Black Gold MasterChef

by | Aug 6, 2021 | Desserts, Recipes

Black Gold


This recipe is the recipe that started the dream. My audition dish for Masterchef Australia 2021. I spent a few months perfecting it, and going through so many different variations and changes. It took a lot of work, patience and practice to get right, but when I finally did get it right – it was amazing! It obviously impressed the judges, as it won me the apron on the first round and I was soo happy!

In hindsight, it was a very risky dish, as the flavour combination is unusual and difficult to balance, there are A LOT of steps and it is very difficult to achieve in 75mins. But I figured I wanted to create something that was unique, that represented my style of cooking and passion for food and interesting ingredients – and I wanted something I would be proud of no matter the outcome.


There are quite a few steps in this recipe, but i promise you the effort will be worth it!

Black Gold MasterChef
Black Gold MasterChef
Black Gold MasterChef

Chocolate Choux au Craquelin with truffle zabaglione cream and roast chocolate soil

This recipe is the recipe that started the dream. My audition dish for Masterchef Australia 2021. I spent a few months perfecting it, and going through so many different variations and changes. It took a lot of work, patience and practice to get right, but when I finally did get it right – it was amazing!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: choux pastry, french, Italian, truffle, zabaglione
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 627kcal
Author: Scott Bagnell


Roast chocolate coffee soil

  • 180 g Dark Chocolate Buttons a mix of 40-50% and 70% to achieve a balance of bitterness
  • 2 tsp fresh finely ground coffee beans
  • pinch salt

Black Craquelin (crackle biscuit top to Choux bun)

  • 50 g all-purpose flour sifted
  • 10 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder or black coloured cocoa powder if you have access to this
  • 50 g unsalted butter cold and cut into small cubes
  • 50 g demerara sugar
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 4-5 drops black food gel

Black Chocolate Choux Bun

  • 50 g unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 40 g milk
  • 60 g water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 4-5 drops drops of black food gel
  • 60 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder or black coloured cocoa powder if you have access to this
  • 100 g eggs lightly whisked together

Black Truffle Zabaglione

  • 20 g fresh black truffle grated (you can adjust this to suit your taste. If you cannot find fresh black truffle you can substitute this with 5 tablespoons of black truffle honey and omit the sugar ).
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 8 tbsp good quality Italian dry Masala wine
  • 100 g whipping cream
  • 1 sheet gelatine gold strength


  • 1 Punnet fresh blueberries
  • 1 bunch native mint leaves Mentha Australis, has a beautiful delicate small leaf and fresh flavour similar to spearmint. If you can’t find native mint, fresh spearmint or peppermint is a good substitute or garden mint. Try and pick the small young leaves so they are delicate in flavour and appearance.)
  • 1 tbsp fresh black truffle grated


  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcious

Roast chocolate coffee soil

  • For the Roast chocolate coffee soil, line a baking tray with baking paper, and evenly spread out the chocolate buttons on the tray.
  • Place in preheated oven and roast, keeping a careful eye on them so they do not burn. You want them to be bubbly/crackly on top and starting to slightly brown around the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with ground coffee and a very small pinch of salt and let completely cool.
  • Break up the roast chocolate with your fingers, ensuring to get an even mixture of fine crumbs and some chunky pieces so it looks like rocky soil.
  • Set aside in a cool place while you prepare your Choux buns.

Black Craquelin

  • For the Black Craquelin, place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix using the paddle attachment until the butter is incorporated and forms a smooth dough. (You can also do this in a food processor or mix by hand, but wear gloves due to the black colouring.)
  • Place the ball of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper, flatten with your hand and roll out to be approximately 1-2mm thick. You want this to be quite thin, so check it with a ruler, or use a fondant rolling pin with the smallest thickness guide ring (1.6mm).
  • Remove the top layer of baking paper and place the pastry sheet onto a baking tray.
  • Using a pastry cutter slightly bigger than the diameter of your Choux bun (approximately 50mm), cut out 12 circles of your Craquelin dough. If you have more circles than you need or left-over dough, these can easily be frozen in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months.
  • Place the tray in the freezer for 10-15mins while you prepare the Choux Pastry. (It is easier to separate the circles from the rolled out dough once frozen).

Black Chocolate Choux Bun

  • For the Black Chocolate Choux Bun, sift the flour and cocoa powder into a separate bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  • As soon as the butter is melted, add the milk, water, salt, caster sugar and food colouring and turn up the heat to bring to the boil. Stir well to ensure the sugar and salt are fully dissolved but do not boil for too long as you will lose too much water.
  • Tip the flour and cocoa powder into the boiling mixture and quickly mix with a wooden spoon. It is important to add the flour mixture in one quick movement into the liquid to shock the flour into absorbing the liquid and stir to remove any lumps.
  • Keep stirring your dough over the heat until it comes together as one large ball that pulls away very cleanly from the sides of the saucepan. To test it is ready, a spoon should stand up in the ball of dough without falling over.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool, or empty into a clean bowl of a stand mixer and mix on very low speed for about 2 minutes using the paddle attachment to cool the dough down to at least 40C. Don’t beat any longer than 2-3mins or the fats will separate and cause large cracks in your buns. Also, if your dough is too hot it will cook the eggs and your Choux will not rise in the oven.
  • Once the dough is cooled, slowly add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to help the dough incorporate.
  • It is very important at this stage to not add too much egg. You want the consistency to be like a thick meringue, glossy, holds its shape when piped and when you lift your spatula out of the mixture it should fall off the spatula on its own and leave behind a “V” of dough hanging from the spatula. You may not need all the egg, or you may need more egg, depending on your ingredients. It is better to add less egg and test how is pipes, before adding more, as if you add to much egg your dough will be runny and can’t be saved.
  • Line a baking sheet with baking paper, or a silicone matt. Spray with a little water or brush the sheet with water - this will help give your buns an extra lift and humidity in the oven.
  • Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (Wilton 1A) and pipe 12 buns, about 42mm in diameter, onto the lined baking sheet keeping them at least 40-50mm apart as they will expand a lot in the oven. Pipe straight down onto the sheet, trying to keep the shape as smooth as possible with no ripples, as these can create crakes and not-so-pretty Choux buns.
  • Remove the Craquelin from the freezer and quickly separate the circles, placing them gently on the tops of the piped buns.
  • Place the Choux buns in the preheated oven 190C and bake for 20mins. Do not open the oven at all during this time as they will deflate. After 20mins, do a quick check to see if your buns are slightly browned (it can be difficult to tell with the Black Choux).
  • Using a toothpick or metal skewer prick each bun quickly to allow the heat to escape and cook for a further 5 mins. If your buns are really brown, reduce the oven temperature to 170C.
  • If you have time, turn off the oven and let them dry out for a further 10mins with the door ajar. If you are baking more, you can remove them from the oven and allow to cool in a warm place.
  • Pick the best 6 buns for your dessert, and the rest you can freeze in a Ziplock bag or container for up to 3 months. (Only freeze the unfilled baked pastry shells). To use, thaw the shells in the fridge and then bake them at 150°C for about 6-8 minutes or until crisp.

Black Truffle Zabaglione

  • While your Choux buns are baking, prepare your Black Truffle Zabaglione.
  • Soak the gelatine in cold water.
  • Half fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a slow boil.
  • In a medium metal bowl, that will sit over the saucepan and not touch the boiling water, add your truffle and caster sugar. Rub together with your fingers to flavour your caster sugar and really activate the truffle. This should smell amazing!
  • Add the cornflour and mix well.
  • Add the eggs yolks and Masala wine to your flavoured sugar and whisk with a balloon whisk until nice and thick – approximately 5 minutes.
  • Place the metal bowl over the saucepan of boiling water and continue to whisk constantly until almost doubled in size and thick and gooey, approximately 10 minutes. Be careful to not allow the bowl to get too hot by removing it from the heat if it looks like the mixture is cooking too quickly around the edges.
  • Squeeze out the gelatine sheet to remove all the water and whisk into hot Zabaglione until completely dissolved.
  • Remove your Zabaglione from the heat and continue to whisk over a bowl of ice until completely cool. Save a small amount of Zabaglione for garnishing your dish.
  • Whisk the cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks and fold through cold Zabaglione gently. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

To Serve

  • To assemble, fit a piping bag with a small round piping nozzle, or if using a disposable piping bag, you don’t need a to fit a nozzle, just cut about 10mm off the tip and fill the piping bag with your Zabaglione cream.
  • Take your cooled Choux pastry buns and make a small insertion into the base of the bun with a sharp knife. Insert your piping bag tip and carefully pipe the filling into the bun, ensuring it is as full as possible.
  • To serve, on a grey textured dinner plate, pipe with the saved Zabaglione 5 blobs about 30mm in diameter evenly around the mid-outside ring of the plate, leaving enough space for your Choux bun to sit in the middle of the plate.
  • Between each blob scatter your Chocolate Coffee soil.
  • Slice in half through the middle about 1/3 of the fresh blueberries. The centre of the blueberry is really pretty and adds an interesting look and texture to the plate.
  • Scatter some sliced and whole fresh blueberries, around the soil.
  • Finish with scatter of picked individual native mint leaves and grated truffle.
  • Finally, place your Choux bun in the centre of the plate.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 317mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1053IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 3mg
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About The Author

Scott Bagnell

Hi, I’m Scott . I have been a commercial Interior Designer of over 20 years, I am a decadent baker, a self-confessed food nerd, wine enthusiast, passionate teacher, traveller and knower of hotspots, sustainability advocate, and Top 9 Finalist of Masterchef Australia 2021.

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