Immunity pin popcorn challenge

Tonight on Masterchef Australia Con, Anastasia and Nicolette battle to win the immunity pin. Only one the contestants will get through to the next round.

Con, Anastasia and Nicolette arrive at Masterchef headquarters. Shannon Bennett is also back in the kitchen to guide the contestants. The first round is when the three cooks cook off against each other. The winner will go through to the next round where they will compete against a guest chef to win the immunity pin. Tonight’s core ingredient is revealed as popcorn. They have 60 minutes to produce a dish and an open pantry. Their time starts now.

Nicolette is making a dessert as it plays to her strength. She’s making a popcorn parfait. Con is making a layered dessert with a mousse and a jelly. Anastasia has decided to make a savoury dish, a popcorn crusted chicken breast.

There’s three minutes to go and the contestants start plating up their dishes. Anastasia takes her chicken out of the oven, starts slicing it up and can see that it is raw still inside. She quickly places it on a hot pan and cooks it further. All contestants have plated up and now it’s time for the judges to taste the dishes.

Con is up first. He has made a coffee jelly with a white chocolate mousse. The judges taste the tiny little dish that he has produced. The judges say it’s a popcorn challenge, and although his dish is tasty they cannot taste popcorn in the dish. Next up is Anastasia. She has cooked a chicken breast with popcorn and miso flavouring. Matt says the combination of flavours are all there. Gary says the chicken and pumpkin are all delicious but is there enough popcorn in the dish. The last contestant is Nicolette. She has made a popcorn parfait, with a popcorn crumb, popcorn caramel and a butter gel. Gary says her dessert is absolutely delicious. Shannon says it has a nice touch of salt too. Matt likes the butter gel. Nicolette has produced the best dish and wins. She goes through to the next round where she competes against a professional chef.

The guest chef tonight is Braden White from Ricky’s restaurant in Noosa. Nicolette gets to chose the core ingredient and she gets a little extra time. Nicolette gets to choose between shellfish or fish. She is disappointed as she mainly cooks desserts and is not confident with seafood. She chooses fish. She picks a whole salmon and has to fillet it. Nicolette is still filleting her fish, it has taken her longer than 15 minutes which means that she has lost her head start.

Braden enters the kitchen and gets to chose his piece of fish. He chose the mulloway fish. Braden quickly fillets his fish and cuts it into two nice pieces of fish. Nicolette is going to confit the salmon and serve it with a salad.

Nicolette heats the oil for her confit salmon in the oven but when she goes and checks on it she finds that it is way too hot. She pours the oil into a cold pan but it is still too hot, so she takes out some oil and replaces it with cold oil and now she has made it too cold.

Nicolette’s crispy skin looks great. There’s 5 minutes remaining and it’s almost time to start plating up. Nicolette is working on her salad. Both plate up on time.

Now it’s time for the judges to do a blind tasting. The first dish belongs to Nicolette, a confit salmon with crispy skin. The judges comment that it’s a pretty looking dish. The cut into the salmon to see how it’s cooked. The judges comment that it is cooked absolutely perfectly. Gary says its a gorgeous dish. George says that it’s hard to pick faults and he enjoys the acidic salad on the side. Matt says he loves the crispy skin. They do notice that the dark part is left on the salmon.

Next up is Braden’s mulloway dish with onion puree. The judges are absolutely impressed with the presentation of the dish. George says it is a clever dish. Matt says there were lots of fresh flavours there and good colour on the skin on the mulloway. However, he says the fish is overcooked. Gary agrees that the fish is overcooked, only by a minute or two. It seems as though it might be a close one.

Now it’s time to find out the judges scores. Braden is up first.

Gary- 8/10

George- 9/10

Matt- 8/10

Total of 25/30

Nicolette’s scores.

Gary- 8/10

George- 9/10

Matt- 9/10

Total of 26/30. Nicolette wins the immunity pin challenge today. George awards her the pin and tells her the pin comes with powers that she does not know of yet.


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