we should leave character alone.
Alana is a journalist and so is careful of what she says which is why there is very little from her. Dani is young and naive about the media so she has talked too much and given the producers a lot of material which they have used for their “narrative” requirements unfortunately for her.
Masterchef is not a cooking show but a competition which is why it’s rating so well.

36 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 8:33 pm }

No walnuts in the walnutbread? Another day,another di$aster.

Go you good thing, Legohead.

37 alicia { 08.01.11 at 8:41 pm }

It seems like kate has been made the narrator of the show now

38 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 8:46 pm }

Kate just served an undercooked whatsit. That’ll go down a treat in a B&B. I’m so glad this is the “pointy” end of the competition.

39 littlepetal { 08.01.11 at 8:52 pm }

They all served undercooked terrine !!! and judges said they have tested the recipe 15 times!!! and added in another 30mins. Either the judges didn’t go to maths school or the Top 4 can’t cook. Did they use boiling water to start with when they put the terrine in the oven???

40 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 8:58 pm }

4 out of 4 dud terrines. I’m just about to see Michael’s in SA. Lol.

“It seems a little bit pink” says Michael.

Jowlsy goes ott about the “flecking” in the least raw offering.

After that relatively awesome episode last night Ma$terchef is back to what it does best.

41 littlepetal { 08.01.11 at 9:00 pm }

Michael even cranked up the oven to 250C and the terrine still not cooked.

42 brain dead dave { 08.01.11 at 9:06 pm }

Oh no ! A four cook smackdown.

How about they microwave a Coles supermarket pie tomorrow night?

43 smauge { 08.01.11 at 9:23 pm }

I think the MC testers had the same maths teacher as Dani. A fail for all four reflects badly on the show more than the contestants.

44 Masterchef Australia – Maggie Beer Terrine Challenge | reality ravings { 08.01.11 at 9:34 pm }

[…] Reality Raver TweetOk I apologise to Dani about bagging her out about her maths yesterday about her not creating a recipe that fit into the 90 minute time frame. This disease must be […]

45 sourkraut { 08.02.11 at 1:15 pm }

Jstar@46 If Rooted More-dick takes over the show all contestants will be issued with mobile phones………etc
Paul @44….DISAGREE. The producers want the punters to invest emotionally in the contestants and they do it by giving snippets of info on the flashbacks or release surreptiously the details of their private lives so the dickhead punters can gasp and moan or have orgasms as the case may be. please dont assume everyone in the magical land of Oz is a moron (despite the existence of our current Govt) If there was no emotional investment this would be nothing more than a glorified Ready Steady Cook show and ratings would drop further than they now have,
The villification of people on the show (and I am guilty of it with my utter dislike of the impohster and justinecase) is an unfortunate product of unreality tv for dummies. I feel sorry for Joanne, Chris B (phone probably phone-tapped by monSter crap) Julie and Clair and to a much lesser extent Dani for the way they were portrayed.
Anyway I have stopped watching this tosh and now could not give a red, rare, ragged, wretched, round, rodents, rectum who wins.

46 fs { 06.05.13 at 9:12 pm }

where can i get the recipe for the torte cake made by Kate