It’s episode nine of Dessert Masters 2023 a.k.a the Semi-Final and a nature-inspired challenge saw two powerhouse chefs “leaf” the competition!
Upon entering the kitchen, the contestants were surrounded by a mesmerising forest scene.
With only three hours on the clock, they were tasked with creating a delectable sweet dish that drew inspiration from the natural beauty around them.
A lot was at stake given the challenge would determine the three grand finalists who would advance further in the competition and with such talented chefs left, it was anyone’s game.
Here’s what they baked.
Reynold made the daring decision to craft a chocolate log amidst a lush rainforest; however, his challenge lay in harmonising the aromas he was experimenting with.
Undeterred by prior setbacks, he fearlessly reimagined the sugar tuille from the Martin Benn pressure test, which had led to his departure from the semi-final in MasterChef season 12.
During the tasting, Amaury Guichon acknowledged that Reynold successfully met the criteria in terms of both appearance and taste with Mel Leong saying that this could very well be his first Grand Finale of his MC career.
Jess’s creation was an intricately crafted bonsai tree, adorned with flavours that evoked the essence of Japan: matcha, yuzu, and black sesame.
The judges commended the delicately airy sponge, accentuated by the interplay of textures from the black sesame and yuzu mousse.
Gareth took a bold approach when he crafted a riverbed scene adorned with stones, twigs, and soil.
He merged the distinct flavours of truffle and Jerusalem artichoke and although Amaury wasn’t entirely convinced by the combination, Gareth believed that the sweeter elements would counterbalance the earthiness.
Amaury loved the presentation; however, he, along with Mel, expressed concerns about its savoriness, putting Gareth at risk of elimination.
Kay-Lene crafted a dish inspired by the evocative imagery of the changing seasons, incorporating the concept of melting white snow.
However, upon tasting it, Amaury found that while visually stunning, it looked at tasted dry.
Kirsten embarked on her most ambitious culinary creation yet – a decadent chocolate and passionfruit entremet encased within an intricate chocolate birdcage sculpture.
With only 30 seconds remaining, she carefully positioned her masterpiece onto the plate, only to have it collide with the edge of the bench, collapsing in front of everyone’s eyes.
As the judges tasted the entremet, they praised the flawless glaze and impeccably layered presentation.
While the flavours were balanced, and given the demanding three-hour challenge, the absence of the birdcage meant she had not met the brief.
Kay-Lene and Kirsten were eliminated at the final hurdle, leaving Reynold, Jess and Gareth to battle it out during the Grand Finale.
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Dessert Masters 2023 Grand Finale airs at 7.30 pm on November 28 on 10 and 10Play.