RECIPE – Pear (im)Perfection ala Masterchef

So, I watched Junior Masterchef finale the other week and this was what they came up with. Peeved off with the judges & stupid 11/10 scores – pathetic – but can’t fault the food.

Figured if a 12 year old could, I could too. 😀

My flat attempt vs Adrian Zumbo’s Pear Perfection

They brought out the big guns for this – Adrian Zumbo is a master (chef) 😉

I’ve attempted one of his recipes previously, a 7 layer choc mousse cake & the taste (even though I’m sure I made it 50% not as brilliant as Zumbo) was out of this world – divine.

Figured, this one would also be awesome to taste.

Head to the Masterchef website for the recipe:

My Comment: The recipe is “untested” and doesn’t include all the bits, e.g. it makes reference to baked almond cream but WTF? No recipe for it. I had to improv a few things but end result was still brilliant.

Ingredients (taken straight from website but with my comments/substitutions):

Sable a Choux

  • 1 portion of green coloured sable pastry (My comment: WTF! It’s not like I could go out & buy it in the store, had to make my own with: 125g butter, 80g sugar, 280g flour, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp green food colouring & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste)

Choux Pastry

  • 100g butter, plus extra ½ block of butter to grease tray (My comment: Used baking paper instead of butter as grease)
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 105ml water
  • 135ml milk
  • ¼ teaspoon electric green colour (Didn’t have electric green,
  • 5g salt
  • 135g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Pear Vanilla Creme Patissiere

  • 150g pear puree (My comment: Couldn’t find it at the store – even tried baby food aisle, so bought canned pear halves & mashed them with a fork – reserve the accompanying juice for the pear gel or use it instead of apply juice)
  • 150g apple juice (My comment: I like this juice, because it actually tastes like granny smiths)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g cornflour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 20g butter, diced at room temperature

Pear Gel

  • 250g pear puree (My comment: As above, bought canned pears & mashed myself)
  • 20g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pectin NH – substituted with 1 tsp Jamsetter with Pectin
  • ¼ teaspoon gellan – substituted with 1/2 tablespoon powdered gelatin

Green Chocolate Squares

  • 1 sheet green chocolate (My Comment: White chocolate & green food colouring over a double boiler, then spread between sheets of baking paper & refrigerated)

Pear Mousse

  • 80ml thickened cream
  • 250g of the pear vanilla creme patissiere, reserve remaining mixture
  • 180g mascarpone

Green Marzipan

  • 1 sheet of rolled out green marzipan (My comment: Again, no recipe, I used 100g almond meal, 100g icing sugar, a few drops rose water essence (I was out of almond essence, you’re welcome to use that instead) & some water)

Almond Crunch

  • 25g butter
  • 50g dark chocolate 70%
  • 210g streusel (My Comment: Again, had to improv recipe: 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar & 75g butter)
  • 75g almond praline – omitted – you can also substitute with nutella, but I just added more chocolate instead
  • 45g whole almond crushed
  • 2 pinches sea salt (My comment: I had run out of unsalted butter at this point, so opted to forgo salt as it was in the butter)

The Adventure

Now, I’m not going to type out the entire recipe, just follow the helpful link at the top to find the recipe on Masterchef website. My comments for each section of the dessert making are below.

Again, like the chocolate mousse attempt, I did not have an electric beater on hand, so it was up to me to manually whisk/mix everything – oh the pain!

I also did things in a different order:

  1. Pear vanilla creme patissiere
  2. Pear gel
  3. Green marzipan
  4. Green chocolate
  5. Green sable a choux
  6. Streusel (part of almond crunch)
  7. Choux pastry
  8. Rest of almond crunch
  9. Pear mousse

Pear vanilla creme patissiere – I thought this part was relatively straightforward. I separated the yolks & got the other dry ingredients together, mashed my pears & started the stuff in the stove. Just make sure when cling wrapping to make sure the surface touches the cling wrap so it doesn’t form a skin on top. I had no blast freezer, so just chilled it in fridge for a bit whilst I did other things.

My comment: Just remember that you’ll be piping this later so make sure the pear is pureed properly otherwise it won’t come out of the piping nozzle.

Pear Vanilla Creme Patissiere

Pear gel – As I was running low on pear puree (and didn’t want to do another run to the shops), I also added the canned fruit juice to my pear gel. With this one, I didn’t have moulds so I put the gel into shot glasses & stuck them in the freezer. You want to thaw it out before you use it but you don’t want it thawed completely as you need some firmness to work with the gel later.

Pear gel

My comment: The first one I made, the gel wasn’t quite set so when I piped in the cream surrounding it, it got a bit bent out of shape.

Green Marzipan – No recipe was included so this was what I did – Put in equal parts almond meal & icing sugar. Add a few drops of green colouring, add either almond essence or rose water (almond essence was sold out when I went to the shops), then add water 1 tbsp at a time – you want to form it into a pliable dough & don’t want it to be super mushy.

Put the marzipan bt 2 pieces of baking paper & as I have no rolling pin, I had to use a cylindrical glass…

Green Marzipan

Green (white) chocolate – I used the double-boiling method (bowl over pot o’ simmering water but not touching used as indirect melty heat on chocolate)

The colouring wouldn’t mix in properly because it was so solid so I decided to go for a more ‘marble’ look instead.

Again, used 2 sheets of baking paper & a glass as a rolling pin.

Green & white chocolate marble

Green sable a choux – this one also didn’t come with a recipe so this is what I did – combine all the ingredients (except egg), then mix it until it’s all crumbly. Add egg & mix & form into a dough ball & knead it just a little (you don’t want your hands to melt the butter though, so easy does it). I then put it between 2 sheets of baking paper & used my trusty ol’ glass as a rolling pin.

Green sable a choux

Streusel (part of almond crunch) – the base ingredients to this were similar to the sable so I decided to do both at the same time. Combine all ingredients together until a rough crumble then stick it in the oven at 180 degrees until it browns. I didn’t want to combine it into a bowl (another thing to wash) so I did it straight into the baking tray. Anyway, once it’s cooled, break it up into little pieces.

Home-made Streusel

Choux pastry – I’m not too sure why this had to be green, on the proper picture, it turns golden brown under heat & only the sable remains green. Anyway, I don’t think I did too badly with this one – my main issue was that the sable was too thick & prevented the profiteroles from rising properly. 😦

My mixture was also a bit more liquid than on tv so that could also be why. I might have added a bit too less flour too.

Choux pastry

Baking of choux pastry & green sable – make sure to roll out your sable thinly – mine was a bit thick which meant the profiteroles didn’t rise that much; I used a shot glass & a drinking glass to cut out the sable. My oven is a bit dodgy so that might have added to the flatness of the big ones.

Baked choux & sable

My comment: Because my profiteroles couldn’t expand upwards because of the heavy sable on top, they expanded sideways & kinda stuck together – give yourself plenty of space between profiteroles.

Almond crunch – I didn’t use praline & just substituted with more chocolate which I melted using double-boiling method with butter. I then rolled it between 2 pieces of baking paper & flattened

My comment: I left it as one solid mass which meant when it had solidified later, it was impossible to cut out circles without it crumbling – I recommend cutting your bases before sticking in the fridge.

Now on the last part – the end is in sight…

Pear Mousse – this was pretty straightforward & really yummy 🙂

Pear mousse – delicious

Assembly time!

When you poke a hole through the bottom of the profiterole, stick your finger in there & break down any little caves so that there won’t be anything blocking you from filling it up with creme/mousse.

I didn’t know how to make baked almond creams so I just omitted it & it still turned out fine. They didn’t actually need stoppers.

Profiterole, half filled with creme & about to have pear gel slotted in

Profiterole with marzipan & green chocolate on top – each with a dab of creme bt layers to make it stick

Layers of pear perfection

I also made a tray of more goodies 🙂

I had more small profiteroles than big ones, so it looked like I had a few decapitated pear (im)perfections. 😀

Yummy green blobs

The insides!


Inside! Success – you can see the pear gel 😀

I did this recipe in bits & pieces over 2 days but you could definitely do it in much shorter time.

Clean up was a major pain – you go through many pans, bowls, spoons etc, a few times over. If you split it into bits & pieces over time, it doesn’t feel as bad though.

Can’t fault the taste though, it was awesome 😀

Mmmm… pear perfection

I do prefer the taste of Zumbo’s chocolate mousse or Poh’s Chocolate dome cake but that may because I’m a major chocolate addict. I don’t think this was as hard as the chocolate mousse but it is still worth the effort though.

Somethings you just gotta try once – the marzipan with the rose water was a very pleasant surprise. 😀

2 Responses to “RECIPE – Pear (im)Perfection ala Masterchef”

  1. Thanks so much for this entry! I am on day 1 (made the marzipan and the sable a choux). I have practiced with the profiterols and pear custard a few weeks ago. Had the same thought about the green poor daughter has been to quite a few shops to get green coloring…
    Was browsing for pictures when I came across your blog, really helpful. Dishwasher is running, tomorrow is D-day or better P-day.

  2. Sadahatama Oba Mage

    RECIPE – Pear (im)Perfection ala Masterchef | Monitor Muncher’s Blog

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