Zumbo reaches the half way mark

The seven remaining on Zumbo’s Just Desserts had to take their favourite Arnott’s biscuit and turn it into an amazing dessert last night.

For Ali, who has previously been named Dessert Marker of the Day twice, the pressure of living up to expectations got the better of her.

Nothing seemed to be going right as she was making her Chocolate and Berry Marshmallow Crown, using her favourite biscuit, the Chocolate Royale. A hyperventilating Ali had a series of failures, from not being able to temper her chocolate to her fragile berry jelly refusing to lift off the paper.

Reduced to tears Ali presented an unfinished dessert to judges Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo saying: “I’m sorry. I’m really embarrassed”. A sympathetic Khoo told Ali: “You got into a little bit of a panic and that’s reflected in your dessert. But what you did present had a lovely flavour.”

Zumbo also offered some gentle words: “These things happen. Chefs all over the world have a moment in their lives where things go wrong in the kitchen”.

It was no surprise that Ali found herself in the Zumbo Test. Joining her was Ashley. His Kingston Tart with Golden Syrup Ice Cream failed to impress and, for the second time, Ashley found himself battling for survival. Zumbo, whose favourite biscuit is the Kingston, said he had “missed the mark”.

Amie was crowned Dessert Maker of The Day for the second time with her Lemon Crisp Baked Cheesecake. “Your dish looked beautiful,” Zumbo said. “There was a lot of lemon throughout the dish. Great work.”

Zumbo pulled out all stops for the Zumbo Test, unveiling Epic Biscuit Time. Contestants saw a cardboard box before them revealing 12 mini desserts – six of which they had to replicate.

Ali chose Apple Crumble Khoo Hoots, Gianduja and Lamington Runway while Ashley picked Cinnamon Donut, Fingerbun Zumbatron and Salted Caramel Bell.

Both worked frantically in the kitchen with Ashley getting the jump on Ali. Things took a turn for the worse when he started getting lost with so many different recipes. It was down to the wire – but both managed to present their six individual desserts to the judges.

After a difficult Zumbo Test, it was Ali who survived scoring 14/20 beating Ashley’s score of 12. Zumbo praised Ashley saying: “You did an amazing job today. You’ve got a real knack. I hope you chase your dessert dreams.”

Ashley added; “I’m proud of myself for getting this far. To at least have made it half way in the competition as stiff as it is, this is a huge achievement.

The remaining six contestants will feel the heat in the Dessert Factory on  at 7.30pm tonight when their Sweet Sensation Task sees them create a dessert inspired by fire.