Much the Top 4’s delight, the mystery Guest Judges featured in Episode 17
were people they knew and loved: Manisha’s husband, Thoneshan; Deena’s wife, Kathy; Sarel’s wife, Lieze and Sue-Ann’s mother, Gail.
The Contestants actually struggled to hold back their emotions when they saw their families. An overcome Deena said: “I just let go of myself, because I’ve missed her so much.” Sarel was delighted to see his wife: “It’s just amazing to see her. I’ve stopped counting how long it has been.” And Manisha found seeing her husband inspirational: “It has completely lifted my spirits!”
The Guest Judges did a blind taste of the desserts prepared. First up was Sarel’s Amarula spunge cupcake
. Lieze liked the sweet potato crunches on the inside of the cupcake and Sarel was elated to hear his wife’s positive feedback. Thoneshan thought it had a delicate balance between the soft spunge and the crunchy bits and spun sugar. Gail thought it was good, because it wasn’t “sickly sweet.”
The next dish was Deena’s chocolate fondant with crème anglaise and grilled pear
. Kathy liked the presentation. Andrew reminded the guests that a chocolate fondant should have a “gooey” centre when cut through. When he cut the fondant, the centre was exactly like he described. After her first mouthful, Kathy declared: “That is delicious! Just what the doctor ordered.” Lieze doesn’t normally like cooked fruit, but she enjoyed the grilled pear. Thoneshan loved it.
Sue-Ann’s dish, pear tart with Chantilly cream and Amarula reduction
was served next. Gail said it looks like something she would want to try, but Kathy thinks it lacks a bit of colour. Andrew asked Gail if Sue-Ann likes to play around with presentation. Gail confirmed: “Things must look good. She’ll tell me ‘Mom, just wait! I know what I’m doing!’” Thoneshan loved the sauce and the pears, but he wasn’t too fond of the pastry. Gail concurs and said the pastry was not light enough and the sauce could have been a bit more “liquidy”.
Manisha’s poached pear with Amarula custard and puff pastry biscuit
was the last to be served. Kathy said the pear was perfectly cooked, but Thoneshan found the chocolate too bitter. In the viewing lounge, Manisha said in jest: “Clearly he doesn’t understand the balance of flavours. But I will teach him this when I get home!”
Lieze thought the four desserts were all very different, making it more difficult for them to choose a winner. Kathy said that the contestants really know what they’re doing and Thoneshan admitted he couldn’t identify which of the four desserts Manisha made. Pete aptly concluded: “The progression of how they’ve grown as chefs is quite exceptional.”
In the end, three (Thoneshan, Gail and Lieze) out of the four votes went to Deena for his chocolate fondant with crème anglaise and grilled pear. Kathy chose Manisha’s poached pear.
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