Well that was a pleasant little surprise on last night’s episode!
I mean, yes, we are friends with Savage (closer to frenemies) via his Pearl Islands cast-mate and two-time champ Sandra Diaz-Twine, there is nothing we love more than a delightful blindside. Particularly when it involves an idol blindsiding the entire tribe and poor Lil’ Fish, sexy-pants Joe and our favourite Unholy Trinity, Abi, Ciera and Kelley surviving another round.
Let’s not beat around my bush here, Andrew Savage was ropable when he greeted the Queen of Ponderosa and us after his weigh in; shouting expletives about those damn twists that just won’t let him win and how his perfect life, complete with wife, past legal career with Playboy and copious amounts of the money, is now ruined.
Thankfully, Annelie and I knew how to help break him out of his funk and dressed up as Skinny Ryan and Lil and challenged him to a cage-fight to work through him anger.
Once he was calmed, Savage was philosophical about the whole experience; understanding the importance of not everything going his way and feeling remorse for the way he flipped off Abi after she so thoughtfully pointed out he had bettered his place since the Pearl Islands and made the jury.
While he was sad that he will no longer be able to witness Joe’s balls move, and then move a little more resulting in Keith being solid and Joe’s (and probably Probst) having tight forearms, he was thrilled to be attending all future tribals, particularly after a stomach full of our Butterscotch PecAndrew Savage Cake.
This little number is a tweaked version of a Martha Stewart cake that is so rich, decadent and firmly upper-middle class and judgemental of anything different, that we knew it was the perfect pick-me-up for Andy Pandy.
Butterscotch PecAndrew Savage Cake
Serves: 10-12. Or a ropeable bootee, a Queen of Ponderosa and two crazies dressed as Ryan Shoulders and Lil.
3 ¾ cups plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2 ½ tsp salt
285g unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups muscovado sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
20ml pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp dark rum
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature
345g butter, 115g left as a block, 230g cut into small pieces, softened
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 cup double cream
½ tsp salt
570g cream cheese, softened
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
⅔ cup muscovado sugar
85g butter, cut into pieces
150g raw caster sugar
¼ tsp coarse salt
½ cup double cream
2 cups pecan halves, toasted and chopped, plus more halves for garnish
Preheat oven to 160C. Grease three 20cm pans and line the base with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and muscovado sugar using a stand mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. This is roughly 6 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition,followed by the vanilla and the rum.
Add half of the flour mixture, removing the paddle to mix through lest you want a massive flour massacre sprayed against your walls, put it back in the stand mixture and put on low before slowly adding half of the buttermilk. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for a further 2 minutes to completely combine.
Split the batter among the three pans and bake until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool slightly before turning the cakes out and cooling completely. Emphasis on completely.
While the cakes are cooling, start on the icing by melting the block/chunk of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the muscovado sugar, cream and salt, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool. If you’re in a rush, pop it in the fridge for twenty minutes, stirring half way through, to help the process along.
Put the bowl in the stand mixer on low speed, add the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time, and beat on low until incorporated. Increase to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Don’t over-beat or the cream cheese will go soft. Add brown-butter mixture to cream cheese, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
To make the butterscotch, mix the sugars, water, butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream before returning to the heat for a further 2 minutes. Leave to cool slightly while you prep the cakes.
Trim the top off two of the cakes and both the top and bottom of third (for the middle) to create flat, absorbent surfaces.
Take the butterscotch and brush about 100ml of the butterscotch on each cut side. Leave to cool.
Remove the icing from the fridge and spread 1 cup of icing on the butterscotch side of the base layer. Place the middle, double-sauced layer on top. Spread 1 cup of icing on the middle layer, then place the final layer on top, sauce side down. Spread 1 cup icing on the top and sides and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours (or it may get melty…like the pictures because of the Cambodian heat.
Using a spatula, spread remaining icing (or less, it makes stacks and lets be honest, those offcuts aren’t going to eat themselves so may need some leftover sauce/icing to entice you), on the top and sides of cake. Press chopped pecans on sides and garnish top with halves. Refrigerate for a further 4 hours and devour.
On plates, or as per Probst’s suggestion, on Savage’s naked body. Kass, surprisingly, Annelie and I went for plate option.