Chocolate Crackelly Ripa

Dessert, Snack

Gaaaaaah, it was such a joy to be able to have my celebrity Fame Hungry superfan and dear friend Kelly Ripa over. I mean, the look of joy on her face from the moment she stepped off the plane to when she sat down for her requisite – and now signature – food-smeared face photo is something that will stay with me for all of time.

Knowing that I was making such a dear friend so happy was but icing on the cake of a wonderful date.

As you know, I met through Kell when visiting Susan Lucci on the set of All My Children and we instantly hit it off with our joie de vivre and wicked senses of humour. And despite her sweeping Mark off his feet at the time I was desperate to woo the zaddy for myself, we have always remained the best of friends.

And as an aside, she is beautiful and perfect and she and Mark make the best couple, so screw you jealous trolls!

Anyway – I was casually dating Regis Philbin in the early ‘00s when Kathie Lee Gifford quit Live! and reminded him about their chemistry during her previous appearances. The rest, as they say, is history. Oh, and you’re welcome America.

But back to the date, while she didn’t give any any spoilers from the upcoming season of Riverdale or think my All My Children reboot would work, we still had a lovely time. Though how could you not when you’re surrounded by mounds of Chocolate Crackelly Ripa.

 

 

Given these bake-sale staples are so well known that the recipe is pretty much open source at this point, credit where credit is due so thank you Kellogg’s! Crunchy, sweet and oh so moreish, there is nothing I’d rather make to honour my girl Kell!

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Crackelly Ripa
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
4 cups rice bubbles
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
250g copha, melted
¼ cup cocoa

Method
Chuck everything in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Portion in to patty cases.

Set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Devour.

 

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Steve Biliss Balls

Uncategorized

Previously on Australian Survivor Benji continued to slither his way through the competition however taking out Mat and humiliating Sharn made him a target. Particularly with Shane, who reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould. Shane and Sharn took their opportunity at reward, swinging Monika and Brian back to their side. Not to be outdone, Brian found an idol and then won himself individual immunity. Things got tense at tribal council as Shonee whipped out her vote steal and snatched away Sharn’s vote in the hope of getting her out. Sadly for her, Monika and Brian flipped on Benji and rendered her move useless, sending the self proclaimed king out of the camp.

Back at camp Sharn was shocked to still be in the game, pulling Monika and Steve in for a big hug and hot damn I am jealous. Full of joy, she was hopeful that Brian and Monika were back with them and she can make it to the end. Sadly for her however, Brian immediately caught up with Shonella to assure them that he just wanted to get out Benji and the four of them will stick together to get to the end.

The next day Sharn was still feeling zen to be back in the game while Steve further slipped into my heart, loving the lack of people around to interact with. They then marvelled at Shane  and how much of a tough icon she is, dominating at camp, kicking ass and providing Steve with life advice and I’m crying. I mean, Steve was giggling like a school when Shane called him a grumpy old man … which is what MISH BRIDGES says to him. He then went down a Mish rabbithole and please let this be a family visit episode. Anyway – I ship Steve and Shane and need a moment to feel my feels.

Shane meanwhile is glad that they’ve become close friends, but more importantly she wants to win and she is not going home without a title. She is thrilled to be leading the Champions alliance, however she isn’t happy that Brian and the girls used Shonee’s advantage to take a shot at Sharn. Nor is she happy about them flushing Brian’s ego. Shane then decided that she plans to split up Shonella to weaken Brian’s game, and debated the merits of Fenella or Shonee first.

Speaking of Shonella, they were watching Brian catch fish and skinny dip while they stroked his ego. No doubt much to Shane’s chagrin. Meanwhile Brian was worried about what Monika was thinking, given they both flipped on the girls and she seemed to be gravitating towards the Champions. Monika caught up with Shonella to assure them that she was still with them and Brian, while they all started to worry about Steve trying to find a bond with Monika. On day 40, which they all agreed was sketchy slash extremely obvious.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where everyone would balance an idol on the end of a seesaw, with the last idol standing winning immunity. Brian and Steve spoke about the pain in their glutes before Shane became the first one out, followed by Fenella and Sharn after seven minutes. Brian did his best tennis player impression, grunting his way through the pain while Steve stood like a sta … nope, Steve was next to drop leaving Brian, Shonee and Monika to battle it out. After twelve minutes Brian dropped, leaving the girls to stand still in a battle of wills before Monika dropped and Shonee was shocked to take out immunity. I mean, Shane may be over her but damn that reaction was gorg.

Oh and then Jonathan dropped dropped a bomb on everyone, telling them that instead of booting someone at tribal tonight, the person that gets the most votes becomes the Dead Man Walking. While it sounds hella ominous, it only strips the person of their vote at the next two tribal councils. And while yes, that sucks, they can still win immunity and participate in everything at camp, so if you’re smart, you could make it work.

Back at camp Sharn knew that the end game would come down to whichever side doesn’t get lumbered with the dead man walking. She and Shane went to get water and discuss who to target, agreeing that Fenella is the best bet as it instantly neutralises Shonella being a duo. Sharn approached Monika to talk about targeting Fenella, which she quickly agreed to before having a minor breakdown over how hard the game is getting. Sharn went to Steve and Shane to tell them all the good news, which seemed to arouse suspicion in Brian. And Shane, who really felt like she couldn’t trust Monika despite the fact she desperately needs her. With both Monika and Shane agreeing to take each other to the final three, despite neither believing it.

Brian pulled Shonella and Monika aside to discuss who they should target for dead man walking, with Brian pushing for Steve and the girls desperately wanting to take Shane’s vote. While Brian wasn’t convinced about targeting her, Fenella worked overtime pointing out how Shane is the better option. Brian then pulled Monika aside to point out how important it was to get rid of Steve’s vote, leading to her breaking down about how difficult the entire thing is.

At tribal council JoJo quickly filled the jury in on the final twist of the season before Sharn admitted to being shocked by it and Shane pragmatically said that she isn’t scared of the dead man walking going back to camp, since it is a straight up fact. Sharn quickly went in pointing out that people need to take advantage of the twist to neutralise some of the bigger threats. Monika sounded like she started to falter about flipping, leading to Sharn reminding her that fortune favours the brave. Shane admitted that the tribe is fractured and identified Shonella as a power couple, while Steve shared that they are a non-factor to him as other people are busy trying to work with them, so he can’t be bothered. Jonathan tried to hype up their power status, while power Monika grew more and more confused. Sharn continued to play hard to get her over to their side, while Shonee and Brian whispered to change their target to Steve. With that the tribe voted and Monika played it smart, sticking with her alliance and voting for Steve to become the dead man walking.

Which you know pissed Shane off and will hopefully give us the glorious reminder not to fuck with Shane Gould.

Back at camp, Steve was feeling pissed and served some killer facial expressions whilst going in on Monika. Reminding her that he, Sharn and Shane are the only ones working around camp and she is completely blinded by Brian. And though I love zaddy Steve, it was the best move for Monika TBH. Shane and Sharn pretended to be sympathetic to an emotional Monika, telling her she was played by Brian and they’d be willing to work with her moving forward.

The next day Shane and Sharn caught up to work through their pain, while Shonee was giddy about how everything fell out at tribal. And now that Brian and Monika are loyal, she is excited to no longer be playing the bottom. Which is probably the first time we’ve disagreed. Brian too was thrilled that Steve is the Dead Man Walking and to be in control. Sadly for both of them, Sharn was confident in her abilities to pull Monika back to their side and highlight how dangerous the Brionella trio are.

Monika arrived back at camp with treemail where they learnt that as part of being Dead Man Walking, Steve would be sent immediately to Exile Beach and wouldn’t return until the next immunity challenge. With one less person in camp, Sharn decided to corner Monika to commence pulling her back over to save her game. And most importantly, Sharn’s. Monika proved her skills as a master barrister playing on her ego and her insecurities to rebuild their relationship.

At the reward challenge the tribe were split in half to compete in an obstacle course for an Indian feast – Samosas, Saag Paneer or Mango Chicken, anyone? I think this reward is just my leftovers?! Anyway the teams would be required to send two people out in the ocean to use symbols to decode a puzzle which they would then use to open a lock … releasing balls which the remaining person will land on a trough. Shonella and Monika faced off against Brian, Sharn and Shane, with Monika using Shonee and Sharn’s time in the drink – Matt Chisholm forever – to get advice from Shane, who was having none of it. Shonee got her team out to a sizable lead until Monika found a new nemesis other than bellyflopping, drifting out to sea while Shane closed the gap and took a lead for the Champion trio like the graceful dolphin that she is. Brian shot his first balls before Monika even made it back to shore, oh wait no, he won reward for his team while she was still adrift.

At reward – which I can confirm, I made – Sharn and Shane were delighted to see the paint and cutlery. The girls toasted their success before Queen Shane asked Brian where he stood and what his thoughts were for the endgame. He admitted that he voted against Steve because like Shonella, he sees him as a threat leaving it open for Shane to start working on getting rid of Fenella instead of Steve, if they guarantee his safety moving forward. Brian however didn’t trust it, and told them that if Steve won immunity one of them will be going next. Which Shane shockingly opted out of commenting on.

Speaking of Steve, we checked in with him at Exile Beach where he endeavoured to see the positives and treat it like a holiday. He then looked through his photos and letters from home, and reflected on how great a relationship he has with Sharn and Shane. He then was fired up and hot damn am I thirsting for zaddy Steve.

Everyone reunited at the immunity challenge – with Steve the happiest we’ve seen him all game – where they would each be required to balance a ball on the end of an ever-extending pole while scaling obstacles, before using a ledge to drop it into a bucket. Steve, Fenella and Shane got out to an early lead, while Brian and Shonee languished at the back of the pack. Steve continued to extend his lead with his killer ball and pole workmanship, with Fenella and Brian desperately working the pole to try and close the gap. I mean, who can’t manage two metres of pole? Sadly zaddy Steve dropped his ball allowing Brian to catch-up, the boys were back and forth at the gutters until Brian, somehow, snatched victory.

Back at camp Shonella congratulated Brian on his victory, while Shane and Sharn simmered. Shonella, Brian and Monika then discussed plans for the upcoming tribal, with Brian suggestion they should split the votes between Steve and Sharn to safeguard against the idol. The underdogs went to get water with Steve sharing a haul of fruit his allies whilst trying to figure a way out of their mess. Shane Gould spoke about herself in the third person whilst trying to formulate a way to save her friends and break up the power structure. Shane decided Sharn should work to pull Monika over to their side and blindside Fenella during the split. Proving to be as wily as they say, Brian could see what they were planning and worked overtime to convince Monika to stick with him. Sharn however was a formidable foe, working her magic on Monika to swing back to the Champions.

Before heading out to tribal Steve joined the fray trying to sow some distrust in Brian’s mind, pointing out that if he goes Brian will become the biggest threat and as such he needs to adjust his game. Steve then spoke sports and while I was confused, I loved it all.

At tribal council Steve continued to let his zaddy flag fly, talking about the fact he may not have a vote but he still has a vote. Fenella deemed him a threat, leaving Steve to point out that he is yet to win a challenge while the likes of Brian, Sharn and Shonee have dominated. While Shonee admitted she felt her’s was a fluke, Steve told her that he believed she is a threat – motivational zaddy. Monika said that what makes a threat is different to everyone, while Steve went aggressive and said that this tribal is him or someone else and if it is him, he will work that jury to not reward anyone he doesn’t like/respect.

Shane then threw shade at Shonella for not being helpful around camp, suggesting everyone go out to Exile and see who really can survive. Brian countered that Shane has been carried through challenges, leaving Steve to rise to be the feminist-ageist icon that he is and defend her honour and tell him to treat her with some respect. He then said that Monika too has been carried, pissing her off and making me hella confused. With that, the tribe voted and surprisingly the vote split remained and were divided equally amongst Sharn, Fenella and Steve. On the revote, however, things didn’t go zaddy Steve’s way and he found himself becoming the latest member of the sausage-fest jury. Which is a movie I’d watch the shit out of. Anyway, as a close personal friend of The Biggest Loser franchise, I’ve been friends with Mish and Steve for years and was honoured to be on site to whip him up a batch of Steve Biliss Balls to dull the pain.

 

 

While they are healthy enough to keep Steve happy, these babies are totally delicious. Nutty and smooth, sweet and salty, I just can’t get enough of these balls in my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Biliss Balls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
6 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 5 mins
⅔ cup almond meal
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup 70% cocoa chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut for rolling

Method
Drain the dates and place in the food processor with the almond meal, peanut butter, chia seeds and vanilla. Blitz until well combined. If the mixture is too crumbly, add some more peanut butter until it is just holding and sticky. Fold through the dark chocolate.

Shape the mixture into little balls, roll in coconut and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour.

Devour, giddily, knowing you’re loved. Like we all love The Commando.

 

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Chelsea Lamingtownsend

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Probsty boy dropped a bomb on the top ten announcing that they’d be competing for immunity in two groups with a winner and a trip to tribal council for each. At the first tribal council Jenna tried to play Donathan, though her shady behaviour made him nervous and he played his idol for himself, ensuring she was booted from the game. Meanwhile tribal council number two didn’t prove anymore successful, with Kellyn playing her extra vote to boot Laurel which tragically failed when Michael didn’t jump on board, sending him from the game.

Back at camp the two groups reconvened with Kellyn coming clean about playing the extra vote on Laurel, which Laurel was obvi not keen on. Though neither were the editors it seems as we quickly transitioned to Probst on the beach the next day for the reward challenge for a huge feast AND loved ones. With that, everyone started to breakdown before anyone even arrived on the beach – thought when Wendell’s dad arrived, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Nor my pants, given Wendell’s hungry jocks. Anyway, he was followed by Kellyn’s brother, Donathan’s Queen Aunt Patty – ugh, my heart is breaking. I love Donathan – Angela’s daughter – again, crying along with Probst – Chelsea’s sister – hang on, which one is the castaway? – Laurel’s brother, Sebastian’s booty-short baby sister and Domenick’s wife, who is an icon TBH.

Wendell was first across the pole – again, I wish – arriving at the balance beam first for the puzzle pieces. Sadly Laurel, Chelsea and Kellyn overtook him at the next obstacle and commenced digging their hole to slide under a log. Sadly for them Sebastian came out of nowhere and quickly slinked his twink build under and landed his sandbag on a podium just after Domenick arrived, securing the win. Given Sebastian isn’t an idiot or heartless, he selected second placer Dom to share the reward … followed by Wendell and Donathan. While the girls stood around glumly, Probst dropped another bomb on Sebastian saying that an advantage awaited someone on Ghost Island and he could either snatch it for himself, give it to one of his boys … or it will go to random draw for the girls. While Sebastian had no interest, Wendell jumped at the chance to snatch the advantage, pissing off the girls – particularly Kellyn – in the process.

At Ghost Island Wendell rationalised dropping his father like a newborn giraffe before discovering his advantage was to have a redo of the balance the ball on an ever-expanding pole challenge, like Malcolm in the Philippines. You know, the one that led to his first tragic loss? He also got to practice, so hopefully that makes perfect. Meanwhile out on the reward Domenick assured Donathan and Sebastian’s loved ones that they’d be going to the end together. Though that doesn’t seem to be something Donathan is interested in, given they’re both threats. Back at camp however, Kellyn was burning with fiery rage for Wendell dropping his dad for the reward. She then immediately pulled Chelsea, Laurel and Angela aside to form an alliance, pull in Donathan – because us gays always get along better with girls, right? Eyeroll – and take control and split up Domenick and Wendell. Which despite making Laurel extremely nervous, given their advantages, is super tempting … since they would crush her at final tribal.

With all that excitement out of the way, the final eight arrived to discover they’d be competing in the final immunity challenge from Philippines – swoon Malcolm and Denise … and Lisa – and that Wendell has the chance to reverse Malcolm’s curse. Kellyn quickly dropped out of the challenge, before Angela couldn’t even get it up in the second round, followed by Wendell who used his advantage to stay alive. Sadly it was all for nought, dropping again and losing the challenge. Sebastian dropped soon after the final round kicked off, followed by Laurel and Chelsea, leaving Donathan and Domenick to battle it out for immunity. The boys shook their way for a couple of extra minutes before Donathan dropped the ball and handed Domenick his second immunity win.

Everyone arrived back at camp to kick off the scrambling, with Domenick pulling Wendell aside to share that he kept the boys in line at reward before they locked in the vote for Chelsea. Meanwhile the girls connected by the fire to confirm aligning to break up the boys, with Angela confident she’d be able to pull in Donathan and take control. Which he was keen on. Sadly Laurel seemed open to the boys plan to take out Chelsea, though didn’t make Wendell feel confident and therefore, he planned to play his idol. Laurel and Donathan then joined together to lament the pain of being in the middle, with them both terrified of crossing people they trust just because they can’t be beaten for people they can’t trust to get them to the end. FYI – the latter is always the better option, because the other way is a guaranteed loss. But I’d probably suck and be overcautious if I were there too.

At tribal – gaaaah, MICHAEL?! – Kellyn quickly mentioned dropping two votes on Laurel at the last tribal, I assume to impress the jury. Sadly for her, Donathan stole her thunder announcing that Naviti are at breaking point and he and Laurel would be taking advantage of it … TONIGHT. This made the two factions look around with crazy eyes, denying their scrambling and trying to play innocent. Donathan continued to cause chaos, outing both the girls and boys for coming to them and trying to take control. While everyone on Naviti tried to deny the obvious scrambling, no one was being fooled by anything anyone else had to say. Channelling Tai-nerves-of-steel-Trang, Wendell opted out of playing his idol with his bravery rewarded – you missed your chance and handed he or Dom the game, guys – and him narrowly avoiding the boot while poor Chelsea banished to the jury. Which I can confirm is her name, after getting to meet her at Ponderosa … on account of her having less that five confessionals all season.

Anyway she took her boot like a champ and was an absolute delight while we reconnected. Turns out, I didn’t realise that Chelsea is one of my dear friends – we met whilst in cheerleading camp together – on account of her barely being on the show despite a brief immunity run. After realising our bond, I held her close, apologised for the producers shafting her and whipped her up a big batch of Chelsea Lamingtownsends.

 

 

The Australian – or Kiwi, TBH – classic is one of those baked treats that are perfect, sweet and delicious … but I always kind of forget exist in favour of something showier. Like the pizza curse that Survivor NZ couldn’t reverse, I feel like bequeathing Chelse with the confection kind of cursed her edit. Though thankfully, the light sponge, rich chocolate and shit tonne of coconut are so good, she didn’t seem to notice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chelsea Lamingtownsend
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
125g butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the chocolate icing
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup milk
3 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups desiccated coconut

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cream the butter, raw caster sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come together before adding the next.

Remove from the mixer and fold through half the flour and baking powder until well combined, followed by half the milk until well combined. Lather, rinse and repeat until the batter is just combined. Pour into a lined lamington pan, smooth the top and place in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until just cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

While it is working its way to chill, combine the icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl with half a cup of boiling water and the remaining butter, and stirring to form a smooth chocolatey liquid.

Cut the cake into 16 squares and place the coconut in a dish. Working one at a time, dip the cake in the chocolate icing using a fork until coated. Shake off the excess and dip into the coconut to coat. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to set for a couple of hours.

Then devour.

 

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Bill Skolsbård

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Between Michael on Survivor and my ongoing obsession with Kameron Michaels on Drag Race, you’d be forgiven for thinking I had reached peak thirstiness. But I haven’t, dear reader, I haven’t. Well, technically hadn’t, until my dearest Billy Skars dropped by to catch up.

While I will always hold Alexander up on a pedestal as my number one Skars, there is something about Bill that fills my heart with joy. And well, make blood rush to other places.

But anyway, I first met Bill through Al – after he stopped seeing me as a creepy stalker – a few years ago and I instantly knew he had that certain something Stellan, Al and Gustaf all had, so I vowed to make him a star. I got him a job with Kiz, Az and Cazza on Anna Karenina and followed it up with my husband and my family movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant with our cousins Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd.

I then spoke to Finn and got him the job on It … and the rest, as I oft say when I can’t think of anything to add, is history.

After Bill and I caught up and then caught up, we were positively famished so it was super convenient I had a big fresh batch of my Bill Skolsbård hidden away by the bed.

 

 

Fresh, warm, spicy and pillowy dough, jam packed with sweet, creamy custard, these babies are the perfect thing for an afternoon snack … after an afternoon delight. And they’ll definitely make your stomach see skyrockets in flight. Boom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Bill Skolsbård
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ⅔ cups milk, plus ½ a cup for the custard
60g unsalted butter
7g yeast
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the custard
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 yolks, plus one whole egg, whisked, for brushin’
½ cup cream
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Method
Combine the not-for-custard milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it has just melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the yeast and caster sugar and leave to foam for ten minutes or so. While things are getting frothy, combine the flour and spice in the bowl of a stand mixer before slowly combining the liquid. After it reaches peak froth, obvi. Knead using a dough hook on medium for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock the dough back down to size like an emotionally abusive parent and divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into logs, cut them into 4, shape each into rounds and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Cover and leave to prove for a further halfies.

While the buns are rising – as opposed to making me rise – preheat the oven to 180°C and start work on the custard. Combine the remaining milk in a saucepan with the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat straight away. Meanwhile whisk the yolks, cornflour and vanilla in a clean, dry bowl before slowly whisking in the warmed dairy until smooth and combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat and cook, stirring, until starting to thicken. Transfer to a bowl via a sieve, cover directly on the surface with cling and chill until ready for bakin’.

Do as I do and press into each bun to make a deep indentation. Fill said hole with the fresh, creamy custard. Brush the exposed buns with the egg to glaze and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and risen. You may need to rotate / swap the trays throughout baking if you’re without a fan force. But is anyone these days? Please let me know in the comments.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes or so before combining the icing sugar with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Brush each bun with the glaze and sprinkle with the coconut. Leave to set for ten minutes or so before annihilating. Sorry, I mean devouring.

 

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Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After the debacle of catching up with my frenemy, the worst winner of Drag Race and – my honest opinion only – all around garbage person Tyra Sanchez, it was so nice to spend time with my kind friend Engelbert Humperdinck.

Kind, warm, funny, charming and best of all, kind and open with his fans … friend.

Unlike Tyra.

Anyway, I first met the Dinck and his – well, you know – back in the ‘60s when he was still getting his career off the ground. My dear friend Tom Jones’ manager was his former roommate and one night while we were out partying, we decided his name was holding him back. Ten minutes later Engelbert was born and Arnold was no more.

With that, I earned his complete and unequivocal trust, shaping his career ever since. Well until yesterday, when he tragically declined my offer to coach him to another Eurovision berth. Which no doubt would have been more successful.

While I was upset he didn’t trust me, I respect his wishes like a friend – unlike say, Tyra would – and we instead focused on reconnecting and havin’ a laff. Though that is kind of the go to reaction to splitting an Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake between two best friends.

 

 

Moist, sweet and perfectly spiced, hummingbird cake is like a carrot cake on crack. In all the right ways. Add in some cream cheese icing and my shorts are creamed, culinarily speaking obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup, muscovado sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 ripe bananas, mashed
450g crushed pineapple (in juice), drained with juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar mixture

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl. Fold through the muscovado sugar, coconut and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and ⅓ of the pineapple juice. While stirring pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and continue to fold until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the lined tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking after half an hour. You want it golden brown on the outside and an inserted skewer to just come out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until it is light, fluffy and just combined. Don’t overbeat as the icing will become too soft.

To assemble, smear a third of the icing on top of one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, and smear the rest of the icing on top and around the edges. Press the remaining walnuts into the icing and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour or so, removing ten minutes before serving … and devouring.

 

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Macarooney Mara

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Honestly – there aren’t enough kind words in the sixteen most common languages in the cosmos to describe how wonderful Rooney is. I mean, I don’t want to be off brand and sound like i’m gushing … but damn, she is simply the greatest.

Roons and I met each other in the early noughties while attending Fox Lane High School, and quickly bonded over our similar familial backgrounds. She is one of four siblings, I am one of four siblings, in both our cases, there is also an even split of genders … I mean, we’re essentially the same with just that. But let me tell you, it doesn’t stop there – Roons is the heir to the Pittsburgh Steelers / New York Giants dynasties, I was the heir to a fruit and vegetable empire that supplied the food to the production company that does I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.

Oh – you’re welcome for feeding the (all too brief) love of Peter Andre and Jordan.

To top of the similarities, she is from a football family and my dad was – for some reason – on a football card. So yeah, we had a shit tonne in common at school before we even realised that we were both hella cool, artistic and destined for Hollywood greatness.

As I’ve already mentioned, we did have a brief period of nastiness when I found out she was working on Lion with my then nemesis Nicky Kids but not only did she win me back, she sorted through mine and Nicole’s issues and made us the best of friends.

Given she is now eligible for sainthood despite being alive, I wanted to make something as pure and sweet as my girl to say thanks. And there is nothing more pure and sweet than my Macarooney Mara.

 

 

Macaroons are quite possibly the easiest thing you could possible make which I think adds to their deliciousness. I mean seriously, if you ever have an extra egg white you can throw together a batch in less than twenty minutes. Plus, they are sweet, toasty coconut – the BEST … like Roons.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macarooney Mara
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 egg whites
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup shredded coconut

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C.

Whisk the egg, sugar and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Add the coconut and stir until well combined.

Divide the mixture into golf-ball sized little mounds and place on a lined baking sheet.

Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden and firm.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on the tray before serving … or resign yourself to eating it with a spoon.

 

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