Samira has been eliminated from MasterChef Australia after tumbling during an epic pressure test where contestants had no dish to taste and no recipe, instead relying only on a review by Matt Preston.
Facing off against Ben and Jess, Samira entered the kitchen to be greeted by the judges, who introduced guest chef Joe Grbac from Saxe in Melbourne. Tasked with making their dish entirely off a review written by Matt, George reiterated they would have to use the clues in the review, clues in their box of ingredients and the clues in the specialised equipment at their benches.
Time started and Samira started by cataloguing her ingredients and equipment. The sorbet jumped out and she decided to start with her that. Meanwhile the judges and Joe secretly saw the dish at the top of the room – a mandarin sorbet, mandarin custard and microwave almond sponge.
There were two hours to go and Samira was making her custard, heating milk and cream before adding mandarin. She didn’t add gelatine and on the gantry they wondered if it was going to set properly. With her sorbet and custard done, Jess got to work on her panna cotta, using sheep’s milk yoghurt, mixing it with cream and milk, heating it before adding vanilla bean. Ben was at the same stage, adding gelatine before straining it over an ice bath before it went onto a tray in the blast chiller. Samira added gelatine to her milk mixture, hoping she’d used the right amount and relying entirely on intuition.
Samira moved onto her microwave sponge, but not before Matt and Joe tasted her sorbet. They seemed happy with the result, it was light and flavoursome, and Matt said it was unbelievable. Buoyed by confidence she started on her sponge, happy when it came out of the microwave. But when she turned her panna cotta onto the board it had not set. She hoped for the best on the remaining moulds but when they came out they too were runny and not set and she knew she was in trouble.
It was time to taste and Jess was up first. Matt said the flavours were exactly what they were looking for. Next was Samira and she knew without her panna cotta she would be battling. Gary said while her gel and sponge were good and the sorbet a standout, the issue was that the elements that needed to set had not. Matt said the custard was a puddle and the panna cotta disappeared, so the dish lost its balance of flavour and texture.
Last up was Ben and he had also struggled today, but on a challenging day with only the review to guide them, Gary told them it was a clear-cut result, and Samira was eliminated from the competition.
Samira is working on her first illustrated cookbook filled with Azerbaijani recipes. She is planning on returning to her homeland, filming a TV series about its culture and food.