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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Episode 41 - Ant Caramel Parfait, Pickled and Caramelised Mexican Cucumber, Pickled Yam

Billie McKay

Ant Caramel Parfait, Pickled and Caramelised Mexican Cucumber, Pickled Yam

Serves 4



2 egg yolks

110 grams caster sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon sugared ants

65ml cream, whipped

1/2 tsp salt


Pickled Mexican Cucumbers and Yams

125 ml white vinegar

75 grams caster sugar

6 Mexican cucumbers, halved

1 yam, thinly sliced


Charred Mexican Cucumbers

1 tbsp butter

4 Mexican cucumbers, halved

2 teaspoons caster sugar

pinch salt


Achacha Puree

200 grams achaha



1 egg white

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp coffee flour

1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp sugar ants



125ml oil

1/4 cup sorghum

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp coffee flour

2 tbsp butter, melted


To serve

Achacha, peeled

Coffee flour, to sprinkle


  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • For the parfait, combine egg yolks and 75 grams sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until thick and pale, and doubled in size. Place in the fridge to cool.
  • Place remaining 35 grams sugar in a pan and melt to a dark caramel, to make a praline. Add ants, and pour over a lined baking tray. Set aside to set. Once set, blitz in a food processor.
  • Fold cream, praline and salt into cooled egg mixture, then pour into 12 x 30ml capacity half dome silicon moulds. Set aside in the freezer to set.
  • For the pickles, combine the vinegar and sugar in a pan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the cucumbers and yam and set aside to pickle.
  • For the charred cucumber, heat butter in a frying pan and sear the cucumbers until golden. Sprinkle over sugar continue to caramelise until golden. Remove cucumbers, season and set aside.
  • Reheat frypan over medium heat and cook achacha flesh until soft and golden, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  • For the tuile, combine the egg white, sugar, coffee flour, flour and melted butter. Spread mix onto a lined baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar ants. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and working quickly, roll the tuile out flat with a rolling pin and set aside to dry out.
  • For the popcorn, heat oil in a saucepan and drop in the sorghum and fry until puffed like popcorn. Remove from oil and combine in a bowl with salt, sugar, coffee flour and butter.
  • To serve, sprinkle the popcorn over the plate. Crumble some tuile over the popcorn. Place the pickled yam, cucumber and charred cucumber on the plate, followed by achacha puree, fresh achacha and parfait. Garnish with ant tuile and sprinkle over extra coffee powder.