Jess’ chances at getting a spot in the MasterChef finale were dealt a blow on Tuesday night. Picture: Channel 10
Jess’ chances at getting a spot in the MasterChef finale were dealt a blow on Tuesday night. Picture: Channel 10

Contestant brought undone by a single ingredient

A SINGLE ingredient has threatened to ruin one contestant's MasterChef chances.

With the competition now down to the final four, on Tuesday night Jess, Ben, Khan and Sashi faced off in a culinary duel of winter versus summer dishes.

Jess had planned to impress the judges with her winter-themed dessert of peanut butter and jelly opera cake using fresh raspberries.

Jess’ place in the competition was threatened by a single ingredient. Picture: Channel 10
Jess’ place in the competition was threatened by a single ingredient. Picture: Channel 10

But in the last 20 minutes of the culinary challenge, Matt Preston pointed out she had made a crucial mistake in her ingredient selection.

With 20 minutes left in the challenge, Matt dropped a bombshell. Picture: Channel 10
With 20 minutes left in the challenge, Matt dropped a bombshell. Picture: Channel 10

"When do raspberries grow? What season are raspberries? Do you think they grow in winter?" Matt asked Jess.

"Or do you think they grow in summer, then in autumn? So, think of the best way that you could add that flavour of raspberry to the dish so it's appropriate for winter. It's all about winter."

Visibly flustered, Jess scrambled to find a way to rework her recipe by making a raspberry jelly instead.

Despite it looking amazing, the judges weren’t impressed with Jess’ cake. Picture: Channel 10
Despite it looking amazing, the judges weren’t impressed with Jess’ cake. Picture: Channel 10

But the late change didn't give her enough time to let the jelly set properly, meaning she had to settle with making a raspberry cream by mixing the puree with cream.

When it came to the taste test, the judges were left unimpressed with Jess' offering, saying it was missing the "jelly" element.

"It's light. It's delicious, but it's not what it promises to be," Gary Mehigan said. "I mean, if I wanted peanut butter and jelly, then I expect peanut butter and jelly. I'm missing pretty much all of it. What I'm getting is hazelnuts, chocolate, cream."

"My real concern is I think of an opera cake and I think of those eight delicate layers. And really what you've brought is this chocolate hazelnut brownie with various creams in it. It's good, it's tasty, but finesse is what we're looking for," Matt said.

In the end Jess' blunder saw her miss out on a chance to compete in the second round of the culinary challenge.

On Twitter, fans were divided over whether Matt's stipulation not to use fresh raspberries was fair.

After Jess' dish failed to impress, Ben and Sashi faced off in an autumn themed challenge, with Ben winning the round with his walnut crumbed coral trout with carrot and ginger puree, parsnip chips and a parsley vinaigrette.

The win saw Ben given a key advantage for the next challenge - the choice of which course he will cook at Icebergs restaurant in Sydney's Bondi Beach.

MasterChef continues 7.30pm Wednesday night on Network 10.