BBC MasterChef: Bristol father breaks down in tears over daughter’s condition as judges praise sugar-free dessert
John, 40, made a chocolate tart with “drunk” raspberries, though the seemingly simple dessert had a major twist — it didn’t contain any sugar. This refined, sugar-free tart base is made with crushed almonds, hazelnuts, egg yolks, and a little sweetener.
While preparing John Torode and Greg Wallace’s prepared desserts to taste, John sampled his own cooking, and had to trash the first batch of chocolate mixture, which he said tasted “gross”, after forgetting to add the sweetener. When John assembled the final tart, which was topped with vanilla cream and toasted hazelnuts, and served with raspberry coulis, brandy-soaked raspberries and salted caramel, his fellow contestants commented that it looked “delicious.”
Read more: Meet the Bristol builder on Masterchef who has been wowing the judges
Before appearing on the show, John explained how he was “championing low-carb, refined, sugar-free cooking” for a reason very close to his heart. “Since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I’ve had to completely rethink my cooking,” he said.
“Now I advocate low-carb, refined-sugar-free cooking for her (who is nine) as well as my other three daughters (my unmarried daughters ages 10-13 and my seven-year-old daughter) but I maintain that it is still fun and creative. And in the end, delicious.”
When he brought the tart to the tasting room, Greg and John were very pleased with the dessert. “You’ve got a strong cocoa chocolate inside,” Greg commented. “I love the amount of vanilla you get through the cream and I do enjoy the exotic raspberry but in the middle there, it’s a little moist.”
Without any sugar, John Torode said, “I’m surprised it’s sweet enough for me. I really like all the vanilla in this cream, which definitely doesn’t need sugar in it.”
“Your pastry, I think, is a discovery. Almost like a cheesecake base with those nuts you pass through, so thank you. I think it’s a really good tart.”
When Greg begins to ask about John’s daughter Leah, the illustrator breaks down in tears as he explains how she misses the foods everyone enjoys as a result of her type 1 diabetes. “She misses school dinner, sweets, and she misses ice cream when everyone else has ice cream; we have a barbecue, and all the kids get a popsicle, and she misses it all.”
When John became emotional before the judges, John Torode reassured him by praising him for his efforts and innovations. “What you’re trying to do is give her what you want to give her, and that’s great. I think it’s admirable, so good for you.”
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