A Messy Elimination Challenge.

A Messy Elimination Challenge.

Tonight’s Pressure Test was too cold to handle and contestants had to recreate the Messinetta – Gelato Messina’s take on the humble Viennetta.  

Day two of Nostalgia Week had three contestants – Declan, Alice and Grace – walk into a Pressure Test set by Donato Toce from Gelato Messina. At first look, it seemed deceivingly simple, but once cut, the Messina upgrade was well and truly revealed. No ordinary ice-cream cake, the layers included a strawberry gel set inside a vanilla gelato square inside a chocolate gelato square, covered in vanilla crème Chantilly waves and multiple tempered chocolate layers for the classic Viennetta crunch.

With a lot of pressure points and only 4 hours and 15 minutes to recreate the Messinetta, there was no room for error.

Alice went into the challenge with a clear head and confidence in the scientific nature of desserts. Starting off strong, a simple error cost her time after she forgot to clean out her ice-cream churner between making her vanilla and chocolate gelato. Alice’s bad luck continued when her vanilla gelato froze solid as she tried to save her chocolate gelato, ultimately preventing a smooth creamy gelato from being created.

Declan’s shiny immunity pin sat proudly on his chest, but his plan was not to use it. He led the competition until the last quarter of the challenge when he misread an element of his recipe and his tempered chocolate ended up bowed, risking the entire structure of the Messinetta. Redoing such a crucial element cost him time in the critical assembly stage. He considered his pin, but ultimately decided not to play it.

Grace’s nerves got the better of her and she stumbled right out of the gate. The brix levels in her sugar for the strawberry gel element were too high and it took her a long time to reduce them. The judges also questioned if she missed a step with her vanilla gelato. The only way to figure out what was missing, was to taste Alice’s dish and compare to her own. After deciding it was missing sugar, Grace free poured to add sweetness, praying the fix would work. Her presentation wasn’t the strongest, but it was complete, despite the question mark hanging over her gelato.   

As the judges tasted the desserts, Declan’s version of the Messinetta was declared the winner, for achieving a great balance of flavour despite his presentation being a little rough around the edges. Grace managed to salvage her gelato and even though the presentation had a few construction issues, her flavour was great. Unfortunately, Alice’s melted gelatos were her undoing. The issue caused the texture to be icy and dense which widened the gap between her version and Donato’s original, leading her to say her goodbyes to the remaining contestants.


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