Masterchef is farewelling all the good cooks a little early.
After failing to impress in Maggie Beer’s mystery box challenge, Harry, Charlie and Nicolette faced a pressure test like no other, set by the punk powerhouse of pastry, Anna Polyviou.
Nicolette chose to use her immunity pin, sending Elise into the elimination in her place. The challenge was to replicate Anna’s Mess, the “Death Star of desserts”, comprising a sphere filled with hidden delights. With an incredible 74 steps, Anna told them that the challenge would be all about the detail.
Harry rushed through the recipe, but was forced to start over after he realised he had left the sugar out of his sponge. His real challenge was de-moulding the key element of the dish, the white chocolate domes. He tried smashing them, scooping them and even blow-torching them, before they came free in the final seconds.
Elise cooked with confidence, but left her mousse on the stove too long, resulting in a runny consistency. Trouble struck again when, like Harry, she could not de-mould the domes. They finally came free in the final minutes, albeit cracked.
Comfortable with desserts, Charlie cruised through much of the cook. But he forgot to add gelatin to his raspberry curd and did not stir his white chocolate enough, causing it to set very thick.
The judges thought Harry’s chocolate work and curd were great. His cake was good and Anna gave him credit for re-doing this element of the dish. The only fault was his meringue.
Elise had all the elements on the plate and her dish was well balanced. Her curd was great but her mousse was a little too runny.
While the essential flavours were there, the thickness of Charlie’s chocolate threw the balance out, plus his curd was too soft.
The judges declared Harry safe. Charlie’s meringue kisses were “wonderful”, but his dome was too thick and his curd was not properly set. Elise had cracks in her dome and her mousse was loose, but the dish was delicious and that is what saved her, sending Charlie home.
Since leaving the MasterChef kitchen, Charlie has completed work experience at Burch & Purchese and is also gaining experience at East Bar and Dining in Mount Martha. He plans to take Anna Polyviou up on her offer of work experience later in the year.