MasterChef – Tues, June 7 – eclairs and immunity

Who will the judges choux?
Why don’t the just grab a handful of immunity pins and chuck them skyward, like a lolly toss – that’s how easy they’ve been to win this season.
The three best performers from Maggie Beer’s mystery box – Brett, Chloe and Trent – are now vying for immunity. The contestant who produces the best eclair in round one will then cook off against a professional chef.

Here we go … Chloe is back in the tie-dyed shirt but, hey, she’s young and it’s possible I had a very similar one at her age which I made myself. Maybe.


There’s a tempting tower of eclairs on display to clue them in. Matt says they are looking for a next-generation eclair. I reckon you can’t beat a dark chocolate-topped eclair filled with fresh cream, but that’s not very MasterCheffy. Someone’s going to have to pull out the smoking gun or do a weird savoury one.
Chloe’s stoked because she’s made many eclairs, while airline pilot Brett is racking his brain for a choux pastry recipe. He’s doing choc eclairs with pistachio crumb and orange and cardamom filling.
Chloe is making dulce de leche cream cheese eclairs with toasted pecan praline and is chosen to do the “how to make choux” bit to camera. Can she do anything other than caramel?
My new favourite, Trent, is woeful at regurgitating the producers’ lines. Perhaps this is why he disappeared from the edit for so long. “A pin at this stage in the competition is priceless,” he says in a delivery that’s as flat and dry as Charlie’s pita bread from Sunday night. I like Trent even more for his inability to ham it up for the camera, a la Zoe.
He is keeping it simple, making white choc with raspberries, creme pat and macadamias.
It looks like Chloe is using bought dulce de leche – what the heck? Since when are they allowed to use stuff from a jar? It’s not MKR. Next they’ll be grabbing a Lemon Squeeze bottle.
Trent is having choux drama – they are not cooked but he has to assemble them. Everyone else is filling their eclairs. With four minutes to go he finally pulls them out of the oven, cuts them in half and chucks them in the blast chiller for a minute. He’s pushing it to decorate them nicely.
Brett finishes his decorating but feels they are lacking oomph. Miles – of all people – yells from the gantry: “Put some flowers on them!” Off he trots to pick edible pansies and comes back with three flowers for his four eclairs. D’oh! Off he sprints he again.
We’ve been hearing from Chloe how nervous she is, and she gets the shakes while piping her filling. No doubt she’s won.

The judges taste


Brett is grinning from ear to ear as he walks up with his plate of glossy eclairs. The judges are impressed with the prettiness of the dish. Matt loves the choc, cardamom and orange combo. Gaz says the choux is lacking crunch, but Shannon kindly assures him: “I could still eat that whole eclair.”
Chloe puts down her eclairs and George tries to throw her with a sour: “What’s wrong with them?” But she doesn’t fall for it. The judges love her choux and Shannon says it’s almost at French patisserie standard. Matt says the icing is too runny.
Trent’s eclairs look pretty with the raspberries standing along the top. George is surprised they worked and the judges really like the result, but Gaz thinks it’s one dimensional – Shannon suggests some lemon zest would help. But the creamy filling reminds Shannon of the eclairs of his childhood.

In the judging huddle, we hear Matt say Trent should win but George wants Chloe. We don’t get to hear the others speak. As everyone predicted, it’s Chloe. She gets to try for a second immunity pin.

She’s up against Morgan McGlone from Belle’s Hot Chicken (menu here belle’s website) which has outlets in Melbourne and Sydney. He is a specialist in food from America’s south and, yes, I’m judging a book by it’s cover but he loooks like he knows his fried chicken. He has cooked at some top restaurants and, while he has the cheffy arm tatts, at least they are from his Maori heritage.
Chloe gets to pick the theme and it’s tea or coffee. She picks the latter – hooray. No more boring smoking stuff with tea.
While she’s in the pantry, telling Shannon she wants to do semifreddo with a chocolate coffee liqueur sauce, we get a glimpse of a tatt behind her ear. Urgh. But she fits in with the current crop of chefs.
Morgan starts to cook, and he’s doing a red eye sauce, which is made from bacon, coffee and bourbon. He’s serving it with coffee-crusted quail and cauliflower and is cooking the cauli whole by basting it constantly in butter as sautes away. I’ve never seen this technique before but it looks like it will be fantastic.
morgancauli
He’ll be hardpressed to finish it in time so I’m not sure why doesn’t just cut the cauli in half. He’s making his coffee sauce but is worried about the bitterness, so it will probably be delicious. He looks pretty darn relaxed and is giving the onlookers a few pointers. He’s fun to watch.
Chloe is making meringue to cover her dessert, bombe style, but she’s overwhipped it. Luckily she has Shannon on hand to point out her mistakes and at least he likes the flavour of her coffee sauce and semifreddo.
Morgan – still calm as, bro – cuts two florets off his cauli and sautes them separately. He plates up and then walks out to the garden to grab nasturtium flowers to garnish.
Chloe isn’t happy with her new meringue but has to use it anyway.

The judges taste
Morgan’s quail and cauli is up first and it’s obvious who made what in this supposed blind tasting. “It’s like something I’ve never taste before,” says George. They love the sauce and buttery cauliflower but Matt thinks the dish needs more sweetness to balance the coffee and cayenne punch.
George gets to do the honours lighting the bombe and it works. “It’s a really good idea, conceptually,” says George. But the meringue is grainy. The sauce and semifreddo flavour were great. Surely they can’t give her a pin for grainy meringue?
The verdict
Gaz is talking up Chloe’s chance to make history by winning double immunity. Yeah, yeah – get on with it, Gaz.
Morgan’s scores: Gaz 8, George 7, Matt 7.
Chloe: Gaz, 6, George, 6, Matt, 6.
Bye, Morgan – please open one of your fried chicken shops in SA so I can taste that cauliflower.

Tomorrow night: Kylie Kwong is back for a Chinese New Year team challenge.



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52 Comments

  1. Who will the judges choux?

    Can’t say I really eclair.

    Ammunity pins are like autumn leaves. The standard Ma$terchef meaningless trinkets and baubles.

    I reckon no one wins it.

  2. Back to last night, with all the advice coming from the know-alls above, why did no one tell him that he’d forgotten the gelatine.

    • I wondered that as well. Perhaps they are told to only shout encouragement or inane bullshit, but nothing actually helpful. Except that someone did call out to Elise when her stuff on the stove top was burning.

      • Yeah I always wonder why sometimes they tell someone if they’ve left something out or to get stuff out of the blast chiller/oven or it’s boiling over on the stove. And other times they tell us, but not the person. It seems very contradictory.

  3. Chloe smugly declares: Oh I just happened to make a number of eclairs recently.

    Groan.

    What is with the tie-dyed shirt? The 90s called. They want it back.

  4. Another caramel sauce.

    Are these the most limited contestants eva? It is just panna cotta, ravioli, caramel sauce rinse and repeat.

  5. What also irks me is how the peanut gallery is always ‘worried’ about someone.

    BS. Elimination or Immunity…you do not want the contestant to do well.

  6. We are getting to Top 14 and they have eclair challenge!!!!! More like for Junior MC. How can they be the best cooks

    • It’s ridiculous that for immunity they get something so simple like eclairs, but the bottom 3 had to make that monstrosity the night before.

    • I think we need that kept handy Maz – could be trotted out regularly given that faux humility is on a high rotation – as highly rotated as AB pannacotta and parfait.

  7. And can I add putting flowers on the serving dish to the list of things I don’t get? Matt would call my palate unsophisticated.

  8. Didn’t one of the judges say if you can’t eat it don’t put it on the plate? Or it could be Manu from MKR

  9. C’marn real chef. You can do it! Keep pushing. Thump gloating Chloe. She’s good with coffee , too. Just ask her.

  10. You could tell straight away from Chloe’s to-cameras that she wasn’t happy. I guess one imm pin isn’t enough for her, and she was robbed? I think Brett and Trent were dudded.

    Her pivoting around like a little kid and self-satisfaction are just too much.
    And is there any section of her anatomy which isn’t inked? Was that a pannacotta tattoo behind her ear?

    I’d love for tonight’s ‘southern’ chef to hook up with Scary Anna from the previous night – now that would be an Invention Test.

  11. They must have been reading from a recipe when doing voice overs for the first cooking steps; they were even using adverbs.

    Ugh, Chloe is insufferably smug. I thought Trent’s eclairs were the best, but evidently his efforts were not good enough to defeat the favourite child’s. I cheered aloud when Chloe stuffed up her meringue, and again when Morgan won. Just quietly, I even threw a “nyah nyah”
    her way. I sincerely hope we are given a break from her for a while.

    George has given me an ear worm. I hear yeah? at the end of everything he says, even if he doesn’t say it.

    I would pay big money for Morgan to make country ham, biscuits, and red-eye gravy for me.

  12. Hmm, I think I might say something bad now, but I kind of like Brett. But I was hoping for Trent to get a chance at immunity. 😉 He is, so far, with Karmen (and Brett), the only one I enjoy watching. I think the two guys really have fun at what they are doing.
    Chloe doesn’t bother me that much. She might be the teacher’s pet, but at least she is not crying all the time like Georgia. The most annoying so far is Zoe. I can’t help myself but I want to smack her head into a cheesecake. -.-

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    • You are not alone.
      I am a Brett fan. He seems to be so happy just to get noticed. And I kind of get the feeling he is not taking any of this too seriously. Remind me, does he have a ‘food dream’? I can see myself watching him cook something at wine o’clock.
      I am already a Karmen fan. I am not sure about Trent, tho’. He could still go either way. I need him to have more airtime to decide.
      I think the world is with you on Chloe. Too many teeth and too much hair flicking.

      • I’m on the Brett bandwagon, too. His dream is to open a gastro pub with his daughters. He knows he can always go back to being a pilot and has the maturity not to take himself too seriously. I loved how genuinely thrilled he was with his eclairs.

  13. Relieved that Chloe did not win another immunity pin but she shouldn’t even have received the first one. I thought that her eclairs would be too sweet: dulce de leche, praline and covered with that thick white chocolate. Was hoping Trent would win but it was predictable that they gave it to Chloe.

    The blind tasting was a joke…as if Chloe would make red gravy sauce. Even Gary admitted it was obvious who made what. Semifreddo and caramel sauce should be on the banned food list. I hope that I will not see another episode featuring Chloe again but she will probably be in the spotlight many more times over the next few weeks.

  14. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Oh those eclairs looked so yummy I wanted to eat them all. Thought I saw one with blueberries on it.
    I’ve made choux pastry many times. Sometimes it’s worked out, sometimes it hasn’t. I take them out of the oven & they are nice & high then a little later they sink. But they still tasted ok so who cares?
    What the fuck is dulce de leche? I have never heard of it.
    I was worried when Trent put them in the blast chiller that they would go soggy.
    What’s the deal with putting flowers on them? You can’t eat them.
    That sauce sounded interesting that the guest chef made. Loved the look on Matt’s face when he tried it.
    Chloe’s dessert did look really pretty, pity about the meringue. We knew she wasn’t going to win the pin then.

  15. I make eclairs all the time and seriously an hour for a good eclair is hard… considering my eclair recipe requires at least 40-45mins baking. 15mins at 180C, 10 mins at 160C and 15mins at 140C.

    Obviously none of these contestants have been working hard enough on their piping skills too, their piping is awful and their choux mix was too thick as well (I highly doubt they weren’t either given a basic choux recipe or a heads up prior to the challenge as I’ve made choux 1000s of times but wouldn’t just remember the ratio’s of ingredients on the spot).

    The guest chef worried me though… thought Chloe may win by default as he looked like the heat was getting to him a bit…

    Definitely trying that cauliflower butter basting this weekend.

  16. Did Shannon not tell Chloe to think of another element to add to her dessert (I’m assuming the ever valuable crunch) and then we see her making some type of coffee bean praline and then it was never to be seen again?! What happened?

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