The bottom three contestants from the invention test face off in the elimination pressure test. Contestants have just two hours to recreate two of guest chef Ross Lusted’s signature dishes.
Ross appeared on MasterChef last year as one of the immunity challenge guest chefs. His squid and corn dish beat Jessie’s beef and beetroot dish, scoring 10s from George and Matt and an 8 from Cranky Pants.
It’s Elena, Elise and Zoe in the firing line and we are getting a lot of Elena telling emotional stories about her Nanna. Please, don’t send Elena home when we’ve only just started seeing her make the edit.
Anastasia is there at the side of the kitchen in her power apron, as she has some yet to be named power tonight.
Here comes Ross Lusted with two small cloches and Anastasia gets to pick which one the bottom three will cook.
Chicken dumpling, silken chicken and ginger fried rice.
Perfumed stone fruits with elderflower and peach biscuit.
She picks the dessert and Ross says it’s the trickier of the two. It includes nectarine syrup, a see-through Indonesian biscuit made using bicarb (it looks like a super-fine brandy snap) and burnt peach butter made by burning peaches on a hibachi. They have two hours to cook, then five minutes to plate up the dish for the judges.
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 13 June 2016
It looks like Elise has not recovered from her frying challenge brain freeze and she’s panicking, rushing through the recipe, making mistakes. Ross reckons her biscuits will be rough. Her mixture is looking dodgy and Ross comes over to tell her as much. She decides to strain out the lumps and push on.
— Elena Duggan (@elena_jo_duggan) 13 June 2016
Ross wanders over to Elena’s bench and says: “That’s the best batter we’ve had all day.” But she’s behind the other girls and is getting a little panicked.
Elise is starting to crack as well and having George bark “Snap out of it” doesn’t help.
Zoe decides she will just make half the sorbet recipe – a move that elicits a frustrated “argh” from Brett on the gantry.
They have to grill 1cm peach slices on the hibachi and Elise’s are of varying thickness, while Zoe’s are much more even. Elena is way behind and not thinking. She’s worried her poaching liquid isn’t boiling, so Brett rightly tells her: “Put a lid on it.”
And then she starts crying and walks to the side. Now, who was that nice chef a while back who came over to give a crying contestant a cuddle? We need him back. Ah, chef Jason of the quail afternoon tea, who was so nice to Brett when he had an emotional moment.
You can tell everyone on the gantry wants to run down and hug her, because George and Gaz are nowhere to be seen. More back story about her grandparents’ stonefruit orchard and she pulls herself together.
Ross says Zoe’s burnt peaches look great, whereas Elise’s are super charcoaled.
And he tells her that her cake is also too dense.
Zoe has been doing really well up until now but her reduced syrup looks very caramelly. Each contestant has to use a massive deli slicer to shave their cakes to create biscuits. Ross supervises so they don’t chop off their fingers.
Elena gets ahead of herself and starts slicing the fruit she’s not meant to cut until the five minutes of plating up. This could mean she loses some of the fresh taste of the fruit, which includes blood plums – my fave.
The judges taste
Elena: Ross says her presentation is beautiful and precise. The sorbet and wafers are great. But cutting the fruit early means she has lost some freshness.
Zoe: During her plating up time she realises her over-reduced syrup has set and the editors allow a muttered “shit” to air. She chucks it in the microwave so she can at least get something on the plate but it looks very globby. By the time George does his serving up it turns to toffee again. Her sorbet isn’t quite right – she overchurned it because she did half the mixture. The rest of the dish is great.
Elise: She knows she is in big trouble. Gaz loves the syrup but the peach butter is wrong and her biscuits aren’t holey.
Matt says it’s a toss up between Zoe and Elise. So, phew, Elena is safe then – she’s not going out on stone fruit.
The eliminated contestant is …
Zoe. No more swishy pony tails. Elise is lucky. The yayas will be in tears.
Where is she now?
Who knows, because …
… She’s back tomorrow night with the other eliminated contestants to try and win back a spot.