La Grande Damarretto Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.

Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’s Catwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.

Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.

After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.

Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.

The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.

Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.

Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.

Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.

The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.

As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.

The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.

Enjoy!

La Grande Damarretto Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened 
4 eggs, at room temperature
125g raw caster sugar
100g almond meal
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’
¼ cup amaretto liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.

Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning. 


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Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after farewelling the last remaining other target in Swati, Tori was feeling very nervous on Ika and as such, beasted her way through the immunity challenge to guarantee her safety. Oh but not until after all of the idols were activated as Drea found Ika’s and Mike begrudgingly said his phrase. Knowing her vote was critical, Lydia didn’t bother to risk hers on her journey up the mountain with Rocksroy. Which was the right move, given she, Hai and Mike held all the power as Vati went back to tribal council and Daniel was booted from the game. Though not before Chanelle threw a random vote at Mike, making her all the more untrustworthy heading into the merge. Oh and Omar has no vote and Hai, Lindsay and Drea got an amulet advantage, in addition to the trio of idols activated last week.

Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.

After tribal council, the Vati tribe were gagged to have pulled off the Daniel blindside, with Chanelle particularly thrilled to have bested Daniel in their feud. Though sadly for her, she threw out a vote against Mike to protect herself against any Shot in the Darks being played and thought he would be cool with it. Which he is NOT. Despite them hugging it out. Oh and while Hai would take a bullet for Lydia and Mike, Chanelle, not so much. So yeah Chanelle, you in danger girl. Meanwhile over at Ika Rocksroy was busy doing work around camp and picking fruits, while Tori tailed him like a hawk to try and find out what happened on the summit. Which annoyed the hell out of him as she wouldn’t accept his answers. Oh and as they fought, Drea and Romeo hid behind the bushes eavesdropping, agreeing that Tori is sketchy and not to be trusted. In the slightest.

We got to get a little whisper sesh from Jeff who explained that the merge twist would play out the same as last season, except for the fact they will know that the person going to exile will have a massive power and the victors are allowed to opt to go to exile instead of one of the sit outs. To further that sense of deja vu, the challenge was the same as last year too, where they will dig out a rock and then push it through obstacles to release a pair of keys and climb a wall before solving a puzzle. And the victors would get a massive Applebees feast, alongside a merge buff and immunity from the upcoming tribal council. Well, unless the exilee turns back time, that is. Lindsay and Rocksroy ultimately ended up pulling the grey rocks and landing on the sit out bench. 

Jonathan, Tori, Maryanne, Hai and Lydia formed the orange team, while Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar and Romero were on blue. And almost immediately, Jonathan took the lead for the orange tribe, coaching them through building a ramp and getting a massive lead as they quickly released their first key. While the blue team tried to close the gap, there is no denying this was team orange’s to lose as the group literally climbed Jonathan to get up the wall before he effortlessly pulled himself up. As Rocksroy and Lindsay rightly marvelled at his prowess. Maryanne and Lydia looked very zen as they calmly sorted their puzzle pieces while Drea held up blue as she struggled to climb the ball and ugh, it was tough to watch. Thankfully Mike and Romeo literally put their bodies on the line and they worked together to get up the ball and yeah, it was heartwarming.

Obviously the headstart proved insurmountable for the blue team as the orange group took out victory and the win, which likely means one of the five will be going home tonight giving this immunity means nothing. The group then cursed Lindsay, selecting her to join them on reward while sending Rocksroy to exile for two days. With only the game changing twist which will make him immune, for comfort.

The victors were giddy as they arrived at their island Applebees, smashing their burgs and delighting in the fact they had officially made the merge. Which is a lie they are tragically unaware of, while Jonathan admitted that he had considered opting to go to Exile which would have kept everyone that won safe. But before we could think about what could have been, Tori talked a bunch of shit about Rocksroy and their OG tribe and then aired all their dirty laundry. Which may endear her to them, or piss everyone off.

Meanwhile the losers ventured to the eventual merge camp where they were thrilled to smash the pity rice they received from Jeff before Drea rightly clocked the merge twist, which is honestly, so damn iconic. Drea then caught up with Mike and suggested that maybe since they both have idols, they should work together and as such, combine their individual alliances to take control. Leaving Chanelle and Tori well and truly on the outs in the process. 

We checked in with Rocksroy as he arrived at his desolate island where as predicted by Tori, he was absolutely thrilled to set up camp, whipping up a fire and shelter. And well, he was loving to have all this alone time to just live his best life and see all the vibrant colour the world has to offer (because he has a degenerative eye disease). Oh and he found the hourglass and hammer, but there were no instructions so he just moved them into his shelter.

The winners and losers reconnected at camp with Omar ready to befriend anyone and everyone to keep himself safe at the first tribal council. Lindsay meanwhile wanted to check in with Hai and Drea to discuss their amulet advantages and see whether they will stick together. And while they all said they would, Hai was nervous the women would eventually turn on him. Mike and Maryanne caught up, assuring each other they will work together before the iconic Maryanne started bonding with Romeo and assured him that the little people need to stick together. Oh and then she bonded with Tori too and while she looks well connected, I’m worried it will come back to bite her.

Mike and Jonathan meanwhile watched the sunset together on the beach, bonding over being gentle giants and agreeing to look after each other and ugh, I love them. And more importantly, how much they love each other.

The next day the tribe went hunting for food, collecting crabs and before Jonathan snatched an octopus, then almost grabbed a shark and well, it was iconic. While he is clearly a threat, Hai was still keen to work with him and use him as a meatshield. With everyone bonding around camp, Hai spoke about how he met his boyfriend which led to Romeo pulling him aside and opening up about being gay and wanting to be as open and honest as he is and ugh, I love them. Hai encouraged him to share his story and love himself as Romeo spoke about his fear of people not loving him or worse, needing to silence himself to be accepted. And ugh, once again, I’m crying.

Omar soon joined the boys and talk returned to the game, with Hai telling them both that Chanelle can not be trusted. Which confirmed to Omar that he doesn’t have a vote. And well, she doesn’t care enough for him to let him know he doesn’t have a vote and as such, he was ready for her to go too.

The next day Omar charmed Mike by telling him that he is saving himself for marriage and well, he is ready to marry his partner ASAP. Lydia and Maryanne bonded over being the younguns with the old lady gang names, while Hai officially locked in his alliance with Jonathan. They then pulled in Lydia, Omar, Drea, Mike, Lindsay and Rocksroy, and just like that, they had a majority. Oh and Chanelle or Tori are their number one targets, with Maryanne identified as the next to go from Taku. Though only because Jonathan didn’t want his new allies to think he wasn’t willing to offer someone up.

Oh and then Chanelle walked up to try and find some allies, with them all pretending they have no plans to take her out. Which made Chanelle more and more nervous as they assured her they will not take her out. As Hai, Jonathan, Drea and Omar caught up to further solidify their bond, Omar admitted that he may not have a vote at the upcoming tribal council. Though after confirming they are tight, Drea shared that she has an extra vote and would be willing to give it to him, should they need it.

We ventured back to Exile Island where Jeff arrived to announce the twist to Rocksroy, who was honestly buzzing with joy to be left on his lonesome for a couple of days. Probst then explained the twist to him and while he was nervous about potentially pissing a bunch of people off, he obviously then smashed the hourglass and earnt himself immunity. And guaranteed his place in the merge. And most importantly, left Tori in jeopardy.

The castaways joined Jeff for the first individual immunity of the season where they were gagged to learn about Rocksroy’s power and the fact that the winner’s of the last challenge are now at risk and would be competing in the immunity challenge to guarantee their safety. Which obviously delighted Chanelle, Drea, Omar, Mike and Romeo. Tori on the other hand was irate and told Rocksroy that she was pissed he took away her safety after she gifted him an advantage. Which only made everyone even more weary of her.

But back to the challenge, where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and walk back and forth along a lane, spell out immunity using wooden blocks. With the first person to finish guaranteeing their place in the merge and a spot on the jury at the minimum. Fuelled by her simmering rage for Rocks, Tori got out to an early lead in the challenge alongside Jonathan, until Hai picked up the pace and took out the lead. Until he dropped and handed the lead back to the duo. Then Jonathan dropped, giving Tori plenty of time to calmly walk the course and jag immunity. Despite a late breaking pursuit from Lindsay. And then Maryanne.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tori on taking out immunity and assured Rocksroy there are no hard feelings. Before everyone quickly split into factions to come up with a plan, with Jonathan assuring Rocksroy he already has an alliance and has nothing to worry about. After Romeo and Tori bitched about the meatheads in the game, Romeo led the charge to get rid of Jonathan. While Maryanne, Hai and Drea weren’t overly keen, Maryanne also just didn’t want to lose her place in the game. Lydia tried to pitch Jonathan to Lindsay and Chanelle, which made go into protection mode and suggested Maryanne would be a better option because she is super strategic.

Chanelle meanwhile saw through her plan to protect herself and Jonathan, which made her more focused on rallying the troops to keep the vote on Jonathan. While Omar desperately worked to protect Jonathan, which gave him a crack as Lydia admitted that she isn’t sure about this new majority alliance. And as such, he went person to person to turn the tribe against her instead. Which obviously pissed off Hai.

At tribal council Hai admitted that this vote is very defining to their season, particularly since the game has been so fluid thus far. Romeo meanwhile spoke about trusting his gut and reading the cues, with Drea countering that sometimes people are just too nervous to make a move even if they want to. While Hai wanted to take this moment to take control of the game. Lydia once again spoke about how playing Survivor has helped her accept all parts of herself. Jonathan wanted to be able to say that he did all that he could do in the game when it was over, while Omar tried to be chill despite knowing people would come for him eventually. While Rocksroy spoke about his nerves over missing two days of the game.

Maryanne said that she planned to make the decision that will help protect her long term, which Drea said is not the right way to approach the game. Maryanne then tried to get her to agree they are on the same page, which Drea, again, iconically refused to agree. Maryanne spoke about being nervous about how charming and chatty she is while Hai spoke about everyone having a different perception of the game. Oh and then a beetle landed on Rocksroy, which is important, if you ask me.

With that the tribe voted, as Lindsay, Jonathan and Maryanne all received a few votes before the rest piled up on Lydia and sent her from the game. Just missing the jury, tragically. Despite the brutal way she went out – the twist, again, is not great – Lydia was still super calm and zen, happy to have been given the opportunity to play the game. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it sucks to go out in such an unfair twist, it does put her in the epic company of Sydney and she can always use it to justify needing a second go at the game. With that, he laughed and cried before smashing some Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

I know, I know – red velvet is just chocolate, but the elegant drama they bring to the looks department always make me excited to eat them. Delicate and fluffy, these babies are the ultimate way to sweeten the bitter after-taste of getting the boot. Or a rough day, TBH.

Enjoy!

Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
150g raw caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100ml buttermilk
50ml vegetable oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp red gel food colouring
100g butter, softened
225g icing sugar
100g cream cheese, softened

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and pop the unsalted butter and raw caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry until just combined, before mixing through the food colouring. Again, until just combined but also a consistent colour.

Divide the batter amongst the cupcake cases and pop in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are chillin’, beat the butter and icing sugar on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so, or until just combined. But for realsies, because the longer you beat cream cheese, the softer it gets.

Once the cakes are cool, piping the icing on top (or dollop with a spoon and hope for the best) before devouring. 


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Dejate Skye Loaf

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls bombed Snatch Game, putting on the most awkward version the show had ever seen. While I would argue Angie’s version of Tammie Brown was delightful and Camden’s smutty Skakespeare had its positives, DeJa was the only queen that truly managed to shine. As such, everyone but DeJa had to lip sync for their lives in a lip sync lalaparuza smackdown. One by one, Daya Betty, Willow and Jorgeous managed to save themselves before Camden defeated Bosco and Angeria bested Jasmine. In the final round it came down to Bosco and Jasmine with Bosco getting a song that played into her strengths, slaying the performance and saving herself as one of the lip-sync assassins, Jasmine, was finally felled.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to still have a place in the competition but were emotionally exhausted after everything they went through after disappointing Ru and Detective Visage. And Bosco more specifically was exhausted after having to rub off Jasmine’s extensive mirror message, which is very on brand for the chatty queen, TBH. While Daya was still enraged by Jasmine. This time because she was rooting for her friends, which did not include Daya. Surprisingly, since she is a delight and was always kind to her sister with such lines as, I want to hit her head on the sidewalk. 

Before Daya could have a full meltdown, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’d be starring in the romantic musical Moulin Ru! Which obviously had Camden excited, given that is 100% what she does. The dolls would star as Saltine the fading showgirl, Mama Z the bearded queen owner of the club, the Green Fairy aka Kylie Minogue as an absinthe trip and the four Moulin Ru girls, Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Oh and they’d once again have to fight for their parts amongst themselves, rather than anyone assigning roles.

After Ru departed, Bosco was confident in her abilities, before Daya snatched Uniqueness without any battles. DeJa took the role of Nerve, Willow went for the Green Fairy while Angeria and Jorgeous fought over Talent with Angie backing down and taking Charisma instead. Saltine then came down to a battle between Bosco and Lady Camden, with them both digging their heels in until Bosco started reminding Camden that she has the skills to pull off Mama Z as well, while she does not. After DeJa suggested they were just wasting everyone’s time, Camden suggested flipping a coin before Bosco suggested the queens vote which they ultimately went with leading to Bosco getting the part. After a torn Willow was forced to break the tie.

Leading to Camden threatening Bosco that she has to turn it out, otherwise she will be pissed. And damn, both of the girls are fired up!

Things were very tense after the battle, with Jorgeous telling everyone that they need to get rid of the bad feelings because taking that energy into the rehearsal will ruin things for all of them. Bosco and Camden each went into their corners to sulk, with Bosco getting eaten up by guilt before Angeria joined Camden and encouraged her that she also didn’t get a part she wanted. Which did nothing more than fire Camden all the way up to slay Mama Z, as she realised that she really could turn any damn role.

The dolls headed to the mainstage where they learnt Leslie Jordan was their extra special director and argh, he is so cute and I love him! After regaling them with tales of her time as drag queen Baby Wipes in a time before even Ru had started drag, Bosco stayed on stage where she nailed rehearsal as Camden looked on angrily while also trying to stifle a smile. Angeria meanwhile was on struggle street but got there in the end. Willow was starting to regret her choice when she realised how quick her moves were going to become while Jorgeous and Leslie compared height before she slayed the moves. While Daya, obviously, questioned Joregous’ skills. At dancing. Because she hasn’t proven to be one of the best all season.

Oh and then Camden slayed from start to finish. 

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to beat their mugs while Angeria assured us that she had well and truly rehearsed and was ready to slay. Camden meanwhile was opening up to DeJa about how embarrassed she is over how tense she let things get the day before, though given she was feeling her new role pretty hard, that is a very easy feeling to have. Daya opened up about being a theatre queen, while Jorgeous read her (and musicals in general) for filth for being boring, OTT and too happy rather than ratchet like she likes. Angeria asked Bosco if she is nervous, with her opening up about learning to dance through her grandma who is a former (almost) rockette. Jorgeous admitted that she learnt how to dance from watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which Daya had never heard about. While DeJa admitted she also had never taken a dance lesson in her life, with Jorgeous joking that it showed.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by the iconic, Academy Award nominated musician-actress Andra Day for the premiere of Moulin Ru! Angeria, Daya, DeJa and Jorgeous started the show strong, though I was honestly more focused on the sexy dancers in corsets with exposed nips. Camden then joined them and bought all the fire; she was camp, giving perfect lines and was a little demented. On the flipside, while Bosco started super strong, Leslie Jordan arrived to play the Duke and well, then my eyes were pulled in only his direction. Oh and Willow stole the show as the green fairy.

On the Mirror Mirror runway Camden was a perfect star nymph, Bosco was an intergalactic, spiky sex-pot tin wo-man. Willow was a ‘70s rock goddess, Angeria was a stunning, shimmering blue mosaic, Daya looked like Lady Kiss – in a good way – while DeJa was a nude-illusion, shimmering, caged Queen as Jorgeous was a shimmering ribcage and looked a dream.

Camden received universal praise for elevating the MC role and totally stealing the show, while her outfit was great, Ross didn’t love the bottom. Bosco meanwhile was read for not taking the roll as far as it needed to go while Michelle just wanted Bosco to show diversity on the runway, despite looking perfect. Willow received universal praise for everything she served this week while Angie was beloved for doing a lot with a small part. Oh and she looked perfect on the runway. Daya was praised for combining performance and energy, and for slaying the runway while the judges felt DeJa started slow, she came to life in the rap. And well her look didn’t meet the criteria. Jorgeous meanwhile was read for losing energy throughout the performance though they loved her runway.

Ru then got shady and asked everyone who should go home this week with Camden casting her vote for Bosco for being the weakest in the rusical, while Bosco suggested Jorgeous should go home for her track record. Before everyone else voted for Bosco to go home. Particularly because she fought so hard for the role and didn’t deliver. Oh and Jorgeous then doubled down and reminded Ru that Bosco was in the bottom three times in a single episode, so maybe they should take that into account too.

Backstage Bosco opened up about being shocked to be in the bottom, though didn’t have any issue with her sisters saying she should have gone home. Before she ran off to prep the lip sync, Angeria and Daya just told her they only said her because of the critiques, while Joregous reiterated she voted for her for how she treated Camden to get the role. She then pointed out that her runway was actually on task, which is what Jorgeous identified as the reason that she too would be lip syncing. Though DeJa felt she could also be there. 

Angeria meanwhile worried she would somehow land in the bottom – um, no – while the dolls congratulated Camden on a job, very well done! Though Angeria felt Daya could snatch victory for making the most out of such a small role. While Willow was thrilled to once again be in the top, but knew she wouldn’t be taking out the win. Camden then opened up about the fight with only Daya telling her she was a little bratty, which, lol girl. She was interrupted by a video from her mother who was equal parts creative and sweet, which gave Camden that much needed boost for the rest of the season.

The nervous girls split up to get prepped for the lip sync, leaving the tops to kiki. With Camden wanting them to come up with a strategy for not making things awkward again when assigning roles. Jorgeous asked everyone who they felt was their biggest competition, with DeJa scared of Angeria, Jorgeous and Angeria were nervous about competing against Willow, while Camden was threatened by Bosco – which was reciprocated – though Camden was also nervous about Jorgeous. Distracting from the potential rage from Daya for not being viewed as a threat, Andra Day dropped by to chat with the girls and ugh, she is just so damn cool.

Ultimately Daya and Willow were sent to safety before Camden was handed her second win of the season. Much to her absolute delight. Angeria too was deemed safe before DeJa’s performance saved her from the bottom, leaving Bosco and Jorgeous to battle it out. To my dear Whitney Houston’s Heartbreak Hotel, no less! While Bosco had all of the fire and turned it out, Jorgeous knew she was fighting an uphill battle and well, she scaled said hill and back. Gagging her sisters as she eliminated Bosco from the competition. Well, until she unwrapped her chocolate bar and we finally, FINALLY, struck gold as everyone celebrated her second chance. While she broke down with joy.

Backstage Bosco was thrilled to have been saved by a candybar, particularly since she truly believes she deserves to be here. While she was thrilled, DeJa was annoyed that none of them have a shot at immunity while Jorgeous was just annoyed that there are still so many girls to send home. Bosco assured everyone that she holds no ill will against them for suggesting she should go home, before apologising to Lady Camden for the drama between them. With Camden thankfully copping to her part too and once again, all was harmonious.

The next day Daya continued to be horned up while Angeria praised Jorgeous as the lip sync assassin of the season which for some reason, enraged DeJa, who felt she was the one true assassin. But before we could get answers to who would truly be the best, Ru arrived with Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills for a mini-challenge where they would each paint Ru’s face. On a brick wall. Not her mug. Oh and Dolly’s, with DeJa, Gorgeous and Angeria together painting Ru, while Willow, Daya, Camden and Bosco would paint Dolly. And well, they benefited from having an extra person because theirs was drastically better. While Ru was gagged by how busted the girls made her look.

Before departing, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge, the dolls would be roasting the one and only Bossy Rossy. And for winning the mini-challenge, Bosco, Willow, Daya and Camden would decide the order. Which did nothing to ease Jorgeous’ nerves. Trying to make up for last week, Bosco asked the losers where they would like to perform, wanting everyone to do their best. After taking their requests, the victors pulled themselves aside to decide the order with Bosco offering to go first, letting Joergeous have second like she wants with Willow taking third, knowing she would look better after Jorgeous. They then put Angeria in fourth, Daya fifth before Camden debated about risking it and going last. Particularly since DeJa didn’t want that place. Ultimately, she decided to risk it for said biscuit, which made everyone very happy. While Bosco was just glad no one could complain.

The dolls split up to work on their roasts with everyone feeling particularly terrified except for Bosco, who was quietly righting away. Willow threw out some hilariously bad jokes, Daya was charming – gay gasp – as she wrote nothing while DeJa reminded them all to go in hard, then wrote terrible jokes while cracking herself up.

Bosco was first up to rehearse with Dulce Sloan and Michelle with her struggling through with both of them reminding her to go hard and come out guns blazing. Though I hope it is all a massive fake-out and she slays. Willow was too rambling for their liking while Angeria was charming as hell despite the girls not loving all of her jokes. Daya’s fears were allayed as the judges chuckled at the few jokes she had written while DeJa’s jokes were not landing with anyone but herself. Oh and then Camden proved it was the right choice to take a risk as she was hilarious before Jorgeous tried to win them over with compliments rather than telling any jokes. But she was living her best life over her own jokes, despite pretty much just being ready to lip sync.

Backstage Jorgeous opened up and explained she was well and truly over things, and while her sisters tried to remind her she is talented and just needs to get out of her head. She truly just felt defeated and it was hard to watch.

Elimination Day arrived with Camden feeling her oats, focused on trying to keep her confidence and deliver a good set. Bosco meanwhile opened up about feeling good about opening the show while Daya was hoping her second half would be as successful as the half she rehearsed while Jorgeous was only getting further in her head. Bosco tried to remind her that she has proven herself to be a star and as such, she needs to take that energy into the challenge. While DeJa was confident that her track record would continue to improve. Oh and Bosco borrowed one of Daya’s sponges which straight up looked like a chopped off testicle.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Dulce Sloan on the judges panel for the Ross Matthews Roast, with Bosco slaying from start to finish, reading anything and everything in sight. Jorgeous was iconically bad from the very first moment. It was incoherent and bizarre and I LIVED for every second. Willow was hilarious, smart and such a star, Angeria was solid and super charming, Daya took so long to get anywhere it was an absolute mess before DeJa said hold my beer and was even worse. Which only made Camden funnier than she already was, slaying from start to finish.

On the Tu-tu Much runway Bosco was a star as a bladesaw ballerina covered in blood. Jorgeous was a mess as a biker ballerina, Willow was a camp, judgemental old queen and OH SO PERFECT. Angeria was rocking a beautiful gown made of tutus while Daya looked stunning as a rose gold stilted ballerina – though only because she is so damn tall – while DeJa looked like an extra from the Season 8 promo before Camden was perfection as a classic ballerina.

The judges lived for everything Bosco served up this week, from slaying the jokes and giving such a bold runway. Jorgeous received praise for her runway though was read for struggling in the roast, despite giving a good energy. Willow’s look was beloved and while they loved her roast, they felt she could have gone even further. Angeria was praised for having fun on the roast despite not being the best. Though they lived for her runway. Daya’s look received universal praise though she was read for being bad in the roast. DeJa meanwhile was read for everything she did this week and then when she tried to explain her at-home schtick she was even worse. Thankfully Camden received praise for everything she did. Except for the echo arsehole joke.

Backstage DeJa was ok with the fact she would clearly be lip syncing, though felt bad for putting in jokes that Michelle and Dulce told her were shit. She broke down over messing up so badly and for not delivering what the judges see in her, though more so she was heartbroken to clearly be lip syncing against Jorgeous. Despite the fact that Daya is right there and bombed just as badly. Jorgeous reminded everyone how hard the challenge is though was feeling good given it is over. Angeria meanwhile was worried that Jorgeous was losing her confidence and starting to fade away.

As DeJa continued to sob, Camden tried to remind her how good she is and how she has appreciated how hopeful she has been throughout the season. This snapped DeJa out of it, thanking her sisters for being so kind and grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of them.

The dolls congratulated Camden on clearly making it to the end while looking like such a star on the runway. Angeria meanwhile felt it was awkward to not really know how you were going on stage while Jorgeous just hated every moment of it. Willow was thrilled to have performed ok and for looking amazing on the runway, despite the fact she could barely speak due to her lip prosthetics. She then received a video message from home and ugh, her family are so damn cute and charming, praising Willow for being a star and just making them all so happy and proud. While she laughed and cried, she couldn’t move her face at all because of her lips and it was great.

Dulce dropped backstage to talk to the dolls, congratulating them on performing so well and reminding them that they are lucky to be here. And to just celebrate making it. She then immediately bounced as Willow kissed everyone with her massive lips.

Ultimately Camden was sent to safety before Bosco took out her third win of the season before Willow and Angeria were sent to safety. Ru then gagged Daya, Jorgeous and DeJa with the news that they would all be lip syncing for their lives and not just that, only one of them would be surviving the lip sync. Despite looking terrified, as soon as Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u started Daya was ready to save herself. She sold all the emotion, had the lyrics down and made sense with the song. Jorgeous meanwhile gave her usual performance though the style didn’t seem to work with the song while DeJa was just kind there. Despite reminding us she was the only one Ru called a lip sync assassin. As such Daya was deemed safe, leaving both Jorgeous and DeJa to sashay away.

Things started a wee bit more awkward than usual, as DeJa questioned how the lip sync assassin and her apprentice – Jorgeous is nobody’s apprentice – were felled by Daya. And while yeah, we all hated Daya until this very episode, the judging was fairly on point this week. Which is obviously not what I told her, as I cried about them being robbed of their place in the rumix and begging them to come back and slay on All Stars (which both DeJa and Jorgeous could easily win). After perking her back up, I distracted her with a delicious Dejate Skye Loaf and all was right in the world.

I once started a cafe at home in the middle of the suburbs when I was five after whipping up a packet mix version of date loaf. While I literally fled the business before seeing whether it was a success, date loaf won my heart and as such, I dedicated my life to perfecting a recipe. And well, this is it! Sweet, moist and oh so moreish, there is nothing better!

Enjoy!

Dejate Skye Loaf
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup boiling water
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ½ cup flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 pinch kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a loaf pan.

Pop the dates in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, leaving to rest for 5 minutes or until nice and plumped. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla before quickly beating in the egg.

In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients until well combined and pour into the lined loaf tin. Tranfer the cake to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.

Or, serve a little bit warm with a thick smear of butter.


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe were put through their paces in a difficult immunity challenge which made everyone confused, except for Shay who slayed the game and well, proved Sam right. They should have booted her when they had the chance. The couples alliance continued to ignore Sam’s opinion while the cousins started to worry that Jordie was fast becoming an issue for their game. Jordie meanwhile was busy wanting to take out Mark, while Mark and Sam wanted to split up the cousins. Ultimately though, they stuck together and split the vote on the twins, with Mel tragically booted from the game.

The next day Chrissy was pondering whether Dave had passed away as he quietly slept by the fire, before moving on to Sam and getting her to colour in her brows with charcoal. While they joked about opening a beauty parlour to hide from their male overlords, Michelle was ready to fight thanks to her sister pointing out just how dangerous Josh was on her way out the door. Poor Josh meanwhile was struggling in the spotlight, wanting to try and improve his bond with Sam and most importantly, get rid of Jordie as he is the least trustworthy person in the alliance. You know, because he outed Mark’s idol to him which actually proved loyalty.

As Jordie and Jesse disappeared to bathe together, Josh pulled Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Dave aside to talk about Jordie’s duplicitous ways. Unaware that Chrissy and Dave also had no idea about Mark’s idol until he outed it. While Josh appeared to have their best interests at heart, this conversation irked Sam who desperately wanted to keep her closest ally Jesse safe and should they target Jordie, he runs the risk of being collateral damage. Sam and Mark caught up alone to talk about Josh’s plan, with Sam admitting she doesn’t want to make a move without at least talking to Jesse.

Sam found Jesse, with the latter pointing out that he and his brother are desperate to get Josh out ASAP. And after Mel’s performance at the last tribal council, he now knows he is a target and as such, the longer he survives the more nervous and paranoid he will become. Making his gameplay wilder, which is super solid logic!

The tribe joined Jonathan for the reward challenge where everyone was partnered up, tethered and forced to collect blocks before balancing them on a wobbly platform. And given they are playing for KFC, I could dive through the screen and gobble down everything in sight. Shay and Jordan were facing off against KJ and Sam, Mark and Michelle, Jordie and Chrissy, and Jesse and Josh, while Dave got to sit out and bet on the pair he thinks will win and should they succeed, he gets to join them.

Chrissy is clearly a KFC fan too, as she quickly guided Jordie through the challenge and got out to an early lead. Jesse and Josh worked fast to close the gap, while frankly Mark and Michelle were the absolute worst. While everyone started to get nice and high, Chrissy and Jordie worked methodically and scored our icon some glorious dirty bird. Obviously Jonathan is a messy kinda girl, so gave them the chance to select two people to join them, selecting Jesse and Mark. While Sam looked enraged, Jonathan let them pick one more person with them ultimately picking Josh. So you know Sam is going to be angry back at camp, which is my favourite flavour of Sam.

The happy group of KFCers arrived at the pop-up restaurant and immediately got to licking their fingers and smashing anything in sight. As it is wont to do, the game came back into play as everyone started watching each other like hawks to make sure nobody found a clue. Which is exactly what happened when Jordie grabbed a towel to sit down, leading to him shoving it down his brother’s speedos without anyone noticing. Well, other than me and my flooded basement. With that everyone started pulling apart the hut with Jesse for some reason opting to take it out of his bum to move to his junk and well, it looked like Crissy caught him.

Back at camp Chrissy, Dave and Sam caught up and immediately spiralled with paranoia about Jesse and Jordie potentially finding an idol and as such, started to tail them. Sam continued to worry about Jordie being the undoing of her relationship with Jesse and as such, pulled him aside to see if he would be honest with her. While he instead denied finding a clue and focused on getting rid of Josh, while Mark watched on and used his soldiering past to identify that he was a big old liar. And as such, Jordie, you in danger girl!

The tribe met up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where they would each have to stand on a series of posts and use ropes to balance a plank, on which they have to balance a ball. Last one with their ball in the air taking out immunity. Michelle and Sam were the first to drop from the challenge before Shay dropped just before everyone transitioned to a smaller post. As did KJ and Dave, leaving challenge beast Chrissy against the Js and Mark. Tragically on the next transition, Chrissy dropped with Jesse soon following before Jordan fell off his post. The remaining trio moved to the next smallest post, which quickly took Josh out of the challenge, before Mark dropped out of nowhere, handing a struggling Jordie immunity.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to commence scrambling, with the boys locking in the vote against Shay, with a split on Michelle for safety. Though obviously, that wasn’t what was going to happen as Jordie and Jesse approached Sam to pull the trigger and get rid of Josh. While Sam admitted to being nervous, Jesse assured her the four of them will always have each other’s backs. With that, they roped in Michelle who was thrilled at the thought of getting revenge for Mel by taking out Josh.

Sadly for everyone, Mark was not keen on getting rid of Josh and as such, he approached him, Dave and Jordan to let them know and flip the vote on Jesse instead. And while he was spooked, he was also ready to use himself as bait so they could blindside Jesse without any risk. Mark then caught up with Sam to make sure she is ok with the thought of getting rid of Jesse, with her admitting it makes her feel uncomfortable and once again, Mark just did not care.

Josh went to Jesse to catch up with him, with them both pretending that they aren’t trying to boot the other. While Shay and Michelle were bonding over sarongs, Dave and Jordan were chatting in the water and as such, Jesse started to feel like something was up given everyone was so chill and as such, pulled his brother aside to go hunting for the idol using their clue. Which he quickly found, guaranteeing him safety too.

Wait, no – Sam spotted him and quickly jumped out of the bushes to congratulate him. And while he was glad that she was the one to find him, I have an awful feeling. Particularly when she talked him into handing over the idol for better hiding in her sarong, given everyone will be looking at him to make sure he doesn’t have one. And again, I don’t feel good about this.

At tribal council Dave spoke about sticking to the plan, essentially, while Sam continued to worry about the warring factions within the alliance while Jordie got sick of talking in circles and as such, admitted to there being a majority and well, they were ready to get rid of one of the minority. Both Josh and Jesse reiterated this fact despite both planning to take out the other before Mark stupidly talked about idols potentially coming into play tonight, while Jesse agreed anything can happen with an idol. Sam admitted that idols haven’t been played correctly this season and as such, they really need to focus on holding onto the numbers if they want to make it to the end. Which Jesse readily agreed with.

Jesse was also confident that his plan will be the one to win out at tribal council and ugh, I’m nervous despite the fact Josh was also confident his plan would come to fruition. And that logic should make me nervous for him too, but well, he isn’t Jesse. Sam spoke about a break in the majority being inevitable, but wondered when would be the right time and how it would all play out. With that, the tribe voted and tragically Sam sided with her husband’s alliance, blindsiding Jesse with an idol in, well, her pocket. Which is cold. Bold and gutsy, but cold, and not going to win her any jury votes.

Before exiting Jesse warned her that he will burn her should she not hand the idol over to Jordie before the next tribal council, and damn, is this season all about how Sam lost?

Thankfully by the time he arrived at the Jury Villa, Jesse was back to being his usually delightful self (though I am biased as he has the cutest speedos of the fleet of the speedo zaddies). I pulled him in for a massive hug and reminded him that since Khanh is the only won that is winning any money outside of the eventual victor, going out in a massive, memorable blindside is the best you can hope for. Meaning, in a way, he won. Particularly if you take into account he got to smash a Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake.

One of my favourite Mexican dishes, tres leches cake is sweet, smooth and gloriously moist – or dripping, even – and just warms your soul. Add in the perfection that is a maraschino cherry (or fifty) on the top, and there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

Ingredients
Cake
115g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Tres leches
300ml sweetened condensed milk
355ml evaporated milk
180ml thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing
2½ cups thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12-16 maraschino cherries, double or treble to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and butter and flour a 25x30cm baking dish.

Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat until it is just combined. Remove from the burner and allow to cool completely. While it gets chill, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium speed until thick and voluminous. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a bowl before folding half through the egg mixture. Next fold in the butter and milk mixture, folded by the remaining flour until just combined. Pour into the baking dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, combine the tres leches – condensed milk, evaporated milk and thickened cream – in a bowl with the 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cake is done resting, stab the cake repeatedly with a bamboo skewer before slowly pouring the milk mixture over the top, allowing it to absorb all the sweet nectar. Leave to cool and absorb for about half an hour before covering with cling and popping in the fridge for an hour or so.

When you’re almost ready to eat, beat the remaining thickened cream, icing sugar, milk powder and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spoon and smooth over the top of the cake before dotting with a heavy dose of maraschino cherries.

Then serving and devouring (or eating straight out of the dish).


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Danny MousseCrayke

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Jeffrey opted to offer up one final, major twist to the game where the first person eliminated from the immunity challenge would have their fate decided by a game of chance. Should they win, they are also immune but should they lose, they are eliminated and tribal council is cancelled. After Liana and Heather nope’d out of the challenge, Deshawn was the first to drop out and prepared to have his game left to chance before Danny took out immunity. Back at camp the tribe tried to come up with a plan B, which obviously was Liana, despite Deshawn and Danny making a compelling case to take out Ricard instead. Ultimately, Deshawn got lucky and stayed in the game before the majority held firm and booted Liana from the game in an emotional tribal council.

Back at camp Danny and Deshawn were reeling from tribal council, with the latter shocked by how emotional things were and how hard it was to send Liana home. Deshawn assured the tribe that he was ok but needed to talk to Danny to debrief and talk through their experiences. Danny then went to visit Xander, shocked by the fact Xander opted to get rid of Liana over Ricard, the far bigger threat. While Xander explained that Ricard is a shield for him, he agreed with Danny that getting rid of Ricard is now the priority given the protection isn’t needed anymore.

Which means Ricard is totally winning immunity, right?

The next day Heather caught up with Deshawn to talk about tribal council, grateful that she has had the chance to learn from him and grow. He explained that getting rid of Shan didn’t hurt him as much as voting out Liana, because they didn’t have the best relationship but explained to her that while race and culture shouldn’t come into things, his experience permeates everything whether he likes it or not and that is why getting rid of Liana was so hard. 

Deshawn then caught up with Erika, with her too telling him how proud she is of his ability to explain his feelings to the tribe, particularly because she too has the same concerns about herself playing the game for herself while representing a culture. She opened up about how she felt like voting out Liana runs contrary to her wanting a female – ideally herself – to win after such a long drought, though sometimes in the game you have to make decisions against what you want, to further your game. And it is tough.

The tribe caught up with my love Jeffrey for a reward challenge where they would split into two teams, climb up a net, jump off a pontoon, collect balls and then land said balls in a basket. And the victorious team can either pick a chicken and veggie feast or desserts, which Deshawn was disappointed about because he would have preferred a letter from home. Danny got his team – with Ricard and Heather – out to the earliest of leads which was quickly lost as Xander powered through the water. Both teams were neck and neck throughout the swimming portion before Deshawn landed the first basket for his team. After struggling with shooting, Danny traded out with Ricard who quickly landed his first basket. Sadly for him, Deshawn then quickly landed his second and third baskets, handing them victory and a, dun dun DUN, chicken and veggie feast.

And no letters from home.

Upon returning to camp they quickly smashed their food before talk turned to alliances, with Deshawn gladly offering himself up as a number. Erika and Xander admitted that they would love to get rid of Ricard next and as such, they would love to work with him. Which quickly escalated to them floating the idea about going to the final three together. Meanwhile the losers were hiding out in the shelter until Heather and Ricard left to do some chores, leaving Danny behind to search for Shan’s rehidden idol. Sadly for him, they returned to camp soon after and his absence made both of them nervous that he had, in fact, found an idol. 

The next day Deshawn and Erika were catching up by the well with Deshawn assuring her that he would truly like to go to the end together. Particularly since her going with Heather risks people not being able to distinguish their games and lessening their chances of winning. Which he pressured her to talk about, all to get Erika to verbalise the need to get rid of Heather.

The tribe reunited with Probst for the immunity challenge where they would need to navigate an obstacle course – while dizzy – to collect puzzle pieces before using said pieces to solve a word puzzle. Danny got out to the earliest of leads, though they all managed to catch up at a balance beam. Which Ricard made quick work of. While Ricard got to work on his puzzle early, the rest of the tribe soon joined him. Deshawn and Ricard both figured out the phrase at the same time, leading to a rush of activity as they battled to assemble it first, ultimately ending with Ricard winning his third immunity of the season.

As predicted, FYI.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to work on their plans while Danny and Deshawn discussed how stupid everyone was to vote out Liana over Ricard at the last tribal council. Danny next caught up with Ricard who confronted him about potentially finding the idol, with Danny denying he had one, though did share with us how happy he was to at least make them nervous. Xander meanwhile was catching up with Heather, suggesting that keeping Danny would be their best chance at beating Ricard at an immunity challenge and as such, they should think about keeping him a few more days.

Heather then caught up with Erika, with the latter pushing to get rid of Danny over Deshawn, given he is willing to work with her while Danny is not. As such, she got to work trying to convince the rest of her alliance that keeping Deshawn is in all of their best interests. She first caught up with Ricard, who sadly knew that was a bad idea for his game. Meanwhile Deshawn was trying to take control of his fate, pulling Xander and Heather aside to highlight their bonds and the fact that he would take them to the end while Danny probably wouldn’t and as such, it is in their best interests to keep him around.

At tribal council Deshawn was still smiling despite the fact it is clearly him or Deshawn going home tonight. Ricard meanwhile shared that he had a great day with Deshawn, though would still gladly vote him out tonight. Particularly since they both targeted him at the last tribal council. They both explained that they tried to take the shot when they had it, given he had been dominating the challenges and pointed to his victory as their proof. Erika stepped in to talk about the fact they all decide what is threatening to their game and that that is different for each of them. She trusts Ricard while Liana had previously voted for her and as such, she got rid of her.

Xander admitted that jury management is now also playing a part of their decision making while Danny and Deshawn were both just proud of their games thus far. Deshawn then decided to  cause some chaos, outing his conversation with Erika at the well about her getting rid of Heather. Eventually. Hilariously Ricard stepped in and told him that his truth bomb was kind of a terrible idea, given the fact he doesn’t even know if he is going home tonight and may have just cost him a chance of working with Erika in the end. Erika too questioned his timing, given that while they have had an up and down relationship, she has always been willing to work with him and the only thing his outburst did was confirm to her that she can’t trust Deshawn.

With that the tribe voted and as predicted, things were tied up between Danny and Deshawn, who each voted for the other. With that, Ricard, Heather, Erika and Xander re-voted and despite Deshawn’s messiness, unanimously sent Danny from the game.

Given Danny is such an upbeat, kind person, he was pretty chill by the time he arrived at Ponderosa, ok at being outplayed and ready to relax. While he was disappointed to be out of the game and for his alliance to be apparently going out back-to-back-to-back, he was proud of the way he played. Though I also think he was just eyeing off his Danny MousseCrayke, so who wouldn’t be feeling happy?

Velvety smooth mousse, perfectly poached pears and a light, spongy cake work together in harmony to deliver a cake that is as fluffy as it is decadent and rich.

Enjoy!

Danny MousseCrayke
Serves: 12

Ingredients
6 eggs, 3 of them split
285g raw caster sugar
75g plain flour
20g cacao powder
pinch of salt
30g unsalted butter, melted
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm slices
2 tbsp lemon juice
100ml spiced rum, plus 1 tbsp for the mousse
400g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200ml milk
3 egg yolks
500ml cream, lightly whipped

Method
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and grease and line a 26cm spring-form cake tin.

Start by creaming the three whole eggs and 120g of the raw caster sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add to the egg mixture with the melted butter and fold until just combined. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, line the tin again and return the cake.

While the cake is getting chill, combine the lemon juice, rum, 110g of the sugar and ½ a cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the pears and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain the pears and leave the slices to cool, keeping the poaching liquid aside for serving.

Finally, combine the chocolate and milk in a heatproof bowl and cook in a double boiler, stirring minimally, until the chocolate is velvety and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. While it is chilling, cream the yolks, remaining sugar and tablespoon of rum for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. Before folding in the whipped cream until it is, you guessed it, just combined.

To assemble, layer the pears on top of the cake, followed by the mousse, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Transfer to the fridge to set for 6 hours, or ideally overnight, until set.

Then, finally, slice, serve, drizzle with poaching liquid and devour. Gloriously.


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Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race 12 iconic queens arrived in the UK Werk Room, ready to fight for the crown. While tragically they were felled one by one starting with Anubis – yep, this old chestnut (not roasting on an open fire) – followed by Elektra, Victoria, Veronica, Charity, River, Choriza, Scarlett and Vanity, leaving Ella, Kitty and Krystal to make it to the finale. After writing verses on Ru’s Christmas song, chatting with Ru and Michelle and performing the song live on stage, the top three lip synced for the crown with Kitty and Ella deemed co-runner-ups to the iconic Krystal Versace.

The youngest winner in franchise herstory.

Krystal came into the competition ready to absolutely dominate the game. After winning the first challenge which leaned heavily into her fashion strengths, she continued to surprise herself as she slayed everything thrown at her.

More importantly, she showed the world how sweet and focused she is and that sometimes, nice gals finish first. As such, I was thrilled to witness her coronation, which is guaranteed to be just the start of a very bright future.

Fresh off the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and reiterated how proud she is. Given she is young enough to be my child – if it was a very young-teenage pregnancy – I quickly pivoted to asking her if she was looking after herself, the other queens were being nice to her and whether she had done her homework.

The last one being eerily poetic, given the clearly came into the competition with a solid understanding of what needed to be done. Meaning the least I could do was celebrate her success with a beautiful Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake.

Super sweet, a little bit tarty and packing a surprisingly delicate, floral centre, there is no better way to honour our newly crowned queen. Or celebrate a special occasion. Or, you know, just have a really fucking delicious cake.

Enjoy!

Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
200g Ginger Nut biscuits, blitzed into a rough sand texture
100g butter, melted 
750g cream cheese, softened 
½ cup raw caster sugar 
1 tbsp gelatine
¼ cup boiling water 
1½ cups thickened cream
250g blueberries
½ cup Lemon Kurd Cobain
20g edible flowers

Method
Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl until they are coming together, and press into a 24cm springform pan to form a smooth base. Transfer to the fridge to set.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and combined. Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water before adding to the mixture with the thickened cream, and beat for a further couple of minutes or until velvet and smooth.

Remove the filling from the mixer and fold through the blueberries.

To assemble, scatter some flowers on the base, followed by a couple of dollops of the mixture. Dollop in some of the curd and swirl through with the tip of the knife. Top with the rest of the filling, a few more dollops of curd and repeat the swirling process. Top with flowers and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or ideally, overnight.

You could also do the flowers last to avoid wilting, but I prefer them set into the cake despite not looking as great.

Once set, remove from the tin and devour, greedily and most importantly, victoriously.


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David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey was inspired by Sasha Velour by way of my girl Whitney, getting so emotional as he welcomed us back to the majestic islands of Fiji for the OG Survivor. Oh but while it is the 41st season, he warned us all to be ready – not because the winners are coming for you – as the game has evolved while in lockdown and is shorter but more dangerous than ever. The first change being that only one tribe won the first immunity challenge, with Yase and Ua attending back-to-back tribal councils with Abraham and Sara becoming the first and second boots of the new era.

We checked in with Ua the next day where the tribe was still recovering from tribal council. Brad was paranoid about how quickly JD switched things up and as such, worried he could no longer trust him. And then when he spotted JD and Ricard heading off to get water together, he obviously ran along the beach to beat them to the well and eavesdrop. After hearing them innocently speak about him for a bit, he darted back to camp where Shan was now more concerned by Brad as an ally rather than worried by JD now being calm. Shan took that information back to Ricard, with him admitting that he said nothing bad and assuring her it was all good. Oh and that Brad needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile at Luvu, Deshawn was growing tired as he desperately continued to try and start fire for the tribe. Eventually the iconic Naseer got sick of watching on, jumped in and got the fire started in no time at all. Immediately making the tribe love him, given they would probably die without him according to Sydney, the de facto proxy for the audience. Oh and we also learnt that grew up without electricity or running water in Sri Lanka but he was always happy and damn, I couldn’t love him more at this point.

We finally checked in on Yase where Tiffany was absolutely exhausted, sharing that she would give anything for even a cup of rice. Back at camp, Xander was busy trying to finish the shelter before he pointed out that Voce had been gone a long time to Liana. With that, they suggested they split up to try and find him, with Xander putting this time to use finding the ‘Beware’ advantage, which told him to accept the risks and do everything it says, or put it back and leave it for someone else. Obviously he took the risk and learnt that he had found one third of an idol which will only gain power if the same idol is found at both of the other camps. To activate it, he simply needs to say a weird phrase and wait for the other two to say theirs at the same immunity challenge and voila, they all get idols. Sadly for him, he won’t have a vote for the rest of the game unless the other two idols are found.

Knowing it is fairly dangerous, he pulled his closest allies Evvie and Voce aside to fill them in, with Voce nervous about now being down a vote. While Evvie was more concerned about Xander’s growing power and not wanting to go to the end with men and then have their game disregarded which always seems to happen on Survivor. With that, Evvie took that information back to their true allies, Tiffany and Liana, and damn Xander, you in danger girl.

The tribes joined up with Jeffrey over the ocean for the immunity challenge where someone would dive in and retrieve a key before bringing it back to two others who would race over a series of obstacles and then swim to the end where the other two people will unlock puzzle pieces, which they obviously use to solve. Oh and in addition to immunity for the first two tribes to finish, they will also get either a massive bundle of fishing gear or just enough fishing gear. 

Xander got Yase out to an early lead, though couldn’t retrieve his key on the first go giving Sydney time to take the lead for Luvu. Danny meanwhile made quick work of the obstacles for Luvu while Brad and Tiffany struggled on the balance beam. Eventually Brad made it to the end while Naseer continued to power Luvu ahead while Shan joined him in lapping Tiffany. While poor Liana waited for her turn on the obstacles for Yase, Luvu and Ua quickly worked through the puzzle before Tiffany finally made it to the end. Sadly for Yase, however, Liana couldn’t overcome the disadvantage as Erika powered through another puzzle and took out victory for Luvu while Ua took out second place, sending Yase back to tribal council.

As winners of the challenge, Luvu were given the power to send someone from Yase for a special journey, quickly sending Evvie before they learnt they could send someone from either of the remaining tribes, with Deshawn quickly volunteering to go.

Back at camp, Tiffany quickly apologised for costing the tribe so much time in the challenge though she was quietly confident that she would still be safe at tribal council, given she and the girls were planning on getting rid of Xander. Speaking of Xander, he and Voce were worried about the girls sticking together and saving Tiffany given there are no guarantees a swap will save the tribe from themselves. Knowing they were mildly screwed, Voce approached Liana to see if she would be willing to get rid of Tiffany with her quickly agreeing that after the challenge it makes sense. Sadly for him however, Liana took the information back to Tiffany and while she assured her she was safe, she was still nervous Tiffany would do something stupid and screw it up for them.

Meanwhile Evvie and Deshawn arrived on the same island as last week and they quickly bonded as they ventured to the top. Knowing Yase will be at a disadvantage come merge, Evvie got to work charming Deshawn so that they would have an ally moving forward. They then shared that there is no way they can risk their vote with tribal council coming up and as such, he can safely take the extra vote and know that they won’t screw him over if they work together moving forward.  We then learnt a bit more about Deshawn, who worked hard to overcome all obstacles to become a doctor before pivoting back to Evvie’s charm offensive. They started by explaining that they plan to boot Xander over Tiffany at the upcoming tribal council before explaining in detail how the idols work this season.

Evvie returned to camp with their vote intact – you’re welcome for the extra vote, Deshawn – and quickly explained that the rules of the journey were the same as last week. They then went for a walk to the well with the girls, quickly locking in the blindside on Xander before returning to the boys and assuring them that they will join them to get rid of Tiffany. While Evvie was chatting with the boys, Tiffany was suggesting they should get rid of Voce instead, given Xander may play his idol, given she just doesn’t want to believe the situation with the idols. While Evvie calmly tried to explain the situation to her, assuring her that they read the note and it is actually powerless, Tiffany’s paranoia started to get to them, given it will be difficult to navigate around, should they stay aligned with her.

At tribal council Tiffany spoke about how disappointed in herself she was in the challenge, admitting that in the moment, she wanted the world to swallow her up. Xander spoke about how raw and exhausting it is to live the Survivor experience. Voce likened it to being in surgery and implored the tribe to find the wound and save their lives. We then learnt that his drive comes from his hardworking mother. Liana admitted that where the ‘bleeding’ Voce was talking about varies from person to person and as such, they need to find who they trust. This inspired Tiffany to remind them that challenges aren’t the only part of Survivor and as such, they need to vote with loyalty in mind. Evvie spoke about the fact the tribes could switch tomorrow and as such, strength means nothing and that is why the decisions are tough. Xander agreed that there is so much unknown and as such, there could be no switch in which case, strength becomes that much more important.

With that the tribe voted and somehow Liana and Evvie bought into Tiffany’s fear, joining her to send Voce out of the game against all odds. As he wandered into Loser Lodge, I ran into his arms and immediately started crying uncontrollably. I mean, I didn’t want any of the tribe to go, but it was still heartbreaking to lose my dear friend Voce so early. You see, we first met while working together as interns at the hospital that inspired Shonda Rhime’s to write Grey’s Anatomy and became the fastest of friends.

David is kind, wise, calm and most importantly, is a total babe and as such, I was absolutely shook to see him go so soon. But after catching up and splitting a David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake, everything seemed right with the world again.

I feel like I say it a lot, but Milk Bar is the greatest place on earth and every damn recipe is near perfection. Tragically, there isn’t any down under and as such, I need to try my best to recreate their cakes. And well, this one is pretty damn great! Earthy, sweet and oh so moist, this is the perfect way to mark a shocking early boot.

Enjoy!

David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake
Serves: 2 dear friends or 16 normal people.

Ingredients
140g unsalted butter at room temperature
275g raw caster sugar
60g muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
110g buttermilk
75g grapeseed oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butterscotch chips
240g white chocolate
25g light corn syrup, warmed to soften
55g double cream, cold as possible
75g pumpkin puree
60g milk powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
55g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup Dulce de Nick Lachey
⅓ cup milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a quarter sheet pan with baking paper.

Combine the 115g butter , 250g of the caster sugar and the muscovado sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and cream on medium speed for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and return to the mixer on low for a further minute before adding the eggs one at a time, allowing to mix for a further minute between each addition. Scrape down the side, crank to medium and beat for a further few minutes or until delicate and light.

Whisk the buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a jug and with the mixer on its lowest speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture in until it is all in and just combined. Scrape down the sides once again and then beat on high for five minutes or until homogeneous and airy.

Combine 185g of flour with the baking baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Fold the mixture through the wet ingredients before returning to the stand mixer on low for a minute or two, or until it is just coming together. Remove and fold through the butterscotch chips.

Pour into the lined sheet pan, smooth out the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cake is cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.

Reduce the oven to 120C.

While the cake gets chill, combine 150g of white chocolate and 25g of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt in 15-second bursts, stirring after each go until velvety and smooth. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz while adding the corn syrup in a steady stream.

Once combined, add the heavy cream as the blender is still going until it comes together. It may look curdled for a bit, but it will come back together. Finally blend in the pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of salt and the remaining cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

Combine the 40g of the milk powder, the cornstarch and the remaining flour, caster sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands – or a spatula if it is too hot – until it starts to come together into large clumps. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until dry and sandy.

Melt the remaining white chocolate and leave to cool slightly.

Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining milk powder and white chocolate for five minutes or until the clumps firm with the chocolate. Transfer to a baking sheet to set completely.

To assemble, cut the sheet cake into two 20cm circles and leave to the side. Using a 20cm cake ring lined with acetate, press the remaining cake crumbs into the base and soak with a third of the milk. Top with a third of the ganache, some crumbs followed by half of the dulce de leche.

Top with one of the discs of cake and repeat the process with the milk, ganache, crumb and ganache. Top with the remaining disc of cake, follow with the remaining milk and ganache before decorating with the remaining crumbs.

Cover, transfer to the freezer to set for a couple of hours.

When ready to eat, remove from the fridge, take out of the ring and acetate and leave to come to temperature for half an hour or so before devouring, joyously.


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Choc-Banana Dainini Tuiqeke

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Cara joined the Brawn tribe after a fake tribal council, much to the delight of Brawn and the absolute shock of the Brains. And delight of George, obviously. Particularly after the Brains won their first reward of the season. At the immunity challenge Jonathan hid an idol in the challenge and while George was first to break away from the pack, it was Hayley that snatched it. Though it was on the way to another Brains loss, so technically, it was a case of you win some, you lose some. Joey was fine with the situation, ready for an easy George boot. Sadly for him, Queen Hayley said not today and rallied the bottom feeders to take control of the tribe and instead blindsided Joey in the process.

We first checked in with the Brains where Laura and Georgia were trying to sleep by the fire, uneasy to have been blindsided and now find themselves on the bottom. Hayley meanwhile was feeling her oats, glad to have taken control and ready to crush some more dreams. While George joked about missing Joey, Georgia reminded them how much Joey meant to the tribe. And by the tribe, to her and the alliance. But bless George, he doesn’t care about being sensitive to their feelings. Instead, he requested to carry the flag into the next challenge to surprise the Brawns that he once again magically survived.

Rachel and Laura meanwhile went for a walk to the well, with George quietly following behind them to eavesdrop. While he didn’t hear much of their plans, he did see Laura find a hidden immunity idol. And while she was feeling great about it. The fact that he knows, has got to be a concern for her and Rachel.

Jonathan made an early return to the show as both tribes met by a river bank, with the Brawn tribe as gagged to see George as he hoped. While Dani struggled to understand why they would get rid of the strongest person on the tribe, Flick was grateful to be on such a great tribe like the Brawns. And you know what that means, because it is time for the tribes to swap. After they all dropped their buffs and grabbed new ones, the New Brawn was made up of Flick, Dani, Shannon, Chelsea and Simon with Andrew, Baden, Hayley, Wai joining from the Brains, while George, Rachel, Georgia and Laura remained on New Brains with a returning Cara, Emmett, Daini, Gerald and Kez.

Both tribes were dismissed to get acquainted with each other back at their camps, with Wai delighted to find herself on the Brawn tribe despite her lack of brute strength. But boy, did she quickly charm the hell out of her new tribemates! Andrew and Baden meanwhile were in their element, bonding with Simon while doing manual labour. Speaking of Simon, he pulled all the former Brawns aside and encouraged them to put their differences aside to take control of the new tribe. Sadly for him, Shannon didn’t sound convinced. Until he mentioned the fact he found an idol. Emphasis on an idol. Not two.

Meanwhile Cara was heartbroken to land back on the Brains tribe, though was grateful to have Daini, Kez and former friend George back in the fold. She quickly filled George in on things and how much nicer the Brawns are, assuring him that they have the numbers and he doesn’t need to worry anymore. That being said, she told him that he does need to scale back the smacktalk otherwise he won’t get much further in the game as people don’t like it. With that, she took him to meet Emmett, Daini and Gerald and they quickly welcomed him into the fold. Though mainly because Emmett would rather have a loose cannon on his side rather than against him.

Oh and then George spilled about Laura having the idol and damn, Laura, you in danger girl.
Jonathan returned the next day for the first immunity challenge as new tribes where in pairs, they would carry six balls over obstacles and to a pontoon, where the remaining tribe members had to run around a maze to solve a ball puzzle. Both tribes were neck and neck, until Andrew fell in the water on a balance beam and gave the Brains a decent lead. However Wai struggled in the water, slowing them down until Flick pulled a Chappies and literally swam Wai through the entire challenge, then sweetly coached her through all the outstanding obstacles as Chelsea and Shannon cheered her on. That gave Brawn the lead as George struggled on the balance beam. Brawn continued to pull away, landing their first ball in the puzzle while Rachel now desperately tried, and failed, to make it across the beam. Make that first through fourth, before Brawn quickly landed the last and snatched victory just as the Brains got started.

More importantly, how nice are the Brawn Queens?!

Back at camp Emmett tried to keep things positive, though when you have the automatic majority, it is easy to have that feeling. As they all went to pow-wow, Laura, Georgia and Rachel tried to figure out a way out of their predicament. That being said, since George and the Brawns were planning to split the vote on Laura and Rachel there isn’t much hope for them. More specifically, Rachel, my Queen.

That being said, Rach and Laura decided to try something and thought targeting Daini would be their best shot. With that, they approached George with Georgia in the hope that he would join them for one tribal only to take out a Brawn before washing his hands off them for good. Not feeling it, George left the Brains and rejoined his Brawny friends as they tried to decide who they would be voting for in the vote split and damn, do Laura and co. actually have a shot at this tribal council? Because George really confused everyone while identifying names. I mean, I can’t even tell where their votes are meant to go and I have the luxury of a pause button and notes.

At tribal council Emmett was thrilled to be back in Jonathan’s presence, while Daini was nervous to see how Brains get things done at tribal council. Just like that, Queen Rachel fired up and called all the Brawns out for being so vocal about being Brawn strong and said they may as well just admit that she is the target and the former Brains are sitting ducks. Daini meanwhile argued that Rachel, Laura and Georgia should all be concerned, with Jonathan wondering why George was exempt. With Daini and Emmett admitting that they like him, so he’s safe.

As Daini’s confidence grew further into the cocky realm, Georgia and Laura grew more enraged and served some killer eye rolls. Georgia was annoyed that they were all left with no game to play, while Rachel tried desperately to fight for their lives. Cara welcomed them to her world, given she and George were left out on the original Brains tribe and well, this is what it feels like to be on the outs. Daini and Emmett were laughing about the fireworks at tribal while the Brains girls all quietly whispered about whether they should stick to the plan, ultimately doubling down on Daini given the vibe he was giving off during tribal council.

With that the tribe voted and while Laura boldly played her idol on Rachel, three votes landed on Rachel before the real fireworks happened. You see, when the first vote came in for Georgia, Cara got a very nervous look on her face, verbalising how confused she was. And while Daini assured her to calm down, the second vote for Georgia confirmed her fear that she screwed up as the next one came in for Laura. That meant that when the next three votes from the former Brains girls came in for Daini, they booted him out of the game thanks to her blunder.

That being said, by the time a shocked Daini arrived at Loser Lodge things were not as spicy as he advertises, given he is one of the most upbeat, gentle and fun loving people to appear on the show. Instead of being angry, he pulled me in for a big ol’ hug and rubbed his hands with glee, knowing he was about to smash a freshly baked Choc-Banana Dainini Tuiqeke.

Full disclosure, this is 100% Nigella’s majesty but when it tastes as good as Daini looks, I didn’t want to mess with perfection too much. Rich, earthy and fudgy, this little loaf cake is a pure delight.

Enjoy!

Choc-Banana Dainini Tuiqeke
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large ripe bananas, mashed|
¼ cup vegetable oil
60g tahini|
1 large egg
50g raw caster sugar
30g muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g buckwheat flour
25g cocoa
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
100g dark chocolate chips
2 tsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a loaf tin.

Place the mashed bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the tahini on medium before slowly adding the oil, egg, sugars and vanilla, beat well after each addition.

Meanwhile combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl. Remove the wet ingredients from the mixture and fold the dry ingredients through them until combined. Then fold through the choc chips.

Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin before sprinkling with the sesame seeds and baking in the oven for 50 minutes, or until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in the tin before removing and storing. Or devouring, because it is GOOD.


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Carrot From Finance Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the top five were tasked with showing off their impressive talents, by way of a talent show. Despite never having pole danced before, Scarlet put on an impressively dangerous show, thankfully avoiding falling from the top and cracking her skull. Elektra meanwhile performed a powerful contemporary dance, but due to her thirsty wig somehow landed in the bottom despite Art’s talent involving her eating things. Which is far more iconic than that sentence gives it credit for. She was joined in the bottom with her boss Kita Mean and despite being the undisputed lip sync assassin of the season, Elektra found herself exiting the competition just before the finale.

Aka as the robbed goddess of the season.

Backstage the girls were thrilled to make it to the top four, with them discovering Elektra was proclaiming Kita as the winner of the season on the way out of the door. Art and Scarlet admitted that they felt Elektra kind of gave up in the lip sync, which felt like it was kind of them trying to be nice about how much Elektra loves Kita rather than saying she couldn’t have won the lip sync otherwise. Hopefully. The girls celebrated making it to the top, though were shady to Art about being eliminated and coming back to the competition. That being said, Art wasn’t bothered and still thought she could take out victory. Particularly since Karen pointed out that Scarlet had half a beard when she snatched her third victory, so anything truly is possible.

The top four jigged back in the next day with Kita still jumping out of her skin with excitement, giddy about potentially bringing the crown home to New Zealand. We were then treated to the girls flashing back through moments of the season before Ru arrived and tasked them with their final challenge of the season, where they would be writing their own verse on the rumix of Ru’s You’re A Winner, Baby. And then, you know, performing it live on the mainstage with full choreography. After a light lunch with Ru and Michelle. The usual.

We were then gagged by Dame Olivia Newton John and daughter Chloe Lattanzi who gave the girls a little bit of advice in a pre-recorded but made to not look pre-recorded message, but who cares given it is ONJ, dammit.

Just like that, the queens split up to work on their verses with Scarlet oozing confidence, while Karen had written two verses, one from her boy self and the other from Karen. Not to be confused with a Karen, since it is a loving verse telling all the eliminated queens that they’re all winners too rather than the poster child of middle aged, white privilege. In any event Art thought the loved-up Karen idea was a shit one and as such, encouraged her to run with it. Kita meanwhile shared that she was going with a heartfelt verse that she was going to sing. Full power ballad style, I assume.

Scarlet dropped by for lunch with Ru and Michelle, praising her mother as the person that has shaped her life the most. She said that being away from her loved ones was the most difficult part of the competition, but her partner organised a pack of letters from home, which she has been opening episode by episode to keep her focused. Ru advised that Scarlet not engage with the comment section and get distracted by the noise and given the backlash, it definitely is good advice for young Scarlet.

Meanwhile backstage Kita, Karen and Art were imitating each other and living their best lives and I love everything about it. And them.

Art excused herself to chat to Ru and Michelle, with her thanking them for giving her a second chance. She admitted that it taught her to let go given she supports everyone in her life, which made Michelle give her a pep talk and tell her that she needs other people to turn around and look after her too. Otherwise she is going to burn out. And ugh, this is why I love Michelle. Ru joined in and suggested that she remember she exists without people needing her and to focus on letting go.

Karen from Finance shared that her deceased mother did work in finance, but wasn’t the inspiration behind her. Talk turned to the pressure of living up to the name of Karen from Finance, given she is an internationally recognised thanks in no small part to how much Trixie and Katya love to talk about her.

We checked in with Art who was still processing the fact that she spends so much time looking after others, which has led to her burning out and not letting people in. She caught up with Karen and they had a really nice chat about freeing themselves and the way the show has made them reevaluate their lives and ugh, I love them both! And well, despite the criticism, proves that this show has still got it.

Kita then rounded out the interview portion, joking about not being shocked that she made it to the end. Though she did admit to getting into her own head throughout the season. Ru and Michelle reminded her that she needs to deal with whatever issues she had which led to her putting on the weight, now that she has lost it. Michelle then told Kita that her need for love comes from trauma, before they let her marinate on what her trauma was and helped her start to work through it. NO JOKE. Did Michelle get a psychiatry degree in lockdown, because she is amazing?! She then fit two jaffas – aka balls – in her mouth and had them in stitches, and please let this be the start of her coronation.

The top four then joined Lance Savali on the mainstage to learn the finale choreography, with Karen admitting that she is well and truly out of her depth. Kita was charming despite struggling to pick up her’s, Art was patting the puss and slaying her sexy choreography, while Karen got the Trixie in All Stars 3 choreography, complete with baseball bat dad dancing. And then Scarlet nailed the entire rehearsal, despite getting the easiest moves.

Coronation Day arrived with Kita sharing how her sisters and he and her brother were split up when her parents divorced. Karen agreed that growing up in a house full of boys was a struggle for her too and how they both needed to let their families in. Scarlet spoke about how she has never met her father as he reached out to her as a teenager but stopped talking to her when she found out that she was gay. Art shared that she had the same story, but loved how her father now has to see her on ads and hear her on the radio given she is famous. Which is an iconic and amazing way to look at things. Talk turned to the dangers of being queer, though all of them agreed that they wouldn’t change anything as that is what has made them strong. 

Kita then summed things up, explaining about how much bigger the journey was than she was expecting and was so grateful to make it to the end. And again, please let this be part of her coronation edit!

Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places for the debut of the Down Under remix of I’m a Winner Baby with Kita coming out looking just like one. She was shimmering in white and sang beautifully, Art was hilarious and charming, dripping in technicolour neon. Karen owned her awkward dance moves though definitely had the weaker of the verses, despite the really sweet and kind message. Scarlet oddly looked a mess, though nailed the choreography and gave a classic finale verse.

On the Best Drag runway Art was beautiful in a teal ball gown fit for a princess, Karen was classic Karen in a shimmering boardroom eleganza. Kita was a gorgeous angel with blue hair, complete with moving wings. And Scarlet was inspired by Princess Grace in a rose gown, looking gorgeous.

The judges lived for everything Art did in the finale, looking stunning on the runway and nailing the performance. Ru praised her as the future of drag and ugh, I love her. Michelle lived for Karen’s Elvis style look in the performance, with them all loving her runway. Kita too was praised for everything she did, with Michelle loving her singing voice and living for how diverse she has been throughout the season. And how she has slayed the entire time (kinda proving her bottom placement was bogus). Scarlet too received universal praise, killing the dance moves and looking stunning in the finale. And then Ru gushed about everything she has done.

Art was first to give advice to her younger self, learning from her chat with Ru and Michelle, telling his younger self to look after himself as well as others. And to wear his fucking retainer. Karen told herself to remember that love will always be in her life and to power through the moments she doesn’t feel it. Cute young Kita was told to grow from her weird relationship with herself but to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and know that you have strength to get through anything. Bringing everyone to tears. Scarlet meanwhile cautioned herself to own her mistakes and use them to grow. And that she is worthy of love and isn’t alone.

When it came to laying claim to the crown, Art pointed out that she has been a champion for Down Under Drag her entire career and wants to invest in its future. Oh and just fucking loves drag. Karen said that she is the future of drag and a little bit of coin would really help her grow. Kita spoke about how drag has shaped her entire life and wanted to make Ru proud, as the victorious music started to play. And Scarlet said that she has proven her versatility and won the most challenges and would love to continue to push drag into the mainstream.

We didn’t get to see what went down backstage, but the top four exited as the judges deliberated and then returned to learn that they were required to complete the final lip sync solo, one after the other, to ONJ’s Physical. Which is truly iconic. Scarlet channeled sexy, Karen cleaned her glasses, Kita was filthy and ridiculous while Art was truly polished. But let’s be honest Kita’s sexed up ridiculous performance, complete with rubber gloves to give the judges a literal  physical was far and away the best performance.

And thankfully, she rightfully was crowned and we didn’t have to suffer through another Bimini situation!

That being said, the finale really cemented my love for Karen from Finance. She was vulnerable, polished and like Ru and Michelle, I feel the next two years are going to push her further than she could even imagine.

As we sobbed in each other’s arms after I gushed about her performance, I remembered that losing isn’t the new winning and as such, she needed something to sweeten the deal. Which thankfully, is where my Carrot From Finance Cake comes in to play.

Full disclosure, carrot cake is my favourite cake. Most likely because of its pairing with cream cheese icing. That being said, the sight of carrot in raw cake batter is kind of disturbing but work through it. Spiced, moist and fluffy, this truly is culinary perfection.

Enjoy!

Carrot From Finance Cake
Serves: 8-12, greed dependent.

Ingredients
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
200g raw caster sugar
200g muscovado sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
300g carrots, grated and peeled
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
350g butter, at room temperature
800g icing sugar
100g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the bottom of two 22cm cake tins with baking paper and greasing up the edges.

Working with two bowls, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in one and the oil, sugars, one teaspoon of the vanilla and eggs in the other, whisking well to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones until a smooth batter forms. Followed by the carrots.

Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 45 minutes, or until springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for ten minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes are chill, place the cream cheese, butter and remaining vanilla in a stand mixer and beat for a couple of minutes, or until fluffy. Fold through the icing sugar, and return to the mixer for a couple of minutes or until smooth and velvety.

To ice, dollop a bit of icing on the top of one of the cakes and smooth to form a ½-1 centimetre layer of icing. Top with the second cake and use the remaining icing to cover the surroundings. Decorate with the chopped nuts before placing in the fridge for an hour or so to set.

Then, confusingly, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving and then devour. 

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The Blacaforenast Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

While it feels like a nearly weekly occurrence since the start of the pandemic, the establishing shots of a new Werk Room fill me with so much joy. Particularly when they’re as bright and fun as our newest iteration to join the franchise, Drag Race España. 

Side note, remember when there was such a time as off season? Gagged.

But anyway, on to what you’re waiting for! We first met Arantxa Castilla La Mancha in full technicolour delight and given she is a passionate fan of Hannah Montana, I live for literally everything she stands for. Particularly since she has such a fun and stupid energy. She was joined by Sagittaria who looked like Else and Aquaria’s baby, though I’m fairly certain that is the point. Next up was Hugáceo Crujiente who looked like a work of bloody art – complete with frame – and I live for everything about her weird artsy vibes. Carmen Farala arrived serving muscle Joslyn Fox with a Jersey tan and Teresa Guidice’s wig and I hate how flooded my basement got. 

Oh and please note, her name is Farala not Farala – just to get the pronunciation correct. 

Pupi Poisson yodelled her way into the Werk Room and my heart and already, I know she is an icon. As well as Arantxa’s auntie and the most charming, shady queen in the bunch. Killer Queen was up next serving superhero realness and is a literal doctor, so I’m ready to get married because she is stunning. But then I’d need to keep Dovima Nurmi as a side piece as he is hot and in drag, a sexy vamp. Oh and she has a history with Sagittaria that didn’t end well, but they chose to hang out in the Werk Room because it is always better the devil you know. You know?

Inti made an iconic entry in all red, carrying your dad’s underwear and I live. Particularly since she has such a cool vibe which hits the exact Indigenous futuristic notes she is wanting too. Drag Vulcano looked like a glamorous, warrior porcupine and could choke me out of drag. And rounding out the cast is The Macarena who is just so delightfully positive, camp and wacky, so she too has me absolutely living. Particularly since she arrived with a tupperware container of pork rinds and some vegan snacks if the queens were that way inclined.

Their getting to know you was interrupted by Supremme de Luxe, welcoming her queens to the competition and introducing the dolls to the first two members of the oversized, gorgeous Pit Crew as they were challenged to a photoshoot while riding a mechanical bull. Last in was first up as The Macarena kissed the bull and fell off immediately before serving glamour in the pillowed floor. Sagittaria fought to stay on before getting into a rhythm and serving pure sex. Dovima was awkward, Inti was one with the bull (and was lucky enough to have long enough legs to keep them firmly on the ground). Carmen popped her balls, and that is enough to snatch the win in my eyes. Pupi had the time of her damn life, Killer Queen wisley needed the Pit Crew to ‘assist’ mounting the bull, Hugáceo was thrown around like a ragdoll and Vulcano shockingly didn’t pop the air mats with her headpiece, which Arantxa desperately needed as she ungraciously flipped around the arena. While having the best time, obviously. Ultimately Supremme is as big a fan of balls as I am, handing Carmen victory before dismissing the girls to de-drag.

As the queens removed their entry looks, we learnt that Dovima superglued stuff to her face while Sagittaria just completely got naked in the background. The dolls were gagged by Arantxa’s boy look while we uncomfortably watched The Macarena seemingly give birth while removing her tucking tape. Back with Arantxa we learned that she doesn’t tuck and instead uses an intricate system of tight panties, while Macarena was having a deep and meaningful with Inti and Vulcano about how she used to be very self-conscious but learnt to love herself and now lives for being naked. 

And well, let’s just say I love all the queens already.

Supreme returned to the Werk Room with some more of the Pit Crew to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge would required the girls to serve glamour using wagons of trash and as Carmen won the mini challenge, she would be able to pick her box of trash before the rest of the queens fought it out for theirs. Quite literally. More importantly we learnt that Killer Queen only runs for drag and buffets and honestly, I feel we connect on a deep level.

The queens split up to start prepping their looks with everyone playing around with their junk, while Killer Queen straight up whipped out the sewing machine and immediately started assembling her outfit like a damn icon. Supremme arrived to talk to the less organised dolls, with Carmen talking about how confused she is about everything and is struggling to even think, overwhelmed by having to  make an outfit in front of fashion designer Ana Locking. Sagittaria was hiding her nerves a bit better, while Dovima was straight up stressed. Until they started talking about their fight over a man and damn, I need all the details immediately.

Día de Eliminación arrived with the queens all upbeat despite the fact one of them would be going home by the end of the day. Macarena was hoping to just not to shit her pants before they were distracted with talk about plastic surgery – shading Carmen as the most silicone of the group. Macarena shared that they identify as non-binary, with Arantxa, Hugaceo and Inti shared that they too are non-binary. Carmen spoke about making dolls out of random objects as a child, Inti shared their mum identified them as an artist, rather than queer while Sagittaria and Hugacaeo shared touching stories about their mothers too. And well, Macarena ran her mouth a lot, much to Carmen’s chagrin. Oh and Pupi was going the Monet route and covering her shows in sponges, knowing that her look is definitely going to be a mess. And Sagittaria, Hugaceo and Arntxxa were kikiing, with the latter admitting that she has already learnt the lip sync, unsure whether she should trust her instincts with the look she pulled together.

Supreme was joined by Ana Locking, Javiers Ambrossi and Calvo and guest judge and my dream boyfriend, Jon Kortarjaren for the first runway de España. Inti slayed in a monochromatic drape number with pink and purple tassels around her hair. Arantxa was a bright, mod delight complete with bubble guns. Hugaceo was breathtaking in a blue and white gown with her face blending into the fabric of her look. Killer Queen was pretty, floral perfection, with an ode to Marie Antoinette. Sagittaria was breathtaking in a gown of black balls and hoops, serving space age sexbomb. The Macarena was a bright confectionary delight with a flamingo nesting on her shoulder. And carrying a rubber ducky just because. Dovima was a black and green furry sea creature bondage dream. Pupi Poisson was a hot mess with her cleaning products look, but her polish and humour on the runway was charming. Carmen once again looked full woman, ready for a casual lunch with the cast of RHONJ down by the Shore. While Drag Vulcano was a shimmering silver delight in a bodysuit with pinwheel flower embellishments.

Drag Vulcano, Arantxa, Killer Queen and Inti were sent to safety before the judges gushed about everything that Hugaceo did, with Ana in particular living for her fashion aesthetic. Sagittaria too received universal praise before the judges read Macarena for being a little basic and unfinished. Dovima was read for her runway walk, with Jon reminding her to not go so far that she ends up making her life too hard. Pupi was praised for turning up on the show given her legacy, though the judges didn’t like anything about her outfit. Oh and Carmen too received universal praise, with the judges loving her energy.

Backstage the safe queens celebrated not being the first boot before trying to guess who would be joining Carmen in the top. Inti suggested that Macarena would be joining her while Killer felt Pupi would definitely be at the bottom. But as you know, we’re all bottoms. The other dolls joined them with Hugaceo suggesting Carmen will win, while Pupi acknowledged she’d be in the bottom, as did Dovima. For not being able to get out of her head. And then Macarena gagged the girls by pointing out that she is probably in the bottom too.

Ultimately Carmen was sent to safety, handing Hugaceo the first win of the season to their adorable delight. Sagittaria was deemed safe before Supremme gagged us all by saving Pupi, leaving Macarena to battle Dovima to I Will Survive but not that I will Survive. The Monica Naranjo version. In any event, both of the queens immediately felt every lyric and worked overtime to avoid being the first one sent home. Then Dovima pulled out a damn whip, Macarena lost her wig and it was all over. Though I feel that the lip sync was a very hard fought draw, Dovima’s better outfit clearly managed to save her as The Macarena became the first queen eliminated.

I was so heartbroken to see my dear friend The Macarena walk back into the Werk Room and immediately pulled her in for a hug. And gave her the usual first-boot-of-a-franchise pep-talk. You know, the one where I tell them that as THE Porkchop, they will always be remembered while everyone else will fade into obscurity. Plus, if you speak about your penchant for nudity on camera, the world is going to love you. Particularly if you are nude while eating a The Blacaforenast Cake. There is a massive market for it.

Rich and fudgy, tart and sweet; a black forest cake is one of the greatest inventions. Like a slab of fruit and nut chocolate, this cake has it all. And what it lacks in nuts, Carmen is willing to flash hers. And well, so is my nude friend The Macarena.

Enjoy!

The Blacaforenast Cake
Serves: el español Porkchop y their also nude friend.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, diced
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
400g dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs, whisked
600ml thickened cream
2 tbsp kirsch
400g pitted sour cherries, drained but saving the ju-uice, buuuddddy
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 tbsp icing sugar
maraschino cherries, to top

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the caster sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarb with 60g of the chocolate and a cup of water in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it boils. Reduce to low and simmer for a couple of minutes, or until it is homogenous and combined. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes.

Whisk in the flour, baking powder and eggs until well combined. Pour into a lined 22cm cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Once rich but cooked, removed from the oven and allow to cool slightly in pan before transferring to a wire rack to finish the job.

To make the ganache, bring half the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and once shimmeringly hot, remove from heat and whisk through the chocolate until smooth and silky.

While that rests, combine the cherry juice with the arrowroot in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until viscose and shiny. Then leave that to rest.

Finally, beat the remaining cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks form. And when one of us is nude, the peaks are definitely stiff.

To assemble, cut the cake into four layers. Place the bottom on a plate, drizzle with a third of the kirsch, followed by the syrup and whipped cream. Sprinkle with cherries and repeat layering process until you’ve got the last piece of cake on top. Spread with the ganish until covered and smooth. 

Top with maraschino cherries and devour, triumphantly, in the nude. Like a damn icon.


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.