Irish Creem Daly

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor wait, no, what – when will I learn? New season, new rules, same ol’ chain of Fijian Islands. While last season we went biblical to distract from the fact Survivor lives in Fiji, leading to a glorious season with David toppling Goliath, this time we’re journeying to the Edge of Extinction which I have numerous reservations about. But you know what else I thought would suck? David vs. Goliath and look how wrong I was.

We ominously open on a barren island with a lone figure walking around before finding 14 newbies on a sailboat in the middle of the Fijian ocean. We first meet Wardog who I want to like but no I will struggle with for the first few episodes since we’re going to be calling him Wardog. In any event, he is from the military but is now on his way to being a lawyer and, obvi, plans to keep that hush, hush, hush. Swap meet vendor Wendy is super excited to be here as a super mega best value fan, before even finding out that she will be competing against David, Aubry, Kelley and Joe who are returning for another shot at the title. Joe finally realising that being a challenge beast is intimidating and as such, he plans to lay low and uplift people. And TBH, as much as I want to hate him, I can’t help but love him.

I am basic and I don’t care.

Joining them in making their triumphant return is a hybrid of the Outcast and Redemption Island twists, where once you’re voted out you can either sit on the aforementioned island and wait around for a chance to compete to reenter the game, or continue on your merry way into Ponderosa. In any event, this season is a logistical nightmare for me and I appreciate your care and concern.

Foregoing any form of introductions, Probst welcomed the newbies to Survivor and then told them that someone is going to be booted within 72. He then elaborated and tried to sneak in the twist by telling them they’re always on the edge of being booted, or extinction if you will, before reminding them that even good players can’t win. And as a matter of fact, he has four past contestants that have lost 7 times between them back to the competition for another shot.

We then met Lauren who is a superfan of Kelley and like me, thirsts for Joe, so she was thrilled to see them. Ron loves David, Julia loves Aubry and everyone was jumping out of their skin with excitement before Probst ran through the returnees’ report cards, filling Kelley with rage given he made her and Aubry sound like the biggest threats. Kelley and David were sent to join the Manu tribe, featuring Wentworth superfan Lauren while Aubry and Joe will lead the Kama tribe. From the very first moment, given the tribes were tasked with looting the ship before making it to their boats. Amongst the madness Ron from the Kama tribe found a secret advantage and poor little Keith came close to drowning until Lauren, thankfully,  saved him.

We arrived at the Manu tribe where everyone introduced themselves and congratulated themselves on surviving the marooning. They then started to wonder whether they will survive Rick, who started telling themselves about his life as a news anchor and made a bunch of jokes that it appeared no one actually found funny. Amongst the introductions, the tribe got to work setting up the camp with Kelley and David lamenting that it is so hard to trust anyone. Instead of making an alliance with each other, Kelley got to work approaching Lauren to form an alliance and generally make as many bonds as possible. David and his newfound confidence seemed to be finding his footing, as did Wendy who shared the fact she had tourettes with the tribe and instantly endeared herself to literally everyone. Myself included. Wendy 4 lyf.

Meanwhile over at Kama we met Victoria who desperately loves survivor. Speaking of loves, Joe tried to hide the fact that he is amazing, however proceeded to feed everyone and start fire with Aubry as soon as they landed on the beach. I mean, he even stole Aurora’s heart and she is gay. Julie proved to be the most relatable, hating the outdoors and totally struggling in nature. Well until she started chopping wood and vowed not to be perceived as the weak older woman trope. Sorry Wendy, but you’ve been usurped.

Wait, no. I love them both.

We then caught up with Ron who vowed that Kama was the greatest tribe of all time, which let’s be honest, didn’t bode well for, I want to say Jacob on Ghost Island. Though given they had a tonne of food next to a roaring fire, he is kinda right. He took a quick moment away from the dream tribe to read the note to his advantage, which he followed to the well and dug up to discover he won himself a menu, where he can either steal a reward, get an extra vote or get immunity … but it expires by the third tribal council.

Joe joined fellow zaddy Eric and Gavin to discuss what the hell Edge of Extinction could mean before checking in with Aubry to see how she felt. While she agreed that they’re both getting good vibes, they won’t need them around to make fire forever and as such she needs to lay low until the right time to strike. And I feel like I’ve already seen more of Aubry this episode than we did during all of Game Changers. Gavin and Eric meanwhile were discussing how long they will need to keep the returnees around, vowing to get rid of Aubry ASAP and keeping Joe around as a shield for as long as required.

Back at Manu Reem went to check on the washing she put on the shore to dry, which she thought was helpful but was actually pissing everyone off. Except Keith who tried to bond with Reem because she is a mother figure and he is a literal kid, however she didn’t want to be seen that way and kinda shut him down. Though she then taught him to swim with Wendy and I love them so much. As did Lauren who was proud of Keith learning to swim. That didn’t stop her from being thrilled by the fact they isolated themselves, allowing the other six – featuring a total zaddy who I think is Chris – to joke about being the majority.

My boy Jeffrey returned to the screen for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes were required to run through a rope obstacle before someone rings a bell and everyone crosses a balance beam, release a bar to make the beam wider, climb a crows nest, drop a slide and then, obvi, solve a giant slide puzzle.

Chris hopped through the ropes in his jocks – swoon – before battling Joe to climb a rope and ring the bell and let me tell you, these boys are ringing my damn bell. Joe made quick work of the balance beam giving Kama an early lead while Manu floundered, except for challenge beast David who got across while everyone else struggled. Kelley in particular who fell off the beam and literally smashed her damn face. Kama continued to extended their lead, working on the puzzle before Manu even crossed the rope bridge. Despite David’s best efforts to guide Manu through the puzzle, their comeback was too late as Julia – I think, she hasn’t been shown otherwise – figured out the puzzle and coached her tribe to victory.

Back at camp Kelley was devastated to be heading to her second first tribal council, knowing that one tiny thing can send you home when you’ve only been around people a couple of days. Keith, Reem, Wendy and Rick caught up by the well, with Reem pushing hard to take out Lauren or Kelley whose bond was obvious. Though given how hard she is pushing the point, it got Keith offside, who them went and told both the girls, Wardog, David and Eric about the plan. Which solidified their plans to get rid of Reem, given Wendy is stronger in challenges.

Speaking of Wendy, she approached Wardog – I’m trying to get into it – and David about getting rid of Lauren, though they told her that they will be getting rid of Reem tonight. Wendy told them that no matter what, she will vote with Reem out of loyalty which rubbed Wardog the wrong way, as he said it was proof of her being stubborn rather than a super loyal ally he could pick up the next day. Wendy then took the information back to Reem, who got super angry and approached David to save herself though was holding a machete and kind looked wild.

At tribal council Rick spoke about factions quickly forming based off which jobs they were doing before Reem immediately started to spit fire, pissed that her name has been thrown out there. Kelley explained that is part of the game and her name had been thrown out, before Reem explained that it was because she was a legend and she should be honoured. Kelley countered that being voted out doesn’t make it an honour, while Reem continued to dig a hole for herself, saying that she is a target due to age discrimination and would like to wrestle to prove her strength. Probst then questioned whether she has a passion for confrontation before Zaddy Chris said that she may be a little too much and it is pissing people off, which she immediately got defensive about before Wardog – who I will now write without cringing – said he felt she was too much and wished she would just stop moving people’s shit.

She defended trying to help everyone out and while Wardog agreed him clothes were dry thanks to her, she needs to stop dwelling on the one issue. Wendy admitted that she likes Reem for all the reasons everyone else is struggling with her, due to her close bond with her mum. Reem continued to rage, wondering why they didn’t just ask her not to touch their stuff. Probst admitted that it seems like everyone is pretty much against her, and Wendy agreed that they’re likely losing Reem tonight which lead to Reem talking about how painful it would be and while I feel sorry for her, she should be in for a pleasant suprise if it comes to fruition. Which it did, making her the first person voted out.

And potentially the winner if she makes it back in. Who knows.

While the smart of ironically – is it Alanis? – being reemed by her tribe and becoming the first boot was dulled by discovering she has a chance to return to the game, it wasn’t until I was tucking an icy cold bottle of Irish Creem Daly in her bag – don’t tell Abi, but I think Peih-Gee tried to steal it – to get her through the first few days alone that I saw a fire return to her belly. No doubt because of the alcohol.

 

 

Like Old Gregg before me, I am quite partial to drinking Baileys, though preferably not from a shoe. Though I totally would in a pinch, or Tom Schwartz level blackout. Packing a punch of whisky, a hit of coffee and the sweet, sweet nectar known as condensed milk, there is no better way to usher in retired life.

I can retire at 32, right? You know what, so what, who cares – enjoy!

 

 

Irish Creem Daly
Serves: 1 lonely first boot sitting on an island alone in a downpour.

Ingredients
1 cup double cream
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1⅔ cup Irish whiskey
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fresh espresso, cooled

Method
Chuck everything in a blender – or a magic bullet or something if they were so inclined to sponsor me, but they’re not – and blitz for a minute or so, or until smooth.

Transfer to a bottle and leave to chill in the fridge before downing.

 

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Khrystyana Kapapavlova

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After Shanice walked away from the competition because, I assume, Philipp Plein is racist in addition to being a sexpest and a mysoginist, Jeana continued to be a total bitch while she giddily celebrated Shanice’s exit. On the flipside, the heroes of our story Khrystyana and Kyla both were gutted to see such a kind, hard working person cut just before the end. Jeana and Phi Phi O’Hara need to hang out and douse themselves in Delusion by Jinkx Monsoon and talk about how poorly they were edited for such kind people.

Mickey B arrived to lord over the final three’s shoot where Jeana couldn’t find an angle while bald though tragically slayed when Drew gave her a wig. Thankfully Khrystyana slayed the entire thing while Kyla was underwhelming, according to Jeana. Back at the house the final three received the final Tyra Mail announcing the impending fashion show, which made Kyla nervous based on her inexperience while, I assume, Jeana was skulking about looking to feed off people’s fear like a dementor.

The next day the final three and Jeana’s shit eating grin arrived at the airport hangar Plein was hoping to hock his fugly wares in, to find Drew and Law to guide them through the runway and introduce the eliminated queens. Sandra and Rhiyan were firmly team Kyla, Liberty, Erin, Shanice, Ivana and Rio were team Khrystyana – and I assume literally everyone else – while no one but Philipp Plein was team Jeana.

Stacey McKenzie arrived to give the girls a pep talk, reducing Khrystyana to tears. Thankfully Stacey is a saint, going in on motivating Khrystyana and trying to pull her out of her head, while the person that called her a horse looked on in shock, wondering where her confidence would have disappeared to. Tyra arrived to bring the models some co-models for the runway, a bunch of adorable children, one of whom will be traumatised by the cold-hearted Jeana.

Jeana owned the runway … to the point she thought it was ok to abandon her kid at the end. Kyla slayed and dragged a jacket on the ground like Plein deserves and Khrystyana was adorable but focused on the kid and kept losing the jacket. When it came to the solo runway, Kyla seemed stiff, Philipp Plein yelled at Khrystyana before her walk and she lost all personality while Jeana looked awesome. The final three walked together and once again Jeana looked fierce – not nek level though – and was favoured by Plein.

Drew and Ashley arrived backstage to tell the final three that their final panel would be happening immediately on the runway. Tyra then dropped another bombshell, announcing that the judges would critique their Paper shoots and someone else would be sent from the competition, leaving a final two. Kyla received universal praise, particularly for her growth from week one. Khrystyana looked adorable, though Law hated the shoot and felt she looked like Kyla’s drunk older sister. Thankfully Drew and Tyra went in to bat for her, saying that is what they want for a Paper shoot and that it told her story. Jeana’s photo was good not great, though Law loved it and thought it was more Paper … while Drew, who is actually employed by Paper, felt she was hard to work with and couldn’t take a shot. Tragically Tyra loved the photo and poor Khrystyana found herself joining the ranks of Shangela as the robbed goddess of ANTM 24.

I’m actually shocked they managed to edit around the moment Tyra announced Khrystyana was eliminated, as I immediately erupted in screams and channelled her infamous Tiffany rant. I started tearing down the runway and burning Philipp Plein’s fugly collection before Khrystyana was able to pull me back from the brink and calm me down. She held me tight as I cried for what felt like an hour before my sobs turned to quiet sorrow. With that, I pulled out my Khrystyana Kapapavlova and apologised because I intended it as her victory meal.

 

 

Perfectly cooked coffee meringue, slathered with cream and a dusting of cocoa, this dessert is every bit as perfect as Khrystyana. And every bit as victorious as she should have been.

Sorry, I need to go cry again for the rigga morris.

Enjoy!

 

 

Khrystyana Kapapavlova
Serves: 6, or just me while I cry about her Shangie-esque robbery.

Ingredients
250g raw caster sugar
½-1 cup freshly brewed coffee
4 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
300 ml thickened cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
cocoa powder, for dusting

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

Combine the sugar and coffee in a small saucepan – depending on how strong you’d like the coffee hit, use ½-1 cup of coffee and top it up with water to make sure you use 1 cup of liquid. Does that make sense? That makes sense. Anyway, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until it comes to 115°C on a candy thermometer.

Start whisking the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer until soft peaks form, by which time the coffee syrup should have reached 121°C. Increase mixer to high and slowly pour in the syrup until combined before reducing to medium and whisking until thick, glossy and the bowl just warm to the touch. About fifteen-twenty minutes.

Dollop the meringue on the centre of a lined baking sheet, forming edges with a palette knife to give some solid structural integrity … like our Queen, you dick Philipp Plein. Transfer to the oven, reduce heat to 150°C and bake for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave in the oven to cool.

Transfer to serving platter, top-side down, and peel off the baking paper.

Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff(ish) peaks form before delicately placing over the meringue. Dust with cocoa and devour, greedily, in honour of our rightful victor.

Oh and one last time, fuck you Philipp Plein you fuck.

 

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Cophie Clarke Ice Cream

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Cophie Clarke Ice Cream
Makes: 1.5L.

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

Method
Whisk all the ingredients together until soft peaks form.

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

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Adam Pumpkin Spiced Latte

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

Previously on Australian Survivor JLP marooning 24 new castaways on Samoa where Locky quickly became my favourite by taking off his clothes, with Tara a close second for her relatable thirst and AK a distant twenty-fourth for being insufferable. After an epic immunity challenge – where not-military man Mark W dominated on the very military rope obstacle – targets were firmly painted on Joan and Kent’s back after losing the puzzle. Despite a last ditch effort from Luke to flip the script on control-freak Sam, Joan became the first boot of Survivor and Kent lived to see another day.

Back at camp Kent got to work winning everyone over telling them there were no hard feelings and he wouldn’t kill them in their sleep that night. After that faux pas, Sam quickly confirmed that she was pissed off about the votes not falling how she was expecting and Luke continued to look like some that’s been drinking heavily since lunch but is trying to play it cool in front of the in-laws.

Over at the triumphant Samatau, a sadly clothed Locky was feeling the love and basking in the glow of the fire while AK realised he screwed up within the first few days and broke down on the beach by himself. Secret poker player Adam went to see if he was ok, though didn’t actually care which makes Adam a tad more likeable.

Meanwhile Sam was still seething back at Asaga, despite being in an almost-majority alliance with Mark W, Henry, Sarah and Jacqui. Meanwhile Michelle, the one that Sam trusts the least, is spearheading a counter alliance with skittish Luke, Odette, Jericho and Ben, leaving Kent in the middle like Malcolm. Side note: he kind of looks like an old man version of Frankie Muniz, no?

Giving up on pursuing Sharks, Mark decided to go fishing while Adam went fishing for the Samatau majority, pulling in Tara, Kate, Peter and Ziggy, which makes my boner for Locky concerned despite five does not equal a majority. Feeling screwed, AK decided to try and fool Jarrad into believing that he had a – and I quote – chicken idol, which for some reason Jarrad bought, spreading it to Anneliese, Aimee, Locky, Tara and Adam spooking literally everyone.

I think sensing my growing anger at AK, JLP returned for the first reward challenge of the season – for fishing gear and an outrigger canoe – requiring tribe members to square off against each other greasing up like Willie and racing down a slide to grab a ball and stick it in a hole.

First up were Locky and Mark W where Locky quickly scored the first point for Samatau, Adam quickly scored over Luke, Jericho beat Peter followed by Queen Jacqui tying things up against Anneliese. Mark H quickly won my heart, dacking Ben and giving us our first bum of the challenge. Shocking no one, waterpolo champion Ziggy scored for Samatau, Jarrad smoke Kent and Aimee extended their lead before AK used his walk up to the start with Henry to tell him how badly he is doing, before getting salt rubbed in the wounds with Henry dominating. Sam and Sarah continued to catch Asaga up before Locky and Mark W arrived for their second battle where the latter became my second favourite castaway, quickly pulling Locky’s pant completely off, leaving him to dive for victory in uncensored glory.

Praise Channel 10 not pixelating! I’ll be back in five, bare … with me. Seriously, this is two episodes from two with Locky’s arse and I am LIVING FOR IT.

Back at Samatau, Locky was glad to have secure the win despite losing some dignity. But seriously Locky, NO, dat ass – YAS GAWD. Never apologise for that. While going through their loot, AK noticed an idol clue hidden in the outrigger, as did Adam, leading to Adam getting his allies to distract AK to take it for himself. He quickly shared the clue with Kate, discovering that the idol was hidden on an island off their beach, securing them only AK rage.

Meanwhile over at Asaga, Luke continued to act skittish and therefore decided it was a great idea to channel Tony and build a spy shack. Thankfully Jacqui brought some dignity and excitement to the affair, snatching the idol clue from the well with Henry which the latter hid down his pants, making me realise that I’d really like Mark W to dack him sometime soon. After a quick search around camp, Henry and Jacqui secured the Asaga idol and became the improved Australian Survivor power couple – move El and Lee, I think we’ve found our Romber!

Over at Samatau, we finally met Peter where he spoke about hating nature which is in an instant win in my book. Adam quickly took the attention, searching unsuccessful for the idol – which was directly under his hands – in plain sight of the remaining tribe members who were busy building their house. AK then went over to search for the idol while Adam started threatening Queen Tara, Kate and Ziggy, saying that if they don’t help, they are against him. The girls quickly shut him down, correctly pointing out shelter is more important that proving their loyalty to one person of the twelve person tribe.

Ziggy and Locky went with Adam to try and put a stop to AK finding the idol, where Locky quickly discovered the string to the immunity idol wrapper. Assuming that Adam either found the idol from the very obvious clue or is a completely moron, Locky and Ziggy kindly went with the former. Wanting to continue painting a target on his back, Adam then decided to threaten them to vote him out. Seriously, he and AK should align to get booted back-to-back.

After all the idol excitement, JLP returned for a downright dirty – hopefully in a Locky writhing around naked in the sand kind of way – immunity challenge where the castaways had to race through a mud pit, through some bamboo, then through a wall, play an island version of whack-a-mole and knock down tiles with a club. Samatau got out to an early lead with (a sadly clothed) Locky dominating the obstacles for his tribe, while Asaga was held back by Kent who was the polar opposite to my lover, Lock.

Samatau continued to dominate with the pegging section, before Adam blew a fraction of their lead not knowing how to open a draw. Despite throwing the clubs with an Olympic water polo player, AK quickly knocked out Samatau’s first three idols before Henry and Jacqui finally got in the game. Being the power couple we all deserve, Jacry quickly caught up and took out immunity for Asaga.

A defeated Samatau returned to camp where Anneliese was feeling nervous after choking in the challenge. Adam was also feeling anxious after his earlier idol faux pas, which was confirmed as Locky – again, sadly clothed – told the girls while washing the mud off his torso that if AK doesn’t play an idol tonight, Adam is guaranteed to have the idol.

AK continued to pretend he had the fake chicken idol, which nobody was buying at all which I think is a ploy to attract votes so he can play his real idol and get rid of a threat. Anneliese, Peter, Locky, Aimee and Jarrad plotted to split the vote between Adam and Kate, while Adam tried to win back Tara and secure some numbers. Thankfully for him, AK continued to act hella sketchy and made Jarrad uncomfortable just before leaving for tribal council.

Jonathan quickly got to work needling the tribe with Aimee, mate, talking about how much the rain was hurting them, mate. Ziggy and Tara spoke about trust, the latter quite awkwardly trying to avoid the truth, before quickly doing an about face and explaining that AK and Adam were acting paranoid and crazy the day before. AK and Adam had a little back and forth arguing about who has the idol before Aimee finally became likeable, roasting AK for his shitty attempt at a fake idol and confirming Adam is playing way too aggressively.

Adam tried to backpedal – off topic, but I think Peter and I have the same glasses – before he and AK fought a bit more and Anneliese announced that she felt expendable as they headed off to vote. Oh and nope, Peter and I do not have the same glasses. Proving my two-pars-ago theory correct, AK pulled the actual idol out of the bag – where do you think he got the string for his chicken idol? – and then PLAYED IT FOR JARRAD. The votes rolled in for AK, Anneliese and Kate, before piling up on Adam and sending him out of the game as the second boot. Despite feuding aggressively on the Queensland poker circuit, I couldn’t be too cruel to my frenemy, low-rent-Parko, so took him in a tepid embrace and whipped him up a kind, yet non-committal-date-esque Adam Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

 

 

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is probably Starbucks’ most famous holiday flavoured beverage and for good reason, it is sickly delicious (and coffee in America sucks, so you need syrup). While my version isn’t as sweet, it is just as amazing with the delicate hint of vanilla, whack of pumpkin and spices perfectly mingling with the coffee to make me consider supporting Christmas in July as a thing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Adam Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
1 cup milk
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp vanilla
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
2 shots freshly brewed coffee

Method
Combine the milk, puree, sugar, vanilla and spices in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until piping hot. I mean, it doesn’t get too foamy like a latte should, but it will do.

Pour the shots of coffee into a latte glass, slowly pour in the milk, sprinkle with cinnamon and devour.

Well down, but devour is kinda my thing.

 

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Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie

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

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

And fuck do I miss my Brit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie
Serves: 12.

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

Method
Preheat oven 120°C.

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

Crank the oven to 180°C.

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

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

No, you can’t call me fucking jiggly.

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

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

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

 

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Zach Braffogato

Drink, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Sweets

No doubt your first thought when you heard about Grammy Gold was finally, Ben’s friendship with Zach Braff is finally going to get the coverage it deserves.

So yes, I’ve opted not to zig or zag and instead do as you predicted and include my dear friend and famed Grammy winner, TV actor and director Zachy B in this Grammy celebration … despite our infamous falling out after my name was mysteriously struck from the Garden State soundtrack credits, losing me my chance at a Grammy.

Despite promising that neither he nor his other bestie/Scrubs co-star Donald Faison were involved, it begged the question, why even mention Don?

What resulted was a bitter decade-long feud – on my part – with me trying to bring him down at every opportunity. However after successfully getting Scrubs axed in 2010 and blocking studios from funding his follow-up film Wish I was Here, I felt unfulfilled and donated $100,000 of my grifted funds to help him make his movie and rekindled our friendship in the process.

It was a slow process to rebuild our relationship – particularly with him forbidding me from getting back with my ex / his new frequent collaborator James Franco – but we’ve finally got back to how it was in the good old days and he jumped at the opportunity to drop by, chat the Grammys – he is backing Straight Outta Compton (named after a song I co-wrote) to take out his old category – and catch-up over a perky nana Zach Braffogato.

 

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Ice cream in coffee aka an affogato is delicious and perfect – the ice cream makes it sweet and thick and balances with the sharp coffee. Perfect, right? Well try coffee ice cream in your coffee … that is truly perfect.

Enjoy!

 

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Zach Braffogato
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
double shot of freshly poured espresso
a scoop of coffee ice cream

Method
Pour the espresso in the cup – bucking the traditional method, I know – and add in a dollop of ice cream.

Down / devour.

 

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Willa Hazelnut & Chocolate Cake

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Good news – we finally have a cast member that doesn’t link into my torrid love life. I mean sure, I did sleep with Willa Holland’s current co-star Stephen Amell years ago … but I didn’t meet her through him, so technically I’m home free.

You see I met Willa through my dear friend Lisa Kudrow – who I am so overdue to see that it scares me – when Willa guested on an episode of the majestic and underrated series The Comeback.

It would shock nobody to know that my attitude inspired her characterisation of Valerie Cherish.

I was taken by her talent and she was the only person I could think of to replace my cousin-in-law Shailene when they wanted to beef up the role of Caitlin. I also put her forward for the role of Thea Queen on Arrow … not that I’m saying she should be grateful to me for her career.

But she probably should be … a little, at least.

As she has been super – get it? – busy with her role in the Arrow-verse shows, I haven’t been able to spend much meaningful time with Wills in the last few years but thankfully our friendship is so beautiful that our bond never changes.

Plus, if it did, I’d just withhold my Willa Hazelnut & Chocolate Cake until she loves me again … because that is what you do with your family during the holiday!

 

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Combining the velvety sweet charm of one Caitlin Cooper and the brooding darkness and depth of Thea Queen, this cake is the perfect hybrid of my dear friend’s roles.

Enjoy!

 

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Willa Hazelnut & Chocolate Cake
Serves: 10-12.

Ingredients
200g hazelnuts, peeled and roasted
250g good dark chocolate, chopped
185g unsalted butter, cubed
40g cocoa powder, sifted
30ml strong, freshly brewed coffee
30ml amaretto
6 eggs, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
ice cream, cream or fresh berries, to serve
Nutella, to drizzle on top

Method
Preheat oven to 160ºC and grease/line a springform tin.

Chuck the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until it it is finely ground and just starting to turn to a paste. Set aside.

Combine the chocolate, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until just melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coffee and amaretto. Set aside.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until just combined. Fold through the chocolate, followed by the hazelnuts and pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Once cooled, serve with a dollop of ice cream and drizzled with nutella … because we can’t get enough hazelnut!

 

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Jack McGraveyard

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Halloween, Side, Snack, Sweets, Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

As you would have picked up by now, I have long been a support and inspiration to Teens over the years. None more so than when creating / fleshing out the life and times of one Kenneth Parcell aka my dear Jack McBrayer’s opus.

I first met Jack in the late 90s while he was attending the University of Evansville where I was lecturing in Theatre Administration. Shockingly, this was the one time I was actually qualified to teach what I was hired to do.

Jack always had an overabundance of talent, so I took him under my wing and mentored him to greatness. More importantly, since this is the one job I haven’t been run out of due to a scandalo, we have always remained close. After he graduated, I quickly convinced him to take up improv, got him a job at Second City and the rest, as they say, is history.

Or HERstory.

When Teens was developing 30 Rock, she was having trouble coming up with the Kenneth character so I regaled her with tales of my dear Jack and she developed the role with him in mind.

Obviously the whole Kenneth as an immortal being thing was inspired by my own apparent immortality – she thinks my time-travel is actually a sign of my own immortality – and the character of Hazel was based on my own horrid ways.

Jack has been busy lately, what with also starring in a modern Disney icon Wreck-It Ralph and its upcoming sequel, so we haven’t had much time to catch-up. Thankfully he was eager to clear his schedule for the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah and to split a big ole Jack McGraveyard.

 

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Full disclosure – let’s pretend you haven’t noticed before, ok – presentation / themed edible situations are not my forte … but when they taste this good, you should just look past that.

With a brownie base as black as a lost soul, littered with walnut brains and rotten (cranberry) flesh and topped with a cream cheese grass, this is a graveyard that will make you happy.

Plus, Trump has a tombstone … that counts for something, right?

Enjoy!

 

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Jack McGraveyard
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
225g dark chocolate
225g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup fresh coffee
200g raw caster sugar
3 large eggs, whisked
150g almond meal
100g walnuts, chopped
100g craisins, chopped
½ cup icing sugar
1 tsp milk
black food colouring
4 oval biscuits
250g cream cheese
1 tbsp double dream
green food colouring
extra 100g chocolate, melted, for decorating – I used a combination

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove from the heat, mix in the vanilla, coffee and sugar, and allow to cool slightly.

Once it has had time to chill, beat in the eggs, almond meal, walnuts and craisins. Transfer to a lined, square baking tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until set but still a little gooey. Allow to cool completely.

While the brownies are cooling, combine half the icing sugar and milk in a small bowl with a drop of black food icing to make your tombstone lacquer. Dip the oval biscuits in and allow to set on a lined baking sheet, repeating a couple of times to build up the layers – clearly it was too hot for it to set properly in my house.

Meanwhile beat the cream cheese, remaining icing sugar and double cream in a stand mixture until smooth. Add in enough green colouring to turn it into grass, or slime, whatever you’d rather. I also added black, because spooky.

By now the brownie should be adequately chilled so flip it over onto a serving plate, and dig out space for four graves. Ice around the graves, chuck in the tombstones and return the dug-out dirt to create freshly buried mounds.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, adorn your tombstones and devour. Edible glitter and other kitsch decorative things are highly encouraged – this isn’t a low-rent cemetery!

 

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Pistashaio Fox Cake

Cake, Dessert, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Sweets

It has been a struggle watching our frenemy Tasha Fox survive tribal council after tribal council this season.

Unfortunately, we have a checkered history with Tasha. After Andrew Keegan dragged us into the Danny Tanner Full Circle cult, we were forced to recruit new members. Naturally, we looked toward other cult-like organisations and deep within the trenches of one, we found our Tasha.

Tasha took on the Full Circle identity of Kimmy Gibbler – and was truly Kimmy in every sense. Her grating personality and all-round irritable presence made her such a perfect Kimmy she eventually replaced us as Krishna the parrot’s guardian. Not cool Tasha/Kimmy Gibbler!

Although Full Circle was eventually exposed and disbanded, our deep hatred of Tasha was enduring. That said, to see her receive a golden goose egg of votes has made me want to give her some comfort and try to reignite what was once a glorious friendship. After all, we did kind of ruin her life with that whole cult thing.

What says ‘I’m sorry’ and simultaneously ‘you still annoy the living turdcakes out of me’?

 

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The Pistashaio Fox Cake is the perfect way to make amends with an old frenemy. The heavenly thick chocolate ganache can literally gloss over the oldest of friendship wounds.

 

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Pistashaio Fox Cake
Serves: 16

Ingredients
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup pistachio meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup thickened cream
80g shelled, halved pistachios

Method
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a rectangular cake tin.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pistachio meal, sugar and cocoa powder. Add eggs, milk, water, oil, vanilla and coffee and stir until combined.

Pour into prepared tin (batter will be quite thin) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until risen and cooked through. Allow to cool.

To ice, cut chocolate into very fine slithers and place in heat-proof bowl. Gently heat cream in a small saucepan until just scalded. Pour cream over chocolate slithers and leave to sit for five minutes.

After five minutes, stir until ganache is smooth. Pour over cake and top with pistachios. Refrigerate until ganache is set.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Al CapPacino Cake

Cake, Dessert, Sweets

It has been way too long between drinks, of coffee, with our dear friend Al!

Our catch-ups have been few and far between in the post-Vittoria years, with us avoiding him out of guilt and he avoiding us until he had moved past the deep, deep shame.

Thankfully he realised the commercials were far less shameful than starring in Gigli or Jack and Jill, and our friendship is returning to normal. It didn’t help that we have remained vigilant in trashing Bevs D’Ang in the tabloids to help ensure custody issues remain resolved.

Al was in town wanting to talk smack about Chris O’Donnell and help sabotage the filming of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like us, he also hates Depp for taking roles that should be going to our love/his dear friend, Keanu. As such, an Al CapPacino Cake with a tongue planted firmly in cheek was required to give us the energy we needed.

 

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While we sadly weren’t able to shut-down production of Pirates 17: Depp the Douche … yet (we are truly sorry everyone), the cake was moist, fluffy and had the perfect whack of coffee.

All in all, it was a win. Enjoy!

 

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Al CapPacino Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
225g caster sugar
225g soft  unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
200g plain flour
50g ground almonds
4 tsp instant espresso powder
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

Icing
160g white chocolate
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
1 ½-2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Cocoa powder

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 23cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Combine flour, ground almonds, espresso powder, baking powder and bicarbonate soda in a bowl. Place this baby to the side (don’t worry, just for a bit…nobody puts baby in the corner … permanently).

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Stop, add one egg, mix to combine. Stop, add a third of the flour mixture, mix to combine. Continue until the eggs and flour are gone.

With the mixer running, add vanilla extract and milk to slightly loosen the mixture. Trust your gut, you may not need all the milk, you may need more. It should be loose and light enough to drop easily off a spoon.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch. Cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.

When cool, literally and metaphorically, you can make the icing.

Icing
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly before stirring in the sour cream. Using a whisk, gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar. Add as much sugar as feels right to get the consistency you like, if thin, add more and if too thick add a little bit of hot water. Spread roughly, generously and playfully over the top of the cake. Dust lightly with cocoa, slice, serve and devour.

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