How Every 'MasterChef' Finalist Reacted To Their Insanely Difficult Last Dessert
'MasterChef' finale desserts have a habit of filling contestants' faces with a special kind of dread when they discover what their last ever challenge will entail.
With the 'MasterChef' 2019 grand finale nearly upon us, we decided to revisit the diabolical desserts presented to finalists -- and how competition favourites including Poh Ling Yeow, Billie McKay, Matt Sinclair and Sashi Cheliah first reacted when they spotted the last dish they'd be cooking in the 'MasterChef' kitchen.
Season 1 - Julie Goodwin and Poh Ling Yeow
Julie and Poh had no idea what to expect as they entered the first-ever ‘MasterChef’ finale in 2009. First up, they were hit with a taste test to identify individual ingredients in a beef bourguignon followed by an invention test that saw Poh plate up her Hainanese chicken against Julie’s garlic and sage chook.
But their faces of absolute shock were reserved for Matt Moran’s world-class Chocolate Assiette -- a plate of chocolate elements including a tart, tempered chocolate rolled into a pipe, chocolate sorbet and chocolate macarons.
Season 2 - Adam Liaw and Callum Hann
This 2010 finale was so huge that a scheduled leadership debate between then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott was bumped because it was widely expected the whole country probably wouldn’t tune in if it was on at the same time as ‘MasterChef’.
With that pressure on their shoulders, the equally adored Adam and Callum embarked on basic kitchen skills tests, taste tests (name that fish!), an invention test and finally, the dessert that’s gone down in the ‘MasterChef’ history books -- the Snow Egg.
Adam and Callum's jaws dropped as they gazed upon Peter Gilmore’s absurdly intricate guava and custard apple Snow Egg -- which was at that point, the most difficult dish ‘MasterChef’ contestants had ever come across (and Adriano Zumbo’s V8 cake had already made an appearance earlier in Season 2).
Season 3 - Kate Bracks and Michael Weldon
This was the first year we had an international judge overseeing the finale and it was none other than Noma’s René Redzepi who flew out from Copenhagen for the challenge. After a mystery box challenge and an invention test, René unveiled his carrot-based Snowman dessert and Kate and Michael couldn't believe they were going to have to recreate this delicate pile of snow and carrots.
Season 4 - Andy Allen, Julia Taylor, Audra Morrice
The year was 2012 and it was the first time we had three amateur cooks competing in the one grande finale. Audra was knocked out after the first two rounds (entrée, main) leaving Andy and Julia to quiver in fear as Christine Manfield revealed her highly technical Gaytime Goes Nuts dessert.
Season 5 - Emma Dean, Lynton Tapp, Samira El Khafir
Much like the year before, in Season 5 we had three contestants cooking up three different courses for the judges. With Samira knocked out after the main course challenge, Emma and Lynton faced Ben Shewry’s Plight of The Bees.
At first glance, the dessert looked like a handcrafted wooden box with a stone on top but opened to reveal a 700-layered honeycomb dessert featuring meringue, lemon thyme honey cream, thyme ice and pumpkin.
So it’s understandable that the finalists were left looking fairly concerned, wondering how the hell they were going to recreate the dish that looked like it involved woodworking expertise.
Season 6 - Brent Owens and Laura Cassai
After making it past two pretty standard savoury rounds, cooking for both the judges and their loved ones, Laura and Brent then had to face a dreaded Peter Gilmore dessert -- the first time the chef had returned for a finale since Season 2. The pair recoiled in near horror as they spied the Quay chef’s Chocolate Ethereal, a delicate wisp of a dessert that looks like several pieces of delicious cellophane that have been carefully glued together.
Season 7 - Billie McKay and Georgia Barnes
Not only was Heston Blumenthal’s Botrytis Cinerea tricky to pronounce, but it was also almost impossible to recreate and had Billie and Georgia seriously struggling to contain their concern.
The name of the dish recalls a type of fungus that attacks wine grapes, which is fun, and Heston’s dessert included infused pear balls, frozen grapes, a peach wine gum, a grape fluid gel and churros stalks, among dozens of other elements.
SEASON 8 - ELENA DUGGAN AND MATT SINCLAIR
While this year, during Season 11, Elena and Matt faced off as team mentors during the Queensland beachside service challenge, it wasn’t so long ago that they were battling for the title of ‘MasterChef’ in 2016.
This season was, again, an entrée, main and dessert type of finale with Heston Blumenthal returning with his bag of tricks for the second year in a row. Unveiling what looked like a soft boiled egg in a robin’s nest, you could almost hear the internal screams emitting from the terrified Elena and Matt.
Season 9- Diana Chan and Ben Ungermann
After whizzing through a Peter Gilmore mystery box, and a ‘no rules’ round, Diana and Ben were introduced to Kirsten Tibballs’ Trio of Fruits which sounds a lot simpler than it actually is.
The seemingly innocent-looking fruit platter containing a pear, an apple and a banana, were actually decadent desserts in disguise filled with vanilla mousse, hazelnut dacquoise, mandarin jelly, chocolate ganache and something called a peduncle (which just means stem but sounds seriously ominous).
Season 10 - Sashi Cheliah and Ben Borsht
For the first time ever, the grand finale was split into two rounds with Sashi and Ben cooking their entrée and main in the same challenge. Which is just as well, because that incorrigible Heston Blumenthal was back with his most perverse dish yet -- Counting Sheep.
Which, honestly just looked like kitchen sorcery with a bunch of marshmallows atop a pillow suspended by actual magnets. So you can imagine exactly why Sashi and Ben looked so perplexed.
We can't wait to see what this season's finale has in store for our finalists!