Neneeish Leakes Tart

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Someone call Olivia Pope y’all, because I’ve got a scandal on my hands! Now I don’t mean to take away from my friendship with NeNe – because let’s be honest, I was balls deep on a back catalogue of leeks recipe awaiting her arrival to this patch of cyberspace – but a damned celebrity has taken issue with how I documented our catch-up.

Disrespectful and offensive. Two words that I have never had thrown my way, callously thrown in a jealous rage for showing an untouched photo of post meal euphoria? Nope. No. Hells no, not today satan. I don’t want to name names because I am mature and kind, by Mannie Bonox can go eat a bag of rotten dicks.

Restraining order or not, I called my fave smear artists and decided to exact my ultimate revenge … by doing an even better version of her recipe with a far better celebrity who is way more fun, far more entertaining and actually delightful. Even better, she doesn’t count herself as an Oscar winner for simply riding the LOTR train when it swept the pool like a loser. Let’s be honest, it should have gone to Eug and Cath’s song from A Mighty Wind.

Anyway … this isn’t about the <redacted stupid bitch that didn’t like mock-cream on her face>, it is about the absolute divine friend of mine, with the juiciest peach known to man – my girl NeNe Leakes!

I first met Neens through my dear friend Bey whilst they were filming The Fighting Temptations. While her scenes were cut from the film, she was an absolute laugh riot … and I realised that I want to live a colourful life, rather than a beige one. Because Neens is probably the most exciting person I know.

Aaaaaaaaannnnyyyway, Neens was thrilled to drop by a catch-up, make-up for my turd ex-friends slight and celebrate the fact that for a decade, she has been one of the four queens of the Real Housewives … with Lisa, and two v. obvs others. To her, having a Neneenish Leakes Tart wasn’t a second place, it was a chance to reclaim the recipe from a buzzkillington for a friend that she loves. And that is why NeNe Leakes is the greatest person to ever grace the planet ever.

 

 

As I tried to mention the first damn time I tried this recipe, I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Neneeish Leakes Tart
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
2 cups icing sugar
½ cup condensed milk
⅓ cup butter, at room temperature
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Rhiyan Carrackers

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Side, Snack

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Liz and Rhiyan spent the episode having emotional breakdowns, with Liz struggling with life in the house and Rhiyan dealing with issues left over from her childhood. That led to her struggling at the photoshoot, as did Coura and Sandra. Liz however didn’t struggle with the shoot, however walked out of the competition due to the drama inside the house.

The remaining girls arrived at panel to discover than Liz had not just left to go sleep elsewhere, instead quitting the competition. While a quit generally mean everyone gets a reprieve, Tyra and Co. were there to inform them that they had no lucky stars to count as they still planned to eliminate someone at panel.

Shanice was first up, praised firstly for her improved attitude. And her ability to ad-lib in the acting challenge. And then for her killer photo, which also featured her new attitude. Poor Sandra’s wig owned the photo, Khrystyana was universally adored … even when trying to learn to say bitch.

Rhiyan shared that she was feeling like the other girls were overtaking her, and the judges felt the photo showed it. Rio looked amazing, Liberty was beautiful, Jeana was NLF – next level fierce, obvi – Erin’s flexibility was praised, Christina looked scary-amazing, Brendi K looked amazing and Kyla looked like she was waiting to be killed but was hella determined to look gorgeous.

Coura then kicked things off by announcing how scared she was during the shoot. Law and Drew smelt that blood in the water, immediately going in and tearing the photo apart.

My girl Khrystyana snatched best photo away from Jeana and Christina, before Coura and Rhiyan found themselves in the bottom two. While Rhiyan arguably had the better photo, Coura had more potential overall, sending Rhiyan out of the competition.

Poor Rhi – she seemed to be doing really well, but seemed to never be able to recover from her hair extensions. Thankfully Rhiyan Carrackers cure all that ails you.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a moron, I didn’t realise that the water part of water crackers where highlighting that water crackers were essentially made of water. Water. I slotted that away in the back of my mind, and instead focussed on how delicious these little crackers are. Lightly spiced and perfectly fragile, they’re perfect for scoping up any ol’ dip.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhiyan Carrackers
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water

Method

Preheat oven to 225°C.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and water, and stir with the dough hook until everything is wet. Transfer to said stand mixer, and mix with the dough hook for five minutes or so, or until coming together. The dough should be soft and sticky, so either add more flour or water, bit by bit, until you get the desired consistency.

 

Split the dough in two, and set one half aside.

 

Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll the dough into a large 2-3mm thick rectangle. Cut the dough into cracker sized pieces with a sharp knife and place on a lined baking sheet. Prick the tops with a fork. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

 

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re just starting to brown around the edges. Place them on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely, which will help make them crackier. Then devour, preferably with some Ivana Hummus.

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%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Lisa Wilkinscone

Baking, Dessert, Snack

Where do I start with my dear friend Lisa Wilkinson? I mean, while her defection from the Today show came as a massive shock to you, the general public, it is a decision that we had been methodically planning for months. Nay, years! Well at least for me.

You see, while I am a close friend of the Today show given my friendships with Karl and Sylv, I felt that Lisa was being underutilised and slow opened her eyes to this fact. Then contract negotiations kicked off, then failed and a couple of phones calls later, she was heading to primetime on Ten … and we’d be working together in no time after she secures me a spot on one of their reality shows.

That, for both of us, is the end goal – headlining a show together. And wouldn’t it be stunning.

Lis and I first connected in the ‘80s whilst working under the same glossy umbrella before she ultimately succeeded me as the editor of Cleo when I sensationally quit to start a male version He-ho, which was going to be comprised solely of centrefolds. While it tragically never took off, Lisa admired my spirit and we became the fastest of friends.

Given she has been busy relaxing before kicking off her new job, we haven’t seen each other in the last few months. It was truly wonderful to take some time out together to reconnect, decompress and plot the quickest way she can get me from an island to co-hosting something with her.

I feel like I’m going to say too much, so let’s just say my Lisa Wilkinscone are the perfect cure to starvation.

 

 

Are they fancy? No. Are they difficult? Again, no. Are they delicious? Fuck yes. Slather them in butter and some Strawberry Plaza Jam … or Jams Mansfield, and you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisa Wilkinscone
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cups milk
Strawberry Plaza Jam or Jams Mansfield and whipped cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and using a butter knife, cut across the bowl until just combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, making sure not to over-work the dough.

Flatten the dough until it is roughly 2cm thick and cut into small, cookie-sized discs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and puffed. Transfer to a cooling rack for ten minutes before devouring slathered in butter, jam and cream.

 

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James Van Detray Bake

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Main, Poultry

After starting things off with the dreamy Josh Jackson, followed up with the liberated Katie Holmes and my dear old friend Mary Beth Peil, we’ve arrived at the owner of the Creek. Yep – today is all about Dawth-son, my boy JVDB.

As you know – since this isn’t his first time on my patch of cyber-space – JVDB and I were lovers and then the best of friends. And most importantly, he is the reason I am married. Well technically it is thanks to the words of Fauxy on the series finale of Dawson’s Creek … but he made me watch it and as such, gets the points.

Given we’ve only recently caught up on the record – we have a monthly date and it is seminal to my happiness … this time, my meaning of seminal flies – I was surprised that he was able to make the trip down under. But I guess, how could you say no to honouring the 20th anniversary of the greatest role of your career?

JVDB has been hella busy of late, so was thrilled to be able to take some time to honour his work, while enjoying some R&R. Plus – I promised to cook up his second favourite food, my James Van Detray Bake.

 

 

Inspired by Nigella’s tray bake in Nigellissima, this little number – and I hate to say it – is even better than the OG. I mean, how do you go wrong with the addition of chilli and garlic?

Enjoy!

 

 

James Van Detray Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 washed potatoes, cut into chunks
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
6 sprigs of rosemary
6 few sprigs of thyme
small handful of sage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tbsp chilli flakes
10 chicken thighs, bone in
8 Italian sausages
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Chuck the potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon juice and zest and chilli in a large baking dish and toss together. Add the thighs and sausages, pushing them into holes, burying some and leaving others all exposed.

Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil, season generously and transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes to avoid burning the meat.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven and allow to stand for about ten minutes before serving. And in turn, devouring.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Joshua Flapjackson

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Kicking off my Capeside celebrations is a huge honour that required a big name, and while Mich is arguably the biggest star of the bunch and the show was literally named after JVDB’s character, I couldn’t go past bequeathing said honour to my oldest friend Josh Jackson.

As you should probably guess, I first met Josh in the early ‘90s while working together on The Mighty Ducks. As a champion figure skater slash coach – I trained Tonya Harding, have I mentioned that – and ameteur street fighter, Disney hired me to train the cast to skate and effectively smoosh people into the glass during hockey.

While Josh wasn’t violent enough for my tastes, he was an expert skater and had the acting chops of a young Daniel Day Lewis. So you know what that means … I took him firmly under my duck wing and vowed to make him a star.

Between headlining a franchise, starring opposite soon-to-be Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf in Scream 2 and playing me in Cruel Intentions, I think I succeeded. And that is without even bringing Dawson’s into the equation.

Given how busy Josh has been with The Affair of late, we haven’t been able to see much of each other. Which is obviously equally heartbreaking for both of us. As such, it was such a delight to spend time with my bestest of best friends again and celebrate one of his sexiest characters – emphasis on one of – Pacey Witter. I mean, be still my throbbing …

We laughed, we cried, we reminisced and most importantly, devoured an entire batch of his favourite treat – my Joshua Flapjackson.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and a little bit earthy, this bars are the perfect pick-me-up snack when you’re struggling your way through life. I mean for you, obvi, I’m blessed with a wonderful life on the A-list.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joshua Flapjackson
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
150g butter
175g golden syrup
150g muscovado sugar
350g quick cooking oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch nutmeg

Method
Preheat oven to 150C.

Combine the butter, golden syrup and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well combined.

Place the oats in a large bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Fold through the buttery syrup until everything is sopping. Transfer to a lined square baking dish, packing it in nice and tightly – like Josh in my fantasies – and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Then you can devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

After such a rushed week celebrating my first ever Golden Globe Gold and running the odds and/or reconnecting with Rach, Az, Nay, Ids and Nat, I knew I needed a Globes legend to finish off the party. And there is no one more legendary than Cecil B. DeMille.

I mean, he has a dang award named after him – he owns the Golden Globes!

I first met Cec while working in the silent movies together and we became the fastest of friends, let me tell you old sport. Given people didn’t have to hear my horrific voice, it was the most successful my career has ever been though alas, under the pseudonym Monroe Salisbury … before I faked my death in the ‘30s.

While I didn’t enjoy much success after the talkies kicked in – leading to my stint in the sanitarium before faking my death – Cec and I remained the best of friends and me, his most frequent silent collaborator. Ironically – or maybe not, again, Alanis ruined the word for me – I was the one to inspire The Greatest Show on Earth which I decided had itself inspired The Greatest Showman.

I jumped in the delorean once again and decided to run the odds solo to wrap up my Globes coverage. Rounding out my predictions, I can’t go past Coco snagging Best Animated Feature though Loving Vincent may sneak in as the HFPA are wont to feel superior to the other industry bodies. Alexandre Desplat will take out Best Score for The Shape of Water, with it also snagging Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

Despite the emotion that surrounds visiting with a dear friend in the past, it was such a treat to reconnect and help him celebrate winning the first ever Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1952 Globes. And I mean, how can you be sad when there are Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille around.

 

 

Light, flaky pastry and the creamy delicate custard perfectly support the tart raspberries, leaving you with the perfect dessert to honour the start of awards season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp custard powder
1 cup milk
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ sheets puff pastry, thawed
⅔ cup thickened cream
250g fresh berries, I went with blueberries and raspberries because I’m wild
2 tbsp raspberry coulis

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the custard powder and a quarter of the milk in a saucepan until well combined. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and remaining milk and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, cover with a piece of cling directly touching the surface and chill for a couple of hours for an hour or so.

While the custard is gettin’ chill, place the pastry on a lined a baking sheet and top with a second piece of baking paper and a second baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the trays over and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

When you’re almost ready to start assembling, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form and fold it through the custard mixture.

Cut the pastry in half using a serrated knife and place one piece on a platter. Spread with half the custard cream and half the berries. Top with another sheet of pastry, the remaining berries and cream and top with the last piece of pastry. Drizzle with the coulis and devour immediately.

 

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Pastéis de Natalie Wood

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

It has been a busy start to the year catching up with some of my nearest and dearest Golden Globe winners slash friends, that I started to get all sentimental. While my dates with Rach, Az and Nay all carried a certain emotional gravitas, reconnecting with the man that saved my life in the form of Ids really started to make me feel misty. And made me think of one friend I always wish I had been able to save – the divine Natalie Wood.

As you know, Annelie and I were dear friends with the Wagner-Woods and their extended friend group. What you don’t know, is that I was meant to be on the boat with her, Bobby Wags and my ex-lover Christopher Walken that night until Chris and I had a fight when I tried to open up our relationship, and I refused to get on the boat.

“Please Ben! We’ll have such a wonderful time, my love,” Nat asked in her gentle way.

“If Chris doesn’t want me to see any more semen, I won’t be seeing anymore Sea Men,” I shrieked.

That was the last thing I ever said to Natalie Wood.

I whipped out the time machine and charted a course for the summer of ‘80 to spend time with my dearly departed friend, far enough away from her death to not try and interfere.

Since I obviously couldn’t let slip any future details, lest I set off a butterfly effect, I ran the remaining film odds while in the delorean. Obviously I am rooting for Allison Janney and Margot Robbie to take out a one-two punch for I, Tonya, though I firmly think they will split Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress in a Comedy with the Lady Bird crew of Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. Which way that splits I’m not sure, but I have a good feeling about my fellow Gold Coaster’s chances. For Drama Frances McDormand or Sally Hawkins will win, though I’d far prefer a tie while Best Comedy or Musical will go to Get Out, unless Greta Gerwig doesn’t win Best Screenplay, in which case it will be Lady Bird.

With no distractions remaining – outside of her impending death – we were free to have a positively delightful date, toasting her then recent Globes win. It was also such a treat to have a less explicit final interaction while devouring my Pastéis de Natalie Wood.

 

 

Creamy, rich and wholly delicious, these little babies are the perfect treat for catching-up with friends, gambling and gives you enough energy for the rigors of time travel.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastéis de Natalie Wood
Makes: 24.

Ingredients
500ml milk
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
485g raw caster sugar
6 egg yolks
3 sheets puff pastry, for no other reason than being lazy and time travel already taking up enough time as it is

Method
Combine the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat and allowing the quill to steep for a few minutes. Discard the quill and whisk in the vanilla extract.

Place the flour in a small bowl and whisk in about a quarter of the liquid to form a thin roux. Return to the pan with the remaining milk and bring to a simmer once again and whisk the roux back in for a couple of minutes, or until thickening. Turn off the burner, but leave the pan over the heat.

Meanwhile combine the sugar in a pan with 200ml of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the syrup into the milk mixture until you’ve got a thick white liquid. Giggity.

Place the yolks in a large bowl and then slowly add the thick white liquid while constantly stirring until it is well combined. Cover with cling touching the surface and set aside while you work on the pastry.

Heat the oven to 230°C.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into the holes of 2, 12-hole muffin pans, trimming the edges to form neat little cases. Pour the custard into each shell, stopping about 1cm from the top and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and scorched in places.

Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you can stop yourself from devouring them instantly, that is.

 

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Estellemon Barris

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

With our festivus meatloaf out of the way thanks to the divine Jules-Lou – who we yada yada yad Jase, Heids, Barns, Liz, Wayne, Michael, Pat and John – it is finally time to move on to the sweet part of festivus. The irony being the first sweet part comes in the form of my dear friend Estelle Harris.

I mean, Estelle Harris is an absolute delight … but there isn’t much delightful about Mrs. Costanza.

I didn’t meet Stelly until she joined the cast of Seinfeld, she pulled me in to her warm embrace instantly and became yet another Hollywood mother figure.

While she didn’t come to acting until quite late in life, I vowed to make her a star. First came Toy Story 2 and by the time she got the egregiously Emmy-snubbed The Suite Life with Zack and Cody, I believe she had made it.

Given how busy she has been recording Toy Story 4, we haven’t seen much of each other this year. It was such a treat to sit back, reconnect and celebrate the season with a big old batch of my Estellemon Barris.

 

 

Given how sour the Costanzas can be and how sweet Estelle is, I knew that this dish would be the perfect bridge for the two. Filled with enough lemon to turn your lips inside out, yet enough sugar to turn a toddler crazy. In a good way.

Enjoy!

 

 

Estellemon Barris
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
2 ⅓ cups plain flour
2 ½ cup raw caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
225g butter, cut into small cubes
½ tsp baking powder
juice and zest of 2 lemons
6 eggs
icing sugar, for dustin’

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine 2 cups of flour, ½ cup of sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and press into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles wet send. Press into a lined baking dish and bake until set and just starting to brown, aka about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While the base is cooling, combine the remaining flour and sugar in a large bowl with the baking powder and lemon zest. Whisk in the eggs and juice and mix until just combined. Pour over the base and return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to serve – and who isn’t – dust with icing sugar and cut into squares. Which you’ll then devour.

 

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Tyson Apostollen

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Sweets

While Yul most definitely has the most festive name in Survivor history, my dear friend slash Survivor three-peat Tyson is the most festive person to play the game.

I mean, sure, he had an epic three season arc going from cocky douche, to bumbling babe to dominant champion, but he also had a three season ascension in zaddiness which was decidedly festive.

Yes, I only learnt the word zaddie last Thursday.

From his nude Tocantins tribal twink look, to his animalistic Samoan swimmers to his lovely bunch of Caramoan coconuts, Tyson made me feel things that lay dormant inside for year.

Oh what a lovely ma’ fuckin’ bunch of coconuts.

I first met Tys back in the mid-00s while researching Utah as part of my work writing the little known musical The Book Of Mormon, the hit TV show Big Love AND getting into the cycling world as part of an elaborate scheme to bring down Lance Armstrong. My third least favourite Lance.

While I’m not normally keen on the site of male cyclists in lycra – mainly because they only sit around cafes leaving their ball-sweat on the chairs … which in retrospect, should be my jam – I had a soft spot for Tyson and we fell into a passionate love affair.

Like most of my passionate love affairs, ours fizzled out quite quickly – maybe it would have been different if he listed me as his loved one in Tocantins – we remained close friends. Mainly because he was such a babe and it is super hard for me to find friends that have as much sass as I do, so I have to hold on to them when I find them.

But anyway, we celebrated a Christmas together in Utah during our brief romance and he fell in love with my sweet dough. I mean, all freaking Christmas, his face was buried in it, ravenous. But I guess, who can pass up a Tyson Apostollen.

 

 

Inspired by culinary queen Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar stollen, this baby is delicious enough to convert even the most staunchest of anti-marzipan-ers. Fruity and dense with pockets of gooey sweetness, did I just describe myself. Who knows!? Eat up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyson Apostollen
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7g active dry yeast
5 ½ cup flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ cup warm water
145g butter, cubed, plus extra 115g melted for coating
1 cup raisins
¾ cup craisins
½ cup currants
¼ cup candied lemon
3 tbsp bourbon
250g marzipan, broken into chunks
oil, for brushing
icing sugar, to coat

Method
Whisk the egg yolk, sugar, glucose, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl until fluffy and thick, or about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the warm water and stir by hand with the dough hook for a minute or so. And by that, holding the dough hook like a wooden spoon. You get it? Anyway, add the yolk mixer, pop the hook in the mixer and knead on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and lump free. Add the cubed butter, piece by piece, allowing the dough to come together after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add in the mixed fruit, kneading for an additional minute or until combined. Brush a clean large bowl with a flavourless oil, transfer the dough to said bowl, cover with some cling and leave to prove for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Punch back the dough and dot with the marzipan before lightly knead throughout. You could also split the dough in two, roll them out, smear with marzipan and roll up, but I find dotting it throughout haphazardly makes it more cray, like Tys. If you do dot, then split it into two and transfer to a lined baking sheet, shaping like a turkish-bread-esque loaf.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once cool, brush with the melted butter and press into the icing sugar to seal. Dis is both good – dis real good – and fresh.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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