Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Baka finally got in on the excitement of bead idol-palooza as Jeanine stumbled across an ant covered note. She immediately looped in Elie and went to their allies to convince them to hand over their beads, while Sami waited until after the idol was powered to tell Gabler just what he had done. After Coco lost their second immunity challenge, Jeanine, Jesse and Geo were selected to go to Journey Island where they all risked their votes before Geo jagged the advantage. And Jeanine popped a bigger target on her back as Sami wondered why she would risk it when she already had an idol. When it came to Coco, it came down to Cassidy and Geo as the targets, and while Ryan thought he was valiantly pretending to be the one to go out, he was blindsided by the departure of his only ally Geo.

The next day Coco discovered treemail announcing the (non-)merge, offering them ten minutes to pack their things and get on a boat to leave camp. While everyone was feeling thrilled to have made it to the next phase, Karla wisley knew that Jeffrey would have some sort of shenanigans to officially make it to the merge and as such, was tempering her expectations. Over at Vesi, Jesse was ready to prove himself while Baka just got to stay at their camp, waiting to greet the other tribes and all their spoils. And while everyone was excited to meet new people, Cody knew it was about to descend into chaos and as such, wasn’t that happy to have new friends.

As everyone got together to kiki and get to know people, Noelle was nervous about the fact they don’t have buffs nor a feast. Because duh, that is the go now, listen to Karla! Owen meanwhile was concerned about all the potential advantages floating around their new mega-tribe. Noelle meanwhile dropped by Elie and Sami to talk about how wild Cody is, sharing an anecdote about him making a hat for tribal council, which did nothing more than announce that Cody is the one that owns the Vesi idol. A little fact Elie quickly took back to Jeanine.

Jeff made an early appearance to announce that once again they need to earn their place on the merge tribe, though this time, there would be no stupid hourglass of doom. The group would be split into two teams for the first opportunity to merge, racing to release a sled buried by sandbags and then drag it through obstacles to collect large blocks. They would then build a staircase to release a key, then climb up a platform, release puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. With the winners officially part of the merge while the losers have to survive the upcoming vote to get there. And given there are 13 people left, someone would land in the middle and be given the chance to bet on the winner and if they were right, they would also be immune and get to partake in the merge feast with them.

Ultimately Noelle landed in the middle, opting to believe in the blue team, made up of Gabler, Karla, Jeanine, Ryan, Jesse and Dwight. Which seemed like a great choice, given they got out to the earliest of leads. Not to be outdone, the red team picked up the pace and overtook them while collecting their blocks. Things got worse for the blue team and Noelle as Karla crushed her hand on a block and started to bleed profusely as she tried to finish out the challenge. As the red team extended their lead and started to work on the word puzzle, the blue team worked together to get the bleeding Karla up the wall. And then completely dominated the puzzle, narrowly taking out immunity just ahead of the red team and proving Noelle was wise to back them. And hopefully Karla would soon get a bandaid.

Back at camp the losing team were heartbroken to be potentially going home tonight, with Elie in particular breaking down about bombing the puzzle. She rallied though and caught up with Owen, suggesting they lie to OG Coco and tell them that Cody is the target, and then split the vote on Cassidy and James, continuing to get rid of Coco. Elie quickly locked in Cassidy and James and while she thought they had bought it all, James felt she was being a little suss and as such, thought she could be the better option.

Meanwhile the victors and Noelle were busy smashing their feast and downing beers, before Karla floated the question of what they should do at tribal council. Ryan immediately suggested they could just lock it in as the final 7 at this point, which obviously annoyed Jeanine, who wanted to stick with her allies. The group pivoted, instead talking about who they wanted to protect with everyone trying to save their OG tribes. Except for Gabler, who admitted that she does not care for Elie and outed her for going through her bag. Which made Jeanine even more furious.

The two groups came together and filled each other in on the plans, with Elie throwing Cassidy under the bus for floating Cody, which was actually her plan. As they caught up with Dwight and Jeanine, the duo filled Elie in on the fact Gabler is coming for her which made her just as furious as Jeanine. Elie obviously went to confront Gabler, denying the fact she looked through his bag, though try as she might, he had no interest in listening. She cut her losses and instead went to confront Sami and Owen for outing her with Gabler and while they both denied it, they also offered to help clear her name. Well, until she was gone, when Sami decided that Elie was too dangerous to last another day.

Gabler then caught up with Jeanine and while she was just as angry, she calmly suggested they talk to Owen and Sami to try and reiterate the importance of staying Baka strong. With Sami eventually getting through to Gabler after Jeanine left, when he reminded him that Jeanine has an idol and as such, could save Elie and screw one of Owen or Sami if he doesn’t pull his head in. Vesi and Coco meanwhile were busy catching up, locking in Elie as the biggest threat. And after Ryan straight up told James and Cassidy that they were Elie’s actual target, it looked like everyone would be coming together to get rid of Elie.

At tribal council the soon to be merged tribe took their seats before Gabler spoke about the chaos of the day, failing to mention the fact that he was the one that kicked it off. Cody agreed that it was overwhelming, while Sami spoke about how nerve wracking it is to be one of the few options to go home within the broader group. Cassidy and Owen were nervous and unsure who to trust, while Jeanine said it was hard to even try and fathom what everyone else’s priorities were. Elie opened up about the fact her name was put out amongst the tribe while Karla spoke about the fact that there are a large number of potential advantages and as such, there is even more they have to worry about navigating. Sami mentioned how difficult a position it can be if you know about an advantage, given there are pros and cons to keeping your mouth shut, while everyone agreed that paranoia – about everything – is the most difficult thing to deal with.

With that the tribe voted and despite the chaotic afternoon pre-tribal, the final plan appeared to be solid as Vesi, Coco and Gabler banded together to boot Elie from the game. While Probst officially welcomed the other five castaways to the merged tribe.

Elie was obviously super disappointed as she arrived at Loser Lodge, particularly given she had only just been talking up how well she had been playing the game. Which I calmly explained is exactly what happens and to not let her down, particularly given she is a lock for a second chances season (sorry Lindsay) given she had an iconic feud with Gabler which cost her her game. Which proved enough to cheer her up as we plotted her second go over some fresh Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti.

While sometimes I worry that they will chip my teeth as I get older, there is nothing better than biscotti. Light and crunchy, these numbers pack a glorious punch of coffee alongside the chewiness of the cherries to create the ultimate textural sensation.

Enjoy!

Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup espresso powder 
2 tbsp vanilla extract 
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup raw caster sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten 
¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¾ cup dried cherries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Combine the espresso powder and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the flour, raw caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Finally, beat the eggs and espresso-vanilla mixture in a stand mixer until thick and golden. Fold through the dry ingredients, walnuts and cherries, and beat until just combined.

Split the dough in half and form into two small, flat loaves. Pop on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour.

Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf into 4mm thick biscuits and place on a lined baking sheet. Once the biscotti are shaped, return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes, or until perfectly crisped. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Then, devour.


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Maxi Shiely Temple

Drink, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens found themselves creating and marketing their very own yeasty spreads. Which really exemplifies why people don’t understand the attraction of any and all of the -mites. I mean, who even says, mmm, yeast! That being said Elektra somehow managed to make hers seem appealing, as she slayed the game and proved her doubters – aka Scarlet – wrong. At the other end of the pack, Ru expected more from Maxi while Etcetera went too far but wasn’t funny enough. As such, Elektra earnt her first victory while Maxi and Etcetera battled to survive with the iconic Etcetera going home.

Backstage the queens honoured the delight that is Etcetera, with Maxi admitting that she knew she had to pull out every damn trick she had if she wanted to compete with the whippersnapper. Scarlet was shocked to land high, while Karen from Finance was frustrated that beyond week one, she has been flatlining through the competition. Art tried to perk her up and say that she has a name to live up to, while some of the others don’t have a reputation that the judges are holding them against. Oh and speaking of no name – allegedly – Elektra was feeling her oats and agreed that she far and away had the best commercial. Which led to Art pointing out that they all packed what the packed, so the rest of the competition is going to be what it is. Elektra kikied with Kita and willed a double elimination to get rid of some more Aussies. Oh and she’d love one of them to be Scarlet.

But wouldn’t we all.

The next day the queens were feeling far more friendly, talking about their general horniness and how they’d love a Mini Challenge featuring 100 pit crew members pulling down their pants. Which, same. After briefly trying to set up the revirginized Art and Kita as a lovely drag power couple, they were interrupted by Aunt or Auntie Donna and I don’t actually know who they are, but work. More importantly, Ru arrived and proved Karen is part psychic, wheeling out ten gorgeous men with the queens needing to guess what animal the men are packing in their pouches. In any event, I want all ten of them and my basement is no longer just flooded, there is a tsunami and I’m sorry to all the things that will suffer water damage for the rest of their lives. 

I’m not sure if anyone could actually be bothered counting, but Maxi took out victory.

And she didn’t just win a gift card, she also got to pair the queens with their makeover partners from the New Zealand Falcons aka the gay rubgy team of abbsolute zaddies. Again, all six can do whatever they want to me. Maxi first paired Karen with someone that looked pretty similar to her, which she also did for Elektra, Art, Kita and herself, leaving Scarlet with the biggest uphill battle. Though they could pass as a mother and daughter, I guess?

Kita quickly got to work charming her partner, while Scarlet’s partner was adorably excited to try drag for the first time. Karen’s partner had dabbled with his mum’s shoes, Art’s had worn lippy and Maxi quickly realised she had actually picked the biggest battle for herself, despite their resemblance. And oh God, please don’t let it be that storyline where the one that chooses the pairs goes home. Oh and Elektra and her newest family member need to start dating and open an Only Fans – see, I’m cool – because I love them. We then had a montage and while only Elektra’s zaddy could rock a heel, I think this proves rugby players are near perfection. Which, at this point, is all we should care about. Oh and we then learnt that Kita and Scarlet’s partners are dating and damn, why don’t they do an Only Fans while I’m suggesting businesses.

I guess I should talk about the challenge rather than my erotic fan-fiction, so Scarlet and Art were shady about queens not making outfits for their new family members. Though Scarlet felt Art’s custom outfit wasn’t very custom, so was including her in the shade.

Elimination Day rolled around, with Elektra’s daughter worried about having to share the limelight before Maxi finally got confirmation that she would be shaving off her sister’s beard and damn, when it went they’ve got the family resemblance on lock. Elektra and her daughter were bonding over their lives, with him sharing how as a Pacific Islander man he has been taught to try and present as straight and as such, this is so liberating for him to participate and firmly embrace all the colours of the rainbow. Swoon. Meanwhile Art was not sure that Kita was doing enough to take out a win, despite the fact Kita knows that she needs to step out and prove herself. And thankfully, her daughter is ready to take out the win for her.

Karen had half done her sister’s make-up when she realised that Art is only focusing on herself, rather than getting her sister prepped. Scarlet meanwhile was trying to learn her partner’s bone structure, while Elektra was finishing up and teaching her sister as she went. While Art continued to wait for her sister’s eyebrows to dry. Apparently.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were riding solo for the mainstage runway presentation, with Kita and Feta Mean looking like a Cruella black and white delight as Feta lived her best life. Elektra Shock and ReRe Action were space-age stunning,  Maxi Shield and Cilla Wet were dressed as jellyfish and well, it wasn’t great. Art and Craft Simone rocked Priscilla chic and were totally gorgeous, Scarlet and Sapphire were slutty, sexy showgirls but tragically didn’t do the wagon wheel watusi. Karen was joined by Debbie from reception and it was damn glorious.

Kita and Feta received universal praise for their makeover and the fact they gave all of the personality. Elektra meanwhile was read for filth by Michelle, but loved by Rhys. Maxi was praised for bringing the fun, though read for literally everything else. Art was read for the lack of family resemblance, despite them both looking absolutely stunning. Scarlet was praised for being cute, despite her clearly focusing on herself, rather than her sister. Though she got lucky by how damn charming Sapphire is. And despite them all hating the thick glasses, Karen and her sister were praised for the look while Ru wasn’t sure about how much of a transformation Karen produced.

Backstage the queens and their daughter/sisters/I can’t keep it consistent untucked, with Karen leading a toast to all the iconic rugby players. Art and her sister continued to be funny and charming, before Scarlet spun things around to who would be in the top and bottom. Everyone agreed Kita would be in the top, while Karen assumed she would be there with her and the rest would be in the bottom. Since Elektra was read for make-up, Maxi was read for lacking detail, Scarlet was read for being basic – lol – and Art for not bringing family resemblance.

Back on the runway, as if it were in any doubt, Kita took out her first, very well-earned victory of the competition, while Art and Karen were sent to safety. The bottom three nervously awaited their fates, before Scarlet’s track-record couldn’t even save her as she was forced to battle it out against Maxi, as Elektra was sent to safety. The. Gag.

Anyway, from the moment Kylie’s Better the Devil You Know started, Scarlet kicked straight into dancing diva mode, as Maxi stuck with her hilarious and charming approach. While Maxi lived her best life, Scarlet proceeded to strip and sell sex, which sadly proved to be enough as Maxi was robbed on her way out the door. Much to my bitter rage and disappointment.

I pulled Maxi as close to me as her breast plate would allow and hissed into her ear how wrong her elimination was and that she deserved to stay. But being the absolute delight, she had a quick chuckle, told me to calm my farm and get to work chatting. After I bequeath her a Maxi Shiely Temple, that is.

Maxi and I grew up in the ‘80s pubs, living our best lives on a cheeky pink lemonade and climbing trees set over tables while no adults supervised. It was a wonderful time to be Australian. Now that we’re adults, we like to add a bit of vodka to the mix but that doesn’t change the fact that these spiked Shirley Temples aren’t nostalgic AF.

Enjoy!

Maxi Shiely Temple
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
1 tbsp grenadine
1-2 shots of vodka
lemonade, to top
maraschino cherries, to garnish

Method
Fill the glass with ice. Top with grenadine, vodka and lemonade.

Stir. Add a maraschino cherry or two. And down. Like the damn icon herself.


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The Blacaforenast Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Chicken & Cherry Ballotine

Main, Poultry, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 12 new queens arrived in jolly old London town to see if they could live up to my hype after the epic first season. Immediately thrust into a Wimbledon inspired photo shoot, Lawrence brought a stunning mess to the pic and took out the first victory of the season. Meanwhile on the mainstage the queens were tasked with two looks inspired by their UK gay icon and one proving why they’re the icon of their hometowns. Despite controversially rocking ASOS, Asttina took out the first victory victory while Joe Black was read for filth for not hitting her references and Bimini for being sloppy. But in the lip sync, she was anything but as she stole the show and saved herself sending the iconic Joe out of the competition.

The queens returned to the Werk Room with Bimini shell-shocked by the experience while my sweet Veronica just could not comprehend that someone as iconic and famous as Joe Black was eliminated first. Lawrence meanwhile was just processing the fact that the competition really can flip on its head in the matter of minutes, though did caution that maybe Bimini should pop on some undies. Speaking of Bimini, after scrubbing the mirror clean, as is their duty, they begged the girls to escort them to the couch so they could finally whip off their shoes. 

Sister Sister warned the girls that they have no idea how it actually feels to be in the bottom, while Lawrence continued to work her way further into my heart by telling them that they have no idea how it feels to top either. While they all laughed, Bimini wanted some drama – preach – and asked who the safe girls thought placed in the top and bottom. While Cherry got awkward, A’Whora was more than happy to share that everyone sans Lemon really thought Asttina should have been in the bottom thanks to her ASOS jacket. This led to Asttina pointing out she won and as such, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and they all just need to step their pussies up. Leaving Tia to rightly suggest they de-drag and go home.

Oh and Lemon tried on Bimini’s outfit which is iconic but not relevant in the slightest. I just love them both.

The next day tensions had returned to normal with Asttina proudly rocking the first badge of the season. Veronica mentioned that she was missing Joe already – bless nerdy boy Veronica, I love him so – before Lawrence admitted that Joe left her some nails as she didn’t really have enough to last the competition. This led to some killer banter between her and Lemon and ugh, the UK girls just have so much charm, wit and talent – I love them all! Cherry asked Tia if she was going to step up her runways now, with Tia admitting that she got her three shit ones out of the way so they all best get ready to be dominated. Oh and to us, she still doesn’t know how to read A’Whora.

Oh and I did not recognise Ellie out of drag and was V confused where that person had come from. Again, not relevant but thought you should know.

Ru arrived to put the queens to test in this week’s mini challenge where they would be required to ride the pole. By casting their vote for their drag cabinet for Secretary of Shade, Trade Minister (aka the hottest), Leader of the House of Lording It up (aka the cockiest) and Baroness Basic before stuffing the Pit Crew’s ballot box. With their votes, obviously – this is the BBC after all. After Ru tabulated the votes, the cabinet was announced with A’Whora elected as Secretary of Shade, Tayce won Trade Minister – Asttina was robbed – Lawrence Chaney won Leader of the House of Lording it Up and Baroness Basic went to Tia Kofi. Obviously.

Oh and then Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’ll be singing and performing live – Charlie was right – in the debut performance of Rats: The Rusical. With only Michelle to help get their vocals over the line. Oh and then Tia was given the power to cast the show, given she was called basic and damn, this is going to be fun. Wait, no, Tia just wants it to be good and isn’t going to ruin it for anyone else. Sigh.

Veronica was feeling her singing oats, Asttina too was confident while Veronica and Cherry fought it out for the lead role Evita, with Veronica ultimately getting it, given it is the harder role and Tia wants to look after the less confident Cherry. Tia asked Lawrence why she was being so quiet, with Lawrence admitting to straight up being terrified given singing and dancing are not her gig. A’Whora was ultimately given the villain – which tracks –  while Bimini requested the non-singing role paired with it. The hoodrat parts went to Tayce and Ellie, after the latter was forced to audition for Tia. Sister, Cherry and Lawrence meanwhile formed a trio, with Sister not caring enough to fight being cast as the Rat Pack extras and Lawrence continuing to spiral with nerves. Leaving Tia the show stopping cameo for herself.

On the mainstage the queens met with Michelle and her vocal coach Dane Chalfin, with Sister, Cherry and Lawrence clearly nervous. A’Whora and was told she was holding back while Bimini was firing on all cylinders. Veronica quickly shut up everyone that doubted her while Asttina was lost next to her. Ginny rocked it as Judy Stench, while Tia was cautioned that by going the route of giving herself the smaller role she really needs to nail it and steal the show. And finally, Tayce and Ellie were both called out for being difficult to understand.

Michelle and Dane exited leaving Jay Revell and Kieran Daley Ward to get the girls up to speed with their choreo. Immediately flooding Ginny’s basement. Once again Bimini was super confident, while A’Whora just couldn’t rough it up for the role. Tayce and Ellie slayed, Veronica and Asttina worked well together, though Veronica was starting to get in her head that she really needs to win. Which may not end well. Ginny and Tia forgot their lines while Lawrence just wanted to slink into the background as she struggled and poor Cherry just wanted Lawrence and Sister to get it together so they can work through what they need to do. Lawrence started to break down, sharing that she is struggling to be this far out of her comfort zone while the rest of the girls tried to rally around her. It was relatable and sweet, so I’m obviously not going to be shady about it.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone full of energy as they got into rat drag, except for Lawrence who continued to get more and more nervous. On the other end of the spectrum, Tayce and A’Whora were busy flirting it up and alluding to their past time together. Cherry and Sister spoke about how happy the are to have each other in the competition, with Cherry sharing that she grew up as a traveller and how that contradicts with being gay. Despite the fact all the women in his family are camp as hell, the men, however, are all super butch. She spoke about struggling to be proud of being gay and share emotions and well, it was just a really nice wholesome bonding moment and again, I love them all.

On the mainstage Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Sheridan Smith for the premiere of Rats: The Rusical which opened with a flush. Literally. Veronica had a fire from her very first note, Ginny was hilarious, Lawrence continued to struggle with her nerves and Bimini was delightfully bonkers. Tayce and Ellie missed a cue, but managed to end their duet strongly. Lawrence warmed up throughout the show and leaned into her comedy, Sister was demented and Cherry kinda go lost, despite nailing rehearsal. Bimini owned her duet, despite A’Whora warming into the role. Attina was well and truly overshadowed by Veronica which is more a compliment to the latter, given Asttina was giving it her all. Oh and Tia’s strategy paid off as she stole the damn show with a killer final number.

On the Surprise, Surprise reveal runway, A’Whora slayed going from groom to bride. Lawrence was a bit awkward going from blueberry to tartan, Ginny was an icon, revealing the EXACT same dress under the first one, just with a bottom window included, giving them the hole nine yards. Cherry was camp and demented, going from yellow puff to pregnant lady. Tia had a killer concept going from leather daddy before slaying as a showgirl or the dancing lady emoji. Ellie went from Scarecrow to Tin Man before offering a third look, as the Cowardly Lion. Asttina Mandela went from death to sexy ninja and damn, my basement is not just flooding but overflowing. Sister Sister was a floral dame before going full dominatrix demon, in the best way. And then Veronica arrived and stole the damn show, going from Stepford Wife to full blown robot. Poor Tayce was next, going from cape to gown to dying in a bodysuit and well, I feel sorry for her following Veronica. Bimini then walked out in a corset with balloons full of paint which was an iconic concept that tragically just failed as hard as Asia and the butterflies. 

Ultimately A’Whora, Ginny, Asttina, Sister Sister and Bimini were deemed safe, leaving the rest to be praised or read for filth. Lawrence sadly was the latter with the judges feeling she was good in the show but needed to get out of her way. And her reveal was quite boring. The judges felt Cherry’s inner saboteur took her down this week and while she was good, she fell flat. The judges lived for everything Tia Kofi did this week except for her showgirl look. Ellie received universal praise for everything she did but well, they clearly loved everything Veronica Green did just that little bit more. I am so proud of her! Oh and Tayce was praised for looking stunning despite being overshadowed in the show and well, very basic on the runway.

Backstage Bimini was thrilled to be safe but heartbroken her reveal didn’t pan out. Ginny spoke about it being so much harder than they expected. The tops and bottoms returned, with Lawrence feeling ok. Sister Sister admitted that she felt Lawrence brought her down this week, with Lawrence getting offended while Sister just wanted to find a way to keep going rather than breaking down. Tayce said the judges felt everything she did was a bit flat while Cherry felt like she was being ignored, despite being in the bottom and clearly emotional. She shared she was scared and wanted to get out of her head. Talk turned to Veronica being quiet and riding under the radar, with her hoping it was a warning shot that she was here for victory. Oh and Tia was thrilled to learn that she is hella basic and congratulated the girls for identifying it earlier.

Ultimately Tia and Ellie were deemed safe, handing Veronica an extremely well-deserved victory before Lawrence’s personality saved her from the bottom two, leaving Cherry and Tayce to battle it out to Memory. And holy shit, while it isn’t exactly the most drag friendly song, the duo serve it, tapping into the emotion and frankly, breaking my heart. Both girls felt every feel however Tayce had light and shade, going from heartbreak to rage, quivering lip and fire in her eyes. Despite Cherry rocking it as a fragile leading lady, it wasn’t enough as Tayce was sent to safety and poor Cherry was sent home. Vowing to fight and never let anyone overlook them ever again.

Backstage I was still COVID naive as I pulled Cherry into a massive hug and reminded her how great she is and how proud of her I am. You see, I first met Cherry a decade or so ago when planning a family member’s traveller wedding (I was meant to appear on a rival reality TV show about these weddings, but D’Andra Simmons got me removed like I was LeeAnne in that defunct show).

But I digress.

I was taken by Cherry’s charm and nervous energy, so I took her under my wing and encouraged her to shine. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am her drag mother. Thus the pride. But I digress, again. Cherry was thrilled to see me backstage and glad I had a delicious Chicken & Cherry Ballotine waiting to cheer her up again.

The salty prosciutto and tart cherries work harmoniously to create a ballotine that you can’t stop devouring. Particularly when feeling down or if the weather is shit. Or if you are happy. Or you know, whenever – this is just really tasty and super easy.

Enjoy!

Chicken & Cherry Ballotine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
½ cup morello cherries, drained and chopped
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices prosciutto
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half to form two thinner fillets

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine the cherries, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, thyme, oregano, garlic and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Meanwhile line the prosciutto on a piece of cling, with the long sides overlapping. Place the chicken breast pieces over the top, before forming the stuffing into a sausage and placing in the middle. Roll the chicken into a sausage, using the prosciutto to seal it in.

Place seam side down on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and the prosciutto crispy. Leave to rest for ten minutes, before slicing into discs and serving with a generous heaping of mash.


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Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake

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

After what feels like a marathon finish to an epic year – kicking off with the supreme Diana Ross, experiencing the highest of highs honouring the 10th anniversary of Because I Said So, and the lowest of lows witnessing queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s torch being snuffed for the first time, learning that Nicaragua can be pronounced Knee-Coo-Arrr-Ohhh-Goo-A, seeing the glorious buns of Locky Gilbert on the killer second/fourth season of Australian Survivor, the glorious crowning of Sasha Velour, catching Milk post-All Stars 3 filming and a breathtaking end to the oddly titled Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers – we’ve finally hit day 12 of the 12 Days of Festivus.

You know, after catching up with Jase, Heids, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike, Pat, John, J-Lou, Stel and Jez.

It should come as absolutely zero surprise what with the process of elimination and the fact the show is named after him, that we’re rounding out our Fete de Festivus with a date with my dear friend slash protege, Jerry Seinfeld. What – you didn’t know I taught him everything he knows?

He first caught my eye during his appearances on Benson and I took him under my wing, guiding his career from Johnny Carson, to Letterman and eventually introduced him to Larry David. The rest, as they say, is history.

Given how busy Seiny has been with his Netflix deal, we haven’t seen much of each other lately so it was such a treat to pop on our puffy shirts and ring in Christmas – by way of Festivus, of course – with a big fat Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake.

 

 

Tart and sweet, creamy, rich and packed full of spice, this cheesecake is festive perfection. And super simple, which is perfect if you want to focus on your drinking. And who doesn’t?

Enjoy!

Oh, and from our crazy family to yours, Merry Christmas! We’re taking a short break and will be back in the new year … or maybe a bit before. Dun dun DUUUUNNNN!

 

 

Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 cup frozen pitted cherries
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
200g butternut snap biscuits, crushed
100g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
½ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup thickened cream
3 tsp gelatine powder, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water

Method
Place the cherries, muscovado sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until it beautifully scented and reduced. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and place in the fridge to cool.

Combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, and press into the base of a 20cm springform pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add in the sugar, cream and gelatine until smooth and combined.

Fold through the chilled cherries, and pour the mixture into the chilling pan and return to the fridge for a few hours to set.

Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving and devour.

 

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Barney Marnhattan

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

After kicking the 12 days of Festivus off on a joyous note with the divine Jason Alexander and then being brought back down to earth when checking in with the deceased Susan Ross’ portrayer Heids, I opted to whip out the time machine and check in with my dearly-departed pal Barney Martin.

While he was technically the second man to play Jerry’s dad, Barns will forever be the Morty in my heart.

I first met Barney on the set of The Golden Girls in the ‘80s and we became the fastest of friends, which led to me putting his name forward when they needed to recast Morts. I also got him cast on Full House with Cand as a gag.

As is oft the case when venturing back to hang with friends that have past, it was both uplifting and melancholic. Though it was exciting to pop on our best Morty Floridian shirts, have a laugh and enjoy a very, very festive Barney Marnhattan.

 

 

As my rapidly bloating liver can attest, 90% of Christmas is drinking so I couldn’t go past adding another festively flavour tipple on the menu. But seriously, how can you go wrong with the sticky sweet cherry and some bitters.

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Barney Marnhattan
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 ½ shots of bourbon
1 shot vermouth
a hearty dash bitters
maraschino cherries, to taste

Method
Fill a glass with ice.

Pour over the bourbon, vermouth and bitters.

Stir.

Add cherries.

Down.

Repeat.

 

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Parphaedra Parks

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

There is nothing more soothing than having a sassy catch-up with my dear friend Shade-ra Parks. Particularly after her stellar performance on this week’s housewives, letting Porsha plant herself directly under a bus whilst chugging back wine.

This, my friends, is peak Phaedra and this is why we are the absolute best of friends. Wine and shade.

I first met Phaedra while she was in law school. As you can probably guess, I was running a scam pretending to be a lecturer – fun fact, my lawyer lecturer persona inspired Annalise Keating. Phaedra, as my brightest and shadiest student uncovered my duplicity and forced me out of the profession.

Being such a sweet christian girl however, Phaedra took me under he wing and taught me to lead a good, southern christian life whilst also being hella sexy.

Given Phae has been so busy lately with the boys, her business and general feuding with her Atlanta friends, I haven’t seen her since Apollo went to priz. It was such a treat to reconnect, catch-up and most importantly talking about the remainder of the season over a delicious Parphaedra Parks.

 

parphaedra-parks-1

 

Being as Phaedra is literally the sweetest thing in the world, I first whipped this up to show my appreciation and make up for the fact that I am not as kind as her. That said, she is sweet but she is also great at throwing shade and is a little nutty, so I had to include some cherry and almonds to get the point across.

And to elevate the flavour – enjoy!

 

parphaedra-parks-2

 

Parphaedra Parks
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500ml cream
150g dark chocolate
1 gelatine leaf
2 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
100g almonds, chopped and toasted
100g pitted cherries, halved

Method
Bring half a cup of cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling over like an international holiday of a housewives franchise, remove from the heat and whisk through the chocolate and gelatine leaf until smoothy and glossy. Set aside to get chill.

Whisk the remaining cream in a large bowl until the ribbon stage. In another bowl – I know, another – mix the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Fold the chocolate mix into the eggs until smooth, then fold in the cream, almonds and cherries. Transfer to a lined 25cm square cake tin, smooth the top, cover and freeze overnight.

The nek day – as the kids said a few years back – cut into portions. Serve … and devour.

 

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Khloé Kardashiham

Keeping it Kardashian Khristmas, Main

I know you’re not meant to play favourites, but Khloé is our favourite member of the Kardashian-Jenner family. And that is despite working with our nemesis/my ex Mario Lopez.

As you can probably tell from watching her, Khloé has always been the koolest, most down-to-earth Kardashian.

When Kris first took us in, Khlo had the most reservations as she could see through our sweet facade and knew that we would sell anything in the house that wasn’t stuck down. She pulled us aside and in the cage-fight that followed, we resolved all of our issues and were bonded as BFFs for life.

Nothing says Khristmas like a ham and nobody gives less fucks about the kraziness of being a Kardashian than Khlo – with that in mind, we knew that we had to whip up our famous Khloé Kardashiham for our fave gal-pal.

 

Khloé Kardashiham_1

 

Ham aka bacon’s ugly half-sibling, is still more glorious than most meats and is a staple for the Khristmas table. While most people love a bit of marmalade glaze action, my repulsion for orange means I can’t tarnish the gloriously salty meat. What I do approve of? Sticky, juicy cherries gloriously caramelising on top of the pig.

Enjoy!

 

Khloé Kardashiham_2

 

Khloé Kardashiham
Serves: 1, if you use a single serve ham. 8-12 otherwise.

Ingredients
200g cherry conserve
70g muscovado sugar
100ml whiskey
2 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the conserve, sugar, whiskey, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon and allspice and cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Now in this part you would probably do the whole, cut around ham shank, remove the rind and score process but Khlo wanted her own single serve ham.

Whichever size ham you cook, place it into a lined baking dish and generously coat with the glaze before putting in the oven. Re-glaze every twenty minutes or so until browned and caramelised … being careful not to burn it.

A normal size ham would take about 90 minutes, Khlo’s individual one took about 40.

Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and rest for about 20 minutes before carving. As you can see, i’m a big fan of pouring the remaining glaze over the ham before serving. Who says no to more cherry goodness?

 

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Jelley Wentworth

Dessert, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Sweets

We regret to admit that we’ve had a checkered past with the zero-to-hero, stand-out star of Second Chances Kelley Wentworth. Very checkered history, but thankfully like her stint in game, Wentworth was a true survivor.

You see, and again we regret to admit this, the Wentworth’s were the original target of a farmhouse robbery Annelie and I had planned in the early 90s. We had both read In Cold Blood and while abhorred by the murderous rampage, it gave us the idea to start working as farm hands and swindling the families out of all their money.

Kelley’s dear father @FarmGuy69 fell for our plucky attitudes and hired us on the spot, but Kelley using her killer instincts called us out and won us over with her sneaky sneaky ways, taking the robbery target of her family.

I then entered into a torrid affair Dale which went on to inspire the short story and Academy Award Winning film Brokeback Mountain – I wish he knew how to quit me, but I have moves.

We remained close with the Wentworths throughout the years and played an integral role in helping craft Kelley’s casting campaign and connecting her with the right players going into the season.

If only we had taught her how to effectively handle balls!

There was only one thing we could make to help her move past the crushing, million dollar fumble and that is a nice, boozy Jelley Wentworth.

 

Jelley Wentworth_1

 

Kitsch, fun and bright, jelly is something that instantly makes you happy – million dollar drop be damned.

See you for third time’s the charm Kel – we love you!

Enjoy!

 

Jelley Wentworth_2

 

Jelley Wentworth
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
200ml vodka
100ml peach schnapps
200ml cranberry juice
200ml pineapple juice
5 leave gelatine
1 oranges, flesh diced
1/4 cup glace cherries, finely diced

Method
Combine all of the liquid in a large jug, giving a good stir.

Tear all of the gelatine into small pieces and place in a small ceramic bowl and just cover with hot water. Leave to soften for 15 minutes.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. Place the bowl of gelatine on top and stir until completely dissolved. This should take about 5 minutes.

Once dissolved, combine with the liquid in the jug. Give it a good stir and decant, through a fine sieve, into 6 containers. Obviously martini glasses are preferred.

Refrigerate until set – about 6 hours should do.

Devour and think tropical, almost a millionaire thoughts.

 

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Duck à la Solange

Main

Where do I even begin to explain the deep, complex, passionate platonic-love story between us and our dear friend SoKnow?

We first met So during the late 90s, when the world was quickly falling crazy in love with Beyoncé and the rest of the destiny’s children. SoKnow, filled with so much creative talent and energy, needed a way to burn through her untapped potential and joined the Upper Whitney Houston chapter of our Extreme Fight Club.

SoKnow excelled from a young age (picture a kind, likeable version of Ronda Rousey) and rose through to ranks where we met her at our EFC Centre in East Hollywood – did I mention we turned it into a religion/cult like Scientology?

Our bond with Solange was instantaneous and continued over the decades, with So becoming one of our most trusted friends, advisors and confidantes. She was the only person we trusted to keep Jay-Z in line after breaking the first rule of fight club, to not talk about fight club.

Obviously as founders, we are exempt from such rules. Jay-Z is not above the rules.

It was so great catching up with SoKnow after such a busy year – we hadn’t realised that our hard work had led us to our 100th recipe milestone, but you better believe she did.

Knowing our penchant for wanky gifts, she looked through Chloe Sevigny’s list of must haves (I mean, who doesn’t want to never speak to Jeanne Tripplehorn again) and arrived with a vintage half-kaftan by Vivienne Westwood Gold Label, an ironic art smock by Balenciaga le dix, imitation pants by Cacharel and stand-up comedy classes.

The only way we could repay her support, kindness and generosity was a meal of our famous Duck à la Solange.

 

Duck à la Solange_1

 

The 80s have had a strong impact on our lives, none more so than the delicacies of a kitsch kitchen. While I have always had a soft spot for the idea of Duck à l’orange, I hate orange in cooking. Enter, the sublimeness of SoKnow – crispy skin duck with Grand Marnier and sour cherry glaze to dial back the overpowering orange flavour, leaving you with a gloriously rich, tangy citrus to cut through the duck.

Enjoy!

Oh, and thank you for reading – you’re the best and you’re beautiful, but not as good or as beautiful as us. Obviously.

 

Duck à la Solange_2

 

Duck à la Solange
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 duck breasts
1 tsp salt
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup pitted cherries
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30ml Grand Marnier
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp cornflour

Method
Score the skin of each duck breast with diagonal lines, cutting into the fat but not into the flesh and rub with the salt and chopped rosemary.

On a medium hot pan, seal the skin side of the duck breasts for about 10 minutes, skimming the fat if it gets too excessive. Once the skin has crisped, turn the breast over and seal on the other side. Cook the breasts for a total of about 20 minutes, turning for a few minutes to seal the remaining sides. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

Add the butter to the dark fat and cook to a nut brown before adding the cherries and a good whack of pepper. Deglaze the pan with the Grand Marnier and then add the stock and cornflour, increasing the temperature until the sauce has reduced down to a syrupy glaze.

Serve the duck on crispy fried potatoes or fried broccolini, doused in the cherry-citrus glaze.

 

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