MasterChef – Tues, June 28 – Heston’s chocolate challenge

Heston inspires the contestants to create a three-course dessert spread using only the food of the Gods: chocolate.
The least impressive team will face the elimination challenge.

The six contestants file in past the black-aproned losers (shame, shame, shame – where’s Sister Unella when you need her?). Their lips have been sewn together so they do not taint the ears of the cooking god Heston with their fangirly utterings.
They are at Melbourne Uni and are split into teams of two via a lucky dip of milk, dark and white (it’s not a real chocolate – stop calling it that, people!) chocolate.
Elise and Theresa get white; Intense Matt and Glowing Elena milk; and Harry and Mimi dark. They have to create a three-course dessert menu for 30 online competition winners; each team cooks a course. And, thankfully, none of this mucking around with savoury desserts.
They are led into a massive underground carpark (and Matt Preston gives us the movie fun fact part of Mad Max was filmed) where their cooking stations and a long dining table have been set up.


Theresa and Elise are doing a caramelised white choc crumble base with a coconut bar and chocolates with raspberry coulis and passionfruit centres, with mascarpone ice cream to offset the sweetness. “Hopefully the coolness from the frozen ice cream will be enough to balance out the dish,” says Elise. Yeah, I always prefer frozen ice cream to that unfrozen variety. George isn’t around tonight (ill effects from eating pea and ham ice cream, perhaps? Pop a Swisse, George) so we won’t call Heston H any more. H is worried it’s too much – and too sweet.

The milk chocolate team starts off and GE wants to make a Japanese garden with a green tea jelly pond. IM’s mind is blown by her concept. Elena says she’ll work to ensure the green tea jelly is not too bitter. GE says there will be scented choc pebbles of raspberry and yuzu curd and then she utters the two words we’ve all been waiting for: liquid nitrogen. IM is definitely sous chef on this one but he does decide to add basil to the raspberry soz.

The dark team of Harry and Mimi are allowed to start and Harry wants to make a forest floor with a chocolate log and cherry coulis. The words “vapour jug” are written on his plan for the dish. Sounds speccy but surely we’ve seen this forest log thing before? Let’s hope he has better luck tempering his choc than other contestants have in the past.

Elise is actually the first one to go for the liquid nitrogen, to freeze some domes. Because, you know, domes have never given anyone grief before.

Elena is talking again about her green tea jelly – I’m worried now that it’s getting so much airtime. But it does make me want to make a frog in a pond. Dark team seem to be going well with their choc log and mousse filling but over at white choc team, Theresa – who’s definitely the leader – is realising making a dessert with so many teeny chocolates that need to be individually hand dipped was a rookie move.
IM gets on to the nitro next and he also gets to use giant tweezers. He tastes one of his pebbles and is delighted with the result. Karmen must be at home cursing that she missed this one (although I can’t really imagine her uttering anything other than a soft “darn”).
Harry is working on the soil for his forest floor and pops a packet of bough biscuits in the food processor. The look like Granitas. Bought biscuits – is this MKR all of a sudden? He’s also adding pop rocks – can’t have a dessert with them these days.
Gaz tells Theresa and Elise to get a wriggle on and they try to make nitro ice cream but it’s not working mixing by hand The liquid nitrogen ice cream shop here in Adelaide uses KitchenAid mixers to whip its icy goodness, so perhaps they should try that. Where’s Heston to give them a few tips? Outside giving the black-aproned losers a flogging?
They give up and decide to use it as a cream instead, even though it could be too sweet. Lesson learnt: Always make your ice cream first.

Elena has made a black sesame crumb soil for her Japanese garden and Harry is carefully lifting his chocolate logs out of the acetate. With five minutes to service the white choc team starts to plate up. The coconut bar going on top of the crumb looks like a chicken nugget drizzled with mayo. They are still dipping chocolates and quenelling cream (sadly, Elise did not get her frozen ice cream after all) with one minute to go. “We’re just chucking stuff everywhere,” says Elise – always good for a blunt quote.
Service starts and Elise has to chase after a waiter who’s grabbed an unfinished plate. Run, Forrest, run, with your box of chocolates dessert.

The judges taste


Theresa and Elise’s “Life is Like a Box of Chocolates” dessert: And, of course, Heston’s is the only plate at the table missing the raspberry. What producer noticed that and switched plates? Heston likes the caramelised soil and cream but Matt says it’s all too sweet.


IM and GE’s Japanese garden pond: They introduce the dish and are about to walk away when Cranky Pants says: “Can I ask a question – it’s not quite what I thought you were going to put together on the plate. Is that how you set out to plate it up?” Elena – on a high from completing a tricky cook – is nonplussed. Apparently Gaz was expecting more sesame crumb. Please, can we get at least one new judge next year, MasterChef – I don’t want to watch a judge who talks down a dish in front of diners who must be thrilled to be there, even before they’ve tasted it. Does he make such comments for all the teams and we they just don’t make the edit? Matt is not fond of the presentation and is worried about the green tea jelly. The judges love the rocks filled with raspberry and yuzu. The jelly didn’t work – it’s a bit better and Heston says they should have used gelatine instead of agar.


Mimi and Harry’s Black Forest floor: It looks very cool with its berry coulis and plump blackberries. So, these gice will be the winners. Matt notes the diners were excited to see the dish. “It’s a proper chocolate dessert,” says Gaz. “It’s a happy dessert.” Heston doesn’t really say much, that we see at least. Is he being paid by the word?

The judges decide

Harry and Mimi win – and deservedly do. However, keep in mind they had the advantages of getting dark chocolate (more suited to the palate of adult foodies) and the extra planning time while they waited their turn to cook.
They are obviously tossing up between the white and milk teams, and here are the black-aproned ones to observe the going on and administer the ceremonial beating to the latest losers. In the end, an overly sweet dessert beats a bitter jelly and GE and IM are in the elimination round. Noooooooooooo!
So, thus far in elimination we have IM, GE, Heather, Trent, Chloe and Brett. A few our faves in there, but if it’s a savoury challenge they should be right.

Tomorrow night
It’s another pop-up challenge and it looks like they have to make dishes using recipes from ye olden days – and not the Women’s Weekly Cookbook olden days. One person will go through to the Thursday night elimination.



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51 Comments

  1. IM: Doing these pop ups with Heston is challenging – you never know what you’re going to get.

    JM -aka Jowl$y Matt: Chocolate

    because life is like a box of chocolates.

  2. Gary having and each way bet with the milk choc dish. Setting the scene so if it doesn’t deliver, he was the first to say something. Watta prick.

    Is it just me, or does Heston not seem interested this year? He’s usually a lot more “personable” on TV, IMO.

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    • People on other blogs also felt the same about Heston. They could have done these challenges without Heston and still with the same outcome.

      Only with the Heston name, theythey can get FB people to attend.

  3. Must admit, three courses of chocolate way too much for me. Last course looks pretty good though. Last one looked like a murky pond.

      • There used to be a restaurant called Death By Chocolate that only served desserts. I never got to try it. I tried to go to one but it had closed down.

  4. So we have beetroot powder, Gary being an arsehole, and we have too many elements to do. Isn’t that the plot of every single episode this season?

    Why were the other teams allowed to dictate what order the plates could go out but Elise was forced to chase the waiters down?

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    • THANK you Little Petal for finding that. I’m watching thinking ‘tune out from the wanky yet strangely implausible Harry grandiose explanation and try to remember where you have seen that dish before’ and you have magically produced it.
      He is utterly lacking in originality. All he can do is string together a ridiculous story that chimes with the ridiculous expectation that you can’t just sit down and eat something delicious. It has to look like something else and represent something inedible.

    • I remembered Reynold’s log dessert, too, and thought here goes Harry copying another idea. Reynold’s looked like a log, though, with the texturing. What will Harry copy next?

    • Sweets are not really his thing. Elena running that challenge. Big question is “who will cry the most?” during the elimination. IMO Chloe should go.

      • They should have done a yuzu jelly and coloured it with pandan or something. The green tea element could have been an icecream or even one of their rocks. IM’s pretty good under pressure – he should be right unless it’s a dessert.

  5. The team that cooked first is always at a disadvantage. The other 2 teams can use the waiting time to plan their dishes

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  6. Recap is up. Can we start our campaign for a new judge for next year now? Matt can stay. Surely we can get a chick for one out of the three.

  7. Mmm.
    So Harry claims inspiration from walking through a Tasmanian forest.
    Was Reynold walking through the same forest?
    Harry takes full credit for their success, and Mimi gets to wash his feet later.

    Elena gets into full art teacher mode and goes for a Japanese garden.
    But didn’t mention that it was after the 2011 tsunami.
    Thanks to her lousy jelly, Matt goes into elim. and silly Theresa, with her over-ambitious ailments, is safe.
    And Elise .. ‘I’m Freaking Out ..’

    I don’t know if it’s scripted for Gary to be an a***hole, or if it comes naturally to him. Certainly more obnoxious than usual tonight.

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    • Talk about Sophie’s Chiice. I wanted to chop George, yeah. But I had to go for Gary because he is just so vile and so clearly completely over it. It’s like the only pleasure he has now is being horrid and bullying to contestants.
      Matt is still fine for me.

  8. Talking about judges, slightly off topic, I hope Ch7 Zumbo Just Dessert will be good. Thers is Rachael Khoo and this new chef, ex model

  9. What a charmer Gary is. That’s not the way he visualised the Japanese garden? Who cares about your visualisation, Gary, it isn’t your dish. I wish, when he pulls a boorish stunt like that, that the contestants would stand up to him and show confidence in their dish, even if they are bullshitting to high heaven. “Yes, this is exactly how we planned it and we are very proud of it!”

    I don’t think I could eat three courses of chocolate. I’d want to get up and brush my teeth, especially after white chocolate, which always tastes like a melted candle to me.

    I missed a lot of this episode because a friend rang, and Catchup keeps dropping out on me. Were they not allowed to begin plating before the five-minute mark? They never seem to leave enough time to plate umpteen serves, exactly the same, each plate needing 27 different elements fastidiously added one by one using only thumb and forefinger.

    Harry the copycat must have got a bit of sweat on his plates, not to mention some greasy blond hairs. Pretty dish, but I wouldn’t eat anything that came from someone who held his dripping head 50mm from the plate.

  10. Disappointed that Matt & Elena are going to the elimination round. I was surprised Matt let Elena design the entire idea. I realize he is not into desserts but he usually has more input in team challenges. Gary very rude regarding the look of this dessert. It didnโ€™t look like a Japanese garden but he didnโ€™t have to be so demeaning.
    Theresa is so frenetic and frantic in the kitchen. Once again, too much air time.
    Harry thinks everything he does is perfect. He does a good job copying othersโ€™ ideas.
    Did they say where George was? I skipped through the episode so may have missed that.
    Agree w/ others that it’s time to get some new judges. MC US has only two main judges now: Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. The third judge is a guest chef and this changes with the challenges.

  11. Heston looking really bored this week in the MC pop up kitchens. He is not adding much to the season. Marco and Nigella were better in my opinion. At least they looked interested and injected a bit of passion.

    Hoping IM, Trent and Elena are safe in the elimination cook off.
    Time for Chloe, Quagmire, Harry horrible hair and Theresa to go.

  12. All three desserts were very uninspiring, lots of copying of techniques (frozen spheres, dipped in chocolate), same flavour combos… a crumb…. why didn’t someone do a layered dessert (tart, cake, entremet) or something hot… it was all a bit meh.

    And I see George has infected Gary… “Deliciousness”, “Yeh”….

    Just put them all in elimination the best dish just should just win the series and put us all out of our misery.

  13. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Dark chocolate is my favourite & they did look divine. Plus they had berries on them. They definitely deserved to win. But they did have the advantage of having dark chocolate which is easier to cook with.
    I’m not overly fussed on white chocolate, I find it too rich so would not have liked their dishes much. They got the raw end of the deal, white is the hardest to cook with.
    That green tea jelly sounded pretty revolting. She kept saying how they had to get it right or it wouldn’t taste nice. Did she not taste it before allowing it to set? Gary was a rude prick to say that to them in front of all the other diners. Everyone on Twitter was commenting on that.
    So another losing team will go into elimination after tonight. So that means only 2 people won’t be going into elimination.

  14. Furthermore… so Milk choc team theoretically had 30 more mins to visualize and discuss their dish, and Dark 1 hour more…. than the white team..

  15. For sure He$ton is disinterested. When the Stooges were announcing last night’s challenge , he was gazing off into the distance oblivious to the requirements of filming.. His lights were burning bright but no one was home. Unfortunately, no one in Endemol$hine’s editing suite cared for letting Heston’s concentration cat out of the bag. But this is the greatest chef in the world on the greatest cooking show on the face of the earth, he’s done everything but get up and yell “I’m a culinary celebrity ~ get me the **** out of here!”

    Boo for Gary embarrassing those amatas in front of the hordes of stool pigeons. Ch 10 have been having him on The Project fairly regularly, so they somehow think there’s an interest in his opinion on all and sundry. That is a massive fail.

    Tonight~ He$ton.Historical or Hysterical Challenge? It’ll come naturally to the amatas in executing unsanitary practices from the days of yore. Harry will be well in.

    I think the producers are fixing to whack Brett.

  16. Thank goodnes one more person will go into the elimination and I’d be happy for any of those four to leave. Hopefully all the better cooks who are already there will be safe.

    Longing for a hero/heroine to emerge: someone who answers back to the judges when they are trying to be smart alecs, someone who refuses to give their dish a wanky theme, someone who splatters George in the face when he next says “push”. In essence, someone who is not willing to be complicit with the producer’s antics. Unfortunately, I think that person might have been Miles.

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