Cue sad music as the contestants get ready for their elimination challenge. Elise mentions it’s her seventh time in black – maybe the universe is trying to tell you something, Elise?
Whoever survives tonight is through to the MasterChef Top 10.
Mimi has been absent from the edit for a while, so if she suddenly gets a flashback we know she’s in trouble.
George says tonight’s challenge is a twist on the classic time auction.
Five pantries will be revealed, one at a time, every 15 minutes.
Whoever takes the first pantry gets 90 minutes to cook with those ingredients, plus staples. Wait another 15 minutes and you get to use both pantries but only have 75 minutes to cook. Oooh – will they all go for the 60-minute mark? If they wait for the very last pantry they will only have 30 minutes.
The first pantry is just a mass of herbs. No-one moves.
Pantry two is vegies and at first it looks like no-one will bite, especially meat lovers IM and Trent. But in fact both boys and Karmen go for it.
Karmen is making a mille feuille with basil ice cream and candied tomatoes. I hope it sets – she’s had a few last minute hurdles in the MC kitchen with elaborate desserts.
Trent is making pumpkin rotolo with cauli puree while IM is cooking roast carrot tortellini with confit leeks and roast tomato and burnt butter sauce – how good does that sound.
On the sidelines, Elise and Mimi are hoping for some desserty-type ingredients, like fruit or chocolate.
The third pantry is revealed … it’s fruit – fresh and dried. Elise is stoked.
Mimi wants to “think outside the box” and she wants to make baked rhubarb and a beetroot parfait. That’s it – parfait is thumping panna cotta in the “another bloody” stakes.
The final two pantries contained poultry and fish.
Elise is looking a bit brain freezey, as happens to her sometimes, but she decides to make apricot ABP with passion fruit curd and a thyme crumb. Theresa shouts down the helpful advice to put her moulds in dessert. Uh oh – are they the red moulds of death? We get an Elise flashback so it does not bode well for her.
But here comes to Karmen flashback – yikes!
George pops over to Trent’s bench to screw up his nose at the fact he is boiling his pumpkin in water. Don’t look now, George, but I don’t think he used giant tweezers to place the pumpkin in the pot, either. Trent chucks his boring pumpkin and grates some more to fry with butter and milk.
Elise decides to add a strawberry and thyme coulis to put inside her parfait. On the gantry, the onlookers are talking up Karmen’s weaponiness.
IM starts rolling his pasta and the sheets look silky smooth from the get go.
Here comes a Trent flashback – aargh. He wants to open a restaurant with a vegie garden out the back. He’s been the only one tonight to get a flashback where his “food dream” is explained. So, Trent’s going.
Here comes Matt Preston to distract Mimi while she’s cooking beetroot caramel, and she has to spatter some on his hand to shoo him away.
There’s so much chat from the gantry tonight – “what are you making?”, “will you need to be put that in the fridge?” – are the judges just lounging around out the back watching TV?
No, here comes Matt to scare Elise that she has too many flavours on her plate. Those judges sure love seeing a panic-stricken Elise. But she sticks to her guns.
Karmen’s pastry looks quite layer-ey for a rough puff. Hopefully it cools down in time.
No-one’s pulled out the smoking gun tonight, so that honour falls to IM, who gives his leeks a puff.
With three minutes to go, Karmen still hasn’t plated up as she’s hovering at the freezer, waiting for her pastry to cool. I’m with George for once: “Come on, Karmen!” She gets it on the plate and it looks good – can’t blame her for the trickle of tears that follows.
The judges taste
Trent’s pumpkin rotolo with cauli: “I’m stoked,” he tells the judges. They like the inviting look of the dish. The judges are smiling. George says it has a meatiness to it and he loves the rich, buttery sauce.
Karmen’s tomato mille feuille with basil ice cream: We already knew Karmen’s parents don’t want her to go into cooking but I think this is the first time we’ve heard her dad is a chef, who never wanted to be. The judges like the golden brown look of the pastry and the taste but her ice cream is a puddle by the time they eat. “I think Karmen may have a problem,” says Matt. Her ice cream is not basil-ly enough but they don’t understand the use of the meringue.
Intense Matt’s roast carrot tortellini with confit leeks and burnt butter sauce: [Geez, IM is a master of puttig shredded fried stuff on his dishes – it looks delish.] George tells him his plating up looks great. “How absolutely delicious,” says Matt Preston. “He’s gota beautiful dish that just sings,” says Gaz.
Elise’s charred apricot parfait with a passionfruit curd: It’s not the prettiest dish and Matt oddly puffs out his cheeks as he eats. “You know what it reminds me of? fruit Loops. There’s confusion there.” George thinks she needed to simplify the ingredients and ditch half the fruit. Matt and Gaz think she has the makings of a great dish.
Mimi’s beetroot parfait with rosemary shortbread and beetroot caramel: Matt thinks it looks fun. They “oooh” as George pours the soz. Gary goes for a second slurp. They love the salted beet leaf and the whole dish is delicious.
So, it’s the return of Mimi and Karmen and Elise are in trouble – unfortunately, most likely Karmen.
Mimi, IM and Trent get pats on the back. And the person going home is …
Oh dear. Poor Karmen. A quiet achiever gone. Hopefully she picks up a gig with Reynold.
Where is she now?
She plans to launch a dessert bar in Perth later this year.
So, for those playing along at home, what pantry would have made you stop cooking?
Next week: It’s Heston Week. The dessert girls should do well with the complicated recipes. The Melbourne Observation Wheel challenge looks fun.
And a reminder for those who watch it that Offspring starts on Ten on Wednesday at 8.30pm (yes, it should have finished last season but I’ll be watching anyway).