Master Chef Australia Challenge 2016


It’s that time of year again! Time for the Shannon Bennett Master Chef Australia challenge for 2016. Shannon’s Chocolate Peanut Bar but with one difference, No peanuts. As I live in a household where peanuts are life threatening so I made the substitute to the just as tasty Macadamia nut instead. This was a lot of fun to make as always and this year I think I may try more chef challenges!


– 400g Macadamia

– 17g Gelatine Gold Leaf
– 300g 64% Dark Chocolate
– 600g Thickened Cream
– 3 Eggs
– 100g Caster Sugar
– 37g Water

– 200g Roasted Macadamia
– 200g Caster Sugar
– 50g Water

– 280g Milk
– 280g Thickened Cream
– 50g Trimoline (Or Substitute Honey)
– 1 Vanilla Bean, Halved and Seeded
– 5 Egg Yolks
– 37g Caster Sugar
– 75g Candied Nuts


– 100g Brown Sugar
– 100g Plain Flour
– 50g Unsalted Butter

– 115g Caster Sugar
– 115g Roasted Nuts
– 175g Thickened Cream

– 120g Egg Whites
– 160g Caster Sugar
– 80g Honey

– 125g Thickened Cream
– 125g Honey
– 125g 40% Milk Chocolate
– 125g Unsalted Butter, Cubed

– 100g Candied Nuts, Blitzed
– 100g Brown Sugar Crumble

– 350g 64% Dark Chocolate


















1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

2. To make the Roasted Nuts, place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast at 180ºC for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and place 200g of nuts onto a baking tray lined with a silpat for the Candied nuts. Reserve remaining nuts until required for the nut Caramel.

3. To make the Chocolate Parfait, bloom gelatine in a small bowl of iced water until soft.

Gelatin Blooming

Gelatin Blooming

4. To melt the chocolate, bring a cup of water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a metal bowl. Once water boils, turn off heat and place the bowl of chocolate over the top of the saucepan and stir to melt. Set aside until needed.

5. Meanwhile, place cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whip until the cream reaches soft peak stage.

6. Line a 28 x 38cm baking tray with cling film and carefully smooth out any wrinkles.

7. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until light and fluffy.

8. Place the sugar and water into a small frypan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring the sugar syrup to soft ball stage at 121C. Remove from heat and with the mixer running on low-speed, add to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Turn mixer up to full speed and mix until thick and glossy to form a pâte à bombe.

9. Remove gelatine leaves from water and squeeze out to remove excess moisture. Place gelatine in the now empty sugar syrup frypan and stir until gelatine dissolves in the residual heat. Working quickly, carefully add dissolved gelatine to the pâte à bombe mixture with motor running at half speed, ensuring all gelatine is incorporated and not left on sides of bowl. Turn mixer up to full speed and mix until thick and glossy.

10. With motor running at half speed, slowly pour the melted chocolate into the pâte à bombe mixture to combine. Remove bowl of pâte à bombe mixture from mixer stand. It should be warm, not hot.

Careful Pour

Careful Pour

11. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula to fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until fully incorporated, taking care not to knock out too much air. Pour the parfait mixture into the lined baking tray, level off and freeze in the blast chiller.

Combining Two Mixtures

Combining Two Mixtures

12. For the Candied Nuts, make a caramel by combining sugar and water in a small frypan, being careful to keep sugar from splashing up the sides of the pan. Place on medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and syrup comes to the boil. Clean the sides of the pan down regularly with a wet pastry brush. Simmer until syrup reaches 195C.

13. As soon as the caramel reaches 195C, pour immediately over the nuts on the lined baking tray. Leave on bench to cool and set completely.

14. To finish the Candied nuts, break up the slab of set nut praline into small pieces and place in the bowl of a Thermomix or food processor. Process for a few seconds to make a coarse crumb. Set aside in a bowl until needed.

Macadamia Praline

Macadamia Praline

15. For the Nut Ice Cream, combine the milk, cream, trimoline/honey, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

16. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy and sugar is dissolved.

17. When milk mixture just reaches the boil, remove vanilla pod and pour slowly over the egg mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Transfer mixture back into the saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula until it reaches 82ºC.

18. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into the bowl of a Thermomix or food processor. Add 75g of the Candied Nut crumb and blitz on speed 10 for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture into a metal bowl and place over ice to cool. When cool, transfer to ice cream churn and churn for 25 minutes or until set. Once set, scoop the ice cream out into a square metal container and place in the freezer until required. If you want to make dry ice, ice cream please click HERE and you will be taken to my recipe.

19. For the Brown Sugar Crumble, place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb. Spread evenly on to a lined baking tray and bake at 180ºC for 4 minutes or until a light golden colour. Set aside to cool until required.



20. To make the Nut Caramel, make a dry caramel by placing the sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and reaches a uniform, amber brown colour.

21. Meanwhile, blitz the required quantity of roasted nuts for the Nut Caramel in a small food processor to a fine crumb.

22. Place the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until warm, but not boiling. Slowly add the warm cream to the dry caramel, whisking continuously to combine. Remove from heat and add roasted nut crumb, stirring to combine. Once cooled, place in a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until required.

Nut Caramel

Nut Caramel

23. To make the Honey Nougat, bring a cup of water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Place all ingredients in a metal bowl. When water is boiling, remove from heat and place bowl on top. Whisk gently until sugar dissolves, ensuring egg-whites do not cook. Place egg and sugar mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks form. Place in a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until required.

Whip It

Them Stiff Peaks

24. For the Honey Caramel, place cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

25. Meanwhile, place honey in a small saucepan over high heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until lightly caramelised but not reduced. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the warm cream until well combined. Add the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and well combined.

26. Once chocolate is melted, add the cubed butter and whisk to emulsify. Set aside on the bench until required.

Honey Caramel :D

Honey Caramel 😀

27 For the Nut Crumble, place 100g of the Candied Nut crumb into a small food processor. Add 100g of the cooled Brown Sugar Crumble and blitz until a fine crumb and well mixed. Set aside until required.

28. For the Tempered Chocolate, bring a cup of water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Place 300g of the chocolate in a metal bowl. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and place metal bowl on top. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted through the residual heat and temperature has reached 50ºC.

29. Finely chop the remaining 50g of chocolate. Add the chopped chocolate to the melted chocolate, a little at a time, stirring to melt completely between additions, until temperature reaches 28ºC. You may not need all the chopped chocolate before chocolate is at correct temperature. Stop adding chopped chocolate once temperature reaches 28ºC.

Count Down

Count Down

30. Return metal bowl to the pot of hot water and stir chocolate until temperature reaches 32ºC. Ensure the chocolate does not go over 35ºC.

31. Place acetate or a baking paper sheet on bench and pour a small amount of the melted chocolate over the sheet. Use a large metal spatula to spread the chocolate thinly and evenly over the sheet. Once the chocolate is beginning to set and not sticky to touch, work quickly using the template to cut out the shape. Use a small palette knife to flip the shapes onto a flat tray lined with baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top of the chocolate and sandwich the sheets between two heavy baking trays to keep flat. Place in fridge for 3 – 5 minutes to set. Once set completely, store in a paper lined, airtight container on the bench until required.

Top Deck

Top Deck

32. Remove Chocolate Parfait from blast chiller and unmould. Use the template as a guide to cut to size. Transfer portioned parfait into a paper-lined container and store in the freezer until required.

33. Remove Nut Ice Cream from freezer. Use a dessert spoon to scoop out one rocher. Place rocher on a small, round metal tray lined with a square of baking paper and return to the freezer until required.

Honey Macadamia Dry Ice Ice Cream

Honey Macadamia Dry Ice, Ice Cream

To finish the recipe and assemble:

1. Place the saucepan of Honey Caramel on a medium heat and bring to the boil.

2. To serve, cut Nut Caramel piping bag tip to 1cm width. Pipe 5 even mounds of Nut Caramel, about 1cm high, onto the plate in a line as long as the parfait portion, using template as a guide.

3. Spoon Nut Crumble along the right hand side of the piped Nut Caramel line. Place Chocolate Parfait on top, place template on top of parfait and, using a small palette knife, press down gently to adhere parfait to caramel.

4. Cut Honey Nougat piping bag tip to 1cm width. Remove template from parfait and pipe 5 even mounds of the Honey Nougat, about 1cm high, in a line on the parfait to mirror the Nut Caramel mounds beneath.

5. Place a piece of Tempered Chocolate on top of the Honey Nougat mounds. Place the template on top of the Tempered Chocolate and, using a palette knife, gently push down to adhere the chocolate to the nougat and flatten the nougat mounds slightly.

6. Place a spoonful of the Brown Sugar Crumble next to the parfait. Using a small palette knife, transfer rocher of the Nut Ice Cream on top of the crumble.

7. Pour boiling Honey Caramel into the serving jug.

8. To serve, pour Honey Caramel slowly and evenly along the length of the parfait, melting the chocolate and coating the parfait completely.

9. I hope you enjoy as we sure did!!

Shannon's Chocolate Peanut Bar

Shannon’s Chocolate Peanut Bar

Link to the original recipe: Ten Play

Home Cooked Heston's Chocolate Macadamia Bar

Home Cooked Heston’s Chocolate Macadamia Bar

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