MasterChef SA: Down to the final 3

Kamini, Leandri and Seline will battle it out for the title. Vote for your winner here!

MasterChef SA Episode 26

In a tense challenge the final 4 were asked to replicate "The Chocolate Handkerchief", a dessert dish created by South Africa's maestro of molecular gastronomy: Richard Carstens.

Richard, head chef at Tokara Restaurant, explained the dish contained 11 different elements, starting with the tempered chocolate “handkerchief”. “There’s a chocolate cremeux on the side,” he pointed out, “there’s a chocolate chiboust, orange jelly, a white chocolate mousse, chocolate aero, and liquid nitro chocolate foam with a bit of chocolate streusel underneath, white chocolate branches, and some pistachio powder.”

Not an easy task with only 2 hours to complete dish.

With one hour remaining, the Contestants were worried. “I think I need to pick up my pace a little,” Ozzy admitted. “One hour and I’m just finishing off the chiboust ... I know that I’m behind,” Kamini said. Seline was also troubled: “Instead of reading the recipe, I just read the ingredients and threw all of the orange juice in the pan with the sugar syrup,” she explained. She had to start her orange jelly again.

Leandri was the first to complete the liquid nitrogen chocolate drops.  She filled a bowl with liquid nitrogen and she shook her siphon canister furiously, banging against the bowl, visibly scaring Chef Carstens... “I froze my foam and they look really funky,” she commented happily when the process worked perfectly. “I don’t know how Chef Richard came up with this,” she marvelled. “It just blows my mind.”

Seline presented her dish first. “It’s quite close to my plate that I presented to them,” Richard admitted and when they tasted the different elements, he said the flavour was good.

Ozzy was next. “Even for professional chefs this would be very difficult to complete all these eleven components in the time frame you guys were given,” Richard reassured him. But after tasting the dish he had a lot of notes: the chiboust was not set enough, the crème patissière has an “eggy” taste, the white chocolate mousse didn’t set... And Benny pointed out that the Chocolate Handkerchief also didn’t quite work out.

After tasting Kamini’s dish, Richard noted that there were still a few bits of white chocolate in the white chocolate mousse. “The cremeux wasn’t bad, nice and smooth,” he said, “and your nitro foams, that’s also a beautiful texture, and the aero, that was great as well.” Pete said the elements that Kamini did present were pretty good. “Good tempering of the chocolate,” he noted. “The problem is it’s not a complete plate and we have to take that into consideration,” he noted.

Leandri was last to present. “You were clearly having fun in the kitchen today,” Andrew smiled, and Richard told Leandri her timing was perfect with this dish. Richard noted the texture of the chocolate cremeux was beautiful, “[it] melts in your mouth,” he said. The chiboust held up its texture and shape, and the aero was also very smooth. “I loved watching you cook today, it was great. You were all over this challenge!” Pete told Leandri. “You hit the ground running, you were the one who was always on time with each element,” Benny agreed.

The elimination:

This elimintation saw Ozzy leave the MasterChef kitchen and in an episode 26 twist the winner of this challenge was elevated straight to the final. That person was Leandri.


So now we are down to the final 3, who is it going to be? If you are like us then you certainly have not made any plans to be anywhere except in front of your TV for the final few episodes.

Who do you think will win MasterChef SA 2013?


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