Masterchef All Stars – The Croquembouche Is Back
The difference between an All Star and an non all star Masterchef contestant has been revealed – the All Stars don’t believe in listening to the professional chefs anymore.
The conundrum tonight for the All-Star contestants was whether to listen to the professional chef, Adriano Zumbo, or to the team mates standing up on the balcony. Some did and some did not with differing results.
The All Stars series sees contestants from the first three seasons of Masterchef Australia vying to win the title of best of the best. The season one has Julie, Poh, Chris and Justine. Season two has Callum, Marion, Jonathan and Aaron, and season three has Kate, Dani, Hayden and Kumar.
The winner will get a trophy, so clearly they are getting paid more then the $500 a week the first time they were in the house. Yes they are also raising money for charity.
The first challenge was the iconic croquembouche challenge, but this time with a twist. It was a tag team – only one team mate cooking at a time. The first three had 30 minutes to cook, and the final member had 45 minutes.
There was no elimination, just the chance to win $20,000 for the team.
The strategy was in deciding the running order. Who would kick it off making the choux pastry and who would go last as they would have to assemble it. From Season one Julie Goodwin started and Poh was to assemble. For Season two Callum started and Marion finished, and season three Kate made the choux pastry and Hayden was the last one in.
Callum who has been making a lot of macaroons apparently looks like he is focused and there to win, something that cannot be said about all of them. There was lots of laughter and smiling which was fun, though I expect when the eliminations start it should get a lot more competitive.
Callum was pumping out perfect sized profiteroles and he was fast, whilst Julie’s choux pastry was far too thick. By the time Justine had swapped in with her it was very claggy.
Zumbo and George came over to give some advice, telling her to scoop up the raw choux pastry up, put it back in the blender and add some more eggs to it. Poh yelled down not to worry and the others concurred.
Aaron from season two showed he was brought back for his narration of the show, as not sure if his cooking skills are up to scratch. He did get a lot of air time. However he was smart enough to ignore his team mates yelling out and took the advice of Zumbo in relation to dipping the pastries in the caramel before filling them with custard.
Aaron said that Jonathan Daddia had jazz hands and he did indeed. It looked like he did not know how to separate eggs. In fact when the judges were describing the texture of the red teams custard was it wonder they did not find egg shells in it.
His multi-tasking was impressive, but at this stage the eliminator is not looking like a contender.
Kumar is as delightful as ever, but he may need to pick up the pace if he wants to survive in this competition. He was left with some of the piping of the choux pastry and was having difficulty. He too was a bit jazz hands when making the custard, however he proved his motto of being the turtle rather than the hare works. Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and Zumbo liked this custard the best.
Season one’s dish can only be described as a disaster. They ran out of custard, they had much less caramel then the others, and it was unstable. So it appears not only don’t they listen to the proper chefs they can’t read a recipe.
In the end Poh had to build the dish with some unfilled choux pastry shells which at the time seemed like a good idea, but as a foundation they were not firm enough and it ended up collapsing.
Also Zumbo when he was tasting it had served himself an empty one. They were never in the hunt.
Hayden was looking calm and managing to get a lot done and unfazed by the task. However he did reveal he had done some work for Vincent Gaden and one of the jobs was to assemble the croquembouche. He did a great job of it.
In the end the yellow team proved you could mention Vincent Gaden name to Zumbo and still win a challenge with each season three team mate winning $5000 for their charity.
It was a great start to All Stars with the contestants having a lot of fun, but hopefully it won’t all be frippery and they will all get their game faces on. The show will be a nice respite from the Olympics, and even after the first episode who I thought would be there at the end has changed.