Corner Café

July 16, 2009

MasterChef Australia: Julie vs Poh

Filed under: Miscellaneous & TV Shows — SeaDragon @ 9:22 pm

Update July 19, 2009: And the First MasterChef Australia is…

Update July 20, 2009: Record TV audiences for MasterChef Australia finale!

Update November 20, 2009: There is a rumour circulating that 9am will be axed end of this year, so I’m transferring Julie and Poh’s recipe for Raspberry Custard Tart with Cocoa Hazelnut Pastry here in case they delete the 9am website and lost the recipe, I think this Cocoa Hazelnut Pastry is the recipe Poh used for her Chocolate Rhubarb Pie during the final week.

Chris is out! The first MasterChef of Australia is going to be a female! Wow, didn’t see that coming at all! Was sure Chris was going to make it to the finale as he and Poh both plated up their three dishes, but his dishes tonight failed in taste test. Oh well, but I’m still very happy that Julie and Poh got through! And I’m totally blown away by Julie’s vision of her family-style cookbook if she won the title and I think it will be fantastic!
And how about MasterChef kitchen actually stocking century eggs for Poh to use in tonight’s cookoff. Just seeing George and Gary’s faces when they smelled those stinking eggs was hilarious!
Tomorrow’s episode for masterclass will be a hoot as well, Gary and George face their own Mystery Boxes… All the top 20 are back tomorrow as well for the final masterclass for season 1.
Sunday night’s finale looks like it is going to be a cracking episode. What’s Matt Moran’s dish under that dome, could it be another fabulously difficult dessert for the two finalists to tackle? And it looks like all the chefs featured in the last twelve weeks are all back for the announcement, and Curtis Stone is going to be a guest judge for the second time! Can’t wait!!!!!!!!

Updated July 19, 2009:
And the First MasterChef Australia is… Julie! I think Poh did sabotage herself by doing the risky thing and not followed the recipe for the dessert! But at least she ended up getting an offer to work for Curtis Stone in LA for 1 week! Great series, I must say, thoroughly enjoyed the last twelve weeks!
Addendum July 20, 2009: One TV this morning during an interview with Luke Mangan, he was so impressed with Poh, especially the Chocolate Sable that she did for her deconstructed pie, he also offered Poh a job to work in his restaurants in Tokyo and San Francisco! Not too shabby as a runner-up and being offered job working in Japan and the US!

Updated July 20, 2009:
The last half hour of Masterchef Australia finale announcing the winner drew a record TV audience of 3.745 million viewers (as a comparison to the US ratings equivalent of about 55 million viewers). The show itself, the 90 minutes competition part, drew an audience of 3.313 million viewers (US equivalent of about 48 million viewers). It overtook the previous record setting Australian Idol’s 2004 finale of 3.35 million viewers and becoming the biggest rating non-sporting TV show since OzTAM ratings started in 2001.
As a comparison to this year’s MasterChef UK finale (February 26, 2009), the Guardian newspaper reported that, ‘the final of MasterChef pulled in 5.2 million viewers and a 21% share in the 8pm hour, peaking at 5.8 million for the 15 minutes from 8.45pm, when Mat Follas was revealed as the winner.’ The peak of 3.745 million viewers last night for MasterChef Australia finale would have been roughly equivalent to a UK ratings of about 11 million viewers over there. Unbelievable!

MasterChef sets ratings record

Masterchef finale highest rating regular TV show ever

Raspberry Custard Tart with Cocoa Hazelnut Pastry
Date: Tuesday, 21 July 2009 (as demonstrated on 9am with David and Kim on Channel Ten)
Guest Chef: Julie Goodwin & Poh Ling Yeow

Serves 6-8

180g plain flour
100g sugar
150g cold unsalted butter
50g hazelnut meal
20g cocoa
1 yolk
1 heaped teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ tsp salt
1 – 2 tbsp cold water

Crème Patissiere:
3 yolks
100g caster sugar
I tsp vanilla bean paste
150 ml cream
150 ml milk
Zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp cornflour
50g unsalted butter cubed

Raspberries and icing sugar for serving

1. Preheat oven at 200°C.
2. Combine all dry ingredients and butter in a food processor. Pulse till ingredients resemble a crumble then add yolk and water (only if necessary). Pulse till the ingredients begin to gather into a ball. Remove immediately.
3. Knead only a few times, shape into a rectangle, cover in cling film and rest in freezer for about 7 minutes.
4. Line bottom of flan tin with baking parchment and butter the sides thoroughly.
5. Roll pastry dough to about 3 mm thick between baking parchment (dust lightly with flour if it gets a bit sticky to handle) and gently lower into tin pressing gently into corners. Cut remaining pastry off and rest again in freezer for about 7 minutes.
6. To blind bake, line pastry shell with baking parchment and fill with rice. Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. Remove rice and parchment. Turn down oven to 180°C and bake till firm to touch. Be careful that you don’t burn the pastry as the cocoa can be deceiving in colour.

Crème Patissiere:
1. Heat cream, milk and zest till just before boiling.
2. Whisk yolks, vanilla and sugar till pale and light.
3. Strain cream and milk and then pour over the yolk and sugar mixture, whisking continually. Add cornflour.
4. Return to low heat. Stir continuously till it begins to thicken. Watch out you keep scraping the edges. As the custard thickens I recommend using a whisk to get rid of the lumps.
5. Cool custard and then whisk in butter till you achieve a silky smooth consistency.

To assemble tart:
Fill pastry shell with cooled crème patissiere and arrange fresh raspberries on top (If using frozen raspberries, defrost first). Dust with icing sugar if you wish.



  1. I am thrilled that Poh got through. Apparently I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE who thinks it was a farce that Julie got in when she did not complete the task given. Matt said thank God your gravy tasted great & your duck-minus the stuffing- was excellent ( or words to that effect) I am sorry BUT I DID NOT see her menu as being in the Masterchef class. Anyone can do what she did & so poorly plated! Gary made excuses for her “She was under stress/pressure because she saw the other two plating up”, what a load of crap Did Gary Not think the other 2 were under pressure!
    The day Lucas got the bullet her two pies Or one pie & a puddle of a mess for her 2nd- She should have gone home then- the night of the cake debacle when Justine got the bullet YES her cake was the only one with white chocolate & almond garnish BUT she failed to make the cake to the instructions SHE FORGOT TO PLACE the Jaconde in the tin before putting in the ganache (am I Peed off I suppose so, I feel cheated by the they think we are stupid or something ?) Honestly I do think Chris got railroaded & I AM NOT a fan of his BUT I do think he & Poh did shine that night. Did you see the 2 page article in last week Womans Day about Julie being Masterchef’s favourite is that being biased or what?! I suppose life is never- fair Chris did go out like a gentleman. I thought his dishes plated up well on TV, NOT TOO MUCH BROWN as Donna Hay thought I will say in Julie’s defence I Did lkie her cookbook idea though
    The reason I initially wrote to you was do you know how to do deep fried meringue or have a recipe. Poh’s second attempt at this dish was a success- she did mention something about using cornflour/flour I would love a recipe as I would like to tryit I have googled on this but cannot find a recipe CAN YOU PLEASE HELP Many thanks in advance Krystyna

    Comment by krystynaCooks — July 18, 2009 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

    • Oh, I completely forgot Julie missed one layer in her cake. I was expecting Poh’s cake to fall apart when she took off the cake ring as she mentioned her mousse mixture was too runny, so wasn’t paying much attention to Julie’s cake, LOL. I have come to the expectation that the best doesn’t equate winner, as in the case of Chris here, in a reality show. I must say i agreed that Chris’ 3 dishes looked Good, he did put some colours under those brown meat, not as Donna said brown on brown… But he will be successful in his future venture, no doubt, especially with the exposure on the show, as will Justine. It was so nice to see Matt Moran offering her a job at his restaurant at the end of that episode!
      Maybe it is the cynical side of me, I believe the decision of the judges to put Julie through has a lot to do with business of selling cookbooks, that’s why Donna Hay was there as a guest judge! After all, they want to sell as many cookbooks as they can. Julie’s cookbook looks to be the best seller out of the three, accessible to everyday’s cooks. Poh’s is niche market, as is Chris. For a nation that has problem eating fish if it has its head on the plate (Gary even touched on the subject during one of the masterclasses), realistically don’t know how many would buy a cookbook called ‘From snout to tail’ featuring pig’s head, trotters, beef cheeks etc. Poh’s dishes looked good and tasted good, so she’s through. Chris’ dishes looked good but had problems with taste in all three dishes. If they had tasted good as well, the judges would have to put him through, no choice. But because of that, they have some leverage of putting Julie through for her cookbook vision… Just my thought… Maybe that’s why I wasn’t as outrage as so many, lol… I won’t be surprise if Julie was to lose in the finale, she’ll still be offered a cookbook deal as well!
      I don’t know, maybe with Poh and Julie in the final, it will also be a more exciting finale than with Chris. Chris is so organised in the kitchen, nothing especially exciting to watch in terms of a TV show. But for both Poh and Julie, their kitchen benches were always a mess and we never know from one minute to the next whether one or both of them are going to fall apart in the finale under the pressure… Matt Preston was interviewed on Friday and he was asked if the best two got through to the finale, and he avoided a direct answer and said instead the top 5 were the best 5 cooks! Hmm, very illuminating!

      Yes I do have a couple of recipes for the deep fried meringue, here they are if you want to try them out, I have not tried them myself though. The traditional filling for this is red bean paste, but you can use any appropriate filling of your choice, like Poh did. If you can’t find potato starch, do as Poh did, use cornflour instead I think should work as well. You can make it into savoury as well, eg. use prawns as filling, obviously omit the icing sugar dusting if savoury:

      2 tablespoons potato starch
      2 tablespoons plain flour
      1/8 teaspoon salt
      3 egg whites

      320g red bean paste
      icing sugar, for dusting

      Sift together potato starch, plain flour and salt.
      Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold in the sifted dry ingredients. (Personally I would beat the egg whites with the salt, then fold in the cornflour/plain flour mixture.)
      Take a little red bean paste and round into a ball about walnut sized. Coat with the egg white mixture. Deep fry (moderate heat) until brown, about 3 minutes. Place on serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Serve hot.

      Another one:

      50g tapioca starch
      50g plain flour
      5 egg whites

      150g red bean paste

      Same method of making as above.

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 19, 2009 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  2. Hi SeaDragon,
    I have just send the Kreativ Blogger Award to you. Your site has been a great reference and inspiration to me since I started blogging. Please go to my blog for details. Thanks.

    Comment by Honey Bee Sweets — July 20, 2009 @ 2:04 am | Reply

  3. G”day again SeaDragon, Before I get carried away & off the track with ‘my chatter’ THANKYOU very much for the recipes for Deep Fried Meringue, I’ve just printed them up, I will laminate it, (with my super find $15 Marbig Laminator from Aldi- same laminator at other stores retails for $49), as I tend to find that any recipe I’ve printed gets wet when cooking & smudges. By laminating I can keep the recipe forever. We have just had an unexpected friend drop by, he has just broken up with his lady-what can I do BUT say “Stay for dinner” I am going to cook something very simple for dinner, (for our love lorn mate, my partner Mark & our 2 black toy poodles) – I will BBQ slices of beef scotch fillet, homemade potato chips with steamed broccoli & tossed salad.This was going to be our meal anyway, another mouth to feed is no big deal with an easy menu as mine. I am trying to eat healthily Ha ha. Yes my 2 poodles, Tiffany & Lucy will also get a slice of steak for their dinner- I hate the smell of dog food. I cook for “my girls” everyday, normally they have cooked chicken with a variety of cooked chicken livers & lamb shanks through the week Lucy does not mind eating her meat raw, but Tiffany, if you can imagine a poodle talking “eek get away with that raw disgusting stuff, eek! as she backs away.
    Well don’t I feel like a right royal arse for my previous negative comments re: Masterchef Julie. Well I am not too big to say CONGRATULATIONS JULIE, well done. Julie was already 2 points ahead of Poh ‘fair & square’. In the final round when Poh made that beautiful pastry, I thought she may have had a chance to catch up if not win, I could not believe it when Poh put her chocolate half pipe in the fridge to set OH NO! I wanted to yell at her through the TV. There & then I felt she lost, especially when Julie had remade her grainy sorbet – I wish Poh had done the same instead of wasting time remaking her macarons. It is now Tuesday I have seen both Julie & Poh on TV. Good on both of them it is easy for us at home to “bag” them I know if it was me in the Masterchef kitchen I would have been a scattered mess. I found this great site today called the CHOCOLATE TRAVELLER – Have you seen it? – they have some beautiful chocolate recipes worth baking I found this by fluke when checking out the Valrhrona chocolate needed for the last challenge on Masterchef – I will try to make some of it Anyway as it is now 5:30 pm I better go & start dinner, Do you steam your potatoes before deep frying I find it always guarantees a cooked chip.
    I will get back to you on how well the DEEP FREID MERINGUES come out especially since you went to the trouble of putting up the recipe, I can tell you now I will be using cornflour as I do not have potato starch in stock
    Again THANKYOU so much SeaDragon

    Comment by krystynaCooks — July 21, 2009 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

  4. Julie a Masterchef. LOL LOL, what a joke.

    Comment by Dianne — November 25, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  5. Well here in Poland the show just finished yesterday. To say I was surprised is to be mild.

    They had Justine (what potential to do SOMETHING with the win), Julia (superb cook who WILL be a great cook if she wishes) and Matt (eccentric cook but has an eye and mind for cooking great), and they let them go!! In favor of Julie. The one that can not cook a piece of fish well. Julia’s was raw but not totally like Julies. Julia’s presentation and faithfulness to Malaysian cooking was 200% above Julie’s, who was mixed Thailand for Malaysia.

    Some say Poh risked. Risked by putting the chocolate in the freezer, where is there great skill to make that chocolate tube that it brings down her whole effort to a 7 by George. The cake itself when cut offered minimal resistance, must have been like silk. Those who can cook will know why it was like that, because great skill was used to make the base and rest. Julie’s required FORCE to get to the bottom, because it was done by a lesser mortal.

    While Rolling out the dough mindlessly Julie panicking, and there was the HELP. Chocolate sherbet by Julie going to pots, and there was the HELP. Where was the Help for Poh when the tube was going wrong ????

    I know Australia well so I will not put out my theory, but Poh had to lose. Hence Julie was given the little 2 point lead by cooking raw meat and cutting the well (so it seemed) done last 4 inches of a huge chunk of meat that was destined for the further cooking. The margin sufficient just in case Poh had a master piece and the dessert round required a draw. But Poh offered a way out by going off the track leaving an excuse to stuff Julie through.

    The final 9 9 9 7or8 for Julie is BS. Pure and simple. But to give Poh a 7 is to insult the young lady. George apparently is a lousy cook or was told what to write down, because even by not tasting what was there it is hard to believe that it was an effort worth a 7 !!!

    Shame MasterChef, that is not the Best Amateur Chef in Australia. You missed them, they were in the audience at the Finally but as guests.

    Comment by Shakespear — March 18, 2011 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

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