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Wednesday 19/1/11

Elimination Day

Last night I already packed my luggage. I actually think packing the luggage without knowing whether you are going or not is the hardest part to be in the elimination challenge. Then just think about having to unpack again if I don’t have to leave the house.

Another early start, started with (producer’s name) doing my waking up shoot. I had to look at photos and being a ‘drama queen’ basically. Then pretend to make pancakes for breakfast and a quick interview on the balcony. Today. we are all wearing black – the black shirt and pants given and also the Black Apron. I actually quite like it.

As we arrived at the MCK, we had a quick toilet break, and all of us had a quick peek what had been set at the kitchen benches for us and first thing we saw is a food mixer, that means it is very like that we will be making dessert.

Nervous as hell, as we walk in all other contestants are already on the balcony watching us and Gary, George & Matt are standing right at the front. A few questions about how we going to tackle the challenge and apparently Ellie has a lucky charm, but hell, I wasn’t planning to reveal my red socks, but then I thought what the heck! It was a funny moment, good for TV. Eventually the dish for our pressure test has been revealed – a COCONUT ICE CREAM, CHERRY SORBET BOMBE ALASKA.

It is quite a relief to know the dish we have to make is actually something I’ve done before except not as good. Besides, it is dessert, so I am very comfortable with this challenge and also confident that unlikely I’ll be going home! We have 2 hours to tackle the challenge and I think that’s definitely enough time for the task, but the ice cream is what I worried the most.

masterchef-2Above is the version of the Bombe we are presented, but instead of following the recipe, I’ve decided to take the risk with my own spin to the presentation – by piping the meringue like what I used to.

From the start, I quickly make the custard for the ice cream. I also added toasted desiccated coconut into the custard to give it a stronger flavour. Then I pitted the cherries which probably took the longest time to pit 300g stupid cherries. I almost want to skip this step and we have to strain it later anyway. But then George came over and told me to be organised, so I sort of have to finish off what I started.

Next is the cherry sorbet, it is pretty straight forward but then I found the ice cream maker doesn’t churn the sorbet as well as the ice cream with milk content.

Half way through, it is time for me to make the sponge cake. I actually already had all ingredients measured out in separate bowls but then as I was ready to pour, well, I actually did already pour some of the mixture into the cake tin! Someone shouted out the flour, I totally panicking at that point and had to quickly pour the mixture back into the bowl and fold the flour back it! Grrrr…. As this resulted that I actually don’t have enough cake mixture for the big baking tray. Then, I had to pout it into a smaller tray, it is all drama!!

Definitely a moment of panic there, but eventually are all setting down again. Next step I’ve decided to use my own method to mould the bombe. So instead of forming the ice cream inside the sponge cake and building layer by layer, I’ve decided to use a smaller bowl and started moulding the ice cream while the sponge cake is still cooking. It is the unconventional way and I could hear someone from the balcony saying “Billy is doing it differently.” For me, so long it works, that matters. And when I have my sponge cake cut into triangles, I instantly knew that I may not have enough sponge cake to form the wall. Another moment of panic, but Danielle shouted out I will have enough and just patch it up with extras. Thank god it is just enough. Once set, it is the moment of truth – I dropped the ice cream into the spongecake mould – it just dropped inside and fit perfectly!!

All I could hear is a big loud cheer from the balcony. I think is definitely a moment of relief for me as well as I know the last step will be easy.

Stupid thing is the crew only provided us small bowls for the mixer. As I started whisking the Italian meringue, it just grew and grew and spilling out! Until Gary shouted to me to look at Ellie what she is doing, I was bit slow at that point, until he told me to go and grab a bigger bowl for the mixer. Gosh! I actually think is not my fault if wrong equipment is provided! And I also whisked my meringue a little too much, so my meringue is actually very airy. As I piped it onto the bombe, it was like farting in the piping bag. 1 minute left on the clock, I started blow torch and funny thing is when the last 5 seconds called, I just topped the BOMBE ALASKA with a CHERRY! LOL!!!! And my version of Bombe Alaska ended up looking like this:

masterchef-1When we finished, I could hear George asking Gary looking at my dessert, “Is that a cherry?” Ha! Then Matt also had a walk around our benches and saw my dessert, smirked and looked at me, “Oh billy….” HA! HA! I think my quirk touch obviously not something that they expected.

After the challenge, we finally said last goodbye to the other guys from the balcony before having a rest and some lunch. Then one by one, we are up for the judging. Oh! We also had to film in the Wine Room pretending to look anxious, looking worried as our dishes being judged. There’s a lot of acting involved which I hate.

Anyway, Alex was first to be judged. As I walked in for my turn, he just came out and didn’t look all that happy at all. And only a quick “good luck” to me. When the time comes, I was nervous as hell bringing my plate in front to the judges. They asked a few usual questions and then I had to cut my dessert for them. Again, I was hoping it will look perfect inside but unfortunately it is not as pretty, perfectly shaped as I was hoping for. I still could see the distinctive layers in the bombe but just not as pretty. But I am pretty happy how the bombe alaska turned out.

I had to leave the room as the judges tasting the dessert so we couldn’t hear what they say. But I actually could hear Gary said that he loved the fact that I used my own method to form the dessert. So there is a gleam of light for me. Afterwards, I seriously physically drenched and actually fell asleep in the waiting room until they called 3 of us back for the final verdict.

It is definitely the most nerve wrecking moment as 3 of us are literally sitting right in front of the judges, inches away from them. So many questions, why are we here, what we want out of Masterchef, and then Gary asked who am I cooking for…. I seriously don’t know why and I just suddenly started crying. I know I am an emotional person, but never know it can be so easy to be triggered. The whole time Gary kept looking at me even they were interviewing the other two, and who’d thought they decided to pump more questions and more tears out of me!! Holy shit, the tears are uncontrollable! I can just feel the tears running down my face! I actually do not feel embarrassed but very proud of myself and to prove them why I am here. For the first time, I think the judges finally got to see what a person I am. I think it is good as I am still a quiet person in the group and don’t think many of them really give me much notice. Seriously, I never felt like this in my life. All I could think of is Amelie and Pete, I tried so hard to remember their faces. 2 weeks away has been too long.

Eventually, it is time to announce the winners and who will be eliminated. Ellie put up the perfect Bombe Alaska and she is safe. When it comes down to Alex and me, I still seriously have a second thought that I’ll be going. But not today, Gary announced that I am still in the competition but sadly Alex has to go.

There is a sense of guilt inside me and apologised to him. It is tough, since this is a competition. But still can’t believe how much I cried. At one point, Gary calling out to me, “Billy! Billy! You can be happy now!” Well, I tried, but still rather emotional. Finally, the day is over.

When we got home, we have more filming to do. Ellie & me had to sit on the stools with everyone throwing questions at us. As much as I would like to unpack, I just leave the things inside the luggage for now.

I am not planning to let Pete knows about my elimination and that I escaped and still here. Cuz I think he will worry and also I want him to see it first hand on TV! Especially the food bloggers, I think they are going to scream when they see it on TV! Ha! Ha!

Sign off.


[Extracted from journal.]


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