Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies

Baking, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls were delighted to play Snatch Game. And while Sharonne slayed the game, there were many a stumble on the panel. While I lived for whatever vocal fry Sethlas was offering up, the rattlesnake noise told he that she was bombing just as hard as Diamante, who followed Trixie’s footsteps and botched RuPaul while Onyx was way too cerebral and didn’t bring any jokes. Sharonne rightly took out her second victory, while Sethlas narrowly avoided lip syncing as Diamante faced off against Onyx, sending my sweet zaddy home.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked to have lost Onyx, while Sethlas in particular was struggling, given they were so damn close. Diamante even had mixed feelings, given she loved Onyx despite the fact she was thrilled to have survived her time in the bottom. Everyone congratulated Sharonne on a very well earned victory, while Marina quietly seethed about Diamante remaining in the competition. Which was only made worse when she admitted to being lazy in the lip sync and turning tricks rather than learning the words. Oh and then Marina’s wig got stuck on her head and Sharonne had to perform surgery to remove it.

Things were a little more chill the next day as Juriji teased Sethlas for hooking up with Onyx, before the girls read Diamante for being so callous in the way she wiped off the mirror message. Which actually delighted Venedita as it showed that she was a little unhinged. Before we were able to explore that further, Supremme arrived with the Pit Crew each wheeling in different bins of materials which they would each have to use to fashion a look. As this week, they’re throwing a ball and the final look would be designed from the materials, ready for the 30th century drag runway. After they stomp the 10th and 20th century runways before them.

Immediately, the Pit Crew opened up their packages of plastic, paper and metal and the dolls absolutely went to town on them … to collect their supplies. Everything was flying, Sethlas was getting swallowed up by cardboard and Estrella was fighting Juriji over umbrellas. It was WILD.

After Supremme exited stage left, the dolls got to work on their outfits, with Venedita confident in her skills, since she went to design school, while on the flipside, Estrella and Diamante were terrified given neither of them have any skills. Marina too was struggling to understand a sewing machine while Juriji just felt stupid. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were calmly working away in another corner of the room, while the other girls dropped by periodically for advice. Estrella meanwhile was going with a different plan of attack, trying to distract Juriji from her outfit before just straight up flashing her bum.

Supremme made her return to check how the girls were progressing with Venedita admitting to being a little overwhelmed by the task and worried it will all fall apart as soon as she starts walking. Estrella meanwhile was not fooling Supremme about her lack of skills or direction, while Diamante shared that she took some sewing classes before coming to the competition. Which don’t appear to be helping her, but whatevs. Thankfully she was faring better than Marina who was sprialling about anything and everything. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were living their best lives, carving away at their cardboard and working with a clear plan. While Juriji was confident in her concept, just not happy with how quickly, or not, she works.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls speculating that Diamante was lying about her lack of sewing skills given the ease with which she pulled together her outfit. Everyone was equally impressed with what Sethlas could do with a glue gun, while Marina and Estrella were terrified about whether their looks would even make it to the runway, let alone down it. The dolls stopped throwing shade to start prepping their first looks where Estrella opened up to Sethlas about her friend Ivan who left her a letter in her luggage to help keep her motivated. And as is oft the case with the emotional interludes, I love how sweet the dolls are with each other.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by the iconic Choriza May on the judges panel, which honestly, is what she deserves. First up walking the 10th Century was Sharonne who was a bright, theatrical mess before revealing a jewelled bodysuit. Estrella gave mediaeval quest, Venedita was perfection as the moon, Diamante was harlequin chic before Sethlas stole the show as a stunning manuscript. Marina was a harvest earth mother while Juriji went from monk to the sexiest winged Joan of Arc known to man. And stole the show from Sethlas.

For the 20th Century looks, Sharonne went dripping in cash, literally. Estrella served gay Franco, Venedita was a post-Franco bride, ironically enough, Diamante was an architectural  floral delight while Sethlas served the internet. And broke it in the process. Probably. Marina was a slutty, plastic bride, while Juriji was delightfully demented as a liberated, mod Swedish girl.

Sharonne opened the 30th Century runway giving golden architecture, Estrella was a mess as a silver, robotic soldier while Venedita was perfect as a floral, structured delight. Diamante was simple yet effective as a satellite building, Sethlas was serving shaped, geometry realness – and slayed – while Marina was sloppy though did pair it with some nudity, so win. Oh and then Juriji stole the show as Gaultier Barbarella, having the time of her life.

After Sharonne was sent to safety solo, the judges read Estrella for absolute filth despite the fact they loved her personality. Venedita received universal praise for always telling a story while looking perfect, while Diamante was read for being a little safe and not really standing out from the crowd, good or bad. Sethlas was praised for telling a cohesive story over her three looks, and looking perfect while doing it. Marina was praised for selling her looks, though read for the last look being a bland mess. And then Juriji received universal praise for all that she served.

Backstage the dolls joined Sharonne before she went mad from boredom, quickly filling her in on who were the tops and bottoms. Despite it being quite obvious. Estrella was very confident she would be lip syncing, though was unsure who she would be against, while Diamante feared it would be her. Marina meanwhile was fine to be in the bottom, though mainly because she felt she didn’t belong there. Juriji meanwhile opened up about believing in herself before Choriza May swung backstage to kiki with her sisters. Who was just as charming as she was in UK 3, encouraging everyone that they are doing a great job and to not be too hard on themselves.

Juriji somehow was only deemed safe, leaving Sethlas to take out her first victory of the season. Which left Venedita as safe, before Marina’s superior first looks managed to save her from the bottom, leaving Estrella and Diamante to lip sync for their lives. To Se nos rompió el amor by Rocío Jurado, no less. And well, as requested by Supremme, neither queen left anything on the runway as they dug deep into the emotion. While it appeared like Diamante knew all the lyrics this time, and turned the show, she was no match for the charm, passion and raw emotion of Estrella who saved herself, booting Diamante from the competition.

Backstage Diamante was gladly holding her head high, proud of all that she was able to showcase in the competition and for giving it her all. And while that kinda, sorta makes me and my culinary comfort redundant, I gave her a big hug, reiterated how talented she is and celebrated her success with a batch of Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies.

Brownies are one of the safest sweets you can make. I mean, if they are undercooked you are left with a fudgy delight and if they are overcooked, they’re a bit cake-like. While you never want to overcook them, they will do in a pinch. And when they are full of juicy raspberries, well, it doesn’t really matter though, does it?

Enjoy!

Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 people.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup slivered almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and leave aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars until combined. One at a time, whisk in the eggs until the mixture comes back together before folding in the flour and salt. Followed by the raspberries and almonds.

Pour the batter into a lined 25cm square cake tin and pop into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. And by just set, just set. Remove from the oven to cool in the pan for an hour before carving and devouring.


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Rocksroy Cakes Bailey

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

Previously on Survivor the tribe came back together after the two-part, time travel extravaganza and were ready to power ahead as the official merge tribe. At the reward challenge, Drea’s distaste for PB&J led to her swapping with Maryanne to sit out of the challenge. Which obviously led to another advantage for Drea. Though thankfully the producers got a little shady and guaranteed she would get caught red handed by hiding said advantage in a pot of red paint. While she tried to downplay it, Tori spotted her and the duo reignited their feud. After Tori won immunity again, the tribe had to pick between the remaining outsiders, settling on getting rid of Chanelle despite Romeo getting super paranoid.

Back at camp Romeo quickly assured everyone that he isn’t bothered about being the secondary target, though behind their backs he was spitting fire and ready to get revenge. Hai meanwhile was spiralling over receiving one vote, with him quickly – and rightly – identifying Romeo as the culprit, though he denied it to make Hai more and more paranoid in front of everyone in camp. And well, it well and truly worked.

The next day Hai was catching up with Rocksroy, Jonathan and Mike, telling them that Romeo still needs to go ASAP. They however could not care less about their petty grievances, given they realised that by being the big providers, they are the likely targets and as such, they need to pull together an all male alliance. Which never seems to work, but go off sis. Rocksroy spearheaded pulling the other males together, though given he had never spoken to Omar before that moment, I don’t think he was the best ambassador for their cause. Particularly since the way he spoke to Hai next was off putting, so yeah, not good.

Kula Kula joined up with Probst out over the ocean where he explained to the tribe that this round they would be split into two groups who would each vote someone out. For the immunity challenge, they would each balance on narrow footholds on a triangular platform with the last one standing from each group winning immunity. And the person that lasted the longest would win kebabs for their group and the right to be the second tribal council of the evening. Given the water was super choppy, Marynne was the first to drop from her group before Rocksroy, Omar and Mike immediately followed on the other team, leaving Hai and Romeo to battle for immunity in their group. Romeo then touched his hand on the platform, handing immunity to Hai who tried desperately to stay in the challenge to win reward. Drea and Tori then dropped leaving Lindsay and Jonathan to battle it out for the other group with Hai and Lindsay dropping, leaving Jonathan to take out immunity and reward for his group.

The losers returned to the old Taku camp where Omar was living for the fact Rocksroy got his all boys group, meaning he already has to turn on them. Romeo meanwhile was assuming he would be the one going home given he isn’t close with Rocks, Mike is 100 – his words – and Hai hates him, ergo, screwed. Rocks meanwhile was very confident in his place in the game given he is already aligned with everyone. Omar quickly pointed out that Rocks is too rigid for his game and as such, he would rather go further with Romeo. When the duo caught up, Romeo was quick to point out to Omar that while he was very keen to make a move on Rocks, Hai hates him and as such, it is unlikely to work.

Omar took matters into his own hands, pulling Hai aside to float the idea of getting rid of Rocks and given neither of them are into the idea of an all mens alliance, he was keen. Though didn’t want to make a move against Rocksroy without Mike’s blessing. With that, Hai approached Mike and while Mike could not care less about voting him out, he was worried that his other allies would view him as untrustworthy for making the move too soon.

And reminder, the game has like nine days left.

At tribal council the group spoke about how awful the cold and rainy conditions are while Mike spoke about how that makes it hard to come up with plans and stick to them. Particularly when they throw massive twists at them, like this week. Hai admitted that what he wanted to do at this tribal council has completely changed after the tribe were split in two, while Rocksroy said everything was super chill as they scrambled and that they quickly came to an agreement. Which, he should at least be paranoid about, given Hai said he changed his mind. Mike admitted it was an easy decision, Romeo agreed that they all just gave each other a nod and locked things in before returning to chatting. With Rocks agreeing that nothing changes his mind or made him nervous back at camp.

With that the group voted and it appears Rocksroy really should have seen something coming as he was unanimously booted from the game. And while he took his boot in his stride as he arrived at loser lodge – more on that one later – he was disappointed to have blindly trust in those he thought were his allies. After I reminded him that he always has the fact he made the jury, he perked right up. Although maybe that was the Rocksroy Cakes Bailey.

I know, I know – the name makes them sound hard, dry and inedible. But there is something so fundamentally soothing about a rock cake. While they are dry, the also delicately crumble in your mouth and are filled with little bursts of sultanas. And, are super basic to make.

Enjoy!

Rocksroy Cakes Bailey
Serves: 6-10.

Ingredients
2 cups flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup raw caster sugar 
1 ½ cup sultanas 
125g butter, melted 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and sultanas in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the butter, followed by the eggs with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 15 fifteen minutes, or until golde brown. Then devour.


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Melta Carajomenta

Baking, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls got creampied by the Pit Crew before they were tasked with a little improv. In the form of starring as guests on Putricia’s Diario for the Maxi Challenge. While Samantha’s look was iconic, her performance didn’t go anywhere while Jota was overwhelmed by her sisters. In her performance, Venedita stole the show from start to finish and rightfully took out the win. Poor Jota landed in the bottom with lip sync veteran Samantha Ballentines, and rightly chose to focus on the emotion of the song which was key to saving herself as Samantha sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were in their feels, while Jota was just glad to survive and ok that Samantha had gone given she wasn’t exactly thriving in the competition. That being said, she and Estrella were definitely going to miss her motherly ways and all that they have learnt  from her in such a short amount of time. Though Estrella was thrilled to not be in a house with her and Macarena, given they both finished in tenth place and it is clearly cursed. Everyone gathered around to swap stories about Samantha before Estrella went on a shady rampage, telling the dolls that Jota should not have even lip synced and explained why Onyx was far worse. Before a fight broke out, the dolls congratulated Venedita on a well deserved win and all appeared to be forgotten.

The next day Estrella confronted Marina for trying to take her farting crown from her which led to Marina trying to explain her fight with Juriji to the other girls and well, nobody seemed interested at all. Though they did end up making up so I guess that is a win? Before Diamente could act on her desire to mount Onyx, Supremme dropped by with the Javiers to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be putting on a little rusical, Holy Drag Camp! Which is a riff on the Javiers’ Goya winning film Holy Camp, inspired by their stage show Holy Camp. So yeah, this is los Javis inception moment. And I am horny for it.

Supremme bid the dolls adieu before the Javiers gathered them to lock in the roles, with Drag Sethlas and Diamante fighting for the same role before Sethlas pulled a Camden and realised she could slay another role and bounced out. Marina meanwhile was ready to take the lead role, Onyx was cast as a painting while Sharonne was typecast as the old queen. Oh and then Estrella and Jota also fought for a role, until Estrella auditioned and made Jota shit her pants about living up to the performance. And as such, she quickly opted to take the last free role.

The queens quickly joined Carlos Marco on the Mainstage to record their songs with the quartet of muses – Vendetta, Drag Sethlas, Juriji and Jota – mostly knocking it out of the park. Drag Sethlas was demented and hilarious, Sharon hit EVERY note, Estrella was delightful and cute, Onyx was awks, Marina seemed sedated and Diamante was very energetic. When it came to rehearsal, Sharonen and Estrella were clearly the stars while Onyx and Diamante were kinda just there. Oh and the muses were a mess.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone feeling the pressure of the upcoming opening and closing night of their rusical. Well, except for Diamante, who was more focused on getting spit roasted by the Javis. Which is super relatable. She then did a hard pivot, opening up to Juriji about her difficulties growing up and how she struggled fitting in as an immigrant and ugh, they are so damn sweet I can’t handle it.

Supremme, Ana and Los Javis were joined by La Prohibidia on the judges panel for the debut performance of Holy Drag Camp! The muses opened the show in the most demented way possible, with Jurij’s voice knocking it out of the park while Sethlas was hilarious. While Marina felt a bit flat, Diamante did her best to pull her through the show before Sharonne and Estrella arrived and lifted the energy. They were stupid, fun and oh so delightful. Onyx meanwhile was just there, but given the role, I’m not sure what else she could have done anyway. Wait, then Marina got a solo number and well, she can sing and really leaned into the emotion of her role and ended up slaying.

After watching the entire rusical, uncut, the dolls stomped the Two looks in One runway where Juriji was a disco Marie Antoinette. Onyx cracked out of a space egg and into a glamorous alien, Venedita was a rainbow troll that transitioned into full glamour before Jota went from a tree to Botticelli, however said reveal took an ever to do and ended up super awkward. Sharonne went from a white bird to a metallic phoenix, Drag Sethlas went from baby to doll to bride and well, she stole the runway. Particularly after she added her fourth sexy honeymoon look. Diamante served Kinder Surprise realness, Marina was inspired by Priscilla, going from dancing queen to a supermodel and Estrella was show stopping as she cycled through the iconic looks of Marilyn Monroe and well, it was a good week for Estrella.

Ultimately Jota, Onyx, Sharonne, Marina, Estrella and Juriji were deemed the tops and bottoms of the week. After Sethlas, Venedita and Diamante exited to untuck, Juriji was read for getting lost in the rusical whenever she wasn’t singing. Though everyone admitted that they loved her runway. Juriji broke down as she opened up about never feeling good enough which led to an epic pep talk from the judges and ugh, I love them. Onyx was read for being there in the rusical and for only doing one look on the reveal runway. Jota was read for revealing too soon on the runway and kinda botching it, and for struggling with her lines in the rusical. Once again, Sharonne received universal praise for everything she served this week, while the judges absolutely lived for Marina dominating week. That being said, their love for the duo was nothing compared to Estrella who was universally beloved and then she had everyone in tears as she thanked Javier Calvo for giving her a gay man to look up to on TV and ugh, now I’m crying too.

Backstage Venedita was showing off a third reveal she had prepared for if she had to lip sync before the tops and bottoms joined them and well, Onyx and Jota were not happy. Onyx was angry to be in the bottom despite such a strong look while Jota felt she wasn’t the worst. While Estrella and Marina celebrated being in the top, Juriji started to sob over landing in the bottom and disappointing herself. And yeah, the dolls were definitely going through it.

Ultimately Marina and Sharonne were deemed safe as Estrella took out her first win of the season before Onyx was sent to safety, leaving Juriji and Jota to fight for safety to Baloncesto by La Prohibida. And yeah, Juriji is a damn star, as she perfectly stripped down and leant into the sexiness of the song while Jota lost her wig and started to look desperate as she went from camp, to a late breaking run of sexiness while Juriji just stayed in the pocket. Which was enough to save herself as Jota was booted from the competition.

While Jota was heartbroken to leave the competition, I was quick to remind her that despite a short run, she was memorable and charming. Which is what I say to all young stars in the hope that they will like me and make me look cool. But seriously, how the hell did Jota do what she did at only 19? Want to know what I was doing at 19? Vomming in public toilets before I even made it out for the night because I had no stamina. As such, we laughed and cried, while I wished to be young again before we split a batch of Melta Carajomenta.

Melting moments, in addition to being delicious, hold such a memorable place in my heart. From my sister bringing extras home from the cafe she worked at when I was a kid, to my friend being obsessed with them as a dessert for after our pastel de carne breaks at work, melting moments are perfect. And sweet. And delicate.

Enjoy!

Melta Carajomenta
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
330g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup cornflour
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Pop 250g of the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the vanilla extract and half a cup of icing sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold through the flour and cornflour until just combined.

Using your hands, roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and pop on a lined baking sheet. When you’ve formed an even amount of balls, this is very important, press them down with a fork to flatten slightly. Pop the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with the lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy. To assemble, pipe some icing on the base of half the biscuits before sandwiching with the other half. Close, dust with some icing sugar and devour. Triumphantly.


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Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

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

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

Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
Serves: 12.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Dejate Skye Loaf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh and then Camden slayed from start to finish. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Dejate Skye Loaf
Serves: 6-8.

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

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

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

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

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


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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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Michael Crocembouche

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

Previously on Australian Survivor we were finally introduced to speedo king Jordan’s cousin Josh, who proudly joined the new Blood tribe to eliminate his cuz’s former ally Amy before she could turn the tribe against him. While Nina had positioned herself in her new tribe, she tragically injured herself when coming off a slide during the reward challenge. As Blood enjoyed their reward, Jordie, Josh and Mark vowed to share any idols clue they came across. Which is exactly what Mark didn’t do, unaware that Jordie spotted him stealthily popping the clue in his shoe. Before we could get a resolution to that scene, Nina was whisked away from the reward for further testing before returning at the site of the next immunity challenge where we learnt she had an avulsion fracture in her ankle and was tragically being medevaced from the game.

With Nina’s departure confirmed, Jonathan did a hard pivot as the castaways wiped off their tears before learning of the upcoming challenge. First they would race through a mud pit, barge through a wall of hay bales and clear a path to carry a chariot, before throwing a monkey fist to release sandbags and lift the rider to the top over the tower to collect the sandbags and drop them down for the tribe to use to knock out tiles spelling their tribe names. Oh and in addition to immunity, the winning tribe would also get an advantage they can read all about after they get back to camp.

Blood got out to the earliest of leads which was only extended as they quickly smashed through the wall of hay. Jordie and Jesse then got carried on the chariot for their rival tribes, with both boys struggling to land their monkey fists before Jesse landed his out of nowhere, collected all the sandbags and started shooting while Blood floundered. Jesse and Khanh traded out with Khanh shooting away at the targets as Jordie finally released his sandbags and against all odds, ended up closing the gap. As Josh and Khanh shot head to head, Josh took the lead for Blood again, while Khanh was always just behind, tragically allowing Josh to jag a come from behind victory for Blood.

Back at camp Ben was frustrated to once again lose a challenge, though joined up with Sam and Jesse to lock in the vote against Michelle, with a split on Khanh to clear out his idol. While Ben was feeling good to be near the top, but not near enough to ever be the target, it was sadly all a ruse as Sam and Jesse went for a swim to laugh about their upcoming blindside against Ben in place of the Michelle votes.

Sam and Jesse split up to lock in this vote, with Jesse left behind to keep Ben feeling good about his place in the tribe. Sam, Chrissy, Michelle and Khanh caught up by the well, all glad to jump on board the vote against Ben while they worried about whether Croc would be ok with getting rid of his ally Ben. While Chrissy reminded them to all keep quiet and not pull a Cara. As the group split up, Sam caught up with Chrissy and suggested that they really do need to get rid of Khanh’s idol ASAP, despite their assurances they won’t target him.

Back at camp Ben started to get nervous about everyone whispering, while Jesse worked overtime to make sure he felt ok before pulling KJ aside to talk through the plan with her, with her obviously agreeing to join them and load her vote on Khanh, given she doesn’t really have any options. While Jesse was confident about the plan coming together flawlessly, Chrissy straight up told Ben that she had heard his name being thrown around and while she tried to say she’s heard a lot of names, you could tell she realised that despite her warnings, she had become the Cara. Much to young Jesse’s simmering rage.

Jesse tried to downplay her faux pas, assuring Ben his name has not come up in any of the plans though and quickly went through all the votes again to keep him safe. As Jesse and Sam caught up and spoke about how safe Ben is feeling and how perfectly this will play out, Croc decided that he wasn’t thrilled with the plan and instead wanted to flush Khanh’s idol instead. With that, Croc went to KJ, Michelle and Chrissy and floated the idea of genuinely flushing Khanh’s idol, which they were all thrilled about. Particularly KJ, who didn’t want to be dictated to by a 21 year old.

Jesse noticed an increase of whispers and approached Croc and KJ to make sure everything was ok, with Croc admitting he’d rather get rid of Khanh than Ben. And well, the vibe between them was just all kind of weird and as such, Jesse was terrified the blindside would backfire and they’d have to deal with a very angry Ben back at camp.

At tribal council the Water tribe were gagged to learn that the Blood tribe would be joining them, since their advantage was to sit in on tonight’s tribal council. Oh and that was followed by another gag when Jonathan announced that the tribe would be voting immediately. Which you know means this is a non-elimination and Sam really just can’t catch a break when it comes to trying for a big ol’ blindside and production screwing her. After everyone voted, Joanthan tallied the votes with 1 somehow landing on KJ, 2 on Khanh and 4 on Ben, however before he got his torch snuffed, Mel read the second part of their advantage where they could steal someone from the rival tribe. The catch being, they can only vote to steal someone from Water who had received a vote at tribal council.

This finally got some discussion happening with Mark talking about voting for what is best for the tribe. Shay meanwhile was hopeful the tribe would reunite her with her boyfriend, who was angry about his blindside. Which is why I would leave him there if I was the Blood tribe. Chrissy was nervous about potentially having to deal with the fallout back at camp while Jordie was busy whispering to his allies about who they should vote for, admitting to Jonathan he was weighing up making a great decision for his tribe but also trying to keep his brother safe. This blew Khanh’s mind who didn’t even think about it, while KJ just straight up pitched that she was ready to jump to the other tribe and reconnect with her original allies.

Mark spoke about the fact it is probably easier to bring a single over – aka Khanh or KJ – rather than making another pair, while Josh was nervous about the prospect of bringing Khanh over, given that could make things dangerous should they go to tribal council given his idol. Jonathan then explained that one at a time the Blood tribe would vote for the person they want to steal, with the person with the most votes immediately joining the tribe. With that, the tribe voted and Jordie straight up said he was voting KJ to leave Ben to completely blow up his game, as the rest of his tribe – minus Shay, obviously – joined the fun and snatched KJ to join Blood.

Back at the new-ish Blood tribe, Shay was angry with her tribe for not bringing her partner over to the tribe while it really feels like the best thing for her. That being said, she was glad to have another woman join the tribe because they are well and truly a sausage fest ATM and – I never thought I’d say this, ever – not in a good way.

Meanwhile over at the Water tribe Ben was trying to act like the blindside never happened and he was still dear friends with everyone in the tribe. Chrissy meanwhile was feeling super awkward, worried how things would blow up with him eventually. As she swam in the water with Ben and Jesse, Jesse apologised to him and while the boys quickly made up, she looked on in shock. Particularly since she was worried that Ben was angriest at her, given they were so close.

Chrissy and Jesse then caught up alone by the fire, worried about Ben getting to merge and reuniting with Shay and being protected by the other boys. Jesse’s only answer however was to throw the upcoming immunity challenge and get rid of Ben ASAP, particularly before Ben realises it was him and not Chrissy that organised it. As Chrissy and Jesse whispered by the fire however, Ben called them out for gossiping before assuring everyone that he just wants to be an asset and hopefully, they won’t have to return to tribal council.

Back at the Blood tribe KJ was living her absolute best life, loving the new surroundings and glad to be back with her allies Jordie, Mark and Josh. She caught up with Jordie to get the lay of the land, with him admitting that he is essentially working with everyone but Shay. And knowing the Water tribe wants to get rid of Ben made him even more sure it was the right move. As Shay quietly did chores in the water, the boys told her Shay was glad to have another woman in the tribe though given KJ planned to work with the group, I feel like it may not actually be helpful. Though KJ was living for the speedo king Jordan and his allies, so I have no choice but to stan her. Shay meanwhile continued to feel on the outs, missing Nina even more,knowing that the only way to guarantee her safety is to win immunity. Though based on last night, that may doom her/my speedo king Ben.

The tribes met up with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would have to navigate three balls through an upright obstacle using a flat paddle, passing it off from person to person, one at a time, as they each navigate their own maze. Both tribes were neck and neck from the start, until Jesse dropped his first ball – deliberately – to slow them down. Michelle joined in the fun of throwing the challenge as Mark landed Blood’s first ball in the final obstacle. When Ben landed the first ball for Water, Jesse stepped up his game and started dropping more and more while Ben looked frustrated while he waited at the end. Obviously Mark whipped through the final maze and landed their second and third balls, handing them immunity. But yeah, Water definitely threw the challenge.

Back at camp Sam was thrilled to have a target laying in wait for the tribe, quickly locking in the vote against Ben with Jesse, Chrissy and Croc reminding them that his survival would make post-merge chaotic for all of them. With that locked in, the quartet disappeared with Croc ready to leave Chrissy to play with her allies while he instead thought about going out on his own to save Ben. With that, he pulled Michelle, Khanh and Chrissy aside and instead floated the idea of getting rid of Jesse instead, given he and his brother are just as threatening, if not more so, than Ben and Shay. Chrissy just looked awkward, while Khanh and Michelle appeared on board with the plan.

After Chrissy shared how horrible Croc’s plan is for her game, he caught up with Ben to float the idea of getting rid of Jesse and while he appeared down with it, he immediately went to Jesse and Sam with the information. The two people who led the blindside against him the night before. With Jesse and Sam seething with this news. 

Ben pledged his undying loyalty to both Jesse and Sam, assuring them that he would gladly work with them moving forward. And just like that, the vote moved on to Croc with Chrissy to be kept in the dark. They split up to lock in the rest of the numbers, with Ben quickly getting Michelle on board before she went to catch up with Chrissy. Who felt like she was stuck in the worst position, given she and Croc are on different pages in the game. And she does not want to vote for Jesse.

While Chrissy was already feeling guilty, she caught up with Jesse who assured her that everything is still the same as the night before, without either of them realising they are both lying to each other, despite not wanting to. Chrissy reconnected with Croc, opening up about how much she doesn’t want to get rid of Jesse, given she considers him like a child while Croc just couldn’t care less about it. And once again, somehow, Khanh appears to be about to skate through another tribal without using his idol.

At tribal council Chrissy shared that Ben handled his blindside with grace, unlike how she would have played in the same situation. To which Ben responded that he thinks the tribe has just found its natural order again and all is right with the world. Chrissy reiterated she wouldn’t be handling things as cooly as he was, before Sam spoke about Ben being a threat, though the fact she now questioned whether it was even the right time to get rid of him last night. Jesse meanwhile agreed that things change very quickly in the game of Survivor, while Ben showed his gratitude for the fact everyone is still willing to work with him.

Khanh meanwhile was just shocked his name was not part of any of the plans that he heard, which actually, come to think of it, makes him more nervous, given it means he may actually be the plan. While Croc was just trying to stay strong and hold his ground. Jesse admitted that there are definitely strong alliances in the tribe, though most of the votes have been ones of consensus. Ben continued to play it cool, agreeing while there are people calling the shots everyone still has a voice. Which is something Michelle agreed with, encouraging them all to leverage themselves to put them in the best position possible.

Chrissy essentially said she and Croc – or she and Jesse – would be voting differently tonight, which made Jesse nervous while Croc reiterated he is voting solely on how things will play out post-merge. Which led to Sam jumping in, reminding them that there is no guarantee the merge is around the corner and they need to find balance, while Jesse straight up said he was very confident he was onboard with the winning plan. As was Croc.

With that the tribe voted and Jesse’s confidence appeared warranted as the tribe joined together to blindside Croc from the game. Now leaving them to contend with a very angry and upset Chrissy.

Despite his obvious disappointment to be arriving at Loser Lodge, he was confident that he had left Chrissy in a good standing for the rest of the game and as such, he couldn’t feel too sad. Which is 100% the kind of guy Croc is. I’ve known Croc for years and years as we’re both part of the broader Roosters alumni – my dad played three first-grade games, which makes me an immortal, FYI – so I knew he would need something sweet enough to move past his blindside. Sweet enough while impressive, both technically and physically, meaning I quickly served him a commiseratory Michael Crocembouche.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve done profiteroles before – for another NRL great, no less – and technically, croquembouche is nothing more than then stacked into a tower (a small one, in this instance) but that doesn’t take away from how good these are. Plus, this time we have caramel!

Enjoy!

Michael Crocembouche
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
1 ⅓ cup raw caster sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
½ cup thickened cream, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake it for about 10 minutes or until the pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and ⅓ of a cup of sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

To make the salted caramel, heat the remaining caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir constantly into the sugary clumps that form turn in a thick, molten liquid. Once melted and it becomes amber in colour, whisk in the butter until combined. This will splatter and expand, so be careful to avoid a burn.

Cook for a further minute without stirring before slowly adding the thickened cream, again being careful to avoid the rollicking mixture. Allow to boil for a minute before removing from the heat and leaving to cool slightly. Stir in a teaspoon or two of salt, stirring until well combined.

Once cool enough to work with, dip each puff in the caramel and repeat the process as you build them to form a croquembouche. Or multiple mini ones like my lazy self did.

Whatever structure you choose to go with, devour immediately, in anticipation of Chrissy burning everything to the ground.


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Banoffeeryl Toad in a Hole

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previous on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World nine all star queens from across the globe descended on jolly old England to battle for the chance to be the Queen, of the WORLD. Not to be confused with Queen of the Universe, which obviously also starred Jujubee. Because she is great TV. To help Ru and Co get to know them (or get reacquainted with them), they put on a little talent show, or as they say in England, a Royal Command Performance. Despite slaying her number, Lemon was read for showing no face, while Jimbo was just absolutely bonkers, complete with tossing bologna at Ru. Pangina absolutely slayed a lipsync while Janey’s lip sync served subpar reveals. Jimbo and Pangina ultimately took out victory, with Pangina destroying the lip sync and with it, Lemon’s life in the competition.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to have lost Lemon so soon, with Pangina admitting she felt a little guilty to be the one to end her run but ultimately, she was confident in her choice. Janey meanwhile was disappointed to have landed in the bottom, particularly when she saw Jimbo had pulled her name to go should she have won the lip sync. Janey read Jimbo for voting based on solely alliances and argued that her critiques were far better than Lemon’s. And well, now she knows Jimbo is the girl she thought she was. Not wanting to be left out of the drama, Blu then questioned whether Jimbo had deliberately thrown the lip sync, given it was a bit of a mess. Which Jimbo vehemently denied because there is no benefit in looking a mess in front of Mel C and Ru. Which is the only thing that makes me question whether Blu is wrong.

The next day things were far more harmonious, with the dolls congratulating Pangina on taking out the first win. Oh wait, no Janey is still pissed at Jimbo and questioned whether she would be voting based on talent now that she is the only Canadian left standing. Fed up, Jimbo admitted that she wasn’t impressed with Janey’s looks in the challenge, particularly since she considers herself a look queen. Which led to Monique jumping in to read the outfits for absolute filth and backing up Jimbo.

After toasting another week of mediocrity for Cheryl, the girls were interrupted by Ru who arrived to announce this week’s Maxi Challenge – a ball! More specifically, the RuPaul Ball which would require them to serve a Kitty Girl look, followed by a Butch Queen inspired number and finally they would be making a new outfit that Ru would want to wear on the You Wear It Well Runway. And the thought of a ball immediately filled Baga with terror and Jimbo with joy. Ru departed and the girls immediately started pillaging the supplies, with Monique going fluro while Jimbo was feeling more golden. While Cheryl cut her thumb open within 30 seconds.

The dolls quickly split up to start planning their looks with Blu feeling confident in her ability to work an outfit, while Janey was just grateful that Holland never served a design challenge and as such, she is an unknown entity amongst the cast. Jujubee meanwhile was hoping to barely scrape through another sewing challenge, given this is one of her notorious weaknesses. As was Baga, who was well and truly feeling out of her depth, wandering around the Werk Room asking for advice and monologuing about how stars like herself don’t sew. While Blu and Monique just reminded her to shut up and get to work.

Cheryl returned from the medic and admitted she was spiralling as she debated between a catsuit or a dress, while Monique repeatedly told her to relax and to get out of her head. Jimbo meanwhile was in her element and despite being sent home on a ball in Canada – by Michelle, no less – she is ready to redeem herself. Or suck them balls dry. While jujubee was FINE, ok!

Ru arrived to check in with the dolls, with Ru laughing it up over how out of her depth Baga is. While Blu had a full Forrester Creations’ calibre drawing and swatches of her fully realised look, while Cheryl tried to sell her outfit already and lied that she is now a confident sewer. Team USA were up next with Monique’s green gown looking glorious while Jujubee was thrilled to have stretchy fabric and distracted from her lack of skills by delighting Ru with her wit and cham. Canada, Thailand and Holland united for their check-in, with Jimbo thrilled to be the last Canadian standing and super confident in her skills. Pangina was thrilled to take out the first victory last week and ready to continue her winning streak by sewing by hand. While Janey was confident in her sewing skills, though not the design skills.

Oh and while everyone was having their kiki, Baga slept. Only waking up as Ru cackled when Janey asked to win the challenge and then follow it up by reminding Ru that she asked first if anyone else comes to her.

After Ru left, Jimbo broke down, overwhelmed to have finally met Ru and to be living her dream and ugh, it was too precious. She then pulled herself together as everyone split up to work on their gowns. Even Baga, who managed to pull herself out of her funk. Blu and Cheryl approached Jujubee to talk about how much they love her, with Juju advising them to put up boundaries between themselves and their drag persona to help them not lose sight of themselves. Blu opened up about being so happy in drag that she started to question her gender identity, with Cheryl agreeing that she also had those thoughts and it is so hard to learn to listen to your voice and love yourself. Juju spoke about the polarity of being a queen, before Blu admitted that she used to think that she was trans but ultimately feels she lives somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum and was happy not to label things just yet..

Janey started to struggle with the sewing machine, unsure of her choices leading to Monique stepping in and quickly selling a concept and encouraging her to just slay it. While Baga hung in the corner, still smarting over the fact they have to sew.

Elimination Day rolled around with everyone putting finishing touches on their looks and beating their mugs, while Pangina finished off Baga’s look for her. Mainly because she doesn’t want anyone to embarrass them as a cast, which, understandable. Though Baga was so insufferable that even she started to regret trying to help. Cheryl opened up about how she buggered up her first look, so made an entirely new one overnight. Though the new one was also a mess. Like. It was so bad, it got the shady womp womp.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Daisy May Cooper on the judges panel as they opened the show with the Kitty Girl runway. Pangina was an avant garde royal, Egyptian cat and it was glorious. Janey took it one further as Cleo-catra, Cheryl was the sexiest snow-white cat while Juju wore a sexy gown with cats on her boobs, complete with feathered trim. Jimbo was the sluttiest liger to grace the planet while Baga was a demented Cheshire Cat, complete with scractching her worms off her hole on the runway. Which was iconic. Blu was a lilac alien cat, while Monique closed the show as a black lunar cat and well, it was stunning. Despite the lack of brown cow.

Pangina opened the Butch Queen runway looking glorious as Queen Liz hunting at Sandringham. Janey gave us sexy prisoner, Cheryl served flaming biker chick, Juju looked like a CEO and then Jimbo one-upped the biker looks having handlebars connected to her nips. And it was glorious. Baga gave demented soldier, Blu was a perfectly stunning strongest man while Monique was a leather daddy and well, my basement is positively flooded. And that was before we got the bum reveal.

On the You Wear It Well runway, Pangina was glorious in an architectural magenta gown. Janey slayed in a shimmering, icy bodysuit with a disco-inspired train while Cheryl tried her best to sell what she described as the worst outfit on the mainstage. Ever. Juju looked like shimmering, crinkled 70s curtains while Jimbo was perfection in a shimmering golden outfit with a slit all the way to her breastplate. Thanks to Pangina, Baga managed to pull something half-decent off while Blu looked like a disco-dream in a well made bodysuit. While Monique gave a sight in lime, though I’m not sure what sight that was exactly.

Ultimately Baga and Blu were sent to safety before the judges heaped praise on Pangina for everything she served, living for her versatility and her ability to serve comedy. Despite them wishing her designed look was full length. Janey was praised for three such distinct looks, with Daisy May Cooper flooding her basement for her Butch Queen while Michelle wasn’t sold on her Kitty Girl runway. Though she did admit that Janey’s designed look is the most likely one Ru would wear, which led to Janey thanking Monique for her help in front of everyone. 

Cheryl was praised for serving Marie from Aristocats on the Kitty Girl runway while her designed look was rightly read for being an absolute mess. Leading to her breaking down over how messy she was, before apologising for not giving her best. Juju meanwhile was read for being basic as Michelle essentially treated her like Pearl and told her to wake up. Though Ru told her she would actually wear the dress, while agreeing that it felt like Juju just hadn’t shown up yet. Jimbo rightly received universal praise, then full on impersonated Ru and ugh, it was so damn fun. Monique’s glorious first two looks received universal praise for all that she did, though her designed look was read for not hitting the mark. Which she agreed were the facts. Lol.

Jimbo rightly landed in the Top 2 for the second week running, this time alongside Janey while Pangina and Monique were deemed safe, leaving Cheryl and Juju up for elimination.

Backstage Janey was thrilled to get her redemption from the week before as Cheryl led everyone in praising their sisters for their win. Jimbo was thrilled to show she can serve a ball, and assured them she was even more fired up to win the lip sync. Baga asked Juju whether she was ok with what the judges said, with Jujubee agreeing that she hasn’t shown up and has kinda been bad. This lead to Monqiue questioning if that was all simply a strategy to coast by and not look threatening. Blu questioned whether Baga feels guilty about being safe, given that other people made her gown when Juju was in the bottom for something she did by herself.

Which, again, lol.

The dolls split up to deliberate with Cheryl pointing out to Jimbo that Juju has had so many chances and as such, she should be better than she’s been and as such, go home. Jimbo asked her whether she would send Jimbo home if she stumbled, with Cheryl assuring her she is the front runner and that is something that would stop Cheryl from sending her home. Juju meanwhile charmed Janey, reminding her that while she has been here multiple times before, this is a new competition and she still wants to fight hard. And admitted she would have Janey’s back if and when it was required.

The safe girls meanwhile agreed Cheryl was the worst, though Blu did reiterate the fact that Juju is here for the fourth time. Which to quote Art Simone, means nothing.

The dolls switched places with Cheryl reiterating her argument, with Janey admitting to us that she doesn’t know whether she should make her decision based on the competition or on whether someone has competed multiple times. Though given Cheryl felt Janey had a wall up, she was pretty sure she was in trouble. Meanwhile Juju was assuring Jimbo that she will do better if she keeps her around, wanting to see it to the end and most importantly, compete against the best. Juju then also assured Jimbo she would have her back should she stay.

Jimbo and Janey returned to the stage to battle for victory to a remix of Mama Ru’s Supermodel and well, Janey was not going to let Jimbo jag a win despite Jimbo vowing not to do the hokey pokey this time. While Janey was serving disco diva, Jimbo gave a parody performance of somebody at Studio 54 and while I lived for it, Janey’s polished perfection jagged her the win. And the right to send home one of the bottom girls, ultimately eliminating Cheryl from the competition. Most likely, for having another week of being mediocre.

Like a damn icon.

While Chez was heartbroken to have exited the competition, I quickly had her laughing it up at how iconic it was for her to once revel in her mediocrity. Despite being a total, absolute icon that is in no way mediocre. With that out of the way, Chez and I slipped straight back into our friendship, gossiping, joking around and most importantly, smashing a Banoffeeryl Toad in Hole in honour of her star power.

Like Chez, this little number proves that sometimes classics are just perfection. Banana and caramel are such a gorgeous combination, that this sweet twist on a Toad in a Hole can only fill you with joy. Squishy and oh so sticky, it is the only thing tasty enough to honour our Chez!

Enjoy!

Banoffeeryl Toad in a Hole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 ⅓ cups flour
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ⅓ cups milk
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups Dulce de Nick Lachey
1 tbsp water
100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthways
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C. 

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in one bowl, and the milk, eggs and vanilla in another. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly whisk in the milky-eggs mixture until just combined.

Combine the Dulce de Nick Lachey and the water in the base of a baking dish to losen it up a bit. Pour the batter on top and then dot with the chocolate and bananas, cut side up.

Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the batter is just set. Serve immediately with ice cream and devour. In honour of sweet Chez.


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Lemon Crisps

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

While Ru has expanded his reach across the globe, jetting Down Under and across the pond to the UK for local versions of Drag Race, that world domination is not enough. No, no – this time, Ru is taking it to the world, assembling a cast of iconic All Stars from across the globe in sunny old England for the chance to become the first Global Drag Race Superstar. Queen of the World, or something of that ilk, you know?

First to return to the UK Mainstage – literally – was one Ms. Baga Chipz, serving people’s princess realness and reminding us how great she did on Season 1 despite how annoying her confidence can come across. She was quickly joined by her fellow Frock Destroyer Blu Hydrangea who was looking like an exploded highlighter and ugh, I loved her Mary Berry Snatch Game so damn much. And in contrast to Baga, I am living for her newfound confidence. Blu congratulated Baga on not looking like a mess this time and while they were thrilled to be in each other’s company, they were soon delighted to be joined by their Essex sister Cheryl Hole. Thankfully vowing to be mediocre through and through.

They briefly started speculating about their international sisters before zaddy Janey Jacké arrived representing Holland and ugh, she is such a damn serve. I love her so much. The UK trio welcomed her with open arms and ugh, this congeniality is so glorious. The quartet were joined by Canada’s drag clown Jimbo, giving the kids a toastie – literally – and just being demented, and well, I’m already in love with this season. Particularly since Jimbo reminded us that Michelle was the guest judge when she went home and she is more than willing to confront her. But enough about that, Lemon is back and well, I look forward to her channeling Jojo Siwa at every opportunity.

Things took a massive turn as Pangina Heals the HOST of Thailand arrived to represent her country and ugh, she is perfection. And more importantly, she is such a damn superfan and looks ready to slay and have the best time. Oh and did we know Thailand lights contestants on fire? Beause slay! While the girls were gagged to be competing against a host, Cheryl was just glad to see someone else that hasn’t won a challenge. Yet. Next up was the ICONIC Monique Heart and well, she was feeling her oats as much as I feel her oats. While Blu shaded her for competing for the third time, Monique quickly mocked her for losing and wearing a glowstick. Before it could descend into chaotic fighting, Jujubee arrived to round out the cast and I don’t care how often they bring her back because she is the best.

I mean, can’t she just be the Tim Gunn/Christian Siriano in every Werk Room globally? Where do I start THAT petition?

After a brief getting to know you, a siren sounded before Ru arrived on a cherry picker to welcome them all into the competition. She then announced that this year, the winner would not only claim the crown but also get to record a duet with her, the one and only Ruple Charles. But first, they would have to show off their talent in a Royal Command Performance and then, Ru warned them, they would be the ones to eliminate their sisters.

With that out of the way, the dolls exited the mainstage and headed back to the Werk Room to claim stations and de-drag. More importantly, Cheryl was adorably showing Pangina her station from Season 1 as Baga and Jimbo were clowning up, breaking the room and claiming a corner together. Meanwhile the US girls were busy reading everyone for filth and ugh, this chaos makes me so happy. Not to be outdone, Blu was talking to Cheryl about how the US girls really changed the vibe of the room while poor Chez just wanted everyone to get along. Thankfully Baga decided to do some diplomacy, brewing tea for her sisters and teaching the international girls all of the local slang and explaining important things like the tube or Prince Andrew and pizza shops.

Elimination Day arrived with the girls quickly splitting up to get ready with Jimbo finding a toastie on her shoulder while Cheryl and Janey were just excited to get things started. Blu meanwhile approached Monique to explain that they met before Blu got famous and she was quite rude to her, with Monique quickly apologising to try and smooth things over. Janey and Pangina were meanwhile worried about being the sole representative of their countries, with Pangina trying to put it out of her mind and just do herself proud. More importantly, she is able to take criticism as well as she takes penis, which is something I’d get put on a T-shirt if I would gracefully take criticism.

Cheryl, Lemon and Juju were bonding in another corner, with the latter explaining this time feels different for her and despite it being her fourth time, she is still nervous. Chez was just grateful to now have them as her friends before talk turned to Jimbo and Lemon’s bond ,with Lemon confessing they aren’t actually close. Chez promised them that despite the competition being hosted in the UK there isn’t a hierarchy. While Juju reminded her she isn’t bothered because it has been UK vs the World for centuries.

And ugh, what. A. Read. Give Juju a damn crown!

Talk turned to the local drag scenes, with everyone pointing out UK is all about comedy while Canada is eclectic and Holland is straight up fierce. Oh and I stopped listening because Pangina’s friend owns a shrimp farm and then she explained that they don’t eat their shrimp on account of it being bad luck. Which is probably the greatest sentence I’ve ever read.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by the one and only Melanie C aka Sporty mother-tucking Spice on the judges panel before Lemon opened the show performing an original song. It was high energy and ridiculous as she kicked and flipped herself around the stage before finishing with a slightly taller version of the ‘is she gonna jump from there moment’. And IT was ICONIC. Monique was serving a red leather clad love child of Tina Turner and Prince and ugh, perfection. She IS the moment, let me tell you. Brown cow, stunning.

Janey gave a lip sync number complete with multiple reveals and while I live for her, the first few looks were not great. The entire performance led to Baga deeming it a glorified strip show. Speaking of Baga she performed her song Much Betta when I think she was actually meant to lip sync, but God was it ridiculous and entertaining despite the fuck-ups. Speaking of ridiculous, Jimbo came out as a pregnant alien ghost with an empty briefcase of talent before birthing slices of devon and throwing them everywhere. It was demented, crazy and completely hilarious, having everyone in stitches. Except Cheryl who was just confused. Which was also an understandable reaction.

Cheryl was classic Chez, slaying as she lip synced to her hilarious song, hitting every moment and serving as she finished with a death drop. Jujubee then sang a ballad and while it was decent, I just kept waiting for an iconic ‘sensible 74’ moment. Pangina meanwhile dominated from start to finish, giving comedy and narrative and the sharpest dancing I’ve ever seen on the mainstage. Blu then did a cheer routine to her original song complete with a duo of mannequin dancers tethered to her arms and legs and it was a totally stupid pop delight. I mean, she offered to blow Ru and read her mannequin sister for stepping on her toes. Perfection!

On the I’m a Winner Baby Runway Lemon was a grown-up version of her baby pageant girl from Canada Season 1, looking as golden as her gown. Monique was gorgeous in a lush green gown while Janey was perfection in a sparkling, red nude illusion. Baga meanwhile was a literal Oscar and while it was scary, she sold it. Speaking of scary, Jimbo was the scariest black and white queen and it was completely stunning. Chez meanwhile popped some gold stars on a white gown and while it was basic, she gave us a perfect mug and an absolutely massive bouffant. Juju gave a generic beaded purple pageant gown while Pangina stole the show in a shimmering white Thai inspired gown. And it. Was. Stunning. Before Blu came out looking like a licorice all sort that she described as a BDSM troll that just fucked a highlighter which is truly the only way to describe it.

Ru then announced that this season, the rules will revert to the All Stars 2-through-4 format where the top 2 will lip sync for the win and the right to eliminate one of the the bottom queens. Monique, Cheryl and Jujubee were quickly sent to safety before the judges praised Lemon for opening the show so strongly, though Mel C would have loved for her to serve more face as she looked bored. With the runway, Michelle wished she had just taken things further. Janey received universal praise for her runway though the judges felt her talent was a bit subpar. The judges lived for Baga’s comedy leading to Mel C serving some epic shade against Vicky B’s vocals and Baga’s terrible lip syncing skills. While they were just all super confused by her runway.

They loved everything Jimbo served, particularly for giving the most bizarre and unique talent of all time. And a perfect runway. Then came Pangina, who rightly had the judges living for everything she did from being vulnerable and open, to showing she is SO damn talented. Blu too received all praise, with the judges thrilled by how filthy she is. That being said, they felt her runway didn’t make sense for the theme, though Mel threw shade at Geri which truly does make me feel much betta!

Ultimately Jimbo and Pangina were deemed the top two before Baga and Blu were sent to safety, leaving Lemon and Janey in danger. Backstage Jimbo and Pangina giddily grabbed a drink before the queens gathered around to congratulate them before Pangina thanked Cheryl for not being as annoying as she thought she was on TV. Lol. While Pangina was thrilled to prove herself, Jimbo was just happy to get to clown in front of Ru and have the time of her life. Chez praised Lemon for killing the performance before Lemon opened up about how disappointed she was to land in the bottom, particularly since she was in the bottom in the first episode of her original season. 

While Lemon was heartbroken, Janey was steady and accepted that the competition is so tight that it is truly just nit picking. The dolls split up to plead their case with Jimbo praising Lemon for doing a good job though admitted that she has to hear out Janey and can’t just tell her she is going to save her, even if she wanted to. Pangina and Janey continued to bond and despite Pangina feeling the reveals were quite boring, Janey was confident in the fact she gave something original while Lemon didn’t.

As the rest of the girls jokingly speculated who each winner would send home since the duos were obvious. When Pangina caught up with Lemon, the latter reiterated how much she wants to stay in the competition. Pangina congratulated her for killing her performance and assured her that friendships will not play into her decision making. While Jimbo monologued about her options as poor Janey just desperately tried to get a word in.

After Pangina and Jimbo selected their lipsticks, they made their way to the mainstage to lip sync to Say You Will Be There by the Spice Goils. And damn, Pangina is a star. She hit the lyrics, she gave high energy choreography, comedy and literally saved Jimbo from falling over mid-performance. Multiple times. It was, in a word, amazing. Particularly since Jimbo was hilariously just wandering the stage like a drunk aunt at a wedding, tripping over everywhere. While I lived for Jimbo, it was well and truly clear that Pangina deserved her victory. And while she didn’t want to have to make the decision, heavy is the head that wears the crown and as such, poor Lemon was booted from the competition.

Backstage I reminded Lemon that she is such a damn icon, that when it comes to All Stars it often is better to get eliminated as a robbed-queen before you end up becoming the villain. As such, I tied up my hairwa and pulled her into the kitchen to toast her enduring success – and iconically short run – with a big batch of Lemon Crisps.

While I wouldn’t call Lemon Crisps the most iconic biscuit of the Arnott’s range, they too still have a place in her heart. Packing a zesty punch, these little copycats are the perfect way to work through your sadness and/or eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

Lemon Crisps
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
185g butter, softened
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Cream 125g of the butter with the caster sugar on medium speed, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for a further minute, or until combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and lemon zest until a dough forms. Form a rectangular slab, wrap in cling and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.

Once the dough is super chill, get it out and roll into a 5mm rectangular slab. Cut into 10cmx4cm rectangles, prick each rectangle with a fork and transfer them all to a lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet/s into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

As they are cooling down, beat the icing sugar and remaining butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat until combined, adding extra sugar should it start to split.

Once the biscuits have cooled, pipe the icing on to half the biscuits and use the other half to close. Then devour, ignoring the fact you’re a first boot and remembering you’re an icon.


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