Masterchef and Gluten Free Food

by Veronica on May 23, 2010

So, I’ve been watching Masterchef regularly, as I did last season. I’m interested to see what they’re cooking and blah blah blah. Anyway, they had a challenge, to cook a family dinner for a ‘random’ supermarket chosen family.

Now, considering the families all had spotless houses and various other pretty-ing up bits that led me to believe it was all a load of crap, I ended up screaming at the TV a lot.

You know? When you’re cooking for kids, you don’t get to piss around making the kidlets wait for their meal. Also, cooking a family meal while someone else keeps the kids out from under your feet? Jesus, but I’d love to get that happening around here. Instead the children screech at me from one side of the bench while I juggle hot pans and plates on the other side, well lets just say, cooking in a full tilt commercial kitchen is less stressful than cooking for small children while they screech at you.

Give me an angry chef anyday. Much prefer that to a tantrumming toddler.

Yes. Yes I would.

I thought about it some more and would love to imagine a Masterchef team cooking in my tiny galley kitchen. It’s barely big enough for one person, let along eight of them. And we’ll not mention I would fucking love to see them cook gluten free for a night. Seriously, I would. It’s not that hard, but gosh, it would stretch their resources to have to avoid all wheat and a lot of easy options. No bread, no croutons, no noodles.

It would be interesting, to say the least.

However, the good thing about cooking gluten free, aside from learning to read every single label on food, is that everything really needs to be home cooked, from fresh and simple ingredients. Something I am great at now. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘snacks’ when you can’t just give bread and jam, or sandwiches to tide them over.

Anyway – that’s just me. I’d like to see the masterchef contestants stretched out of their comfort zone a little more.

Plus, I thought while I was complaining about gluten free food and mainstream food shows that I’d share my recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, which is pretty good.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake:

Separate 3 eggs, free range is good. I’ve got chooks, so I get eggs from them and I know that they’re happy healthy eggs from healthy chooks. How I know they’re healthy? Well, they’ve pecked all my seedlings of kale to pieces, so they’ve GOT to be healthy, right? Plus, the shells are so hard that cracking them is difficult and my yolks are a lovely bright orange.

Pop the yolks into your mixing bowl with a half a cup of sugar. Leave to beat until they’re thick and lucious looking.

While they’re beating, beat your egg whites until soft peaks form and then add 3-4 teaspoons of sugar and beat until dissolved.

Then melt 200g of dark chocolate with 150ml of cream and 2 tablespoons of butter.

To the thick egg yolk and sugar mix add a cup of almond meal, or hazelnut meal, depending on your taste and the contents of your cupboard. Mix in slowly. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix in gently. Add 3/4 of a cup of apple sauce as well. When combined, add gluten free self raising flour until the batter looks thick and creamy.

Yes, I do cook by feel more than by measurements. It generally works out to be about 3/4 of a cup of gluten free flour. I use the Orgran brand and love it, it works well. Almost as well as wheat flour.

Once the batter looks all batter-y and cake like, fold the egg whites into it carefully. Pop it into a well greased 20cm round cake pan. I line the bottom with baking paper as well, but that’s because I don’t have a fan forced oven.

Cook at 160C for around 50-60 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when pressed in the middle. Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack. When cool, ice. I used lemon icing and it was delicious.


3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup of sugar plus an extra 3-4 teaspoons
1 cup of almond or hazelnut meal
200g of cooking chocolate
150ml of cream
2 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of apple sauce
3/4 cup of gluten free self raising flour – more or less, depending on how runny your applesauce is. Mine was home made and thick, so I didn’t need as much flour.

Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the sugar until they’re thick and creamy. While they’re beating, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and then add 3-4 teaspoons of sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Melt the chocolate with the cream and butter and set aside to cool a little.

When the yolks are creamy and thick, add the almond meal and then the cooled chocolate mixture and apple sauce. Mix gently.

Add the gluten free SR flour and combine. When it looks like cake batter, nice and thick (you may need to add more flour), fold in the egg whites and place the entire mix into a greased and lined 20cm cake pan.

Cook at 160C for 50-60 minutes.



Barbara May 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I like to watch masterchef as well but I don’t often get to. You’re so right, they should be stretched and not just popped into a large, gleaming child free kitchen. Maybe you should write and volunteer yourself?

nell May 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

As a coeliac and a mum I have often had similar thoughts. I would love for them to cook gluten free for a challenge one week.

Thanks for the recipe, looks delish!

Chef Dima August 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I started watching the new season a couple of days ago, and I think that a lot of this stuff is just set up for ratings. Other than that its good tv and I always like to see what people can cook.

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