Mercifully this episode was saved from becoming the stuff of Lost Media Legend.
Berry Good Show
For their auspicious return to the small screen, the celebs were having to cook dishes designed by none other than Mary Berry who was welcomed into the MasterChef kitchen with a football chant led by a Jimmy Bullard and John Torode introducing her like he was a 90s breakfast radio DJ
Calm down T-dog.
Everyone did kind of lose their minds upon being in the presence of Mary Berry, Jimmy Bullard was fully just speaking in Tongues (shout out to the subtitler’s valiant effort)
but nobody was quite as enamoured with her as Mel Blatt, who had absolutely zero chill and was having a full on religious experience
BUT DEAR GOD, CAN SOMEONE GET SOME TISSUES FOR HER SO SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO KEEP USING HER SLEEVES OR THE SOFT FURNISHINGS
it was probably fortunate that Mel was having to do a savoury dish because if she had had the pressure of baking for Mary Berry, I do think she would have dissolved under the pressure of trying to make meringues.
Fortunately for her, her Prune and Apple Stuffed Pork Loin was very well done and equally well received
not that she took in a single word of their critiques as she just gazed lovingly at Mary the entire time
I’m 100% certain she probably refuses to watch the Channel4 era of Bake Off out of moral duty.
Despite the added pressure that would come with making a dessert for the nation’s favourite baker, ok 2nd favourite baker…
Faye spent most of the challenge griping that she would have been happier making something sweet – which to be fair might have been more to do with the fact she had drawn the shortest of the straws and been given three Dover Sole to prepare, which she did ignore for most of the challenge and just left them by the sink as though she was doing the dead fish a favour by putting them next to the nearest water source
But she could only ignore them for so long before she’d have to peel their skin off – but thankfully she didn’t behead them like everyone else does as soon as they encounter any sort of fish like they’re playing Mortal Kombat with a salmon. Which does sound like I’m saying Faye treated her fish with dignity and respect, she absolutely did not, aside from retching the entire time and straining harder than the straining boy meme
once she had skinned and deboned the fish, she triumphantly swung their skeleton around like a bolas
it’s certainly one way to take out the competition.
She had at least cooked the fish pretty well and the judges greatly admired her *check’s notes* steaming of the asparagus
they did also like her brown butter sauce and entire rockpool worth of shrimp which she had buried her fish beneath, imaginably because it was giving her the stink eye while she filleted it
but the judges weren’t so keen on the celeriac puree because it had no seasoning or flavour given that Faye had pointedly refused to taste it after realising it smelled of guinea pigs – so she just gleefully laughed at the fact John was having to taste its awfulness in its entirety
whoever began casting people from Love Island on Celebrity MasterChef deserves a raise, they’re a gift.
Kitty was also doing a fish dish, but having paid her fish preparing penance in her fist episode, had just been given a whole, fully prepared salmon fillet
and with that she was having to make Salmon en Croute, which was also filled with Courgette, a Red Pesto and Red Peppers, which did look pretty good in the end
and for the most part the judges praised her for it, the only real negative being that the inside of the pastry was a little bit soggy – although I’m not entirely sure you could ever not have slightly soggy pastry with a filling made of pesto, courgette, peppers AND salmon – that water content puts a jellyfish to shame.
The last of the main courses was from Danny who was having to cook Guineafowl which had quite a lot of processes that required him to set more alarms than me on any given morning
and he was leaving absolutely nothing to chance, furiously scribbling notes like this recipe for Roasted Guineafowl was an alchemical experiment
and given the stress of it all, it’s no wonder that he sat across from Mary Berry like a member of the mafia daring someone to not pay back their money in time
luckily he wasn’t having to leave a horse’s head in her bed or roll someone up in a persian rug because they were rather impressed with most of the dish
the only real downside of it being the fact his sauce was a little claggy, but he had managed to get the overly complicated cooking of the legs and breasts pretty spot on.
Nobody was less pleased to be doing desserts than Lisa Snowdon whose baking prowess amounts to having baked 1 cheesecake 1 time and she was not having fun with the Baked Alaska making process
still somehow better vogueing than Michelle Visage.
At least she wasn’t having to make the Baked Alaska in a tent with Diana Beard on the prowl, but she was having to deal with Cliff taking some time away from his roulade to watch her filling the buggers with cherry jam
but she got it all done and didn’t have to drag up the bin for judging
it’s a good thing Mary stopped her from restarting her Italian Meringue from scratch because that probably would have pressed her for time and thrown off her timings slightly, which very well may have resulted in Binned Alaska 2: Where’s My Ice-cream, Boogaloo?
When Cliff wasn’t watching Lisa like a dessert hawk, he was having to make a Strawberries and Meringue Roulade which is apparently Mary’s most famous recipe – her Ultimate Brownies and Chocolate Cake recipes found dead in a ditch somewhere.
The hardest part of the recipe was rolling the twice baked meringue, which he mostly managed
I was expecting a tighter swirl but it’s so packed with fresh strawberries and cream that I don’t think it would be possible to get it any neater, and it by all accounts tasted exactly as it should have.
Lastly we have Jimmy who was having to make an Apricot Crumble Tart and he was pretty much in the same boat as Lisa in that he really was not getting along with the pudding, or Gregg who proceeded to ask Mary why she loved this recipe so much right in front of him
that is the look of a man who knows he’s about to do some awful things to a pastry case, although it could have been worse if John hadn’t pitched up in the nick of time to stop Jimmy from pouring a liquid custard into a very cracked pastry case and forcing him to do some hasty repairs
I love the fact he was just going to ignore the crack that would’ve sunk the Titanic in minutes. But his rapidly done plastering job paid off, I mean he had burnt the pastry case a little more than “slightly caught” for good measure but the filling was all inside it
and the filling was good! At this point I’m just happy when Jimmy gets through a challenge and doesn’t look like a very anxious puppy
which has been something of a rarity.
Ahead of the elimination the celebs had one last chance to impress John and Gregg with a dish that celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – and you can tell this was filmed before June because not a single person made anything involving marmalade as Paddington Bear hadn’t yet found himself cast as our national Psychopomp.
I can only imagine the sweep through the episode the editors had to do to make sure nothing too unfortunate was said
and as they were celebrating, they had all come dressed up, by which I mean Lisa had come all dressed up in a very enviable dress and pearl earrings
Kitty was of course as dressed up as a drag queen ever is and I imagine did have to be persuaded that no, she was not allowed to cook wearing a recreation of Beatrice’s Eldritch toilet seat hat
and Danny was wearing a black shirt because… men, I guess
Cliff had made an effort too, having donned a hat as a nod to the Pearly Kings and Queens of London because his dish was inspired by the fact his mother ate fish and chips while she watched the Coronation. As this is MasterChef, he was of course adding to the seemingly never ending reinventions of Fish and Chips by doing BBQ Lobster, deep-frying cricket ball sized lumps of mashed potato and inexplicably throwing a raw fig on the plate for good measure – I know lobster and fig is ~a thing~ but they are usually cooked in some way
the obvious problem is that the Mashed Potatoes look like boulders (they did at least of a crispy outside though!) but fortunately the lobster was good and they liked his curry sauce. Nobody commented on the raw fig and I’m beginning to feel like I’m the only one that can see the raw fig – it is my sleep paralysis demon.
I was surprised that everyone didn’t instantly leap on doing Coronation Chicken given there’s a million and one ways to reinterpret it. However, I did not have a revisiting of Paul Chuckle’s Fried Coleslaw on the cards
Faye was the one responsible for this, proudly declaring that she was cooking a dish she had made up herself – which never fails to thrill me but by this point it probably does send a chill down John’s spine. And John wasn’t thrilled with the dish, he thought it was a bit sweet and to be fair there was lime, mango and a lot of raisins in the dish, but it did look prettier than it had any right to
you might have to look beyond the flower slowly sinking into the mango and lime sauce. But Gregg loved it because it was basically like eating a dessert except it also tasted faintly of chicken – a truly unnerving thought. But at least it was very well cooked chicken.
The last of the savoury dishes came from Jimmy who was cooking Venison and continuing his love of putting things that probably don’t belong in something inside of that something, this time’s incident being Brie and Goat’s Cheese in a Potato Fondant
which just seems an odd combination alongside the venison and the chocolate red wine sauce. And unfortunately, like many before him, he was undone by an uncooked potato fondant
it’s ok, we’ll blame the goat’s cheese and not the fact he only cooked it for HALF AN HOUR??????
Despite the fact she doesn’t do desserts, Lisa was doing a dessert for this round, opting to make a creme brulee in what I’m 90% sure might have been dog bowls
as a nod to the royal family she wasn’t going to be calling it Creme Brulee though and was instead going to be taking the recipe, claiming it for England and anglicising it as Trinity Burnt Cream, which is also now Lisa Snowdon’s drag name
given the amount of sugar work that has not gone very well on this show, that sugar cage was immaculate, and I’m sure her entire house is covered in them after she spent several days practicing them at home – her husband has eaten nothing but Trinity Burnt Creams for a solid week and gets sent to the attic if he ever calls them a creme brulee.
John, having bitten his tongue the entire time Lisa baited the French into all out culinary war, was very pleasantly surprised by how utterly perfect it was and Gregg finished his entire dogbowl in seconds.
Danny had also gone very refined with the presentation of his Lemon Posset dessert, the caramel aerials on his almonds imaginably getting great Freeview reception
his dessert was apparently inspired by the fact both times he performed in front of the Queen he either hit a dud note or sang the wrong words – and I went back and watched that 16 year old Royal Variety performance and trust me Danny, nobody noticed your dud note because Tom Fletcher’s vocals are all over the place AND THE STAGING WAS A NIGHTMARE
enjoy that 240p goodness, mid-2000s TeenPop was… a time.
John and Gregg were pretty bowled over by Danny’s dessert and it probably helped given that the only other dessert he made was THIS fiasco
I would have forgiven him for never touching a dessert again after that.
Lisa and Danny both set very high standards for the dessert makers and I am afraid it’s all a little bit downhill from here because both Mel and Kitty kind of underperformed, for different reasons. Mel because she absolutely lost her mind, using the wrong measuring cups, the wrong cake cutters and spreading cake batter like a barbarian
the hard cut to Mel just fist deep in some chocolate cake mix was really quite alarming and I did not appreciate it. Mel did have to remake her Chocolate and Champagne Sponge after putting too much flour in the first time, and quite how much champagne made it into the cake and how much Mel had imbibed to steady her nerves, I don’t know but she was getting rowdy and just inadvertently slagging off the show
and the resulting dessert was not her finest hour, but I do love the hastily added gold leaf to the mango discs
it’s a shame because the combination of the Chocolate and Champagne Cake with the mango buttercream sounded lovely but the the ratio of sponge to literally everything else was a quite a bit out.
Finally we have Kitty who was making a trifle, which she was insisting that everyone called Her Royal Highness Kitty Scott-a-Bangin’-Trifle, even Indian Fisher was not safe from it. The thing with Kitty’s trifle was that she wasn’t putting jelly in it, which John and Gregg found utterly absurd and it’s a shame that Ryan Thomas hadn’t stuck around because considering her only discovered jelly 3 weeks ago, he’d probably have agreed with her.
The other problem for Kitty was how she was going to present a trifle in a way that looked as little like a proper trifle as possible – although she was more preoccupied on getting as much sherry into her sponge as possible
and at some point just gave up on using the spoon completely
but for what the dessert was, I don’t think it looked too bad, if you’re a psychopath who orders a trifle in a restaurant when you could order literally anything else, I think you’d be rather pleased with your snowglobe of stodge
John and Gregg however were having none of it and didn’t like the lack of defined layers or the lack of jelly, which would have cut through the cream and custard. Which I don’t disagree with, but they did act like there was absolutely no fruit in it at all, and we can all see the fruit salad at the bottom, right? Have John and Gregg gone fruit-blind?
And then John had THE AUDACITY to say this
who are you? Prue Leith?
A Platty Joobs Dish Ranking
- Lisa Snowdon vs The French
- Danny McFly’s Trauma Posset
- Faye Winter’s Chicken Dessert
- Cliff Parisi’s Inexplicable Fig
- Jimmy Bullard’s Perfect Venison That John Forgot
- Mel Blatt’s Chocolate
- Kitty Scott-Claus’s Trifling Ways
I did very much think this was it for Kitty and that she was lucky to just get through the episode without having her segments replaced with a kitten playing with string but alas, she was granted a reprieve for some reason (I’m not too mad) and instead Jimmy Bullard’s potato fondant saw him being eliminated (I am extremely mad)
and thus ends The Express’s 3 week run of headlines about Jimmy’s black gloves.
And so, we’re down to 6 ahead of the final episode of semi-final’s week
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