Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Junior Masterchef Cook a Long

Cooking shows have taken Australia by storm over the last couple of years, and the biggest show is Masterchef. There have been two seasons of Masterchef, plus a celebrity version, and most recently a kids version. I haven't watched all the way through, just bits and pieces, but I had very mixed reactions to the Junior Masterchef episodes, alternating between awe at what these kids could do in the kitchen and  inadequacy because there is no way I could do most of what they could do to name just two things. I was pretty happy that my son could cook himself spaghetti bolognaise and shepherds pie etc before I saw some of the things they could do!

Each week on Friday they have a masterclass where the two chefs who co-host the show, Gary Mehigan and George Colombaris, share recipes and tips to the contestants and the viewing public. Last Friday night, they went a step further, and made the masterclass a cookalong. The idea was that kids at home could have the ingredients all prepared, and then they would follow George on the TV as he showed how to put it all together. I talked to the boy and asked if he would like to do it and he was enthusiastic so we decided that we would do it on Saturday.

When I looked at the recipe I realised that it made six desserts, and there was no way that I was going to eat all six. This might have been the case because the boy has a history of helping make something and then refusing to try it. We therefore decided to invite some friends over for dinner as well, at which point the boy said that he wanted to cook the whole dinner.

This is where I made a bit of a mistake. I did say yes, he could cook the whole dinner, but I didn't put any guidelines in place. He went through my recipe books, and came back and said this is what I want to make - Roast Rib Eye from Gary Mehigan's cook book Comfort Food. (I mentioned this book before for Weekend Cooking because it is one that I won on Twitter a while ago). I sent him away again to find something else, but he came back insisting that he still wanted to cook that, which is why we ate the most expensive piece of meat I have ever bought on Saturday night, along with broccoli and cauliflower cheese and roasted hasselback potatoes! Anyway, other than to say that it was worth the money with the spices on the outside giving it a real zing, what I wanted to focus on was the cook a long dessert.
The official name of the dish was Individual Hazelnut and Chocolate Self-Saucing Puddings with Candied Orange, but because the boy has an allergy to tree nuts (particularly hazelnuts) we just left those out. This also means that I never have Nutella in my house which is a bit of a tragedy really. Annnyyywaaayyyy...

One note about the Chantilly cream. The quantity that you make is huge, so you could easily halve this and still have more than enough! You could also prepare the orange syrup and cream a little bit earlier as well.

Have to say, this was really, really good pudding, and I can't wait to make it again. Although it would have to be a very special occasion to recreate the whole meal!

Hazelnut Chocolate Pudding

Melted butter, for greasing
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup oven roasted hazelnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
60g dark chocolate70%, roughly chopped
140ml full cream milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Icing sugar, to serve

Chocolate Sauce

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
200ml warm water

Candied Orange Zest

Zest of 1 large orange, long thin strips
¼ cup caster sugar
50ml orange juice, strained

Cream Chantilly
400ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Brush six ¾ cup-capacity round ramekins with melted butter and place onto an oven tray.

2. Combine flour, hazelnuts, cocoa powder, brown sugar and chocolate in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre and slowly pour the milk, butter and egg in, whisking until combined.  Divide batter evenly between prepared ramekins.

3. For the sauce, combine brown sugar, cocoa and warm water in a jug and stir to dissolve. Carefully pour chocolate sauce over prepared puddings to just under full.

4. Bake for 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven and stand for 2 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.

5. For the orange syrup, combine orange zest, sugar and juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes to a syrup consistency.

6. For the cream Chantilly, place all ingredients in a jug with a whisk attachment of a stick blender and whip until soft peaks form.

7.Serve puddings with a drizzle of orange sauce and a dollop of Chantilly cream.

When it says a dollop of cream, George showed everyone how to make quinelles of cream. Every time I go to use any of the cream, the boy insists that we can't just drop the cream on whatever we are having, it must now always be quinelled!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.


  1. I'm so happy the roast was a success :-) The pudding looks so good - love the "quinelles of cream" story.

  2. That looks so yummy! And do please make mine with a quinelle! LOL

  3. Ohhh, my mouth is watering! I love the whole story of the dinner. I'm quite impressed by the menu! I hope, at least, the ultra expensive cut of meat turned out tasty!

  4. I liked reading the story about your son. He sounds like he has learned to love cooking. That's a wonderful bi-product of all these cooking show. The pudding looks quite yummy.

  5. Well done to your son! I hope one or both of my boys like helpiung me in the kitchen when they are older. Though I would also settle for them being a bit less fussy in what they eat.......

  6. What a fancy dessert and looks so yummy! Kudos to your son for experimenting. I'm sorry to hear about the nutella issue as that is a mainstay at our house.

  7. OMG -- that meal would have been worth flying halfway around the world for. I'm not kidding. And the dessert is fantastic. Good for you for encouraging your son. WOW.

  8. Thanks Beth. I am trying to encourage him to be able to cook enough to get by!

    Peaceful Reader, I miss the nutella. I used to love eating it out of the jar, but now it is just better not having it!

    Amanda, I hear you on the fussiness. Quite often he will help me make something but will refuse to eat any of it!

    Margot, it is definitely an added bonus!

    Erin, it was definitely really, really tasty and very tender!

    Diann, quinelle coming your way!

    Mary, I will definitely be getting him to make the dessert again!

    Megan, it was. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Your son sounds like a pretty amazing boy, and the meal sounds delicious! I am glad that you guys enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing this recipe!