My private cooking lesson with a Masterchef.

He lives up to all the wonderful things people have to say about Masterchef Australia‘s judge George Colombaris. He’s talented, funny, entertaining and knows all the tricks of the trade when it comes to plating up that perfect dish.

And I should be the one to know because I was one of the many viewers who participated in the Masterchef Cook-Along during last Friday night’s episode – sorry to fool ya, foodies! Last week’s episode featured a cooking segment in which viewers at home could cook along with George and the mini-masterchefs. The dish at hand? A self-saucing Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding with Candied Orange Zest and Chantilly Cream. This couldn’t be anymore ironic considering my last post was about how much I hate the orange and chocolate combination, but being a blogger of my word, I stand by it, foodies – I ate the dish sans the candied orange.

My friend and I were so excited to cook that night. The prospect of being part of an event whereby families were all cooking at the same time producing the same delicious dish made this so much more fun. That, or we just wanted to stuff our faces with chocolate. However, if I were to offer one piece of advice: if there is ever to be another national cook along in the future and you want to join in, be sure to have all your ingredients all measured up and supplies ready to go. If you miss a beat, you’re already straggling way behind.

Mix your dry ingredients first before your wet ones.

Insert in a preheated oven at 190 degrees.

The end product ("eww to the orange").

Now to the end product. In an interview before the show, George stated “When I thought about what dish to do, I wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy, I thought we all love chocolate and what is better than a simple self-saucing pudding? The kids will love it, the adults will love it and everyone can cook it.” Too right he was. The recipe is actually very easy to follow and if done correctly, you end up with a moist fluffy pudding with gooey chocolate sauce settled at the bottom and together with the lightness of the chantilly cream, it is so scrummy.

I won’t waffle on in detail about the process of making this dish, just give it a go yourself. You will be satisfied at the end with what you can accomplish in producing what may seem is a complicated dish. As George said, anyone can do this. If you want to cook something that’s Masterchef quality, easy to make or something that’ll impress your guests, family or friends, this is the dish to make. I highly recommend it, foodies.

Below is the recipe and list of equipment:

EQUIPMENT
6 x 200ml ceramic ramekins, diameter 8.5cm, height 5cm
Stick blender with whisk attachment
Chopping board
Kitchen knife
3 mixing bowls
1 wooden spoon
1 plastic spatula
1 metal kitchen/serving spoon
4 metal dessert spoons
3 measuring jugs
Zester
Electronic scales
Oven trays
Baking paper
Pastry brush
Spoon measures
Cup measures
2 small saucepans
Small bowls
Sieve
Whisk

SERVES 6
Weigh ingredients and brush ramekins with butter before starting

PUDDING
Melted butter, for greasing
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup oven-roasted hazelnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
60g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
140ml full cream milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Icing sugar, to serve

CHOCOLATE SAUCE
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
200ml warm water

CANDIED ORANGE ZEST
Zest of 1 large orange, long thin strips
1/4 cup caster sugar
50ml orange juice, strained

CHANTILLY CREAM

400ml thickened cream
1tbs icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence

1. Heat oven to 190C. Brush six 3/4 cup-capacity round ramekins with melted butter and place on 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 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 chantilly cream, 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.

To read my other posts about Masterchef click here.

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