I’m a lover and a hater of MasterChef. I love it because it has ignited in me a passion for cooking good food and I’ve learned quite a few cooking tips from it. I love to follow the stories of everyday people following their passions so it does inspire me. Kalyra is the world’s biggest fan, so I enjoy experiencing the show with her and watching a little passion for cooking develop in her. But, I don’t like how she has now become the world’s harshest critic of my food, rating my every meal quite poorly and I generally cursed MasterChef every night it was on as it ran far too late in the evening and stole away my quiet Mummy wine time. Kalyra would remind us from waking hour that MasterChef was on at 7pm and she was watching it. We could not get her to bed without a fit if she didn’t watch it. I guess it worked for good behaviour bribery. All parents need some kind of carrot to dangle. Can you imagine then her star struck excitement to meet Ben Milbourne, Top 4 MasterChef contestant of 2012. Not only meet him, but have him cook for her! (She didn’t offer up a harsh judgement on him mind you. Not that you could – tastiest steak I’ve had in a long time). Ben was one of my favourite contestants on the show, because I loved the passion he had for the fresh local produce of Tasmania. It was a state I had not yet visited and he lit up a must-visit Tasmania spark within me. Last year we did and guess who I met? On the T-Qual race around Oz we had dinner with Ben and he shared with us more about his home state and its amazing food. (Yep – our waistlines certainly expanded after a month here). I stayed in contact with Ben via social media and arranged to meet up with him on our #yTravelOz road trip through Tasmania. He introduced us to one of his favourite local Devonport Cafes, Laneway, and invited us over for dinner.
A Mexican inspired BBQ.
Ben’s passion and specialty lies in Mexican food and he recently travelled to Mexico with MasterChef winner and best mate, Andy. I enjoyed following their food adventures via Ben’s Instagram. I think I was pretty excited to be cooked for by a MasterChef too. I understood the difference between him and someone like me – they can take a simple steak and cook it so you think about it for days after. I persuaded Ben to share the recipe with you for his amazing Mexican strawberry desert, which comes from his new book. The girls almost jumped into the bowl when he was preparing it, and this one literally took him 5 minutes.
How can you make something look and taste this good in such a short amount of time? It’s the perfect touch of sweet indulgence for a traveller. And the tip – source your berries from the local farms. These berries came from Turners’ Beach Berry Farm, which we had visited the day before with the girls. Love a bit of paddock to plate.
Eaton Mess Recipe
- 4 Egg whites
- 80g of caster Sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cracked Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar
- zest of 2 Limes
- 330mls of Cream
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of caster Sugar
- 1 punnet of Strawberries, roughly chopped
- ½ cup of peanut M&M’s
- Micro Basil (optional)
- Add the vanilla, sugar, and lime zest to the cream and whip into soft peaks.
- Preheat the oven to 100 degrees
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then rain in the caster sugar until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is glossy,
- Fold in the black pepper, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag.Pipe small meringues about the size of a 10 cent piece on to silicon paper, then place in the oven
With an Eaton Mess the idea is to mash all the components together, to create a serendipitous dessert. So go nuts and build your own mess!
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