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MasterChef Australia

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Ep 17 - Pear Warka Cigar

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE and TVNZ OnDemand

EP 17 Ben (Team Challenge)

Pear Warka Cigar with Blue Cheese Mousse

Serves 4


Warka Cigars

20 grams butter

1 ½ pear (about 240 grams), peeled and cut into 1cm dice

50 grams sugar

1 tablespoon cream

3 lavender flowers

12 grapes, halved

100 grams flour

pinch salt

1 egg, mixed with a little water for egg wash

icing sugar, for dusting


Pickled Pear

60 ml sparkling wine

30 ml dark rum

15 grams sugar

½ lime, juiced

5 shiso leaves

½ pear, sliced 2mm thick


Lavender Sugar

60 grams sugar

4 lavender flowers plus more for garnish

1 drop violet food colour



40 grams cream

40 grams blue cheese, softened


  1. Preheat deep fryer to 170C.
  2. To cook the pears for the cigars, place butter in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Once melted, add the diced pear and cook, stirring, until they get a little colour. Add sugar and cook until a caramel forms and is an amber colour. Add the cream and lavender flowers and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the grapes, set aside to cool.
  3. To pickle the pears, place the sparkling wine in a saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until reduced by half. Add the rum and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add the lime juice, shiso leaves and pear slices and set aside until needed.
  4. To make the lavender sugar, place 50 grams sugar and 50 ml water in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Once mixture is simmering and sugar has dissolved, add the lavender flowers and let blanch for 20 seconds. Remove flowers from syrup and transfer to a mortar and pestle. Add remaining 10 grams sugar and food colour and process until well combined. Using a ½ teaspoon measure, form half spheres and set aside on baking paper to dry until needed.
  5. To make the mousse, place the cream in the bowl and whisk until firm peaks form. Add the blue cheese and fold to combine. Set aside.
  6. To make the cigars, place the flour, salt and 150 ml water in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place a large, non-stick frypan over a saucepan of boiling water. Using a pastry brush, brush the frypan with a very thin and even layer of batter. Leave to cook until the edges start to peel away and the batter is mostly dry, about 1-2 minutes. Remove cooked pastry from frypan and transfer to a piece of baking paper. Continue this process until 8 pastry wrappers are made.
  7. Take 2 pastry wrappers and place on top of each other. Place 1 tablespoon pear mixture at the bottom of wrapper and roll to form a cigar, folding in ends and sealing with egg wash. Repeat until 8 cigars made.
  8. Deep fry cigars until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
  9. To serve, place a spoonful of mousse on each plate. Remove pear slices from pickling mixture and add to plate. Add 2 cigars and some lavender sugar spheres. Garnish with lavender flowers.