MasterChef's Nigella Week Was Full Of Teas, Tears And Trifles
Can Nigella stay forever?!
The new week began with a day Matt promised everyone would tell their grandkids about: IT’S NIGELLA WEEK!!! Take it away, Reece.
Nigella breezed in like a gorgeous, talented, domestic goddess and culinary genius. She had also picked out some of her favourite ingredients for the mystery box. Passionfruit, cherries, ginger, marsala, chillies, squid, anchovies, thyme, chicken livers and condensed milk. She called anchovies “the bacon of the sea” and for the first time ever we considered eating anchovies instead of throwing them in the bin.
The judges were only tasting the five most appealing dishes (aka all the ones without anchovies). Nigella also announced the winner would be flown to London to have afternoon tea with her. Reece was like:
Obviously the pressure was on for the contestants who wanted to impress Nigella who breezed through the kitchen cracking out the most iconic one-liners. Michelle told her she was pickling squid in thyme, “I feel like I’ve been pickled in time,” she said with a wink.
The day really belonged to Kristen, whose dish was described by Nigella as “quite a mouthful”. But like… in a good way.
The invention test was themed around Snap, Crackle and Pop and dishes had to be inspired by one of those noises. Ben decided to make vodka crab and George made this face:
George and Gary cast a bit of doubt in Adele’s mind on her initial dish, so she changed direction. Soon after Matt and Nigella came over, hearing the idea for her updated dish, and again weren’t too sure.
Adele was rolling in the deep.
Jenny also struggled with her chocolate-based dish, with the judges having to almost take an axe to her thick chocolate truffle.
Jenny, Chloe and Adele were in the bottom three, having to cook in the pressure test set by Nigella. Honestly just being in the same room as actual human renaissance painting Nigella Lawson would be pressure enough to make us cry so we couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to have to cook at the same time.
The contestants found out they were going to cook not one but FOUR of Nigella’s favourite chocolate dishes -- a white chocolate cookie dough pot, a milk chocolate brownie, a dark chocolate olive oil mousse and a ruby chocolate cheesecake in 75 minutes. Just for comparison it took us 75 minutes to figure out what we wanted to order for dinner last night.
Chloe charged ahead like some kind of chocolate steam engine, the most delicious of all the engines.
Jenny accidentally dumped a ton of olive oil into her mousse, then over whipped her egg whites, setting her back. Meanwhile Adele managed to make up some ground. Chloe looked back -- seeing the other contestants so far behind her they looked like tiny blips on the horizon.
Unfortunately it was Adele whose dishes just didn't come all the way together in time, making her the next to leave the MasterChef kitchen.
Meanwhile the contestants who had won the mystery box challenge, Kristen, Hoda, Loki and Ben, were given the chance to go up against a professional chef and get an immunity pin.
Round one, and the contestants had 45 minutes to wow the judges with pancakes. Hoda decided to make her own hand pulled cotton candy. It was a MasterChef first and the judges couldn’t look away, but she naaaailed it.
Loki was the one to go through and he had a bit of a rocky start… with… getting his apron on.
After he sorted his outfit out, Loki absolutely smashed out the competition. Professional chef Alanna Sapwell scored 34/40. Loki ended up scoring a massive 37 points securing him an immunity pin and a big cuddle from Gary.
The team challenge saw the contestants split into two groups of ten, with each group taking over a café in a brunch battle. The last time we had a brunch battle we drank too many mimosas and had to battle our way home via Macca’s. And also a kebab shop.
Matt questioned if the blue team’s Agedashi Eggplant is “brunchy” enough, and the blue team worried about their dishes. Meanwhile on the other side Brendan ran up some stairs carrying a bottle of olive oil, tripped and slashed his hand open.
Nigella offered Brendan a cup of tea in the most British response ever to a bleeding hand.
The red team, despite being one man down managed to impress the judges enough to grab the win. The losing team headed into the kitchen in their dreaded black aprons. Brendan and what’s left of his fingers looked on from the gantry after getting 13 stitches.
Round one of the elimination challenge was a taste test, which wasn’t really surprising considering the judges were standing in front of a huge pile of cloches.
Each contestant pulled up a cloche to reveal their own trifle. If the challenge was to eat the whole thing we could have had this challenge in the bag. They had three minutes to write down as many ingredients as they could.
“Nobody got this one,” George said before revealing something called tonka beans. Ah, foolish contestants … how could they forget … tonka beans.
Lisa had the most correct ingredients and was safe from the second round. She was joined by Kristen, Reece, Sarah and Sashi.
That meant meat bae Tim, Hoda, Khanh, Genene and Samira were going on to round two. Their second challenge was to cook a dish using the ingredients from Nigella’s trifle and ONLY those ingredients. Also it couldn’t be a trifle.
Hoda casually promises if she “has some time” she’ll whip up some Turkish Delight which is the most absurd thing to just say casually.
Meanwhile Samira’s dessert has so many elements it sounds more like she’s listing what everyone in the room is making rather than just her own dish.
Khanh’s ice cream was churning away and might not be ready in time. Also, on the other side of the kitchen Samira was still listing what she was planning to cook.
As the judges tasted the dishes, meat bae Tim was in a spot of trouble as his bombe Alaska was a lot more bombe and not so much Alaska.
In the biggest twist, Samira pared down her dish -- removing about 800 components -- to create something the judges really loved, she and Hoda both got rave reviews and were safe.
Unfortunately, Tim’s bombe Alaska blew up in his face and it was his time to leave.