It’s Mimi, Karmen and Harry’s chance to compete for an immunity pin.
The blurb says: Matt Preston and Nigella Lawson arrive at the contestant house in the middle of the night as the three best from Nigella’s invention test are asked to create a midnight snack for a chance at immunity.
Please tell me Matt will be wearing a red velour dressing gown, black satin cravat and uggies.
Here we go – because everyone wants to be on national TV in their PJs.
— Cecilia Hoai Vuong (@CeciliaVuong) 24 May 2016
We start with Matt and Nigella creeping into the MC house and waking up Harry and co. Bit sad the judges aren’t wearing their PJs because I would have loved to see Matt’s night-time get up. Peter Alexander missed a sponsorship opportunity there.
They have to make a midnight feast and Nigella wants it to “feel like a snatched pleasure”. They only have 30 minutes to cook.
Harry works in hospitality and says he usually turns to chocolate for his late-night snack. He’s making a “brookie” – a cross between a cookie and a brownie. Nigella is going to love this.
Karmen is going American diner with fried chicken with waffles.
Mimi is doing brioche French toast with maple bacon, which is probably too simple.
The other contestants have wandered into the living area to watch the action and look very sleepy.
Nigella is worried Karmen’s chicken won’t cook through but she’s cut it small. She’s also doing a chilli-infused maple sauce – yum! The girls are moving fast but poor Harry is stuck staring at the oven, willing his biscuits (I can’t bring myself to call them cookies) to bake in time. He cranks the heat to 220C and makes a Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) cream to go with them.
These are the three finished midnight snacks:
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 24 May 2016
The judges taste …
Mimi’s French toast with maple bacon and bananas: Is a worthy contender, says Nigella.
Karmen’s chicken and waffles: Matt loves the crunch but Nigella says it needs salt.
Harry’s “brookies”: Nigella is digging in and loving the gooey centres.
And Harry wins and gets the chance to cook for the immunity pin. He looks good in chef whites but check out his teeny top knot:
— Harry Foster (@harry_fos) 24 May 2016
He’s up against Lachlan Colwill of Hentley Farm, who’s a young gun SA chef who’s won a lot of “best new” awards here recently. Here’s a link to the restaurant Hentley Farm
Harry has to cook between Christmas Sweet and Savoury and goes sweet, so he can do a take on his mum’s pavlova – a move which surprises everyone who thought he’d go ape for the seafood. However, he may also be thinking that it’s likely Lachlan doesn’t do a lot of desserts, as he’d have a pastry chef to focus on those.
He sketches out his idea for a meringue “sandwich” with berries and ganache but Shannon does not look happy. Shannon explains how he plates pav at Vue de Monde and it sounds all deconstructed bits and bobs. But Harry isn’t keen. Fair enough – not everyone can pull off modern fancy pants plating. At least if he gets all the elements ready he can think about the plating as he cooks.
It’s Lachlan’s turn to start and, while he’d much prefer to be cooking savoury, he decides to do an ice cream pudding for an Australian summer-friendly cold Christmas dessert – a wise choice given that Shannon said that’s what he made for the Bennett household this year. And he’s using almonds because they remind him of home – heaps of almond growers here in SA.
Harry takes his meringues out of the oven but they are not sturdy enough for him to fill as he’d planned. is it time for Shannon’s idea with meringue blobs and a brulee torch?
But it’s ok – Lachlan’s having trouble, too. He’s tempering chocolate but has spread it out on a stainless steel bench to cool – not realising the oven is underneath. The onlookers on the gantry are worried for him. Eventually Cecilia tells him of his silly mistake.
Harry pulls his meringues into little artsy blobs and whips up a white choc ganache with passionfruit.
Lachlan has grabbed the compulsory red silicon moulds to slop his ice cream into – will they set in time? Yep, they do.
Harry is slowly plating up – tweezers are involved and George would be so happy – and Shannon tells him he needs more of the passionfruit cream and to fill the plate with the elements. But Harry only puts a few delicate bits of everything on. It looks cute but it’s barely a mouthful.
Lachlan is happy the ice cream worked but is regretting not doing a brandy syrup for a boozier flavour.
Time for the judges to taste
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 24 May 2016
They like the festive look of Harry’s pav. Gaz finds the meringue very sweet so the dessert needs more tartness to balance it. The port-soaked cherries get the tick of approval.
Gaz is licking his chops at the look of Lachlan’s pud. “I think it’s a fun idea of putting a snowball on the table,” says Matt. Gaz loves the choc and the nut “snow”. Nigella wants more booze and George thinks it needs more fruit to be Christmassy.
Harry’s pav: Gaz 6, George 6, Nigella 7, Matt 7.
Lachlan’s pud: Nigella 6 (the crowd is shocked), Gaz 7, George 7, Matt 7.
So, Lachlan wins – and he’s relieved to have survived the pressure of the TV cameras.
And it’s a win for us, the viewers, us there were no items from our “MasterChef should ban this” lists. yay.
Tomorrow night: It’s a team challenge at some kind of show or festival where they have to serve heaps of people. And Matt is wearing an amazing magenta suit with a white fedora so we can easily spot him in a crowd.