It was truly sad to see Ciera idoled out of Survivor: Second Chances. Despite living very different lives (us being super famous and high profile, Ciera never making the final three and therefore being irrelevant), we have always wanted her in our inner circle because, despite her failures, she is a total badass.
You see, we have all disappointed Ciera’s mother/Survivor alumnus Laura Morett through our various types of bad-assery. Ciera made one of the ballsiest moves in Survivor history voting Laura out. Naturally, Laura was pissed but had plenty of admiration for her daughter’s ambitious gameplay.
Rather than voting Laura out, I have never let her in to our highly sought-after inner circle. Recently, Laura attempted to persuade canine political expert and Hilary Clinton advisor Nigella Martha Rodham Hailes (also known as our resident Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) into managing her campaign for Oregon House District 20. Sadly Nigella was busy preparing for Battletoads 2, so it wasn’t to be. Obviously, my constant smack talk about Laura after last year’s amaretti scandal may have influenced this. What kind of monster restricts people to two cookies at a time?
I digress. It is Ciera we are here to comfort on her arrival to Ponderosa. What will provide her some much-needed comfort to ponderova (get it?) where it all went so wrong?
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¾ cup plain flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup salted butter
¾ cup sliced almonds
Pastry cream filling
1¼ cups milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
In a small saucepan, combine milk and honey and gently heat until just warm. Pour into the bowl of the stand mixer with dough hook attached, add yeast and allow to bloom.
Once yeast has bloomed, add flour, eggs, salt, sugar and butter. Knead with dough attachment until elastic. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Once proved, butter and line a medium size springform pan. Gently deflate the dough and then add to springform, stretching dough to fill the base of the pan. Allow to rise again for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 180C.
While dough is proving for the second time, make the almond topping. In a small saucepan, combine honey, butter and brown sugar and stir until combined. Add almonds and pour over risen brioche dough.
Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes or until top springs back and almonds are golden. Leave to cool while you make the pastry cream.
For pastry cream, combine sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Sift in the plain flour and corn flour and gently whisk until mixture is a smooth paste.
In a saucepan, combine milk and vanilla until simmering. Remove from the heat and gently add into the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly to temper eggs.
Once all combined, pour back into saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick.
Once pastry cream is complete, gently split cake with a serrated knife. Place base back in springform tin, top with pastry cream and then with top of cake. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.