Masterchef! It’s a great show in the US, but the Australian version is SO much better! The main difference is in the tone of the show. The American version, like so many other reality TV shows, is all about conflict, and seeing people get beaten down. The Australian Masterchef show is so much more uplifting, and centered on great food and cooking. The judges focus on the good qualities of the dish, instead of brutalizing the contestants and making them feel small. The contestants cheer each other on, and help push each other to succeed. Did I mention that the US version is 20 episodes long, where the AUS version is up to 86 1-hour long EPISODES?! That’s ONE season!
You can find some episodes on YouTube, but I had to “have a friend send them to me”. Read that however you need to. If you can get your hands on these shows and love food, watch them! It was one of my inspirations for delving deeper into cooking, starting this blog and even trying out for the US Masterchef competition. I decided to try and cook a dessert from the Aussie Masterchef this weekend for a potluck, and here’s how it went!
Dark Chocolate Tart with Port Gelée and Berries
8oz plain flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
5oz unsalted cold butter, chopped
3-6 tablespoons iced water
18 oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Port(Cherry or Ruby)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 packets or 5 sheets of Gelatin
6oz of Raspberries/Strawberries (frozen works fine)
1 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tspn Corn Syrup
12oz Raspberries/Strawberries, to decorate
Edible flowers, to decorate
Vanilla Whipped Cream to serve with(Cream/ Icing Sugar/ Vanilla or Extract)
*Preheat oven to 400°
The first thing you’ll want to do is start on the Tart Shell. I sift all the dry ingredients together, and then add the cold cubed butter. I like to cut the butter and then freeze it to make sure its nice and cold when it gets cut into the pastry. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, you’ll want to mix until the butter is fully incorporated and then start adding ice water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together. I ended up using about 4-5 tablespoons. Once the dough barely comes together, form it into a ball and chill it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Place the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/8″ thickness. When the dough is thin enough, flip it onto the tart pan, and press it down and into the bottom edges of the pan. Remove the parchment paper and cut off the excess pastry and refrigerate again for 10 minutes to firm up.
Bake the tart shell, lined with parchment and Baking Beads/Beans/Coins at 400° for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes until it looks dry and slightly darker.
To make the Ganache, break down your high quality chocolate into smaller chunks so it melts more evenly into the butter. It’s an optional step, but I think it helps the process. If you’re using chocolate chips, this is probably less of an issue. Melt the butter on a double boiler, and then turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s completely melted.
Set the Ganache aside in a warm place and start working on the glaze for the berries.
Cook down the berries with Sugar and Corn Syrup or Glucose. When they are very soft, remove them, blend them and strain out the seeds. Set the Glaze aside.
Boil 1 cup of Port(use Cherry or Ruby Port in place of Tawny) with Sugar for four minutes. Add 1 1/4 packets of Gelatin to the port mixture and stir until Gelatin is dissolved. Keep the port in a warm place until needed.
Now we can assemble the tart!
Pour the Ganache into your tart shell, filling it about 3/4 of the way. Put it back into the refrigerator and let the Ganache set for about 20 minutes. This is a very important step.(Which I screwed up a bit)
Next, pour your Port mixture on the Ganache until it forms a perfect layer. If you don’t let your Ganache set hard enough, the port gelee will run through your tart and fill the pan below. I tried to salvage my tart by peeling the gelee off the pan and placing it back on top of the tart. Whoops!
Finally, decorate your cake with Berries and spoon the glaze over the tart to finish. Decorative flowers taste good with this tart and give it a “wow” factor for presentation.
I used some leftover tart shell and ingredients to make a couple of smaller individual tarts as well. The ratio of Ganache was a little high, but otherwise, very tasty. Serve with Vanilla Whipped Cream and enjoy!
Thanks for the great dish, Audra, of Masterchef Australia, Season 4! Find the show and watch it!