Masterchef uses 3D printer in elimination challenge

Last night Masterchef delivered a world first when it used a 3D printer in a pressure test.

Battling to stay in the competition were  Ben, Hoda, Genene and Chloe, had been tasked with recreating Brendan Wessels’ lemon merengue pie. As head chef at The Cube restaurant in the McLaren Vale, Brendan’s dish was a delicate plate consisting of lemon curd parfait balls, nitro fennel balls and a caramalised milk chocolate hexagon made using a 3D food printer, the only one of its kind in any Australian restaurant.

With each contestant given three hours, Genene was committed to working hard early. But she got off to a shaky start, struggling to work with the thick glucose. Chloe was thrilled at the opportunity to recreate Brendan’s spectacular dish. Her white chocolate mixture was strained onto a tray before she popped it into the blast chiller, requiring it to cool down before it could be used in the 3D printer.

The group was an hour down and Genene knew her white chocolate was not as caramelised as Brendan’s. She hoped it was the right texture but Gary also knew it was off, telling her she would need to redo it or somehow fix her batch. She decided to put the mixture back on the heat and add more gelatine before it returned to the blast chiller. When she finally was able to use the printer, she was relieved and thrilled to see it doing what it was supposed to do.

She whipped up her lemon curd parfait mixture and was happy with her spheres before moving onto the coconut rocher, mixing white chocolate and coconut oil, melting it down before adding toasted desiccated coconut and feuilletine. To make her candied ginger snow, Genene mixed sugar and water, bringing it to the boil before adding chopped crystallised ginger and mixing it with a bottle of ginger beer.

When they tasted, the judges were thrilled with Ben’s dish. Brendan said it was restaurant quality, and an incredible effort. Chloe’s was bright and refreshing, while Hoda’s balance of flavours was off despite a brilliant caramelised white chocolate.

Genene was happy with her lemon curd parfait balls and coconut rocher, but there were obvious missing elements – the candied ginger, crisp pearls and fennel flowers, and lacking that balance of flavours it was enough to send her packing. She told the judges she had had a fabulous time and met great people, and left, grateful for the experience.

Genene is perfecting her preserves, sauces and pickles. She looks forward to creating her own line of products from her home-grown produce.