Henry Snickerson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Locky flipped on Samatau at the first post-merge tribal, though tried to pin it on Anneliese to save himself. This pitted the two against each other, with Anneliese trying to rally the troops to vote Locky and play her idol to save herself. Sadly, Ziggy opted to play the super-idol and keep a fellow meat shield in the game, sending Anneliese to the jury.

Back at camp, Tessa was feeling pretty annoyed by Ziggy’s play and she and Pete were questioning their entire alliance. While Tessa was doing a far better job of playing it cool, Ziggy rightfully pointed out that it was futile to stick with a dying alliance and was best to make a power move to win over her new alliance. Elsewhere in camp Henry was loving that not only did his plan play off, it also eliminated the other two idols in the game.

The next day Ziggy continued to bond with her new alliance while Tara was shocked at how far she has made it, how few people are left and how much she misses her family. If it didn’t cut straight to a Henry scene about his sole idol in the game, I would have assumed a family visit was imminent. Pulling me back to reality, Henry and Locky spoke about how much they love each other and working (with) each other.

Tessa conveniently reminded us that once again, she was back on the bottom before Jonathan returned to lord over the Survivor auction. Luke, Jericho and Ziggy got into a bidding war for a covered dish, which ended up being a message to leave the auction immediately … and instead receive everything that people win. Fuck me dead, that sounds amazing. Ziggy then dropped all her cash for smashed avo and Henry blew his wad (of cash) for champagne and cheesecake like the golden girl (fan) I so desperately want him to be. Before the next uncovered item was even on the bench, Sarah spent all her money on a nice chilled coconut … which Luke actually enjoyed. Locky and Michelle spent all their cash for the chance to pull rocks for a burrito and margaritas – not of the Moreno variety, sadly – before Pete threw $20 at the chance to speak to her family which Tara immediately topped for $500.

Her talking to her kids was adorable and emotional and if you’re not crying, you’re a jerk. (Also – told ya so). Luke then also got to speak to his kids and I lost it even more, as he struggled to talk to his son (who has autism) … and finished his journey to winning me back over.

After all that excitement, Jericho and Pete had a bidding war for burgers, fries and soft drink which juvenile Jericho loved. This left Pete to spend $320 – Tessa, you have all your cash – for an advantage at the next immunity challenge, for he and Luke. Jericho then gave Dr Tessa some sick burns while forcing her to pay $320 for an overnight reward with all the trimmings for her, rock-winning Michelle and obviously, Luke. This of course pissed off Sarah who was as equally screwed by the auction and wasn’t accepting that as the reason Michelle was selected. Hell hath no fury like a person scorned – I know the phrase is woman, but I am also no slouch when scorned – and gurl. Is. Scorned.

Michelle and Luke joined Tessa at reward where they all gloated about their luck. Tessa then explained that the decision was completely strategy, wanting to talk them into getting out Henry, Locky, Ziggy and Tara. I love Tara, but one of those things is not like the other. Back at camp Sarah continued to seethe which Henry continued to utilise to stoke the flames of rage against Tessa. Poor Pete tried his best to run damage control, but it truly was not going well.

At the reward it took about five seconds before Tessa got the intel that Henry had the idol, while we also learned that Ziggy’s regular part of idol was still in play after he move last tribal. While Michelle was all in with Tessa’s plan to blindside Henry followed by Ziggy, Luke was reticent, knowing that big moves are only worth it if they are to your benefit. I fucking hate when people not only prove my judgemental expectations wrong, but damn he is having a good episode.

The luxurious crew awoke the next day to a champagne breakfast complete with donuts and pastries, while back at camp Locky was freaking out that they would have aligned. Which they did, forming the champagne alliance. That being said, Henry was not so concerned, given the fact he has a ropable Sarah on side. Or so I thought, as she pointed out the fact that she was playing up her rage to put some distance between them so that she can pull off a blindside of Henry. That is some next level inception shit right there. She then got to work, pulling Jericho aside to tell him that their idol find last episode was a complete fake and he actually found it way back in the first week. This fired up Jericho and makes me extremely anxious for Henry.

With all the key players for tonight’s tribal lined up, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where Tessa and Michele tried their best at downplaying the majesty of their reward. We then got to the challenge where everyone had to hold up a ball on top of a curved rim while balancing on rapidly shrinking platformed, with Pete and Luke’s advantage being to start 30 seconds on a stage of their choosing. Michelle was out before Luke even began – after electing to take said advantage on the first stage – quickly followed by Tara before Sarah and Ziggy dropped. After round two kicked off, Jericho dropped out before Pete finally used his advantage on the final stage, before dropping out, followed closely by Luke and Henry. While Locky and Tessa both put in a huge effort – dug deep, if you will – her steady doctored hands pulled off a miracle and won Tessa immunity.

Returning to camp Henry and Locky were disappointed by Tessa’s victory which was further exacerbated by the fact it was pouring rain and they couldn’t go out and scramble. After waiting a sum total of five minutes, Tessa pulled Pete out into the rain to talk about her (slash their) new alliance with Luke and Michelle and that Henry would be going home, if they make him feel comfortable enough. This left Luke and Michelle to pretend that Tessa didn’t win them over, which wasn’t making Locky feel very comfortable. He and Henry then approached Tessa and Pete about voting literally anyone but them, while Pete gave Sarah up as another option. Tessa was feeling confident in her plan, Henry was feeling confident Pete would be going before Michelle pulled Sarah aside to get her onboard with the Henry vote, as did Luke with Jericho which legitimately left me feeling extremely confused as they headed off to tribal. I mean, he has to be smart enough to play his idol, right?

Everyone played tribal council hella vaguely, aside from Tessa and Michelle’s glamping gloat-fest. While Locky and Ziggy spoke up and acknowledged that Tessa was gunning for them, Ziggy wasn’t overly concerned that anything would come of it. Luke was able to use his dopey demeanour to his advantage, brushing off speculation of an alliance. Sarah was also unconvinced anything would come of Tessa’s scrambling before Pete dropped the bomb that there was a very powerful group of players in the game, which Tessa concurred with before Michelle acknowledged them by name – hey Locky, Henry and Ziggy – and kind of defused the suspicion of a blindside.

While Sarah, Tara and Henry were all expecting a straightforward Peter vote, Henry ignored Locky’s plea for him to play the idol resulting in him exiting the game and becoming the third member of the jury. He may not have been my number one – swoon Locky, swoon – but I still found him to be a total babe, and while we may not have known each other for very long – I met while running a con as a fake yoga attendee at his fake yoga studio – I felt our bond – and his dominant gameplay – more than earned him arguably the recipe of the season, my Henry Snickerson.

 

 

I say this about homemade burgers and pizzas, but the rule also applies to chocolate bars and biscuits – homemade copycats are always better than the OG. (Well, except for Shake Shack and In’n’Out). This homemade snickers is more kingsize than Luke’s ego and is more delicious than Locky – spongey nougat, salty nuts and dripping caramel … I’m now both horny and hungry.

Enjoy!

 

 

Henry Snickerson
Makes: 12-16.

Ingredients
¾ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup liquid glucose
¼ cup water
1 egg white, at room temperature
generous pinch of salt
½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter
60g butter
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
395g condensed milk
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
600g milk chocolate

Method
Line a 20x30cm baking pan with some baking paper.

Combine the caster sugar, glucose and water in a small pan over high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. While you bring the syrup to the boil, whisk the egg white in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. When the sugar reaches 135°C, remove from the boil and very slowly add to the eggs with the whisk still on high. Continue whisking until the nougat comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the peanut butter with an oiled spatula, emphasis on oiled, until it is thick, combined and spongy. Turn into the lined baking pan, spreading mixture evenly, and leave to rest while you make the caramel.

Combine the butter, muscovado sugar and condensed milk in a clean saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook until it is thick and has started to turn a caramel colour. Remove from the heat and fold through the chopped peanuts before spreading over the setting nougat. Cover and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to assemble, line a baking sheet with paper and cut the nougat and caramel into chocolate bar sized … bars. Melt the chocolate in the microwave – 30s on high, followed by 10s intervals until done – and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Dip the bars into the melted chocolate and place them on the lined baking sheet. Once done, brush the remaining chocolate over the bars to completely enclose them. Transfer to the fridge for a few hours to set, before devouring with your favourite marriage celebrant / fauxgi.

 

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Whoopi Goldberg Pies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Snack, Sweets

Oy vey – it’s the end of the road. You ready to let go?

Given that we kicked off this year’s Emmy Gold with such an icon, in the form of Reets – followed by Jack, Chevs, Luce and Ty – I knew we could only wrap-up Game of Golds with another EGOT winner. And there is no EGOT winner more iconic than my dear, dear, DEAR friend Whoopi Goldberg.

I first met Whoops in the ‘80s while she was filming The Color Purple. While I was mentoring my girl Oprah at the time, I saw Whoopi as a bright talent and endeavoured to make her a star. She wasn’t convinced Ghost was a good idea, but thankfully I was able to talk her around and well … Oscar came knocking. So, well, you’re welcome Whoops.

But in all seriousness, she has been extremely grateful for the career success I bequeathed her and is eagerly awaiting my screenplay for Sister Act III: Saving Lauryn Hill. In the meantime, she was thrilled to drop by and run the odds for the final time this Emmy season.

For the final time, I’m going to run the odds. So starting with the obvious, Outstanding Limited Series is going to Big Little Lies and Drag Race is taking Reality Competition. I’m praying Black Mirror will take out Outstanding Movie, though Wizard of Lies wouldn’t shock me and Coat of Many Colours would give me life. Saturday Night Live will win Variety for Kate McKinnon’s Hillary, Variety Talk is anyone’s game though I root for Colbert, Atlanta will win Comedy and The Handmaid’s Tale will win Drama.

Or This Is Us. Or Stranger Things. We really couldn’t decide.

Busy work, calls for a bit of a sugar rush, so thankfully Whoops was hella keen for some of her favourite treats – my Whoopi Goldberg Pies!

 

 

The earthiness of the rich chocolate, with the sticky muscovado and the sweet marshmallow filling, work together to fill your heart with joy and stomach with goody, goody, Goody Procter goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg Pies
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
½ cup valrhona cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
200g white marshmallows
30g butter
60g white chocolate, chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined, in another bowl slowly whisking in the buttermilk and vanilla. Then in a third bowl, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for five or so minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to until combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk-vanilla alternating between the two, in threes.

Spoon ¼ cup mounds of batter on a lined baking sheets and baking for ten-fifteen minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the pies are chillin’, place the marshmallows and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir until combined. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re good to go, spread half the biscuits with icing and sandwich with a bare half. Then, devour – oh happy day!

 

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Cophie Clarke Ice Cream

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

While my boy Probst may not agree, my friend, goddaughter and spirit animal Sophie Clarke is up there with one of my favourite survivor victors. And as such, is the perfect person to help continue our countdown heroically healing hustler countdown.

I’ve known dear, sassy, witty Soph since she was a wee babe, being an old friend of her father, journalist Thurston Clarke. We met at Yale and became the closest of friends, with him eventually asking me to be the godfather of his daughter Sophie.

Way back in 2010-11 – a time when Australian Survivor was yet to be rebooted for the second time – I decided that Sophie needed to compete on, and obviously win, Survivor to fulfill my dream for me.

While I was completely shooketh when I got out to Samoa and discovered that Probst had neglected to tell me that my sweet goddaughter would be competing on a rigged returnee captain, redemption island season. Thankfully for me, my sharp-tongue and athletic prowess had rubbed off and helped propel her to day 38, where she defeated challenge beast Ozzy and sent him out of the game.

As much as I hate to admit it, Coach did play a strong game in South Pacific – I will always prefer his performance in his Tocantins boot episode – Sophie destroyed him at final tribal council (like Michelle did to Ben on Monday night) and clearly articulated why she was better and therefore deserved the win.

Given she’s been hella busy with med school, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would have liked recently so she jumped at the chance to fly on over and mark the beginning of the new season … and casually gloat about now being Dr Clarke.

We used to spend a lot of time together, wandering around New York over a cup of joe, so I knew there was only one thing I could possible whip up – a delicious Cophie Clarke Ice Cream.

 

 

Shamelessly – and mildly – adapted from Nigella’s recipe, this sweet treat is near perfection. Particularly when you half the instant and switch out the liqueur for espresso. Who would have thought I’d cut out alcohol?

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Cophie Clarke Ice Cream
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
¼ cup fresh espresso, cooled

Method
Whisk all the ingredients together until soft peaks form.

Transfer to airtight containers and freeze overnight, or for six hours or so.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Rice Chripsy Swans

Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with a post house arrest Richie Hatch, I got to reminiscing about my time locked away in a house with my dear friend Chrissie Swan on this little show known as Big Brother.

Now I don’t want to bore you with the time-travel specifics, but I lost (hopefully a different timeline’s) 2018’s Australian Survivor and humiliated by my loss, decided to go back in time to 2003 and win Big Brother. Sadly my bullying wasn’t a winning formula for a publically voted show, so I decided to pick a fight with Chrissie – with whom I had fallen madly in friend-love with – to make her the triumphant hero to my villain.

To confuse you even further with the timeline, this wasn’t actually my first time connecting with Chrissie. You see, we shared some extremely witty banter on Twitter in 2008-9 and I decided that she we were the dearest of friends.

My proof being that she loved an ode I wrote to Dolly’s hit 9 to 5 AND tried to score me tickets to a tapping to The Circle featuring queen Nigella Lawson because I spammed her about my Nige passion.

That reminds me, I really need to tell you about the time I got drunk and charmed my way into a taping of The View.

Anyway, her kindness is what chose me to go back to 2003 in the pursuit of reality TV glory and why I chose to fall on my sword to confirm her status as a national treasure. And thankfully, we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Given Chris is hella busy, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like in recent years, so it was such a tweettreat to take the time to reconnect and devour a big ol’ batch of my Rice Chrispy Swans.

 

 

Like Chris, these babies are insanely sweet and completely (snap, crackle and) pop. I mean, sure they are unhealthy and super easy … but don’t let that take away from their majesty.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Chripsy Swans
Serves: 2, without judgement.

Ingredients
200g white marshmallows, like Megan Marshmallys, for instance
3 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
4 cups rice bubbles

Method
Place the marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted. Once they are completely liquified, add a pinch of salt and fold through the rice bubbles.

When completely combined, press the mixture into a lined 30 x 20cm baking sheet and chill for an hour or two.

Once set, remove from the pan, slice into bars and devour.

 

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Zac Efriands

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Side, Snack, Sweets

Holy hell, am I emotionally spent from my time with my friend come ex come *spoiler alert* friend again, Zachary David Alexander Efron. So as you know, my dear friend Corbin Bleu came up with a foolproof three-point plan to facilitate a reconciliation between Zac and I, but I never shared what it was … and it will blow your mind with its intricacy.

1. Call Zac on the phone and tell him I want to have him over to talk about where we left things.
2. Apologise for any of the nastiness I caused (minimal, but sure).
3. Listen to his feelings and accept that maybe he is hurt, vowing to move on if you’re both willing to forgive.

Seriously – have you ever read such a wild plan? And more importantly, would you ever, in a million years, think that it would work?

I am shook, still.

I first met Zac in 2004 while visiting my then boyfriends Jesse McCartney and Ryan Kwanten – I was in a polyamorous phase – and my dear friend Merrin Dungey on the set of Summerland, and we quickly bonded over our love of theatre and surfing. As I oft do, I knew that he was destined for greatness, dropped Jess and vowed to make him a star.

Two years later, I made good on said promise when I cast him in High School Musical. The rest, as they say, is history … but I assume you’d like to know that part of that history involved him thanking me with two years of passionate kissing and tender love-making.

Then tragedy struck when he opted to star in a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. I was livid, we broke it off immediately and we haven’t spoken since. (Despite the best efforts of my dear Sethy Roges).

While it was quite awkward to start, my constant run-ins with the law and multiple Hollywood feuds have seemingly given me the ability to deliver an apology that appears genuine and he forgave me for all that I’d done. He also apologised, but for nothing specific. While I found that odd, a quick Google search supports his claim that he never dragged me through the tabloids.

With that as proof, I kindly forgave him for all the pain that he caused and we caught each other up on life and laughed about the good old days … of my famed Zac Efriands.

 

 

Tart, earthy and sickeningly sweet, these delicate beauties are the perfect thing to facilitate meaningful reconciliation and solve all your problems. Take that, banana bread!

Enjoy!

 

 

Zac Efriands
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
200g icing sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 ⅔ cups almond meal
3 lemons, zested and juiced
200g unsalted butter, melted
6 egg whites
2 tbsp poppy seeds
¾ cup raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 12-hole friand pan.

Sift the icing sugar, flour and almond meal into a mixing bowl. Slowly incorporate the zest, melted butter, egg whites and poppy seeds, until just combined.

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for five minutes, before turning out and cooling completely.

When you’re almost ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and raw caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until slightly thickened.

Prick the friands – ahhhh, the memories with Zac – and poor over the sweet tangy liquid, filling up the friands – again, memories.

Devour immediately.

 

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Mochate Temby Ice Cream

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 strangers were marooned in Samoa with Locky continuing to buck my trend of only backing middle-aged women to be my firm favourite. Emphasis on firm, given his second straight episode of nudity. Tara, Jacqui and Henry were also amazing, the latter two finding the Asaga idol together. At Samatau Adam wasn’t so lucky on his idol hunt, with AK snatching it from under his nose, questionably playing it on Jarrad, and Adam becoming the second boot.

Back at camp Samatau congratulated AK on his move slash surviving tribal and it seems the plan to secure Jarrad’s loyalty was paying since Jarrad is too nice to turn on him. Sadly Locky kept his pants on for the entire pre-credits scene. Should we start a prayer circle? Dearest RuPaul … sorry, wrong show.

Just like that, Luke and Jericho had some nocturnal cuddles through the night at Asaga and my belief in RuPaul, gay god, was reconfirmed. On the hetero end of the spectrum, Sam and Mark snuggled through the night and made themselves targets. Isn’t it nice that Survivor is the one game where being a heterosexual couple is considered an issue?

The next day, Locky and Jarrad spoke about Tessa and Kate being on the out, finally introducing us to Dr Tessa … who was well pissed about Tara flipping on their alliance. The boys were feeling very confident in their misfits alliance – I love living in a world where someone that looks like Locky is a misfit – while Tessa and Kate cornered Tara to find out where they stood, and we learnt that Tara is more across everything that is going on than her tribe mates give her credit for.

Over at the couples retreat that is Asaga, Mark W spoke about having a crush on Sam, though acknowledged she was dangerous. Michelle was jealous to not have that kind of love on the outside – it is day seven Mich and this is not The Bachelor – while Henry and Jacqui discussed the possibility of using their idol to get rid of Sam and break them up. Side note: wouldn’t that be an amazing twist on The Bachelor? Jacry entering the mansion to sabotage budding couples?!

Wanting to putting an end to my corporate cross-promotion of the Bachelor, JLP arrived for the reward challenge where Jacs thought getting rid of Adam was a dud move on Samatau’s part. Anneliese tried to defend the decision, but her umming and ahhing wastn’t overly convincing. Continuing in the killer challenge tradition, the tribes had to push a giant balls through obstacles, push it over a bridge, have two tribe members mount and ride it between two platforms, toss some rings to drop a ramp and allow the remaining tribe mates to push it up an incline and into a hole, for comfort and a tarp. Which is pretty much what I do with my balls for comfort, so it all makes perfect sense.

Asaga got out to an early lead with the obstacle before Jarrad dominating riding the balls, overtaking Jacqui and giving Samatau the lead. Despite Jericho’s best efforts to catch-up, Samatau took out victory … and almost Ziggy, as she followed the ball into the hole. Locky was not happy – swoon – about the her almost injury and told Mark H he needs to listen and pull it back, setting up a feud that I’d rather not witness as I kinda dig Australia’s Tarzan. Plus if anyone needed to be yelled at, it is Locky … for keeping his pants on.

Back at camp Mark H – who henceforward I will agree to called Tarzan – spoke about Locky feeling threatened by him and decided to have some fun, throwing shade at Locky’s shelter building ability. It may be my rose coloured glasses, but I feel like Locky still came off as the good guy in this sitch.

Meanwhile over at Asaga, Sam started to realise that being a coupled up control freak isn’t the best in this game. She then proceeded to approach literally every person in the tribe about whether they have heard her name thrown around, which Odette, Jacqui and Kent handled with ease and Sarah went up in my books by telling her straight up, that running around talking to everyone is making her look paranoid.

Kate and Tessa were still scrambling over at Samatau, plotting about which crack to target to get an in with the tribe – enter AK, stage right! Kate pulled him aside to point out that he is on the bottom of the current majority and should flip, which is completely logical except she was kinda patronising about it, so I don’t know if he’ll actually listen. While this went down, Tarzan and Locky brooded at opposite ends of the beach, post-fight, which Tessa used to her advantage, seeing if Tarzan was feeling ok and seamlessly transitioned into propositioning him to go idol hunting with her later on, as people wouldn’t question him poking around the jungle.

Back at Asaga, Sam continued to act extremely paranoid and pulled Henry and Jacqui aside to reconfirm their alliance by the fire. While it was hardly a success, she was perceptive enough to notice that Henry and Jacqui are closer than people think. Playing the role of guard dog well, Mark W followed Jacry to the well to make sure they weren’t plotting against them. They then returned to camp and were greeted by Kent informing them Mark was definitely sent on Sam’s behalf, firmly planting the target on her back for Jacqui and Henry vowing to throw the challenge. Mark – no pun intended – my words, don’t cross Jacry.

On that note, JLP returned for said immunity challenge where Henry reconfirmed that he will be throwing the challenge, Ziggy and Peter pointed out their reward tarp was quite small and Michelle mentioned she hates roughing it, which I get, but it’s a terrible thing to say before an immunity challenge. Said challenge, required the tribes to row a raft out around crates, diving into the water to retrieve keys, returning to the shore, releasing wood and working the wood into a bigger tower than a guide pole.

Samatau got out to an early lead thanks to Locky’s lead, while Asaga fell behind thanks to Henry’s deliberately awful leadership. Despite poor Kent’s best efforts with the knots Samatau returned to the beach well before Henry left Asaga tethered to the mooring and then acted as a brake on the row back to the beach. Asaga returned to the beach while Samatau’s tower was well above the height of people, but miraculously caught up and took home immunity, much to Henry’s dismay.

A defeated Samatau returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Tessa and Kate clearly on the outs as the mega-alliance of eight decided to get rid of Tessa at tribal. As soon as they broke up, Tessa pounced on AK and Jarrad and got to work trying to convince them to flip and get rid of Tara with she, Kate and Tarzan. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, they then approached Locky to try and get him to flip for shits and giggles. Tara and Tessa got together to acknowledge they were both targeting each other, with Tara rightfully pointing out that she told Adam she was out and didn’t actually flip and the tension kind diffused … which obviously meant it was time for tribal.

Jonathan started off by rubbing salt in their wounds, pointing out they have a habit of blowing early leads. Aimee was too focused to notice Asaga catching up, aye, while Tarzan pointed out that it sometimes is just the luck of the day and that the tribe definitely needs to come together as a single tribe. AK agreed, which got some laughs from JLP since he was on the bottom last episode, before Tessa launched into an attack on Tara which backfired completely, with her allies coming to her defense. While Kate played the situation quite well, Tessa continued to attack Tara for flipping which Peter pointed out is ironic, since that is what she wants AK to do to save her.

The votes quickly piled up on Tessa and Kate, with Tessa somehow surviving the vote and Kate sent out of the game as the third boot. I’ve known Kate for years, meeting in Västervik in Sweden while she was working as an investment banker. While she deemed me and my plan to sell naked images of my boyfriend Skarsy a bad investment (something about needing his consent, which was not part of the business plan), she did appreciate me trying to sweeten the deal with some Mochate Temby Ice Cream.

 

 

This no-churn ice cream is the perfect dessert, requiring minimal effort for maximum gain. The intense coffee flavour smacks you in the face, while the chocolate biscuits soften the flavour and give some much needed crunch. And, well, the entire mocha element I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mochate Temby Ice Cream
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
600ml double cream
395g condensed milk
¼ cup instant espresso powder
¼ cup cooled espresso or Tia Maria
250g chocolate biscuits, crushed

Method
Whisk the double cream, condensed milk, espresso powder and coffee or Tia Maria until soft peaks form. Do not over whip or it will become too firm.

Fold through the chocolate biscuits, decant into an airtight container and freeze overnight.

Then, if you were able to wait, devour.

 

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Bananarama Bread

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to reconnect with my girls, Sara, Keren and Siobhan – aka Bananarama. Late last year I started receiving voicemails from all of the girls individually, asking to drop by and talk.

“Hey Ben, it’s Sar! Give me a call, I’d love to reconnect. Don’t make me Bobby D for you!”

“Ben – its Kez. I hear its been a Cruel Summer in Brisbane, call me back we need to talk.”

By the time Sio-b-han called to confess her guilt of love in the first degree, I knew what they were playing at and was equal parts excited and terrified. As you should already know, Siobhan returned to the group earlier this year and as the other founding member of Bananarama, I knew they’d be desperate to get me back.

I attended St. George’s School for Girls with Sez and Kez, and we became the fastest of friends. Sara and I then met Siobhan while studying fashion journalism and the band was quickly formed. Fun fact: I convinced them to name the band after my passion for penis … which ultimately led to me leaving the group.

Oh, I should clarify – I convinced them to name it Bananarama without explaining that it was also a festival I held in the West Village in the late 50s / early 60s.

The truth got me kicked out of the group in the early 80s for lying to them – they loved it, thus keeping it, but the betrayal cut deep – and we didn’t speak until 1987 when they wrote the hit song Love in the First Degree as an apology. While our friendship was renewed, I couldn’t rejoin the group as Maggie Thatch had banned me from the U.K.

While we’ve stayed in contact throughout the years, we haven’t seen each other in close to a decade. I guess there was always a part of me that knew that they’d want to reform but due to the nodules I shared with Julie Andrews, I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to sing again.

After holding each other for what felt like hours, we quickly caught up on life and laughed the night away. Sure the girls were disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to rejoin the band – they don’t have to know I’m a bee’s dick away from convincing Celine Dion to start a duo – they were just thrilled to see me and share a delicious Bananarama Bread.

 

 

Like Apu and Mandula, I am a firm, firm believer that banana bread solves all of life’s problems. Throw in some walnuts and chocolate? Well I guess you’re in for a damn delightful treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bananarama Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
4 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
150ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
150g raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh espresso, cooled
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ roughly chopped milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loaf tin.

Mash the bananas in the bowl of an electric mixer with the vanilla and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low while adding the oil. Add the eggs one by one, still mixing, before adding the sugar and coffee.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour and bicarb and quickly stir with the paddle until the mixture binds. Return to the mixer and stir on medium for a minute. Remove again, fold through the walnuts and chocolate, and pour into the loaf tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden, risen and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely … if you can wait.

If not, just devour.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream

Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, a new challenge beast emerged in Barbs getting her head back in the game … briefly, before joining Avi and Tom to get rid of Nate and hand victory to one of the boys. Nate buried the hatchet with Mike and Jak on redemption island, which may come in handy since Jak dropped his coins and Nate returned to the game with Mike.

Back at camp the weather was hella gloomy, probably mirroring the feelings of Avi and Tom … which Mike picked up. Tom was feeling safe after surviving the previous tribal council without immunity, while Nate was feeling nervous – obviously – since he was booted by three of the five remaining players less than 48 hours ago.

Tom and Avi hung out playing cards on a blanket, while Barb perched in place in the hammock. Tom was glad Jak didn’t return to the game, which is obvious since that is one vote he has locked up. Avi then threw a curveball and mentioned that maybe going to the end with Tom and Mike would be a good idea, since they would split the boys votes. Which makes me super angry because it would come at the expense of queen Barb.

Nate and Mike were rightfully feeling on the outs, knowing that they’re only hope was Mike winning immunity and them somehow convincing Barbs to flip on the boys she is trying to help win. Which is obviously super unlikely, but goals hey?

Matt decided to join the fray for the immunity challenge, requiring the final final five to stand a series of blocks on a teetering tray held stable by them on the end of a rope – you know it, it is in most seasons of Survivor. Queen Barbs got out to an early lead … until she wasn’t, Mike then took the lead … until he wasn’t. Tom then closed the gap and overtook the serial droppers, taking out his US record equalling fifth immunity win. Hopefully that doesn’t foreshadow him becoming a runner up like Colby, Ozzy and Culpepper.

Back at camp Barb and Avi were quick to congratulate Tom, while Mike was feeling a wee bit more dejected. Mike approached Barb in her hammock throne and proved that 17 days on redemption haven’t helped his ability to scramble. He then bitched and moaned about her gameplay and age in confessionals, inciting my rage despite dem nips.

He then tried his luck with Nate who honestly just didn’t seem to give any fucks. He still hopes to win though, he is just bored with Mike.

Mike continued to talk about convincing Nate and Barb to join him in voting out RV, which I think he actually believes is Avi’s name. He then had a crack at trying to sway RV, though I don’t think it will happen … SINCE HE DOESN’T KNOW HIS NAME. Though realistically, it is in Avi’s best interests.

Avi then caught up with someone who knows his name, Tom, and spilled all the goss, terrifying Tom and me. Because let’s be honest, Tom is the only hope we have if Barbs doesn’t win. Everyone then gave some ambiguous grabs as we heading to tribal, though the outcome is still somewhat obvious.

Matt pointed out that Mike has spent most of the game on redemption island before the latter took the opportunity and ran with it, giving an arrogant monologue that highlighted how little he knows about the tribe’s dynamic. He derided Barb’s game, saying she rode the coattails of Tom and this fictitious player RV, and would never win. Barb then went in for Mike and pointed out that once again, she is the one casting the deciding vote and berated his stupidity. Essentially. Tom then support Barb, again carrying her I assume, before Barbs returned to berating Mike, highlighting that being disrespectful isn’t the best way to win her over. Mike then tried to backpedal, before Barb told everyone she does not give a fuck about how the jury perceives her game … because she knows she is the dominant queen of Survivor NZ.

Nate and Avi then said some stuff, Barb was sassy before Mike continued to trash Barbs’ game and tried to force Tom to give up immunity with the power of his mind. Thankfully Tom wasn’t moved by his powers, keeping immunity as everyone joined together to vote out Mike.

But let’s pause a second to acknowledge that … HE DID IT, HE VOTED FOR RV. HE LITERALLY THOUGHT HE WAS NAMED AFTER A RECREATIONAL VEHICLE FAVOURED BY RETIREES.

While I oft swing between loving Mike (‘s nips) and hating him, his domination of redemption island was extremely impressive. As was his ability to win everyone over on their way to the jury, which probably would have worked if he made it to the end. Which he didn’t, thoughe he did earn some Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream.

 

 

Hokey pokey is a New Zealand icon, kinda like how mIke was the icon of redemption island. Though with the whole fresh ice cream with an insane vanilla punch, paired with a tonne of honeycomb … can you really blame the Kiwis?

No, you can’t. Enjoy!

 

 

Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream
Makes: 1L.

Ingredients
600ml double cream
375g condensed milk
3 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups broken up honeycomb

Method
Combine the double cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on low until soft peaks form.

Remove from the mixer, fold through the honeycomb, transfer to a container and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove it from the freezer and devour.

 

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Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Pie, Snack, Sweets

Oh how my heart is heavy! I mean, yes, I am heartbroken that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are coming to a close today … but my agony has more to do with that fact I’m whipping out the time machine to celebrate with Brittany Murphy just prior to her death.

And fuck do I miss my Brit.

We first met on the set of Clueless where Amy Heckerling said, and I quote, “we need Brit to look less pretty, more dirty and disheveled … so Ben, can we model pre-makeover Tai on you?”

While that one comment set off a feud with Ames that lasted until a few years ago – when I embraced my homeless-toddler looks – I took Brit under her wing and gave her the typical teen movie make-under. Fun fact: she could be a farmer in those clothes was a line inspired by the fight with Amy, as I staunchly defended my sexy-farmer look.

Anyway, Brits felt for my pain and we quickly bonded. Soon after I introduced her to Allison and helped her make her Broadway in A View from the Bridge, before convincing them both to join Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I still can’t believe that she has been gone for almost eight years now, and not a day goes by where I don’t miss the ability to pick up the phone and have a gossip and a laugh. Thankfully though, my invention of time travel allows me to involve her in the celebrations, pre-posthumously.

I’ve been racking my brain about when exactly to catch-up to avoid making too many changes to the timeline, and the only time that really makes sense is to drop by in 2009 aka the 10th anniversary of the movie. But tragically that also means it is five months before her death.

When I arrived in her late noughties Hollywood home, I ran into her arms and held her so hard I thought I may break her. While I wanted to scream at her to get out of the house and that girl, you in danger … I knew I couldn’t, filling the entire catch-up with a melancholic tone for me.

Thankfully my supreme acting talent didn’t let it show, as we joked and caught up on what we’d been doing recently over a Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie.

 

 

While it may not fit with the whole cook-out theme I had going to celebrate DDG and Fourth of July, there is nothing more American than a Mississippi Mud Pie. A crunchy (sop it up with a) biscuit crust, delicate cake, velvety chocolate custard and freshly whipped cream? You really can’t go wrong.

Happy Fourth of July ya’ll, now enjoy, ya here?

 

 

Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
Crust
500g chocolate biscuits, crushed
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
Cake
¼ cup unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
¼ cup strong coffee, cooled
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
Pu-dang
¾ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup dark cocoa powder
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate
(Ben de La)Creme
1 cup double cream
3 tbsp raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven 120°C.

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a pie dish and press all the way up the edge. Transfer to the freezer and chill for half an hour. Transfer straight into the oven and bake for ten minutes, or until dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Crank the oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt via double-boiler. In a different bowl, combine the espresso powder, coffee, salt and vanilla, and allow to rest. Meanwhile, place the yolks and ½ a cup of sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until combined and doubled in volume. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the side and add the coffee mixture, and beat until just combined.

In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until they foam. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Combine a cup of the stiff peaks by folding through the chocolate. Add the remaining whites and fold through until combined. Pour into the crust, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still a bit jiggly in the middle, caliente style.

No, you can’t call me fucking jiggly.

Allow to cool on a rack for an hour, before transferring to the fridge for a few hours.

While that is chilling, whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt and yolk in a medium saucepan before slowing whisking through the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Boil for a minute before transferring to a bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and chocolate, whisking until combined. Allow to stand for half an hour before pressing some cling to the surface and chilling for a few hours. Once chilled, stir the pudding before transferring to the pie on top of the cake. Return to the fridge and chill.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream and caster sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop over the pie and spread to coat. Chill for half an hour before serving, generously, and devouring.

 

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