The dessert masters are, well, masters at desserts. Be it Reynold’s sugar work, Kirsten’s chocolate, or Gareth’s tarts, there’s no denying that each MasterChef: Dessert Masters contestant is good at what they do.
We can only dream of doing what they do. If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed Zumbo’s teapot, Kirsten’s caviar tin or Reynold’s white apple — dish after dish, our jaws are left on the floor.
While we’ll never be able to replicate them, we can learn to be our own dessert masters, tackling the basics of a compote or rolling our own tuile. With the help of Australia’s top pastry chefs’ cookbooks, you too can be a dessert master.
Here are the books you need to help you whisk, fold, and put together your own masterful sweet dessert.
Zumbo has three cookbooks, each focused on an aspect of the pastry world. His first cookbook, Zumbo: Adriano Zumbo’s Fantastical Kitchen of Other-Worldly Delights, dives into how you can make his whimsical world of sweet treats. Think macarons, chocolates, cakes and more.
A year later, Zumbo released Zumbarons: A Fantasy Land of Macarons, dedicated to all things macarons, including tips on perfecting crispy, chewy macaron shells and the fun stuff that gets piped inside.
For his third book, The Zumbo Files, Zumbo collated all our favourite desserts we grew up with, and his fourth book is an almanac of everything you need to know to be a master patissier. In all honesty, you should read this first, as it will arm you with the knowledge to take on Zumbo’s other desserts.
The Queen of Chocolate has a few cookbooks that will have you whipping up your own chocolates, and of course, desserts with lots of chocolate in them. Her first cookbook, Chocolate to Savour With Kirsten Tibballs, has a lot of her classic recipes with incredible photography. It’s comprehensive and great for those who want to learn the classics.
Tibballs‘ second book, Chocolate: Luscious Recipes and Expert Know-How for Biscuits, Cakes, Sweet Treats and Desserts, is exactly as it reads. She provides everything you need to know to perfect cakes, biscuits, sweet treats, and desserts. All recipes have been road-tested at her cooking school and is road mapped for even the most kitchen-shy cook.
Whether you’ve been to KOI Dessert Bar in Sydney or ogled his creations on MasterChef, Reynold is a magician — pulling magical desserts out of the blast chiller. He has one cookbook, The Dessert Game: Simple Tricks, Skill-Builders and Show-Stoppers to Up Your Game, which is more for avid cooks who are looking to improve their dessert game, from presentation to technique. However, that doesn’t mean novice cooks won’t find it useful. From baking to sugar work, he explains it all, along with some anecdotes of growing up as a first-generation migrant in Australia.
Anna’s knack for knockout desserts is translated in her cookbook, Sweet Street. Despite her world-class training, her edgy style sets her apart from most of the competition in Australia. Her cookbook is no different. Learn how to make everything from chocolate masterpieces to delicate sweet parcels worthy of a high tea-tiered stand. She’s even popped her iconic Anna’s Mess recipe in there.
He might be the youngest in the game, but in a way, he’s always been the youngest. At 15, he started Bistro Morgan, which is now a doughnut empire. Since going on Dessert Masters, Morgan has proved he’s more than just doughnuts, plating up some impressive dishes.
His cookbook, Made by Morgan: 60 Recipes, collects his favourite recipes in one easy-to-follow cookbook with fun, vibrant photos. From sweet treats to savoury snacks and full-blown meals, Morgan takes you step by step, sharing the love of cooking. He also throws in a few of his doughnut secrets, so you too, can make your own fluffy doughnuts.
MasterChef Australia: Dessert Masters airs Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at 7.30PM Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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