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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 5 - Pistachio and cinnamon cake

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE and TVNZ OnDemand

Tash Shanmugarajah

Pistachio and cinnamon cake with liquorice custard and pineapple and thyme foam

Serves 4


Pineapple and Thyme Foam

½ ripe pineapple (about 300 grams), cut into 3 cm pieces

1 sprig thyme

2 egg whites


Liquorice custard

4 egg yolks

100 grams sugar

200 grams cream

160 grams liquorice


Pistachio and Cinnamon cake

60 grams butter

60 grams sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons flour

60 grams SR flour

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

60 grams pistachio nuts, ground


For garnish

100 grams sugar

12 pistachio nuts, toasted

pineapple, for garnish, some cut into 1 cm x 2 cm dice and some cut into 2 mm dice

40 grams pistachio nuts, ground

2 pieces liquorice

1 sprig thyme, leaves picked


  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease 2 x 10 cm springform cake tins.
  2. To make the foam, place the pineapple and thyme onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pineapple and thyme to a blender, add 1 tablespoon water and process to a fine puree. Add the egg white and process until foamy. Strain into an espuma bottle, charge with 2 cartridges, shaking vigorously between each charge. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. To make the liquorice custard, place the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. Place the cream and liquorice in a saucepan and place over low heat for 5 minutes. Very slowly add the warmed cream into the yolk and sugar mix while constantly whisking. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place back on low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, strain into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge.
  4. To make the pistachio and cinnamon cake, place the butter and sugar in a mixer and beat until creamed. Add the egg, mix to combine. Add the flour, cinnamon and ground pistachio nuts and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared cake tins, place in the oven and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Place 50 grams sugar and pistachio nuts in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Cook until the sugar turns a dark golden brown, immediately pour onto a paper lined baking tray and set aside.
  6. For the pineapple garnish, place the larger pineapple pieces on a baking tray and sprinkle with remaining 50 grams sugar. Brulee, using a blow torch until pineapple is golden. Set aside.
  7. Place the finely diced pineapple and picked thyme leaves in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
  8. Squeeze a little pineapple foam onto a tray. Roll a piece of liquorice in the foam, dip the liquorice in a bowl of ground pistachio nuts. Transfer to a board and slice into 1 mm thick rounds and set aside.
  9. To serve, slice each cake in half and place a slice on each plate. Add some ground pistachio nuts, spoon a little liquorice custard on the plate. Add the pineapple brulee and some thyme pineapple pieces. Add some liquorice slices and squeeze some pineapple foam onto the plate.