Tamara Tumbles as Masterchef hits halfway mark

Following the Curtis Stone invention test, Arum, Sam, Ray and Tamara found themselves in a terrifying pressure test.

The challenge was to recreate guest chef Deniz Karaca’s Passion for Caramel Tart, a dish which earned him the title of Savour Patissier of the Year in 2016. The dish consisted of a crumbly base with caramelised peanuts, lavender and passionfruit jam, caramelised banana and vanilla cremeaux, dark chocolate mirror glaze with gold glace, crispy milk foam and tempered chocolate branches.

Arum worked step by step to nail each component but in attempting to make the caramel, he allowed it to cool for too long before reheating it and it crystallised, forcing him to redo the essential step.

Sam’s caramel looked good and Deniz thought its colour was just right. Tamara’s caramel, however, was a little blonde and she worried she may have pulled it off the heat too soon. She ignored the recipe and stirred it into the chocolate pieces before waiting, hoping it would not affect the end result. Arum also had trouble with the step. He whipped his caramel and it split.

Ray was focused, mixing wet ingredients into the dry ones before popping the crumb on a tray in the oven. When Tamara’s tray went in she forgot to properly close the door and only remedied it when Gary saw it ajar.

Sam cooked well and Arum caught up following his early errors. Tamara made the decision to abandon her chocolate twig branches. Sam’s cremeaux was very thin and he worried it would not hold the caramel layer. During the assembly phase, Tamara’s cremeaux spilled over: it was a mess and she was concerned.

Arum’s dish was first to be tasted and Deniz was impressed by his determination. Sam was next and Deniz was happy with the shine of his glaze but agreed the mousse was really soft and he was not impressed by the lack of finery in Sam’s chocolate branches. Ray was up next: his recreation looked lovely and Deniz was happy with the colour of the caramel layer.

Tamara was last to be tasted and unfortunately when the judges cut in, the mousse was pale. While the glaze was beautiful and the passionfruit flavour was delicate, Deniz said it was least like the dish he asked them to recreate.

In the end, it came down to Sam and Tamara and while Sam’s tart was soft, it was the absece of chocolate branches and lack of caramelisation in her mousse which sent Tamara home. She became the 12th contestant eliminated from the MasterChef Australia kitchen.