The blue team from last night’s fete challenge is facing the firing squad. Well, the cake squad. They have to play Name That Cake. I hope, as with all these challenges, that they don’t bomb out early so we can play along at home.
The first three contestants to fluff on their cake knowhow will be sent to elimination, where they have to bake – you guessed it – a cake. And this will be the last night we see Nigella.
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 26 May 2016
The contestants enter and the cakes are already on display, so as the judges talk they are sneaking peeks. Intense Matt is very worried but you’d imagine if Charlie or Con go through to elimination they at least are used to doing sweet stuff.
Matt gets first pick and chooses what looks like a brick of a lamington – but he’s worried it may be a trick and they are messing with his mind. But, yes, it is what it seems.
Airline captain Brett picks the Swiss roll and then it’s Con’s turn. He picks a carrot cake and Elise grabs black forest (one of my faves), Charlie gets cheesecake. Mimi has orange and poppyseed cake and it’s Matt’s turn again. He grabs the ginormous Victoria sponge cake (how many eggs went into that monster?) and Brett then gets mudcake. So far no tricks. Con gets opera cake, Elise angel cake (does she mean angel food cake?). Charlie is up and he’s sweating bullets. He’s up between what looks like two fruitcakes and Gary and George do the “wow, brave man”. “If you name this, you’re a legend,” says George. Charlie knows it’s not right but he says “fruitcake”. It’s a simnel cake – a type of Easter cake. So Charlie is the first one to bomb.
Mimi grabs a Paris brest, which is like a giant profiterole. Matt selects a cake with chocolate truffles on top but he gets a surprise when he slices it. “I’m worried for you, Matt,” says Gaz. “Even my palms are sweating.” Matt says “chocolate truffle cake” but it’s a Dobos torte. Never heard of it, but thanks to the magic of Wikipedia I now know: A Hungarian sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. The five-layer pastry is named after its inventor, Hungarian confectioner József C. Dobos, who aimed to create a cake that would last longer than other pastries in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The round sides of the cake are coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, or almonds, and the caramel topping helps to prevent drying out.
If Intense Matt goes tonight I will be cranky.
Brett reckons it’s time to pick a cake he’s had his eye on from the start and has been keeping up his sleeve – but then he cuts it and he starts second guessing himself. But he goes for moon cake, the Asian treat, and he’s right.
— Brett Carter (@Cartscancook) 26 May 2016
Con comes up for his third go and picks what looks to be some kind of layered meringue. He says continental cake but it’s some Icelandic cake called Vinarterta. So that’s our bottom three – damn – I wanted to know what the other cakes were.
Con, Charlie and Matt have 90 minutes to bake a cake. It’s not long to mix, bake and cook a cake for decorating.
Con is making a pound cake but he reckons he doesn’t have a tried and true recipe. He must only know finicky desserts and ABPC recipes. His cake will have a savoury strawberry and thyme savoury syrup and lemon creme fraiche filling.
Intense Matt is making carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing. Yum, but he’d better tricksy it up a bit – chuck some $7 rocky road on it, Matt. He’s following his mate’s mum’s recipe but he’s spicing it up a bit.
Charlie is baking a chocolate and raspberry sponge cake with hazelnuts but he puts all his mixture into one pan, so it will take longer to cook. Nigella comes over to tell him off for not splitting the mix.
Con is worried about timing so he cranks his temp up to 200C, until Nigella comes over to tell him off as it needs a low, slow, bake. I’m sensing a theme here. Will Intense Matt get a talking to next?
After panicking, Con decide to ignore Nigella and stick with the pound cake. I’m thinking Con is going home.
Matt is doing an onion and carrot jam with star anise and cinnamon for the centre of this cake. He’s the only one doing something a bit different. Then he works on the best bit of any carrot: the lemony cream cheese icing.
Poor Charlie says “it’s do or die” as he realises his sponges aren’t cooked in the centre and he has to bung them back in the oven.
Intense Matt is getting a lot of confessionals about how much fun he’s having, whereas Charlie’s are about all the glitches.
“Now it’s time to just go to town on this bad boy… to make it overloaded with love,” Matt tells the camera.
However, Con is surely going because he got the back story about quitting his job and delaying his wedding.
Charlie has done lots of fancy pants decorating stuff with toffeed hazelnuts, while Matt has gone the rustic look and Con’s cake looks, well, simple and fine, but he’s worried it’s dense.
The judges taste
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 26 May 2016
Matt’s carrot cake: “To me that is everything a home-baked cake should be … it looks generous and it looks like you want to feed someone and make them happy,” says Nigella. George dishes up and it looks terrific. Nigella likes the zing of the marmalade and Gaz is in hog heaven.
Con’s thyme pound cake: “It looks heavy,” say the judges. Nigella says it’s not evenly cooked because he bammed up the heat. Matt says the syrup has barely soaked into the cake: “It’s rubbery, it’s bouncy.” The love the flavours he’s used but not the texture. Oh dear.
Charlie’s choc raspberry hazelnut sponge: The judges say it looks dense. Matt loves the mix of flavours but Gaz says “that cake’s dry and dense” and points out he’s not going back for seconds. But Nigella defends the cake’s honour: “I don’t think it’s a failure as a cake … I don’t think it’s offensive.” Matt says Charlie overbaked it.
They do the “Matt’s safe but the other two are sooooo close”. Yeah, as if you are going to send golden boy Charlie home.
And the loser is …
Ok, first it’s time for the judges to praise Intense Matt and it’s lovely to see the look of joy creep over his face as he absorbs Nigella’s praise. I’m Team Intense Matt.
— Cecilia Hoai Vuong (@CeciliaVuong) 26 May 2016
And Con’s gone. Go home and marry your fiancee – and in a surprise twist, the remaining contestants will cater your wedding! Now, that would be fun. Gaz, for once, is not wearing his cranky pants and tells Con he has talent. And where’s Con now? Moved to Hobart to open a Melbourne-style cafe.
Time for masterclass so I’m out.