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5 Ways Nigella Lawson ruled Masterchef Australia this week

Aside from the notably higher calibre of 'amateur' cooks this year, Masterchef Australia has certainly upped the ante when it comes to their guest judges.

Week One, we were thrown straight into the intensity that is 'Marco Pierre White Week', a pleasure we usually have to wait for until halfway through the season.
Then there was the familiar smile of Shannon Bennett, the lovable head chef of Melbourne's renowned Vue De Monde.
We also saw a popular former contestant grace our screens, who returns with an established dessert bar to his name at a mere 22 years old. Reynold Poernomo pushed the contestants to their sweet-treat limits as he introduced them to the world of 'Moss': a 10-step matcha-apple dessert complete with a seven page recipe.
And this week? The queen of cooking herself, Nigella Lawson.
Known for her infectious passion for cooking and love of wholesome, hearty ingredients, Nigella certainly took the star focus this week.
The way her eyes light up when she gives us an in-depth description of each ingredient is hard not to fall in love with - and left most of us rushing to the kitchen to whip up a batch of our best scones.
And although her warm smile and soothing voice leaves us wishing she was our foodie best friend, the week certainly wasn't without its challenges.
We look back on a few standout moments from 'Nigella Week'.

The midnight munchies

Never before seen in Masterchef, the contestants were woken up mid-slumber by Queen Nigella to get thrown head-on into a mystery box challenge - right in the middle of their adopted home kitchen.
But let's be honest, if you were going to have your much-needed beauty sleep interrupted at the wee hours of the night, who would you rather have shaking your arms awake?
The team were given a surprisingly simple task - create a midnight snack to satisfy Nigella's midnight munchies, a hilariously relatable habit which Matt Preston assures is a common occurrence for the domestic goddess.
From maple-glazed bacon brioche French toast, to fried chicken waffles and the winning 'brookies' (an irresistible brownie and cookie fusion), Nigella looked incredibly excited with what the contestants were plating up.
"Every single thing is something I would want for a midnight feast," she says with glowing eyes.
Recreate your own version of the maple-bacon brioche dessert here.

More booze, please!

As if we couldn't love her any more, Nigella has proven once again that she is just like the rest of us - she loves her butter, cream and chocolate. Oh, and wine.
When tasting professional chef Lachlan Colwill's Christmas-inspired ice-cream pudding, the judges were over-all quite impressed with the creativity of the dish. Matt acknowledges the creativity of plating up a chocolate and nut 'snowball', but Nigella gracefully turned to Gary and uttered "I think it needs some booze in it."
We couldn't agree more, Nigella.

That coffee panna cotta

In the elimination challenge, the contestants were instructed to recreate Nigella's signature three course dishes, with her panna cotta generating the most buzz.
This epic dessert deserves it's own mention entirely. Partly due to the reason Nigella shares our love for the combination of good quality coffee and chocolate. But also because we learnt an important life lesson we'll we'll take away every time we recreate this traditional Italian dish at home.
To test if you've aced your dessert, give your plate a little 'wiggle' - and if it bounces back at you, it's ready to go.
"The wobble is all important", Nigella emphasised.
For our version of this beautiful dish, here's our cappuccino panna cotta recipe.

All about the tough love

As much as we'd be surprised on first glance, Nigella isn't always calm and composed. When overlooking the midnight snack challenge, she exclaimed "Harry, you're panicking me!" as one contestant rushed around the kitchen aimlessly trying to decide his next food move.
And although Harry's Brookies were the clear winner during the midnight snack immunity challenge, Nigella claimed, "I was ready to hit you with a spatula".

Fabulously flirty

The affectionate way Nigella describes every ingredient in the dish has often been described as borderline sexual, a trait that makes her even more lovable. And she definitely didn't hold back this week on the show, transferring some of her passion onto the contestants.
As Nigella approached front-runner Matt's podium, she gracefully looked him up and down and said, "I like a man in flowered tee-shirt", prompting immediate blushing from the self-confessed Nigella fan.
More of this on the show, please!
WATCH: Nigella talks cooking, Masterchef