Passhonafruit Macarons

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa twenty castaways returned to the game, divided into two tribes based on whether they managed to stick around to the merge or not on their first go around. While The pre-mergers dominated the early portion of the game sending Chappies and PK home back-to-back, things took a turn as queen Tania and Tevin. While everyone was expecting some sort of switch, the tribes stayed the same and after losing a third immunity challenge, Yontau weren’t sure who exactly to go home. Despite Pinty bringing down the vibe and Killarney being well on the outs, the tribe banded together to blindside the more threatening Seamus from the game.

We checked in with Yontau the next morning where Pinty was gloating about pulling off the blindside, frustrating the very people that saved her and making them question turning on poor Seamus. While Phil wanted to gag her, Dino was grateful for her now-undying loyalty though felt she was overplaying her role in the move when it was really Shona that orchestrated it. Whether Pinty can see that or not. At Masu Toni was still nervous about Dante’s vendetta against her, though was grateful that his reasons for targeting her – Tevin and PK – were now gone. While she didn’t feel safe, she was trying to stay quiet and keep her mouth in check. Well, until she has to. Palesa on the other hand continued to watch everything, quickly identifying Steffi as the one most likely to flip on the alliance and patiently waiting for the right time to make a move. Not wanting to overplay it.

The tribes then got treemail warning them to be prepared, making Dino certain that it was finally, FINALLY, time to swap. While Felix just wanted everyone to stop speculating about said swap. Masu meanwhile were just as confused, though were quietly confident in their ability to stick together. Whatever it is they were preparing for.

Right on cue the tribes met up with Nico where they discovered no challenge set-up which was all the confirmation they needed before he even uttered the words, drop your buffs! Much to Toni’s absolute delight. Everyone then took a place behind a table with a vase before Nico handed out vials of dye which they poured into said vases. Which TBH, is a visually stunning way to split tribes. Toni, Steffi, Tejan, Pinty, Thoriso, Killarney and Felix landed on new Masu, while Phil, Dino, Marian, Meryl, Palesa, Shane and Dante formed the new Yontau tribe. Oh and Shona pulled yellow dye, meaning she tragically wasn’t immune for the round, but instead, she was able to select which tribe she joined. Ultimately opting to stick on Yontau with Phil and Dino, despite the OGs being dangerously out-numbered.

The tribes ventured back to camp with their new tribes with Phil shocked that Shona decided to join them, but grateful to have landed with his ally Dino. Meryl meanwhile was super confused about why Shona made the decision she did, questioning whether she was aligned with Dino or Phil, had an advantage or was just kind of a mess. Shona then floated the idea of voting on consensus, which immediately pissed off Palesa who doesn’t want anyone dictating how she plays. Oh and Shane was even more frustrated by her, as he rifled through bags to check for idols.

Over at new Masu Toni was feeling renewed in the game, finally on a tribe with people she felt she could work with. And presumably, glad to be away from Dante. Steffi meanwhile was feeling screwed, isolated from all of her allies and unsure where she stood. Felix went the Baby Jane route and called his new camp a dump, though was glad to at least have a tarp. Pinty was feeling like a guest, which hopefully might make her more likely to keep from running her mouth too aggressively. 

Back at Yontau Phil wasn’t thrilled to be on a tribe with his fellow castmates from Champions, Marian and Shane, knowing they were snakes. That being said, he felt he and Marian had built a good relationship post-game and got to work pulling her in to help him survive the next few rounds. With Marian too open to the idea of keeping a secret ally around to help come the merge. Dante meanwhile continued to be focused on getting out Dino, though tragically now, he has the opportunity to.

They received treemail about returning to the Outpost to barter for supplies left behind, with Dante selected to represent Yontau and Tejan joining him from Masu. Despite Steffi pushing to go again, making Thoriso nervous about how she and Pinty are going to get along. While Steffi just wanted to restock the pantry as the unofficial camp chef.

Over at the Outpost Dante was shocked to see Tejan there, given they were on the same starting tribes. They found some juice and snacks for them which Tejan immediately smashed before they discovered they would each receive a bag of rice but were cautioned to keep their eyes open. They then bartered a grill and a fishing rod, before talk turned to alliances. Dante encouraged Tejan to approach Felix to join him and form a new majority on Masu to keep him safe. Which is all well and good, if Tejan didn’t see it as a win for Dante’s game more than his. Before splitting up, the boys opened the bags of rice to discover clues to new hidden immunity idols back at their camp and well, things could get very interesting, very soon.

Back at Yontau Shona admitted that she was feeling on the outs at the original tribe, talking extensively about how out of the loop she was. While Dino and Phil looked like they wanted her to shut up. Dante returned – in speedos, swoon – and was open about everything that went down at the Outpost, except for the idol clue. Which immediately made Dino wary of his rival. At the new Masu, Killarney was bonding with Steffi over training, while Thoriso quietly watched on wondering how she ended up in the situation. Tejan made his heroic return with everyone overjoyed to discover the massive bag of rice he was carrying, giving the exact same story – and omission – as Dante. Which made Thoriso as suspicious as Dino.

Tejan then excused himself and went hunting for his idol, while over at Yontau Dante waited until the cover of darkness to run off and snatch his. Which he did, grateful to finally have guaranteed safety across his seasons.

The next day the tribe reconvened with Nico where they would battle in trios to manaeuvre massive balls through a mud pit. First tribe to push their ball over the line scoring a point, with the first to 2 winning immunity and a big bowl of bunny chow. And should new Masu lose, Marian intended to hand off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi to save her ally. Tejan, Felix and Steffi were up first against Dante, Palesa and Shane. As Dante and Tejan wrestled and whispered, the other duos were locked in their own battles. After a good half hour, we got a little bit of Dante crack, while Palesa and Steffi both fell over. With Steffi hurting her already injured knee, leading to a visit from the medic.

Given the first round was abandoned, they decided to forgo a third round and instead it was up to Toni, Pinty and Killarney to fight Shona, Meryl and Marian. And well, it was well and truly a fight, as Pinty almost got the upper hand against Marian before it descended into chaotic wrestling and then Pinty graduated from pushing her opponents to straight up body slamming Shona into the mud with her back, leading to Shona requiring medical attention. And well, it was not fun to watch as she screamed in agony. 

Everyone watched on as poor Shona was stretchered from the field while Pinty sat in shock over what she did, crying with guilt. Thankfully she was only officially out of the challenge until she was checked by medical to see whether she could remain. Felix and Shane traded out for Shona and Killarney and reset, which TBH, is a total vibe. Oh and then Nico added two more balls for shits and giggles. As everyone wrestled for more than an hour, Toni put everyone out of their misery as she scored the single point for Masu handing them immunity and reward. And well, maybe everyone should get a cheeky reward after that, Nico? After the challenge Meryl and Marian broke down in tears, disappointed to have lost Shona to an injury and to have let the team down. While everyone assured them that that is definitely not what happened while even Dante cried from exhaustion.

Back at Masu everyone ran into the water to wash off the mud, shell shocked by how brutal the challenge was, though glad they were able to smash some Bunny Chow to make up for it. Steffi shared how proud she was of each and every one of them, while Toni was glad to give everyone something to bond over. Pinty too shared how emotional she was to get the win before Tejan thankfully asked everyone to take a moment to send good vibes to Shona. Which made Pinty talk about how horrible she feels over the thought of hurting her and taking her out of the game. Killarney meanwhile was thrilled to have a little bit of redemption in the challenge and to have proved herself to the new tribe.

Back at Yontau the mood was far more miserable as they washed off. Dino kicked things off going person to person knowing it was likely him going home tonight, while Phil’s plan was just to survive one more day. Marian was feeling proud of herself for standing up to her anxiety and working through the pain, though Dino and Phil tried to figure out how best to navigate a potential split vote, unsure whether Shona will return to the game and give them another much needed number. Dino then went hunting for an idol, sharing he had searched camp day and night, though was yet to find one. The OG Masu tribe agreed that getting rid of Shona should be their priority, though should she not come back, they would vote out Dino. And what do you know, that is the exact moment he found the hidden immunity idol.

Dino caught Shane up on the idol find which well and truly gave Phil hope as they tried to figure out who would be the most likely to flip from original Masu. Quickly deciding on the correct answer, Palesa. Instead of approaching her though, Dino went with another option. That being to guilt Meryl and Marian about potentially voting him out. Tearfully asking if there is anything he could do to change his fate.

Nico gagged the tribe by arriving at camp to advise them that Shona is in pain, though she is not out of the game and is ready to fight another day. Everyone was overjoyed by her return and even more so when Nico announced that he felt like everyone has been through enough for one day and as such, they could have the night off and instead go vote someone off tomorrow. As Shona regaled everyone with tales of her injury, Meryl and Marian were glad to no longer vote out Dino as he is so nice and sweet. As Meryl caught up with Dante to flip the vote back to Shona, he strongly pushed for Dino and their making smart moves in general, rather than being swayed by emotions.

Over at Masu, Thoriso admitted that she didn’t sleep a wink last night, trying to think of a way to protect herself as well as she was over at Yontau. She approached Tejan and floated the idea of locking in a final four alliance between them, Toni and Felix, while Felix would have preferred they pulled in Steffi instead. As Tejan, Thoriso and Felix caught up by the well, Tejan told them that should the alliance work, they need to get rid of one of their own first. Which was fine with Thoriso, given she had wanted to get rid of Killarney for weeks. Speaking of Killarney, she, Steffi, Toni and Tejan were also locking in a four person alliance.

Back at Masu Shona was feeling far better than the previous day, while Palesa felt beat-up after the challenge. That being said, Shona started to worry about what she missed while she was away receiving medical attention. Dante, Meryl, Marian and Palesa caught up and agreed to lock in Shona, given she had annoyed Dante by suggesting they don’t burn much wood throughout the day. Fixated on Dino however, Dante hatched a plan to split the vote between Shona and Dino, but use Dino and Phil’s votes to get it done. As he looped them in, Dino felt suss about Dante’s story, while Marian and Shane caught up, with the latter sure that Dante’s fixation will be his undoing. And frankly, he doesn’t really care if it blows up in his face. Oh and Shona and Dino were planning some idol shenanigans, be it the real one or her fakey at tribal council.

Dino looped Phil in on the fake idol, hopeful that Shona pulling it out at tribal council would create enough chaos to flip the votes back on to him in the hope of using the real one to idol Dante out of the game. To help get it over the line, Dino finally pulled Palesa aside to float the plan and hoped that her good reads on the game would be enough to help get Dante out. And well, she was well and truly keen and assured him that her keeping his idol a secret from the others will be proof of her loyalty moving forward. And yas, Queen Palesa, werk!

At tribal council Marian spoke about how emotionally draining the last immunity challenge was, while Shona was glad to give it her all and prove that she isn’t a weaker player. That being said, she was nervous about being taken out to be checked for medical and not having enough time to form bonds like the rest of the tribe. But you know, she trusts in the universe – or her fake idol – having her back. Dante admitted that he is very nervous at tribal council while Meryl was confused about the fact no idols had come up yet, not even knowing what they look like to make a fakey. Shane meanwhile was glad no idols had come up and felt like it had forced them to play differently. Phil meanwhile spoke about the first post-swap tribal giving everyone a clearer picture of the playing field.

Right on cue, Palesa spoke about needing to make smart moves and sticking with the numbers, while Dino felt like he had a lot to lose. Which made Dante step in and talk about figuring out when is the right time to take a step back and turn on people, even if they’ve known them for years. He then spoke about how disappointed he would be if people didn’t stick to the plan, while Shona reiterated they all need to put their own games first. This got Meryl and Marian whispering, which got Dante involved while Dino looked like he was about to throw up. As did Phil and Shona, though the latter never got out her fake hidden immunity idol.

With that the tribe voted, Dino played his hidden immunity idol – as Dante cussed out Meryl and Marian for not believing him when he told them Dino had an idol – before Shona was narrowly blindsided from the game over Dante after Phil switched his vote in a panic. And I love me some feel, but damn, why do that to my girl Shona!

Thankfully despite all the trauma she had experienced in the preceding 24 hours, Shona was feeling pretty upbeat and was proud of how she played her second go around. Improving her placement and proving to herself and her tribemates how strong she can be. I pulled her in for a massive yet gentle hug, suggesting that maybe she should add me to the list of people that are proud of her. Despite everything that was thrown at her, she was always energetic, friendly and kind and while that is definitely not how things would go for me in the game, I do admire how such kind hearted people exist. Which, in my opinion, makes someone worthy of all the world has to offer and a big platter of Passhonafruit Macarons.

I always hated passionfruit growing up, terrified about the seeds cracking my teeth. Thankfully my mother-in-law started making seedless variations of passionate items and I was finally able to fall in love with them. Sweet, a little tangy and oh so delicious, these macarons are perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

Passhonafruit Macarons
Serves: 1 delightful person, her salty friend and 2-4 others should you want.

Ingredients
105g almond meal
105g icing sugar
100g egg whites
100g raw caster sugar
a couple of drops yellow food colouring
Icing
2 egg whites
½ cup raw caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter

Method
Sift almond meal and the icing sugar together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the whites in a clean, dry electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until dissolved. Then add food colouring and beat until just combined. Remove from the mixer and gently fold through the almond meal until just combined, thick and glossy.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe into 4cm rounds on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and tap on the bench to remove air bubbles. Leave to sit for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 130°C.

Place the cookies in the oven, one tray at a time, and bake for twenty minutes, or until the tops are firm. Remove to cool on the tray on wire racks.

While they get chill, start working on the icing by whisking the whites, caster sugar, cream of tartar and salt until combined. Place over a double boiled and cook, whisking, until the mixture reaches 60C. Transfer to a stand mixer and whisk on high speed for five minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Fold through the vanilla and passionfruit butter and leave to rest.

To assemble, pipe the icing on to the base of half the biscuits and sandwich with the naked ones. Once complete, devour. Greedily.


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Melinzer Chiang Cookies

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Blood and Water pulled a Spicys as two became one, reuniting loved ones and forming the Lava tribe. Which yes, is a worse name than Fire. At the first reward challenge Khanh won $60K which came with a secondary prize of painting an even bigger target on his back. At the immunity challenge KJ proved herself an undercover challenge beast, despite being narrowly pipped at the post by young, sweet Jesse. While scrambling, Mark and Sam had a domestic about voting out either Khanh and Shay with Mark being very insufferable as he patronised his wife into turning on her ally. Ultimately it worked though, as Sam stuck with her husband and sent Khanh from the game to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp Chrissy worried about how she would be able to pull off dinner without their resident Masterchef, while Mark and Sam took a quiet moment to apologise to each other. Though given Mark gave her more of a sorry not sorry, my alliance is better than yours and your bestie needs to go so suck it up, oh and you can thank me when we get to the end, I don’t think this is the end of their family feud.

The next day the sausage fest was hanging with KJ and Shay, with the latter two clearly just looking to get to 7th and 8th place or hoping to immunity their ways to the end. Mark was still feeling very pleased with himself and super confident that nothing will break it up, which hopefully means something is going to break them up soon. If not a blindside, potentially Chrissy’s mashed beans which look like severe gastrointestinal distress waiting to happen. While Mark was feeling confident, Chrissy and Dave caught up to gossip about the marital issues while Sam complained about losing Khanh to Mel and Michelle. Particularly since she still (rightly) thinks Shay is the biggest threat.

Sam meanwhile was worried that Mark may be as blinded by his allies as Mark felt she was by Khanh. As such, she caught up with Jordie and Dave to line up some targets, quickly locking in Shay as the most threatening. Speaking about Shay, she was growing more and more nervous about Sam coming after her and starting shadowing her in the most hilarious way possible. Talking to Jordan? Shay will give Jordan a shoulder massage! As Sam straight up walked away, Shay tried to get Jordan to see the importance of keeping some singles around otherwise all the duos will end up screwing themselves over as they’ll have no way to work out of it.

Jordie and Jesse caught up with Josh in the water, congratulating themselves on controlling the game while Jesse assured them that Sam just gets nervous and to not worry about her blowing up any of their games. Particularly since Jordie was more focused on getting rid of Mark should their alliance part ways. And the first part of his plan was to out his idol to Josh. Sadly for Jordie, however, Josh didn’t seem to worry Mark was keeping the idol a secret and was very nervous about the idea of turning on him. Particularly coming up with enough votes to split between Mark and someone else.

The tribe met up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to fill a leaky drum with water to level a table to build a puzzle on. Leave your bucket to lose too much water and the table drops and you have to start over. Which is very clever, TBH. Everyone had slightly different strategies; sorting pieces first, stockpiling extra water and just trying to stay calm and methodical. While Josh and Shay were neck and neck at the start, Josh dropped his table leaving Shay to power ahead and jag herself immunity just before Josh or Mel could catch her.

Kinda proving Mark should have listened to his wife last night, no?

Back at camp Sam thankfully was completely enraged by the fact Shay had immunity and as such, worked to try and take out who she felt was the head of the alliance, aka Josh. Not Mark. Particularly since he talks to everyone in the alliance except her, meaning she knows she is on the bottom in his eyes. While she warned Mark that Josh is the biggest threat to their game, he assured her the time isn’t right to turn on him. Meanwhile Josh was filling in his cousin Jordan on where things stand, with them agreeing that Jordie and not Mark is a threat given Jordie is clearly ready to flip.

But first, they had to get rid of some of the floaters and as such, when Jordie dropped by they locked in a split vote between Mel and Michelle.

Josh then went to the other floaters and told them they would all be splitting the vote between the twins, with people not realising they could easily take control if they stopped just doing what they were told. He then went one further and spoke to Michelle about the vote and let her know it would be split between her and Mel and while she thanked him for his honesty, she told us that Josh will regret telling her. Oh and when Mark confirmed for Mel that she was the target, both twins were ready to fight.

With that Mel and Michelle decided that they should bring all the girls together and load all their votes on Josh instead and since the boys were splitting the votes, they would take control. The twins rallied the girls to float said plan and while everyone appeared interested, Sam’s nervous face made me nervous that this won’t come together. Shay agreed that this is the right time to make a move against the men, which got Sam fired up given she doesn’t want the men to dictate the future of the game. Though was worried that getting rid of Josh, which is good for her game, would ruin Mark’s, and she may not have the numbers to get much further should it blow up.

Shay encouraged Mel to talk to Chrissy and KJ about locking in the vote on Josh and while Chrissy knew he was a threat, she still wanted a little more time to think. Meanwhile Michelle pulled Jordan aside to ask why they were targeting her and her sister, with Jordan assuring her there is no right or wrong that she did and it is all just part of the game. But he just wants her to hold her nerve and stay strong aka she is the back-up plan, not the target. While all the girls worried about when the right time would be to target the boys should they not act now.

At tribal council Khanh looked like a total snack on the Jury Bench – well said, Jordan – while Josh straight up admitted to being part of the majority which is controlling the game. Dave said the alliance is really zen and makes all decisions by committee, with Mark agreeing it makes the most sense so no one person is the target. Michelle jumped in to talk about the stupidity of targeting herself and Mel, with the latter joining in to remind people they need to build a resume if they want to win and targeting those on the bottom will never build the resume. 

Josh blamed Sandra for our current predicament, reminding them she told them all the strong people would go come merge and as such, they know they have no other choice but to band together. When Jonathan asked Mel what would be the smarter decision, she told everyone that Josh is a far bigger threat and as such, they need to get rid of him. She then doubled down, pointing out he knows the game just as well as she does, plus he is strong and is playing a strong social game. While Sam tried to be non-committal, Mel continued to play to the people on the bottom of the tribe and told them they have to make a move before it is too late and as such, they need to wake up and fight. Now.

With that the tribe voted and tragically the twins plan did not come to fruition as Mel found herself booted from the game. Though lucky for her, she now gets to hang out with Khanh on the jury which would be way more fun.

As soon as Mel arrived at Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her how heartbroken I was to see her go so soon. Particularly since I worried it means we’re getting the opposite of last season with a male-dominated endgame with an alliance that holds out. Maybe I’m wrong and Sam will flip everything next week, but the one thing that mattered most to Mel, was that I stop rambling and get to baking. You see, we’ve been the best of friends since I started going to her clinic, so she knew I would be packing a fresh batch of Melinzer Chiang Cookies to cheer her up.

These simple little cookies are so good (and so much fun). Buttery, spiced shortbread with a good whack of jam doing a peek-a-boo through heart cutouts? Sign me up. And now you, I advise.

Enjoy!

Melinzer Chiang Cookies
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground clove
100g butter, at room temperature
60g almond meal
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg
⅓ cup raspberry jam
icing sugar, for sprinkling

Method
Combine the flour and spices in a bowl before massaging through the butter with your fingertips, like you would do damper or scones. Add the almond meal, sugar and sugar and mix together by cutting through with a knife until it comes together in large clumps. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and pop in the fridge for half an hour or until chill.

Once chill, roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of round pieces of dough, then use a small shape – ideally heart, obvi – to form a window in half the cookies. Transfer to a lined baking sheet before popping in the fridge for half an hour to chill.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Once the biscuits are chill, transfer them to the oven to back for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

When it comes time to assemble, spoon a little jam on the whole biscuits, close with the cut-outs and then dust with icing sugar. Before devouring, giddily.


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Laura Bakewells Tart

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Baking, Dessert, Pie, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Dani, Wai, Flick, Laura and Gerald scored a massive KFC reward which honestly would have made my damn life. High on fried chicken and tipsy from the beers, Dani quickly suggested they pull together an alliance to get rid of Emmett. Which is convenient, given he lost his first individual immunity challenge. However sadly for Dani, Flick and Gerald were more loyal to Emmett, so instead the Brawn trio decided to let the Emmett vote happen and instead idol Dani out of the game. Sadly for them, George had all the information and decided it was wiser to bring the Brains back together. And as such, they sent sweet, unsuspecting Gerald from the game.

Things had calmed down the next morning with Laura doing some marine inspired dance moves while George was duck walking around camp, hoping not to pop a ball. All while poor Emmett looked on, still smarting about George finally proving Hayley right and officially turning on the Brawn tribe. While he was saltily chatting to Dani in the shelter, he worked up the courage to suggest that maybe they should call a truce and figure a way out of their combined current situation. Sadly for him, Dani really wasn’t interested. And that was before George even told her that the Brains only flipped because they wanted to save her.

Flick meanwhile was frustrated at not only George, but also herself for deviating from Brawn strong and casting a vote against Dani. With that, she caught up with her and apologised for turning on her before sharing with us that she struggles with lying in the game and doing things that in the outside world would be considered bad. We then learnt more about her family, with Flick sharing with Wai, George and Hayley that her mother is living in a care home as she is suffering from early onset dementia. She broke down as she spoke about coming on the show to draw attention to the horrific disease and ugh, don’t make me cry on a Monday night, Flick!

We did an extreme pivot and checked in with Hayley who shared that while she voted with George and the Brains to prove her trust, she also knows that George likes to play a big game and while she appreciates it, playing against it makes things difficult for her to navigate.

Another thing making it difficult for her is the fact that George is the one that found yet another clue that everyone seemingly walked past that morning, directing him to go to the well. There, he promptly found a key to a hidden immunity idol locked under the voting urn at tribal council. And better yet, said idol could be played anonymously, meaning he doesn’t have to out a relationship, should he want to play it for someone else.

Like Cara for instance, despite everyone knowing how close they are.

As Hayley and Emmett fished in the billabong, Dani shared how grateful she is that everyone is in such a zen headspace. The tribe then realised that Flick had gone missing and while Dani worried about what it could mean, they eventually learnt that her mother had tragically passed away and again, I was not emotionally prepared for this episode. Poor Flick held back tears as she spoke so eloquently through her grief, talking about her beautiful, courageous mum. Thankfully the tribe rallied around her and raised her up as she announced that after speaking to her family, they encouraged her to stay in the game and damn, I need her to win for her mum now.

Taking an even more extreme pivot than earlier, the tribe met Jonathan by a hill where he sweetly paid his respects to Flick and gave her a genuinely warm hug before turning his attention to the immunity. Said challenge involved the castaways racing up a hill to grab four sets of puzzle pieces, one bundle at a time, before solving a puzzle. Oh and to make things even more interesting, only the last four to finish would be eligible to be voted out at tribal council that night. 

Meaning a twist is coming, right?

While Andrew and Emmett got out to an early lead, Wai and Cara languished at the back. Given they just kept running up and down, it was kinda hard to keep track however it was very obvious that Andrew and Emmett quickly started to lap poor Wai. Laura and Dani had also essentially given up, encouraging each other on the walk to just think about how to work it back at camp. Cara meanwhile was one upping them, just straight up begging everyone that passed her not to vote her out later that night.

Andrew was obviously the first back with all his pieces, though was quickly joined by Emmett and Hayley. While the trio cooled down with the puzzle, Cara started walking with George and suggested they should all push to vote out Wai, given everyone thinks she is going to win anyway. Meanwhile at the start of the pack, Andrew took out the first immunity, followed by Hayley and Emmett at practically the same time. Flick arrived and quickly secured the fourth immunity, while George, Laura and Dani battled it out of the final slot. Which eventually was taken out by George as sweet Wai encouraged herself to keep pushing for her last stack.

Back at camp Andrew was excited to be immune, but disappointed that two of the people in the bottom are his allies. But instead of worrying, he focused on locking in the vote for Cara and while Laura and Wai quickly go on board, me thinks George’s idol is going to ruin that plan. A nervous Dani caught up with Andrew, with her grateful to find out that the target is not on her back. Feeling confident that everyone was happy to get rid of Cara, Andrew announced it to the rest of the tribe to vote for her too and seemingly decided to call it a day.

Which did not sit well with Emmett. Sadly for him, he doesn’t have any power in the tribe. But someone who does? Her closest ally George. While George assured Laura and Hayley that he is happy to vote however the rest of the OG Brains want to – and eventually agreed to vote out Cara – he then obviously ran straight to Cara and while he wanted to assure her that she would be fine, he knew that he couldn’t risk people finding out about the idol. Instead, he just tried to get her target off Wai and instead encouraged her to vote Laura and idol her out of the game with a single vote.

At tribal council Andrew said that he would be voting for someone that has plenty of relationships. Cara spoke about everyone deserving to be here rather than identifying a target and trying to sway people to her side. Wai spoke about the fact that there is always hope in the game, with Cara admitting that she will still try and shift the target despite seemingly giving up. And just not knowing who that would be. Hayley spoke about needing to continue to build trust while Cara hoped that sticking Brawn strong, wouldn’t be her undoing. And poor Emmett, he was just trying to find new allies given his alliance was blown up the night before. 

By George. And Cara. And Dani. And the Brains too, I guess.

George gave a monologue about how strong his relationship with Cara is, praising her for sacrificing herself for him previously. Laura meanwhile was just hoping her luck avoiding eliminations wouldn’t run out – is there going to be another twist? – while Dani just tried to make jokes about her lack of running ability, smartly downplaying her other physical strengths. George meanwhile was not being very stealth, whispering to Hayley whether the vote had changed and when she asked him whether he was going to do something to save her, he sadly said that there is absolutely nothing he could do.

With that the tribe voted and what do you know, there is something George could do as he unlocked his hidden idol and secretly played it for Cara. Denying it yet again to Hayley as the votes were read, negating all but one of the votes, with Cara singlehandedly sending Laura from the game. Just as George planned. Again.

I did my best gay gasp when I saw Laura walk into the Jury Villa, shocked that once again George Gabon-ed the shit out of the season  – come on, he is boy Sugar – and sent the finally well positioned Laura home instead. I pulled her in for a hug and once again assured her that being booted in a memorable way is always better than a bland one, before catching up. You see, we’ve known each other for years after meeting while studying Marine Science. While I quit almost instantly upon discovery it wouldn’t make me Lori Petty in Free Willy, we became the firmest of friends. And I knew the only thing that could sweeten up her boot was a fresh Laura Bakewells Tart.

For some reason I spent my childhood assuming that bakewell tarts were disgusting but once I actually found out what was in one, I was hooked. I mean with the combo of frangipane, jam and glace cherries, how could you go wrong?

Enjoy!

Laura Bakewells Tart
Serves: 6 people or two dear friends.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp for the frangipane and more for dusting
250g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs
120g butter, softened
120g raw caster sugar
115g almond meal
½-1 cup cherry jam
12 glacé cherries

Method
Sieve flour and 50g of icing sugar into a large bowl. Using hands, work the unsalted butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add an egg and work together until it forms a ball. If the dough seems too wet, add more flour until it is at the desired consistency. Don’t overwork the flour otherwise it won’t be short, as the name shortcrust demands.

Pat the dough-ball into a disc, wrap in cling-wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Dust a surface and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 5mm thick. Cut the dough into 12 10cm discs and press into a greased mini-tart tin (or a muffin pan, in a pinch)

Prick each tart base with a fork, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge to set for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove the shells from the oven, line with pastry weights and blind bake for ten minutes before removing the weights and cooking for a further ten. Or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While they cool, beat the regular butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mix in the remaining egg, followed by the tablespoon of flour and mix until just combined.

Spoon a tsp of cherry jam into the base of each shell, smoothing as best you can to cover the bottom. Now dollop a tablespoon of frangipane and return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the tart is golden and springy. Set aside to cool completely in the pan.

To make the icing, mix the remaining icing sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the top of each tart before pressing a glacé cherry on top. Leave to set for half an hour before devouring, sumptuously.


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Mikaron Laws

Baking, Dessert, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa, Chappies and Paul decided to align with Santoni due to the fact that she was the weakest person on their tribe and as such, was the most likely to be sent to Immunity Island and score some loot. Meanwhile at Zamba, Shaun was trying to win back people’s hearts in the hopes of finding some allies. After Vuna lost the immunity challenge, Santoni was sent to Immunity Island and boy did she score loot, winning a clue to an idol hidden at tribal council and finding another clue directing her where to find the idol at BOTH camps. Back at Vuna, Mike was looking like a lock to be voted out but thanks to some handy work from Anesu and Carla, they saved him and booted Pinty from the game.

Back at camp Carla was thrilled to have successfully pulled off a blindside, while Anesu was sad that she had to get rid of her friend to keep the tribe in harmony. As Paul and Chappies were on the outs, searching for the cause of the blindside and identified Mike as the crafty master manipulator. But since he wasn’t, all it did was piss off Carla who was the actual manipulator, given it is sexist to just assume it was a male.

The next day Paul and Chappies were still angry about the blindside, though Mike was hopeful that they’ll quickly be able to get rid of Chappies and therefore don’t have to worry about it. Speaking of Chappies, he caught up with Santoni who quickly spilled the beans on one of her idol clues to build trust, but wisely kept the other deets to herself. Like the icon she is. With that, they started searching for their tribe’s idol, three steps in all directions from the well but apparently came up short. Or long. The one thing I know is that they didn’t find a damn thing!

Over at Zamba Thoriso was telling the other girls that she needs them to prove trust to her, annoying Nicole, given Thoriso is the one on the outs and as such, needs to prove herself to them. While I hate to see icons argue, their awkward banter led to them suggesting they could form a girl band. And I live for the suggestion.

My love Nico arrived for this week’s reward challenge, but before it could happen, he gagged them with three simple words – drop your buffs! Shocked and confused, the castaways all grabbed new buffs out of an urn, with new Vuna made up of Anesu, Tyson and Kiran with Renier, Nicole, Thoriso, Dino, Qieän and Marisha. While Chappies, Shaun, Santoni, Wardah, Carla, Amy, Anela, Paul and Mike formed Zamba.

With that, they were tasked with facing off against each other, one at a time, to grab a sandbag and drag it into their zone of a ring, with the winner of each round scoring an item for their tribe. First up were Nicole and Carla for a hammock, with Santoni filling Paul in about the idol to relay a message to the other tribe while watching the challenge. Oh and Nicole won the hammock for Vuna. Paul then faced off against Tyson for chairs and while they battled, Paul filled Tyson in about said idol which Dino spotted just before Tyson lost the chairs for the tribe. Round three was for blankets, with Chappies quickly snagging victory, despite a cut hand. the Tarp was a hard fought battle between Wardah and Marisha and damn, as Marisha dragged them both to her zone. The fifth round was a sponsored high protein pack AND a tribe advantage for the next immunity challenge, with Dino battling Anela. They hugged, they grappled, but ultimately it was Anela’s round, as he quickly took out the win for Zamba.

New Zamba returned to camp, with the former Vuna members shocked to discover how nice their new digs are. Shaun took them to find the well, while Anela quickly looted the reward for any clues, and upon finding nothing, opted to snatch a few extra protein bars for himself. Without even getting caught. At Vuna, Dino introduced the OG trio to his fellow former Zamba tribe members. Tyson meanwhile was feeling nervous by the huge numbers disadvantage, but thankfully he snatched the idol in record time. Sadly for him though, the tribe noticed he was gone and Renier quickly deduced that the chat at the challenge was about an idol clue. He returned to camp, then went for a walk on the beach with Anesu who assured him that the idol was well hidden by his bulge. And just like that, the minority trio have a little bit of hope.

Back at Zamba, Mike started to work on Chappies and Paul to make sure that they wouldn’t flip to the OG Zamba trio and completely blow up his game. Carla meanwhile was not feeling keeping them on side and as such, Mike wasn’t sure how to keep the numbers if she didn’t want to stay Vuna strong.

The next day Amy pulled Chappies aside and told him that Mike was telling them to target him or Paul, quickly building an alliance between the trio, Paul and Chappies. Oh and Santoni, who was thrilled that Amy was keen to join them as she was going to go wherever the numbers are, but was glad the numbers stayed with her friends.

At the immunity challenge, the tribes raced out into the water, climbing over obstacles to collect five rings. And then toss the rings onto a post in the water. Oh and because Zamba won an advantage, they only had to collect four of their five rings. Shaun and Renier were neck and neck grabbing the first rings, as were the second, third and fourth duos, giving Zamba a handy lead when it came to tossing. Sadly for them, Chappies and Anela struggled big time and didn’t score their first point until Vuna had their fifth back. Both tribes continued to be neck and neck until Kiran got his eye in, taking the lead and quickly securing immunity for his tribe.

New Vuna opted to send Amy to Immunity Island, where she quickly accepted the challenge to solve a square puzzle in a very short timeframe. Just as quickly as she accepted the challenge, she lost it and with it, the chance to loot three items from the other camp was gone and instead, she lumped her tribe with being looted of three items.

Back at Zamba, Mike quickly got to work on Santoni and Wardah to support him in getting Chappies and Paul to stick Vuna strong, despite their tensions. Santoni immediately got to work, though sadly for them she fought for herself – icon – taking the information to the boys and Shaun, telling them she trusts neither Carla nor Mike. She left and Mike joined them, asking Chappies and Paul to come join old Vuna to talk things through, with Mike making a very compelling case to Chappies and Paul that they need numbers after the merge and can’t let this stage stuff things up for them. Chappies and Paul agreed to stick with them and threw out Anela as the best target, but given they then headed to tribal, it really can’t be that simple, right?

At tribal council Anela admitted to feeling nervous to be in the minority but reminded them that they all should all be treating this as a fresh start, Paul preached Vuna strong while Carla played things a little more coy, saying that she was hoping that things were mended. Which immediately made Shaun pose the question to his new tribemates, whether they should just start fresh with new allies. Wardah spoke about the fact that you really can’t be sure you can trust someone after only 24 hours, though Anela rightly pointed out that clearing the air today was a reactive move and as such, how genuine can it be? This annoyed Carla, who admitted that there was a clear rift and as such, she continued to work on mending things because it clearly hadn’t worked the day before.

Mike grew nervous and jumped in, asking Chappies if he was sticking Vuna strong which he agreed that he would be sticking to the plan, like a young Keith Nale. To round things out, Amy admitted to being disappointed not to have a vote, Chappies spoke about voting with the majority while Paul was  focusing on strength and building trust. With that, the tribe voted and it turns out Chappies and Paul weren’t actually Vuna strong as they joined with the OG Zamba peeps and Santoni to send Mike from the game.

Poor Mike never really found him footing in the game, despite landing in the majority at the previous tribal council. And sadly for him, that was enough to keep the target on him this week despite a killer argument to Chappies about why they should stick together.

I’ve known Mike for years, working together at Woolworths which I assume, is why he mentioned needing to be a salesman to get deals over the line.When I saw him enter Loser Lodge, I was sad for my friend but glad that I was the one to cheer him up and remind him that luck plays a huge part of the game. And when it doesn’t go your way, that is when you need Mikaron Laws. 

There is nothing better than a freshly cooked macaron, particularly after a crushing blindside. Melt in your mouth cookie, rich velvety ganache. What more could you want?!

Enjoy!

Mikaron Laws
Serves: 2 salesmen about town.

Ingredients
135g icing sugar
135g almond meal
20g Dutch cocoa powder
2 tbsp water
130g raw caster sugar
95g egg whites
60ml double cream
70g 70% dark chocolate
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

Combine the icing sugar, almond meal and cocoa in a food processor and blitz to form a fine powder without needing to sieve. Transfer to a bowl.

Combine the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat to make a syrup. Bring to the boil and once rollicking, start whisking 45g of egg whites in a stand mixture on medium speed. When the syrup hits 118°C, turn the mixer up to high and slowly pour the syrup into the whites in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whisk until you have a thick, glossy mixture that has started to level out in the bowl, rather than form peaks.

Meanwhile combine the remaining egg with the dry ingredients, folding until well combined. Remove the meringue from the mixer and fold half of it through the almond mixture to loosen. Once combined, lightly fold through the rest.

Transfer to a piping bag and using a 10mm round nozzle, pipe the mixture into small 5cm-ish circles, leaving space for growth. Once the mixture is fully piped, tap the trays on the bench and level the tops of the macarons before transferring to the oven to back for 15 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the oven to cool completely.

While they are chilling, combine the cream, chocolate and vanilla in the top of a double boiler and cook until melted and combined. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and leave to cool.

Once everyone has cooled down, spread the filling on the base of half the biscuits before using the others to complete your macarons. Then and only then, may you devour. 


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The Viviännchen

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK ten queens walked into the Werk Room in sunny old England, thrilled to be part of the very first season of the icon show. And boy was this season iconic. From Gothy’s meow on the runway, followed by Scaredy Kat birthing herself before exiting the competition, Vinegar Strokes hodge podging out the door third and Sum Ting doing wrong on Snatch Game after a stellar series of runways.

Then, you know, Frock Destroyers happened owning literally all of the girl groups challenges that have come before them, sending poor Crystal home followed by the iconically shady Blu before Cheryl bottomed out in fourth place, leaving Baga, Divina and The Vivienne to fight for the crown.

And fight they did.

With three wins a piece, it all came down to the final challenge before Baga was eliminated leaving Divina and The Vivienne to lip sync their way to the top, with the latter ultimately taking out victory.

From the very first challenge, The Vivienne came in with the focused fire usually reserved for an All Stars winner. She was polished, she was determined and most importantly, she was fierce. And the one time she was down, she turned out one hell of a lip sync which is the skill that ultimately secured her victory.

She was obviously over the bloody mood to be crowned the first winner, particularly given the competition was so tight.

I’ve known The Viv for years. We ran in the same circles on the club scene, quickly becoming firm friends thanks to our similar sense of humour. Once we both got sober, we leant on each other for support and used to catch up for cups of tea and some freshly baked The Viviännchen. So I knew it was the only way to mark the occasion of her victory!

PHOTO 1

Sweet, crumbly, delicate and light, these biscuits fill you with a life affirming warmth. More importantly, they are delightfully easy to make and as such, are the perfect treat to quickly whip up for your friends.

Enjoy!

PHOTO 2

The Viviännchen
Serves: 1 current reigning queen and her wannabe scouser friend.

Ingredients
225g marzipan
80g icing sugar
100g almond meal
30g flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp rosewater
blanched almonds, to top

Method
1 medium egg yolk , mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Break marzipan into 1cm cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the icing sugar, almond meal, flour, rosewater and egg white. Knead with your hands until the dough comes together before transferring to the stand mixer to combine on low for a minute or two. Wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chill, break off small balls of dough about the size of golf balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process, leaving a gap for expansion, until the dough is done. Next step, press three almonds into the top of each cookie, pointed end towards the top. Whisk the egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush to glaze. Transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes before devouring, victoriously. Knowing you’re the UK BeBe.


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Macaron Howard

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Snack, Sweets

The Emmys are but a day away and as such, Emmy Gold: Golden Family is coming to an end to allow enough time for me to get ready and sneak in to the auditorium. While it is always tragic to know that our awards season celebrations are coming to an end, having been able to spend time with Chris, Riz, Tat, Shelley and Matt are truly a gift.

And finishing with TV icon and multi-hyphenate Ron Howard is just icing on the bloody cake.

I first met Ron way back when we were starting out with our careers on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. While I was working as Andy Giffith’s stunt double, I was only a young lad – did I mention I suffer from Benjamin button disease? – so little Ronnie and I became the fastest of friends.

And that friendship spanned decades until Apollo 13, when my infamous feud with Tam Honks commenced. While I was cast out of his life for a few years – evil Tam’s doing, obvi – we were brought back together by Jess when Arrested Development was getting up. Thankfully, our friendship hasn’t had a set back since.

Given his status as a powerhouse actor, writer, director, model, I decided to run through the oft forgotten about critical categories of writing and directing. For Limited Series writing, I am backing When They See Us but wouldn’t be shocked to see Escape at Dannemora. Variety we both see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver taking it out again. Drama better go to anything but Game of Thrones with me thinking The Handmaid’s Tale may continue it’s hanging episode streak of wins while Ron thinks Killing Eve will come out victorious. Comedy is where we really struggled. It is always hard to bet against Veep, though Fleabag’s second season was near perfect … and I can see Russian Doll picking up a trophy here.

When it comes to Directing, we see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taking it out given live shows are truly a feat. I think that this once again comes down to Escape at Dannemora and When They See Us, with Ron backing Ben Stiller for the former, while I think whoever doesn’t win writing will grab this and shut out Chernobyl. I hope The Handmaid’s Tale takes it for Drama, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Adam McKay snag it for Succession, just for being Adam McKay. While Bill Hader is universally beloved, I don’t see him winning Comedy directing given he is up against Daniel Palladino for the majestic Catskills episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which should not be beaten.

With that, I thanked Ron for finally agreeing to appear on this patch of cyberspace and his many years of friendship, handed over a plate of Macaron Howard as I headed out to the awards.

 

 

There is nothing better than a sweet, melt in your mouth macaron. Delicate and delicious, this baby packs a nice blueberry punch that truly fills you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macaron Howard
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
75g almond meal
115g icing sugar
2 egg whites, at room temperature
55g raw caster sugar
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
60g butter, softened
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl. Meanwhile place the egg whites and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the food colouring and ¼ cup crushed blueberries and whisk until just combined. Fold through the dry mixture and transfer to a piping bag.

Line two baking sheets and pipe little macarons across the pans until the mixture is gone. Tap each on the bench a couple of times before transferring to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, crisp and glorious. Remove to rest for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they’re getting hella chill, combine the remaining blueberry with the cup-measure of icing sugar. Meanwhile cream the butter on medium for five minutes, or until pale and fluffy before slowly adding the sugar and blueberry mix in two batches. Once just combined, add the cream and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Dollop the icing on the exposed side of a biscuit and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, regally. Like TV royalty.

 

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The iconic Margot Robbie waiting to smash a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

Pistachimargot Macarobbie

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god, you have no idea how good it is to reunite with a fellow hometown hero slash celebrity friend like Margot Robbie. I mean, the girl is a bonafide global star, but the fact that she still has time for her dear friends like me, on the Goldie, is one of my favourite things about her.

While Margot was actually my friend’s little sister’s friend, we got to hanging out in the kitchen on sleepovers eating vegemite toast – as good Australian’s do – and planning our ascesion to Hollywood royalty.

We were both dominating the high school drama game with our talent and je ne sais quoi, but knew we were destined for greatness. I know my Hollywood staying power dates back to the ‘20s, however I had to assume a new identity after my thirteenth deportation. It truly was the lucky one, since I met Margs.

Given I was still trying to find a way to return to Hollywood, I suggested Margot takes over Australia instead. That led to Neighbours, which led to a Logie which always leads to a role opposite my dear friend Leo in a film by my friend Marty. Then came Allison, an Oscar nomination and no doubt that Margot was even more of a Gold Coast legend than me.

Sadly Margot and I haven’t seen each other since her Byron wedding – the first time I went back after Annelie and Miley had the cage-fight accident – but truly beautiful friendships can always pick back up as if no time has past.

We laughed, we gossiped about Quentin’s tenth and final movie – she thinks she can get him to drop the restraining order and give me a role – and most importantly smashed a pick batch of Pistachimargot Macarobbie.

 

The iconic Margot Robbie smashing a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

 

Sweet like Margot, nutty like me, these little babies are essentially the culinary equivalent of a best friend bracelet and you, my friends, can finally get in on the action. And you should, because we are cool and the macarons are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

The iconic Margot Robbie smashing a Pistachimargot Macarobbie

 

Pistachimargot Macarobbie
Serves: 2 besties.

Ingredients
¾ cup almond meal
½ cup pistachio meal
1 ½ cups icing sugar
4 egg whites
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
3 drops green food colouring
100g white chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp double cream

Method
Sift almond and pistachio meals together with the icing sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the whites in a clean, dry electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until dissolved. Then add food colouring and beat until just combined. Remove from the mixer and gently fold through the meals until just combined, thick and glossy.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe into 4cm rounds on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and tap on the bench to remove air bubbles. Leave to set for an hour.

Preheat oven to 130°C.

Place the cookies in the oven, one tray at a time, and back for twenty minutes, or until the tops are firm. Remove to cool on the tray on wire racks.

While they’re cooking, place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for a minute, or until the chocolate has melted. Stir to combine and transfer to the fridge for ten minutes, or until thick yet spreadable.

Spoon mixture into a large snaplock bag. Snip 1cm from 1 corner of bag. Pipe 4cm rounds of mixture onto prepared trays, 4cm apart. Sprinkle each macaron with pistachio. Tap trays on bench to remove air bubbles. Set aside for 1 hour.

To assemble, place a small dollop of icing on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done and leave to set for an hour or so. Or just devour, I don’t mind.

 

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A sickly sweet Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler waiting for fifth boot Steven Bradbury.

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Monika Radulovic memorial Tower of Terror challenge returned to wreak havoc on poor tsunami survivor Sarah, after Casey dived out of the challenge quicker than Sarah dived off a balcony into the tsunami to save her life. Obviously the Champs took out victory, which they were allowed to share with someone from the other tribe and selected Zaddy John given how he supported Sarah through the trauma. Janine found a clue to an idol amongst the loot, however upon finding it learnt that said idol was only for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council, and the corresponding Champion idol is in the same place on the Contenders beach. After Pia and Luke got tangled up in the immunity challenge, ultimately leading to the Champion’s loss. Back at camp things got heated with Steven tantrumming about Abbey for playing the game, calling her weak and making her cry. This led to everyone rallying around the AFL play before blindsiding him and sending his closest ally Nova from the game.

Leading to the best post-boot comment from Jonathan, noting that he once again skated through to victory. Fucking iconic.

Things were going downhill the next at Camp Champ where Nova’s Kitchen was tragically under new management and while Ross tried to impress everyone with his delivery service, nobody seems thrilled by his efforts. Though let’s be honest, he did do a killer job on cooking up a pair of shoes. Needless to say, he “is Nova it.”

We checked in with the Contenders where beautiful Shaun was feeling down, missing his son’s fifth birthday. And what I wouldn’t give to give him a hug. Thankfully, I guess, he found a good friend in Daisy, who helped him draw a birthday message on the sand while sharing stories of how much they miss their families. So you know today’s reward is going to be for some form of love, no? Before we get a chance to find out, Shaun discovered the Contenders equivalent of the hidden immunity idol Janine found the day before and despite it being of no use to him – yet – he felt good. Being a sweet, stunning man, he immediately decided to pass it off to one of the Champions, and hoped that it will get him in good should they meet up.

Back at Camp Champ Steven was still floating on shock after surviving tribal council at the expense of his closest ally. He decided that the most important thing was making friends, so started working on his social game. Which involved telling David that he was shocked at how bigger role the social game plays, leading to a thorough roasting from the model. Sadly David seemed to be getting a bit too confident in his position and honestly, that makes me so nervous. He decided that the one thing he needs to complete his top dog status is an idol and that Janine would be his key to getting one. Before he had a chance to confront her about the idol, she pulled him aside and filled him in on the stipulations, and together they formulated a plan to orchestrate a trade off at an upcoming challenge.

With that Jonathan was manifested for the reward challenge where they would face off in a game of football in the shadows, with two kickers stood on podiums awaiting the ball to kick a goal. It was for fish and chips, so everyone was positively thrilled however let’s be honest, three footballers vs. one makes it a no brainer for the Champs, right? Shaun, John, Matt and Andy faced off against E.T, Luke, David and Simon, and while Shaun was first to the ball, Simon scored the first point for the Champs. Baden, John, Sam and Sarah were then defeated by Steven, Janine, Ross and Abbey. David, Simon, E.T. and Pia went 3-0 against Shaun, John, Daisy and Matt. Shaun, Daisy, Sam and Hannah lost the next point, this time to Simon, Janine, Pia and Abbey but again, we’re the winners, watching Shaun and Simon wrestling with the former’s speedos getting plenty of airtime. Luke, David, Steven and Simon, finally lost a point to Andy, John, Shaun and Matt. More importantly David and Shaun had a little pow wow on their way off the course, telling each other about the idols and promising to trade them tomorrow. The Champions then won the final point and may I add, I predicted it.

The Champions were overwhelmed to discover a shack by the beach with a table fully laden with fish, chips, and if Jeff were here, all the fixings. Mid-gorge David discovered newspapers in the corner featuring them and their starring achievements, the highlights being David’s white speedos, the headline of Last Man Standing after Steven won the Gold medal and E.T. in his speedo with my love Tina Turner. We also learnt that Luke has a six week old daughter waiting for him back at home, who they tragically learnt had cystic fibrosis just before heading out to the island and I can’t stop crying.

We checked back in with the Contenders where Shaun was second guessing his mid-challenge chat with David, worried he won’t follow through. He spoke to Daisy and she assured him the risk was worth it. So why do I feel so nervous? Right on cue, that night we went back to Camp Champ where Janine told David she wanted to keep the idol in case of a swap – Queen – leading to David coming up with plan B, fashioning a fake idol and taking Janine’s note to help sell it is real. While it is a great plan, if it gets Shaun booted, I will riot. Plus David calling himself a golden God in celebration isn’t cute, despite being accurate.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where Shaun and David handed over their real and fake idols respectively. They then learnt that seven tribe members will be locked in cages, with the rest of the tribe racing through obstacles to rescue them … before releasing sandbags, solving a puzzle and then knocking the completed puzzle off the ledge with the sandbags. Matt and John got the Contenders out to a slight lead, which was quickly destroyed as the Champions picked up momentum with every person they collected. Eventually they all caught up at the puzzle where Baden and Andy made quick work of the puzzle, overtaking Ross and Abbey, giving Andy a huge advantage when it came to knocking the blocks back off. Try as Abbey might, she was no match for Andy who once again secured immunity for the Contenders.

The mood was ridiculously sombre back at camp, with the tribe sick of losing, none more so than E.T. who is sick of people blowing the lead he gives them. Time after time. David seemed to be the only one smiling, telling Janine about his successful fake for real idol trade before doubling down on the cocky speak, making me so damn nervous. The alliance then decided to split the vote, nervous that Steven has an idol despite their alliance having three in the first two weeks. David approached E.T. and Simon, telling them to vote for Steven. Well actually strong-armed, making Pia, Abbey and Janine nervous that E.T. and Simon will now try something to counteract the arrogance.

As you would expect E.T. was pissed and decided that they should approach Ross to try and get him to flip back to him, Simon and Steven and get rid of Pia. Sorry E.T, I now hope you fail. Which seems likely because Pia watched them try and recruit Ross. She then approached Janine and David to share her suspicion that Ross will flip, and tried to get them to stack all the votes on Steven instead of splitting and risking one of them – likely her – going home.

At tribal council E.T. reiterated that he is sick of the tribe choking mid-challenge while Steven, David and Luke whispered about the upcoming vote and who they planned to target. E.T. wasn’t thrilled about the talk, concerned that it meant he would be next on the chopping block. Ross then put his hand up and said that he deserves to go home after botching the challenge before Steven said that if the vote was based on the challenge, it would definitely mean that he, Simon and E.T. would be safe tonight. While he and David started to throw shade at each other, Pia spoke up and said that she believes there is a target on her back tonight. This lead to Steven saying she has been carried through the challenges, which she found frustrating and pointed out all the times that she has been better than others in the challenges. Talk then turned to who was in charge of the alliance, with them all agreeing that they have a voice and hope to move past the tension tomorrow. Steven then alluded to having an idol or Ross forgetting who to vote for, making Abbey, Pia, Janine, Luke and David extremely nervous as they headed off to vote.

Thankfully for Queen Pia, everyone held firm and poor Steven was iced from the tribe. I mean, couldn’t skate through. I mean, you’ll have an ice time at Ice World. Fuck – I’m going down an ad rabbit hole. Despite the minor shade I’ve been sending Steven’s way, I love him dearly, having met at Brisbane’s aforementioned Ice World. While he was learning to speed skate, I was training to become a figure skater. While I was banned from the sport after an epic on-ice tantrum after botching a triple axel – failing to land one – Steven took me under his wing and we became the best of friends, lovingly ribbing each other ever since. I mean, I wouldn’t make a Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler if I didn’t love the icon.

 

teven Bradbury about to inhale my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Thankfully I made something aggressively sweet to dull the pain of Australia’s Gold medalist turned walking verb’s boot. A sweet, sticky pool of berries, topped with spiced, fluffy donuts are the only thing to cheer up our fallen – no pun intended, but super glad it worked out this way – icon. Outside of a Snickers.

Enjoy!

 

teven Bradbury inhaling my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
250g blueberries
250g raspberries
200g granny smith apples, cored and diced
200g pears, cored and diced
1 cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup almond meal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 fresh Shannen Doughertynuts, halved horizontally
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the berries, apple, pear, sugar, meal and cinnamon in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish, leaving a couple of centimetres from the top. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour, or until the apples and pears are tender. Arrange the doughnuts on top, to form an homage to a checkered roof.

Return to oven for 20 minutes or golden and crisp. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving, covered in mountains of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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Elizapple Jaloulson

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the semi-newly formed Tiva tribe were divided down gender lines with the brochachos aligning leaving Gabby and Alison left out and aligned by default. Meanwhile over at Vuku Alec turned on Kara and the Goliaths to take out Natalia – or maybe it was the pizza curse – while Elizabeth and Carl continued to feud. Finally Jabeni continued their losing way allowing Mike and Nick to set the tone for the rest of the game, taking out Lyrsa and saving Angelina from herself. Though she still doesn’t have a jacket, so that’s a thing.

We opened up at Tiva where they were enjoying their morning coffee before they were interrupted by two speed boats bringing Jabeni and Vuku to move in. Yep people, we’ve got a merge. Carl quickly explained that the individual game requires people to play individually – thanks Carl – through he is jonesing to get rid of Elizabeth and down a beer, so that’s that. John too was thrilled to smash some food at the merge feast and reclaim his gains, while Alec died and went to beer heaven. John channeled Kellyn and was hoping to go Goliath strong, however was wanting to save his bestie Christian. Gabby decided to step her game up and surveyed the merge table and signs for an advantage, Carl, Angelina and Nick shared intel from their respective tribes, with Alec’s flip quickly outed. Much to Angelina’s chagrin.

Everyone started laying down for their food coma before Elizabeth suggested the tribe name Kalokalo, much to Carl’s rage. Leading to him slurring his way around the tribe begging them to get rid of her. Nick and Christian reconvened on a water run, thrilled to still be bros before Nick shared that Dan is rumoured to be the proud owner of an idol. Speaking of whom, Dan was reconvening with his girl Kara, sharing that he had found a second idol since they last cuddled and Kara was feeling super confident. Which isn’t ending well, right? Right on cue, Alec arrived for a Goliath reunion where they all gossiped about which David to take out first, with Angelina pushing for Christian and everyone else going for Elizabeth. Alec immediately took the plans back to Christian to commence a beautiful relationship and take over the game.

That night Elizabeth noticed Dan and Kara’s close bond as they chatted and let’s just say, it did not sit well with her.

The next day Mike was gagging for a soy latte while scoping out how best to move forward, locking in an alliance with Alison and Alec, and planning to bring Nick, Christian and Gabby in for a core alliance and TBH, I love it and want it to happen. Alec approached Gabby to gauge her support, with Mike and Nick joining them and it feels like it is happening. But then again, I thought Sandra, Aubry, Malcolm and Tony would actually align in Game Changers.

Not to be outdone, Elizabeth shared her Dan-Kara intel with Nick and Carl in an attempt to turn the tribe against them, despite the fact Carl hates her. She approached Alec to see if he’d be open to flipping and joining the Davids to take them out. Knowing it isn’t the best time for him to flip, he took the information back to Dan and Kara which caused Dan to completely freak out that someone would dare to target him. And the tantrum was not pretty.

My boy Jeff arrived for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where the tribe were required to swing a pendulum around a frame without knocking a statue over in the centre or losing momentum. You know, the one Tessa dominated in Australian Survivor last year. Poor Mike was the first one eliminated, followed quickly by Christian, Carl, Gabby and Kara. TBH it was way to hypnotic to watch closing so let’s just say it came down to Elizabeth and Alison, with Dr Alison following in Dr Tessa’s footsteps, taking out the challenge and snatching immunity.

Back at camp shit quickly hit the fan with Angelina continuing to argue Elizabeth isn’t a big enough threat and that the Goliaths should instead target Christian, unaware that most of the people she is talking to are aligned with him and she is coming across as too powerful. Dan was annoyed by her utilisation of military terminology and continued to seethe since Elizabeth wanted to get rid of him. Meanwhile Gabby was trying to encourage the Davids to come together and take control of their fates … by playing up how weak and terrible they are. Alec and Alison got together, concerned about voting out Christian since it burns all of their bridges. As such, they pulled in Dan and John to flip the vote back to Elizabeth. They then approached Angelina to talk about flipping the vote back which she was extremely open to. Well played girl, wait, no, she then complained to John and Alison about Dan and came across like she was throwing a tantrum because she didn’t get her way.

Despite her earlier plan not to share who they were planning to target, Angelina pulled Elizabeth aside and told her that the Goliaths were coming for her and while I appreciate wanting to win over the jury, I don’t see this ending well. Elizabeth briefly had a breakdown before returning to camp and try and rally the Davids to flip the vote, vowing to destroy them at tribal. Which seems … late?

At tribal council Alison was grateful to be immune, Christian spoke about factorials, Alec alluded to shifting alliances and Angelina continued to struggle at tribal council. Smelling blood in the water, Elizabeth used that moment to go in and out Angelina for letting her know about the fact she was voting her out. Everyone quickly jumped in and called out her early jury management, leading to all the Goliaths whispering amongst themselves and questioning her loyalty. Gabby broke down calling out Angelina for being angry that Elizabeth dared to try and save herself. Seeing the writing on the wall, Angelina whipped out the tears as the Goliaths continued to whisper and she saw the end of her game quickly approaching. Elizabeth continued to go in on Angelina, while Alec and Dan got up to whisper and lock in their plans, while Angelina reiterated that she is voting for Elizabeth and hot damn, she is looking forward to it.

Tragically for my girl Liz, everyone gladly followed suit – and side note, well played Gabby making Angelina look like a demon and slyly locking up Liz’s jury vote before booting her – and sent her out of the game. Thankfully, she was sent to become the Queen of the Jury and if you can’t win the game, that is the real title you want, no? Liz being the absolute saint that she is, my girl took her boot in her stride. Nay, she may have been down, but she pull herself up by her bootstraps, which I think is a country term but am too lazy to google – lemme know if i’m wrong, ok? Anywho, she is bubbling ball of joy and as such, we laughed, cried from so much laughing, then cried from overdoing it with the celebratory-commissatory Elizapple Jaloulson.

 

 

To quote the great Chris Klein, there is nothing better than warm apple pie. Or at least I think that was the take away from American Pie other than don’t stick your junk in an apple pie lest you want third degree burns and well deserved shame? Again anywho, way off track – hot, sticky apple and blueberry encased by flaky strips of pastry are probably a more iconic duo than the Mason-Dixon alliance. Better yet, the strips hopefully have enough sharp edges to ward off a horny Jason Biggs.

So enjoy!

 

 

Elizapple Jaloulson
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 granny smith apples, cored and sliced
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
¼ cup almond meal
milk, for brushin’
demerara sugar, for sprinklin’
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine apples, blueberry, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl and toss until well coated.

Place two pastry halves on a lined baking sheet and spread the almond meal over both, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Pile the filling on top of each, again leaving the border.

Gently fold each of the remaining halves in half lengthways and cut – along the folded side – on an angle to form geometric slits, stopping 1cm from the edges. Gently unfold and lay over the heaped fruit, crimping the edges to join.

Brush with milk, sprinkle with demerara and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve piping hot – safety first, obvi – with a generous dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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