Masterchef Australia – The Zumbo Challenge
Last night Masterchef Australia morphed into Sweet Genius (a bizarre show on Lifestyle Food) with teams of two having to make a dessert like creation that would not be out of place on a Baz Lurhman film set.
But first one of the seven remaining contestants had the opportunity to go straight into finals week if they made the best French inspired dessert in sixty minutes. Julia and Kylie were thrilled as they knew they had the advantage in this challenge.
Ben was never in with a chance of winning as he made Chipotle and Chocolate Parfait with Butter Croutons. The parfait looked like something that would be found on the streets of Paris but when was Chipotle a French inspired ingredient. Gary said “His croutons were good”. Which meant the rest must have been ordinary.
Mindy was another one whose dish was using more Asian style ingredients than French. She made Burnt Custard with Lemongrass and Galangal. Matt Preston basically called it a mess.
Julia’s Cafe Opera did not look as good as Rocco’s from this years My Kitchen Rules. However she did only have sixty minutes to make it. Gary said it was good cooking.
Andy made Rosemary Cream which collapsed and was described as puddle pie by the judges. Gary Mehigan had a good point when he queried why Andy had listened to a food critic aka Matt Preston, instead of a chef when seeking advice on getting the cream out of the tin.
Kylie was in tears when she was told her Salted Caramel Mille Fieulle did not have enough texture. She did not even make top three, which must have felt a tad humiliating.
Alice’s Floating Islands with Creme Anglais looked amazing and must have been very unlucky not to win, but Audra’s Chocolate Frangipane Tart with the Poached Pear looked like the dish that should have won the Masterchef Magazine cover.
She was put into final’s week and was told she also got to pick the teams for the following challenge.
Then it was Zumbo time with Andy and Ben looking like all their nightmares had become real when they saw the towering cake creation he wheeled in.
He said it was a French Pastissier Marie-Antoine Careme inspired masterpiece. Surprisingly Careme was around prior to the acid inspired 60′s or indeed the Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland opium den times.
Fortunately they did not have to replicate Zumbo’s. They had to be inspired by it, and they six hours to cook and two hours the following day to build it. It would then be presented to six of the best pastry chefs in the country.
It was interesting how Audra picked the teams. Clearly she thought Mindy is the one to beat as she place her and Andy together both not strong in cakes. The other teams were Julia and Alice, and Kylie and Ben.
Julia’s team made a cake base, topped by a macron tower topped with and sugar box filled with choux pastry. It looked good, it was just a pity the sugar box was not perfect.
The judges were as Matt Preston described them the “Ocean’s Eleven of pastry”, they were Kirsten Tibballs, Dean Gibson, Vincent Gaden, Alistair Wise, Darren Purchase, Phillip Sibley and Matt Moran who started as a pastry chef.