This Scooch reunion isn’t quite what I thought it would be.
It’s the first of our Quarter-finals and I really hope you like sticky toffee puddings!
A Sticky Situation
In the first of our quarter finals the cooks will be taking on Grace Dent’s brief of reinventing ANY classic British Dessert they want, and I am stressing the word ANY. So with the entire back catalogue of British desserts it is quite the achievement that among 4 cooks we got 2 different desserts with 3 of them opting for some variation on a Sticky Toffee Pudding, and to be fair to them British culture does start and stop with the sticky toffee pudding – name one other good thing we’ve done.
The only person sitting out of the Sticky Toffee Ménage a Trois was Laura who was opting for an apple crumble – it is a rare day in the MasterChef kitchen that an apple crumble is a singularity. Laura’s main aim is to finally solve the problem of crumbles never having enough crumble – an issue that has plagued our society for decades now. The answer to The Crumble Conundrum? CRUMBLE SANDWICH
I think this might be the best development in desserts since Alex baked ice cream into a soufflé.
The judges love it, specifically for the fact she didn’t deconstruct the crumble, she did the absolute opposite and turned the bungalow of puddings into a dessert highrise.
Her pickled plums were particularly well received and deemed a truly inspired choice and it’s looking increasingly like Laura will stick around until the finals – I’m willing to place a bet on it.
Over in Sticky Toffee Central it’s the battle of who can make the weirdest sauce, I say battle, all Steph was doing was adding in a bit of miso to essentially turn it into a salted caramel with a slightly savoury note which we’ve seen a few times on the show already. Tom on the other hand was making a caramel sauce using Black Pepper and Tamarind. Black Pepper we’ve seen a fair bit but it’s the incredibly strong tamarind that has everyone a little bit worried – it’s a difficult ingredient to get a handle and even adding just too much can turn your face inside out.
As well as his dubious caramel his sticky toffee pudding will be paired with a Toasted Rice Ice Cream (which yes, is just Rice Krispies Ice Cream) and a Salted Peanut Tuile that did look a bit like something Princess Eugenie might wear to someone’s wedding
despite being 90% of the dish, the tuile gets barely a mention – I personally think it’s too big and has surpassed striking and entered comedically oversized, like RuPaul during his hats phase
It was a rough time for us all.
The pudding goes down a storm and not a single one of them has anything negative to say about the caramel sauce and lavish him with praise on his ability to hit such a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
Steph’s dish on the other hand didn’t hit quite as good a balance because of the sweetness of her Miso Caramel, the pudding and her custard with the only respite from the saccharine onslaught being two tiny balls of poached apple. The dish doesn’t exactly give off the “English pub vibe” she promised when Grace bombarded her with questions on the aesthetics of puddings, it’s quite stern and cold looking
but if you added two black dots onto apples it makes her dish look like a muppet
It’s astounding how often this is the case.
Her dessert is very well cooked, the texture of the pudding is exactly as it should be it’s just a pity she didn’t put more of the apple on the plate.
Last up is Madeeha who has decided to not only reinvent the sticky toffee pudding but is playing God and genetically splicing it together with an upside down cake to create an Upside Sticky Toffee Pear Cake, which honestly you could bribe me to do anything with – this is literally my idea of heaven.
While the other two made their puddings in small individual moulds, Madeeha is making hers as one big hulking cake
which to cook something as dense as this in 90 minutes as well as make tuiles and a ginger ice cream is a tall ask and Madeeha was certainly running around
There’s always one person who gets their daily 10000 steps in between the freezer and stove alone.
The final dish is an autumnal delight
I really like the whimsy of it, it’s fairly subtle and doesn’t rely too much on being a gimmick, and everything on the plate is justified and adds something to the overall taste and texture of the pudding.
Again it is universally praised and not a single bad word is uttered about it – I’m glad we’re all sticking to the rules of no bad things to say to Madeeha ever. I will be strictly enforcing this law.
Despite promising us that only two of them would go through, as a special treat they’re actually taking three of them through – I’m guessing they’ll keep doing this as they did during MasterChef: The Professionals, but this did seem justified because Tom, Laura and Madeeha were all flawless and sadly Steph made that one fatal mistake of not putting enough apple on the plate and if she had got it correct God knows what would have happened.
So our first semi-finalists are Madeeha, Tom and Laura
an excellent trio who I think will genuinely be hard to beat!