Tonight on FOX Masterchef returns with an all new Wednesday September 9, Season 6 Episode 18 called, “Think Inside the Box.” We’ve got your recap down below! On tonight’s episode the Top 4 cooks pair off to create an appetizer and an entrée—and then repeat it twice—using ingredients provided by judges Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot. The winners advance to the Top 3, but the losing team compete in the next pressure test, which involves preparing judge Christina Tosi’s chocolate-malted layer cake.
On the last episode, in the next mystery box challenge, the Top Five home cooks had to create a dish using pear, blue cheese, tomato, portabella mushroom and chocolate. The winner of the challenge received two advantages: first, he/she would be safe from elimination; then the challenge winner chose which of four different baskets filled with ingredients – put together on his/her own and with three former MASTERCHEF winners – the remaining contestants had to cook with. Find out who would be one step closer to joining the champions and who will be eliminated. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode per the FOX synopsis “after learning from past champions in last week’s episode, the four remaining contestants put that knowledge to use in the next team challenge. Using special ingredients provided by judges Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot, each team must create a unique appetizer and entrée – and create them three times!. The winning pair will automatically move into the Top Three, while the losing pair must face the next pressure test, in which they must recreate judge Christina Tosi’s world-famous Chocolate Malted Layer Cake. Find out who will be eliminated and who will take the cake and move into the Top Three.”
Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when MasterChef Season Six on Fox airs. While you wait for the recap, let us know how you like the sixth season of MasterChef and who are you rooting to win tonight.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
#MasterChef begins with the top four entering the kitchen to greet the three judges. It’s Claudia, Nick, Stephen and little drummer boy Derrick. As the winner of the last challenge, Nick gets to choose someone to cook with him. He chooses Claudia. That leaves Derrick and Stephen. Each of the judges rolls out a box that contains ingredients that reflects the style of the judges.
It’s a #MCJudgeBox challenge. The have to make an appetizer and an entree. Christina’s box is moved away – it will be for the pressure test. Now they have to pick between Gordon and Graham’s box and they each get a fortune cookie. Derrick and Stephen got Gordon’s box – there’s duck. Lamb, steak, squash, pomegranates and live pawns.
Claudia and Nick got Graham’s which contains live crab, salmon, pork chops, asparagus and crème fresh. Christina says they will get some inspiration. Two long tables are wheeled in. Each is covered in dishes made by the two top chefs. Gordon says the dishes all came from the ingredients in their boxes. They send them to their stations.
Nick and Claudia agree on seafood. Stephen and Derrick are also in sync. They head to the pantry to get supporting ingredients. Gordon says he would do a seafood app and then a red meat entree. Graham says he loves crab but it’s tough on time. Christina and Graham check on Derrick and Stephen and then Gordon checks on Claudia and Nick. Gordon thinks they are running short on app time.
Claudia is not happy that Nick didn’t put the crab in and thinks they are headed home for his error. Nick crams the crab in the pot. Gordon tells Graham and Christina they have no time to make a proper crab broth. Claudia tells Nick they need to rethink and do a crab cake. Stephen and Derrick seem to be doing well together. Gordon tells them to be careful with the cook on the duck.
Gordon tells the others that neither Stephen nor Derrick is taking control. Derrick tells Stephen the duck won’t get down in the oven. Nick and Claudia argue over the salmon cook as they are down to six minutes and Gordon yells about plating. They are down to two minutes and are plating. Now to the tasting. The red team delivers their appetizers.
They switched to an Italian crab cake at the last minute. Gordon tastes and says it’s good. He says it’s not terribly luxurious, but it’s good. Christina says she likes that it’s chock full of crab but could use some more roasted red pepper on the plate. Now Stephen and Derrick bring down their apps. Stephen isn’t happy with Derrick’s plating.
They made spot prawn ceviche. Gordon tastes and says it has crunch and says he doesn’t like the pomegranate seeds. He asks what the f-k they were thinking. Graham asks whose dish it is and Derrick admits it’s his. Graham says it’s seasoned nice and says it’s a great dish but he’s not necessarily thinking semi-finals. Derrick regrets the seeds.
Nick and Claudia bring down their entree. They made pan seared salmon over kale. Graham isn’t happy to see the same sauce on the entree and the appetizer both. He says you never use the same sauce on two dishes on a menu. He shows them that the skin on the salmon was ruined by the kale and calls it a salmon condom. Ha! He says the kale is delicious and this is not so great.
Then Gordon tastes and asks who cooked the salmon. He shows that the salmon is not cooked well enough but says it tastes good. He says they should have used fennel instead of kale. Claudia and Nick are disappointed. Stephen and Derrick bring down their entree – crispy seared duck with squash puree and mushroom sauce.
Christina says the duck skin is a bit tough and wasn’t rendered far enough but is a really nice 50/50 marriage of them. Gordon tastes and says the morels weren’t properly cleaned. He says the duck was cooked nicely and the puree is mind-blowing. Derrick says it seems kind of like a split between the red and blue teams and he has no idea how it will go.
Gordon says there were highs and lows for both teams. They choose Derrick and Stephen as the winners and they move into the semi-finals. They head upstairs and that means Nick and Claudia are in the pressure chest and will be cooking with Christina’s ingredients. Nick is upset since he chose Claudia who is his best friend and a strong competitor and now they’re against each other.
Christina says now they have to make the dessert. Nick is feeling pretty good about doing dessert. Christina wheels out a tray of desserts she made from the ingredients. She asks Nick which is the most difficult – he says the macaroons and the tower. Claudia says the pavlova and three layer cheesecake. Christina says they both have to make the hardest – her chocolate malted layer cake.
She slices into it and shows them the perfect layers. There are six parts – chocolate cake, malt frosting, warm sauce, charred marshmallows and layers. She says it takes months to master the cake. She says they have her recipe and 90 minutes. Derrick and Stephen agree they dodged a huge bullet. Nick calls this a crazy ass cake and Claudia says she thinks she and Nick are both the best chefs so this is tough.
They start their cake. Claudia is working hard on her filling but has technical difficulties. Nick used the wrong bowl of ingredients in the mixer and has to start over. He curses and Derrick says there’s no way that he’ll have enough time. Gordon says their sponges should be in the oven and Nick is scrambling. He guesses rather than measuring since he’s short on time.
Christina talks about the importance of the butter in the frosting and talks about how hard the charred marshmallows are. We see Nick and Claudia setting them on fire. Christina thinks Claudia is spending too much time on that aspect of the cake. Nick pulls out his layers. Claudia’s aren’t done yet since she filled her molds full. Nick starts assembling the cake.
Christina tells Claudia to check her cakes. She tells her to have the décor ready since she’ll be tight on time. Claudia is rushing to assemble. Christina says the glaze is one of the toughest aspects. Gordon says Nick’s looks good. Claudia is running out of time. Claudia’s glaze is too thick. They are down to just 90 seconds and Claudia is spreading her fudge.
Derrick tells Claudia to let gravity do the frosting and to start decorating. They tell them to walk now. Claudia barely gets hers there. Nick and Claudia hug. Gordon asks how Claudia feels and she says disappointed. Nick’s cake looks so much better than hers and she’s terrified she’s going home. Nick says this has all been hard and this was the hardest thing within the hardest thing he’s done.
Christina comes down to check the cakes. She looks at Claudia’s and says the outside presentation does not look great. She cuts into it and pulls out a slice. She tells her the future rests on the slice of cake. The layers look good. Christina tastes and says she almost got the layers lighter than when she makes it and says it’s cloud like in a lovely way. She says visually Nick has her beat, but her flavor is great.
Graham tastes Claudia’s cake and says the flavor is delicious and says the malt tone is great. He says the sponge is really aerated but things are not in proportion. He says some of the outside needs more fudge and the marshmallows aren’t toasted nicely. Christina tells Nick his cake is beautiful visually but she says the height is a concern. She says his is much shorter.
Christina cuts into his cake and says this slice could get him into the semi-finals. It looks good. She says it’s a nice job and lays it down then tastes. She walks away without comment and tells the others there’s something in the cake that’s not quite right. Gordon goes next and cuts a slice and says it’s beautiful. Then he tastes and says the frosting is delicious but it’s very sweet.
He asks why it’s so sweet. Nick says he messed with the recipe and his ratio must have been off. He says he didn’t have enough ingredients. Claudia says she would have shared and Gordon asks why he didn’t ask. Nick says he didn’t think to ask for help. Gordon says that’s gallant but someone is going home. Nick says this is so hard.
The judges go talk about the difference between the two cakes and Gordon says Nick’s looked good but the cake was off. Gordon says who got closest to Christina’s cake. This #MCPressureTest is insane. Gordon tells them they both did an amazing job. Claudia says she won’t be happy with any decision since she and Nick like and respect each other so much. They wish each other luck.
Christina says Claudia is in the semi-finals and Nick is going home. Nick and Claudia hug it out and she goes upstairs. Derrick tells her good job. Christina says his cake looked better but says baking is a science and you can’t mess with the ratios. He’s crying but says he’s not sad. He says he took a risk coming there and won’t go back to what he was doing before because of them.
He says he can’t thank them enough. He says he’s going back to San Diego then will work on getting his gastro pub up. Gordon says he’ll help any way he can and tells him to come say goodbye to them. They all hug it out and Christina tells him again that he did an amazing job tonight. Gordon asks who will win it and Nick says Claudia reminds him of his mom who’s a fighter and he says Claudia will win it.
Next week is the two hour MasterChef finale with Derrick vs Stephen vs Claudia.
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