Contestant brought undone by a single ingredient
A SINGLE ingredient has threatened to ruin one contestant's MasterChef chances.
With the competition now down to the final four, on Tuesday night Jess, Ben, Khan and Sashi faced off in a culinary duel of winter versus summer dishes.
Jess had planned to impress the judges with her winter-themed dessert of peanut butter and jelly opera cake using fresh raspberries.
But in the last 20 minutes of the culinary challenge, Matt Preston pointed out she had made a crucial mistake in her ingredient selection.
"When do raspberries grow? What season are raspberries? Do you think they grow in winter?" Matt asked Jess.
"Or do you think they grow in summer, then in autumn? So, think of the best way that you could add that flavour of raspberry to the dish so it's appropriate for winter. It's all about winter."
Visibly flustered, Jess scrambled to find a way to rework her recipe by making a raspberry jelly instead.
But the late change didn't give her enough time to let the jelly set properly, meaning she had to settle with making a raspberry cream by mixing the puree with cream.
When it came to the taste test, the judges were left unimpressed with Jess' offering, saying it was missing the "jelly" element.
"It's light. It's delicious, but it's not what it promises to be," Gary Mehigan said. "I mean, if I wanted peanut butter and jelly, then I expect peanut butter and jelly. I'm missing pretty much all of it. What I'm getting is hazelnuts, chocolate, cream."
"My real concern is I think of an opera cake and I think of those eight delicate layers. And really what you've brought is this chocolate hazelnut brownie with various creams in it. It's good, it's tasty, but finesse is what we're looking for," Matt said.
In the end Jess' blunder saw her miss out on a chance to compete in the second round of the culinary challenge.
On Twitter, fans were divided over whether Matt's stipulation not to use fresh raspberries was fair.
#masterchefau They didn’t say it was a seasonal fruit challenge. Just inspired by the season. Ripped off Jess— Jane (@Blake_Seven) July 24, 2018
Uh Jess? It’s still raspberries. Like, making them into jelly doesn’t make them winter? Also, jelly isn’t particularly wintery either? #MasterchefAU— Erin Van Krimpen (@erinvk) July 24, 2018
Where is Ben's questioning about the seasonality of his ingredients or is it only Jess that is gonna cop it #MasterChefAU— Stockholm Kristie (@musemusemadamk) July 24, 2018
After Jess' dish failed to impress, Ben and Sashi faced off in an autumn themed challenge, with Ben winning the round with his walnut crumbed coral trout with carrot and ginger puree, parsnip chips and a parsley vinaigrette.
The win saw Ben given a key advantage for the next challenge - the choice of which course he will cook at Icebergs restaurant in Sydney's Bondi Beach.
MasterChef continues 7.30pm Wednesday night on Network 10.