David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey was inspired by Sasha Velour by way of my girl Whitney, getting so emotional as he welcomed us back to the majestic islands of Fiji for the OG Survivor. Oh but while it is the 41st season, he warned us all to be ready – not because the winners are coming for you – as the game has evolved while in lockdown and is shorter but more dangerous than ever. The first change being that only one tribe won the first immunity challenge, with Yase and Ua attending back-to-back tribal councils with Abraham and Sara becoming the first and second boots of the new era.

We checked in with Ua the next day where the tribe was still recovering from tribal council. Brad was paranoid about how quickly JD switched things up and as such, worried he could no longer trust him. And then when he spotted JD and Ricard heading off to get water together, he obviously ran along the beach to beat them to the well and eavesdrop. After hearing them innocently speak about him for a bit, he darted back to camp where Shan was now more concerned by Brad as an ally rather than worried by JD now being calm. Shan took that information back to Ricard, with him admitting that he said nothing bad and assuring her it was all good. Oh and that Brad needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile at Luvu, Deshawn was growing tired as he desperately continued to try and start fire for the tribe. Eventually the iconic Naseer got sick of watching on, jumped in and got the fire started in no time at all. Immediately making the tribe love him, given they would probably die without him according to Sydney, the de facto proxy for the audience. Oh and we also learnt that grew up without electricity or running water in Sri Lanka but he was always happy and damn, I couldn’t love him more at this point.

We finally checked in on Yase where Tiffany was absolutely exhausted, sharing that she would give anything for even a cup of rice. Back at camp, Xander was busy trying to finish the shelter before he pointed out that Voce had been gone a long time to Liana. With that, they suggested they split up to try and find him, with Xander putting this time to use finding the ‘Beware’ advantage, which told him to accept the risks and do everything it says, or put it back and leave it for someone else. Obviously he took the risk and learnt that he had found one third of an idol which will only gain power if the same idol is found at both of the other camps. To activate it, he simply needs to say a weird phrase and wait for the other two to say theirs at the same immunity challenge and voila, they all get idols. Sadly for him, he won’t have a vote for the rest of the game unless the other two idols are found.

Knowing it is fairly dangerous, he pulled his closest allies Evvie and Voce aside to fill them in, with Voce nervous about now being down a vote. While Evvie was more concerned about Xander’s growing power and not wanting to go to the end with men and then have their game disregarded which always seems to happen on Survivor. With that, Evvie took that information back to their true allies, Tiffany and Liana, and damn Xander, you in danger girl.

The tribes joined up with Jeffrey over the ocean for the immunity challenge where someone would dive in and retrieve a key before bringing it back to two others who would race over a series of obstacles and then swim to the end where the other two people will unlock puzzle pieces, which they obviously use to solve. Oh and in addition to immunity for the first two tribes to finish, they will also get either a massive bundle of fishing gear or just enough fishing gear. 

Xander got Yase out to an early lead, though couldn’t retrieve his key on the first go giving Sydney time to take the lead for Luvu. Danny meanwhile made quick work of the obstacles for Luvu while Brad and Tiffany struggled on the balance beam. Eventually Brad made it to the end while Naseer continued to power Luvu ahead while Shan joined him in lapping Tiffany. While poor Liana waited for her turn on the obstacles for Yase, Luvu and Ua quickly worked through the puzzle before Tiffany finally made it to the end. Sadly for Yase, however, Liana couldn’t overcome the disadvantage as Erika powered through another puzzle and took out victory for Luvu while Ua took out second place, sending Yase back to tribal council.

As winners of the challenge, Luvu were given the power to send someone from Yase for a special journey, quickly sending Evvie before they learnt they could send someone from either of the remaining tribes, with Deshawn quickly volunteering to go.

Back at camp, Tiffany quickly apologised for costing the tribe so much time in the challenge though she was quietly confident that she would still be safe at tribal council, given she and the girls were planning on getting rid of Xander. Speaking of Xander, he and Voce were worried about the girls sticking together and saving Tiffany given there are no guarantees a swap will save the tribe from themselves. Knowing they were mildly screwed, Voce approached Liana to see if she would be willing to get rid of Tiffany with her quickly agreeing that after the challenge it makes sense. Sadly for him however, Liana took the information back to Tiffany and while she assured her she was safe, she was still nervous Tiffany would do something stupid and screw it up for them.

Meanwhile Evvie and Deshawn arrived on the same island as last week and they quickly bonded as they ventured to the top. Knowing Yase will be at a disadvantage come merge, Evvie got to work charming Deshawn so that they would have an ally moving forward. They then shared that there is no way they can risk their vote with tribal council coming up and as such, he can safely take the extra vote and know that they won’t screw him over if they work together moving forward.  We then learnt a bit more about Deshawn, who worked hard to overcome all obstacles to become a doctor before pivoting back to Evvie’s charm offensive. They started by explaining that they plan to boot Xander over Tiffany at the upcoming tribal council before explaining in detail how the idols work this season.

Evvie returned to camp with their vote intact – you’re welcome for the extra vote, Deshawn – and quickly explained that the rules of the journey were the same as last week. They then went for a walk to the well with the girls, quickly locking in the blindside on Xander before returning to the boys and assuring them that they will join them to get rid of Tiffany. While Evvie was chatting with the boys, Tiffany was suggesting they should get rid of Voce instead, given Xander may play his idol, given she just doesn’t want to believe the situation with the idols. While Evvie calmly tried to explain the situation to her, assuring her that they read the note and it is actually powerless, Tiffany’s paranoia started to get to them, given it will be difficult to navigate around, should they stay aligned with her.

At tribal council Tiffany spoke about how disappointed in herself she was in the challenge, admitting that in the moment, she wanted the world to swallow her up. Xander spoke about how raw and exhausting it is to live the Survivor experience. Voce likened it to being in surgery and implored the tribe to find the wound and save their lives. We then learnt that his drive comes from his hardworking mother. Liana admitted that where the ‘bleeding’ Voce was talking about varies from person to person and as such, they need to find who they trust. This inspired Tiffany to remind them that challenges aren’t the only part of Survivor and as such, they need to vote with loyalty in mind. Evvie spoke about the fact the tribes could switch tomorrow and as such, strength means nothing and that is why the decisions are tough. Xander agreed that there is so much unknown and as such, there could be no switch in which case, strength becomes that much more important.

With that the tribe voted and somehow Liana and Evvie bought into Tiffany’s fear, joining her to send Voce out of the game against all odds. As he wandered into Loser Lodge, I ran into his arms and immediately started crying uncontrollably. I mean, I didn’t want any of the tribe to go, but it was still heartbreaking to lose my dear friend Voce so early. You see, we first met while working together as interns at the hospital that inspired Shonda Rhime’s to write Grey’s Anatomy and became the fastest of friends.

David is kind, wise, calm and most importantly, is a total babe and as such, I was absolutely shook to see him go so soon. But after catching up and splitting a David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake, everything seemed right with the world again.

I feel like I say it a lot, but Milk Bar is the greatest place on earth and every damn recipe is near perfection. Tragically, there isn’t any down under and as such, I need to try my best to recreate their cakes. And well, this one is pretty damn great! Earthy, sweet and oh so moist, this is the perfect way to mark a shocking early boot.

Enjoy!

David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake
Serves: 2 dear friends or 16 normal people.

Ingredients
140g unsalted butter at room temperature
275g raw caster sugar
60g muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
110g buttermilk
75g grapeseed oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup butterscotch chips
240g white chocolate
25g light corn syrup, warmed to soften
55g double cream, cold as possible
75g pumpkin puree
60g milk powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
55g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup Dulce de Nick Lachey
⅓ cup milk

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

Combine the 115g butter , 250g of the caster sugar and the muscovado sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and cream on medium speed for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and return to the mixer on low for a further minute before adding the eggs one at a time, allowing to mix for a further minute between each addition. Scrape down the side, crank to medium and beat for a further few minutes or until delicate and light.

Whisk the buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a jug and with the mixer on its lowest speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture in until it is all in and just combined. Scrape down the sides once again and then beat on high for five minutes or until homogeneous and airy.

Combine 185g of flour with the baking baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Fold the mixture through the wet ingredients before returning to the stand mixer on low for a minute or two, or until it is just coming together. Remove and fold through the butterscotch chips.

Pour into the lined sheet pan, smooth out the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cake is cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.

Reduce the oven to 120C.

While the cake gets chill, combine 150g of white chocolate and 25g of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt in 15-second bursts, stirring after each go until velvety and smooth. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz while adding the corn syrup in a steady stream.

Once combined, add the heavy cream as the blender is still going until it comes together. It may look curdled for a bit, but it will come back together. Finally blend in the pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of salt and the remaining cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

Combine the 40g of the milk powder, the cornstarch and the remaining flour, caster sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands – or a spatula if it is too hot – until it starts to come together into large clumps. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until dry and sandy.

Melt the remaining white chocolate and leave to cool slightly.

Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining milk powder and white chocolate for five minutes or until the clumps firm with the chocolate. Transfer to a baking sheet to set completely.

To assemble, cut the sheet cake into two 20cm circles and leave to the side. Using a 20cm cake ring lined with acetate, press the remaining cake crumbs into the base and soak with a third of the milk. Top with a third of the ganache, some crumbs followed by half of the dulce de leche.

Top with one of the discs of cake and repeat the process with the milk, ganache, crumb and ganache. Top with the remaining disc of cake, follow with the remaining milk and ganache before decorating with the remaining crumbs.

Cover, transfer to the freezer to set for a couple of hours.

When ready to eat, remove from the fridge, take out of the ring and acetate and leave to come to temperature for half an hour or so before devouring, joyously.


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Geralto Youlesandwich

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the immunity challenge got everyone rocking and rolling in the pursuit of spelling their way to victory, though Emmett continued his winning streak alive and honestly was the only one that even came close to finishing. George meanwhile continued to leak information to the Brains like a sieve, though once he was outed by Hayley, he united everyone against her to send her to Redemption Rock to battle Baden to return. Though to be fair, they didn’t know that part. Just that she was out of their lives. After Chelsea was tragically medevaced – the location appears to be pretty tough, no? – Hayley and Baden battled it out with the former returning to the game leaving the latter to become the King of the Jury. 

And my heart.

The Fire Tribe awoke on day 32 with Wai seeing people in the trees, while Emmett rightly worried that all of their minds were melting away with fatigue. Dani meanwhile was the most coherent as she admitted to being impressed by Hayley fighting her way back into the game, however was frustrated to be taking a step back to a top ten again. As Hayley went to fill up her water bottle, Cara whipped the tribe into frenzy questioning whether Hayley may have received an idol on Redemption Rock. As such, Emmett caught up with Flick and Dani, with the trio agreeing that sending Hayley straight back out of the game is the most important thing. And while Dani was worried about how losing Chelsea will impact her game, she is confident the Brawns will be able to keep their majority.

Which means a Brawn is going tonight, no?

Hayley meanwhile was quietly fishing by herself, reflecting on the fact she blew up her game and now nobody trusts her anymore. But given she is a fighter, she got to work around camp proving herself before getting to work apologising to everyone she burnt. First up was Cara, with Hayley assuring her that she will not be selling out any more information in the game and she was going to use her second chance to build trust. She started to cry as she spoke about losing her mind her last day in the game and as such, she just wasn’t thinking straight. Which was enough to win over sweet Cara who assured her that she will try and talk to everyone but mum-ed her with the reminder that ultimately it is Hayley who needs to be the one to earn their trust back.

They returned to camp with Hayley apologising to all of her former Brains tribemates with Andrew being the most vocal in questioning whether they can trust her again. Hayley though was calm as she assured him that earning their trust back will be redemption to her. George meanwhile kept spookily quiet, explaining to us that Hayley’s return does mix things up again and as such, this could be the point that Brains come back together to take control of the game.

The final ten met Jonathan by a gorgeous dam where they were split into two teams to compete in a reward challenge to race out to a pontoon, memorise a sequence of symbols and match it at the starting pontoon. With the winning team scoring an outback pub reward, complete with KFC feast. And given my passionate, unashamed love of KFC, this is a big win in my eyes. Gerald, Flick, Laura, Dani and Wai battled it out against Andrew, Cara, Emmett, Hayley and George, with Hayley making a song out of the sequence and scoring the first point for her team against Laura. Despite being first back to the pontoon, Emmett was beaten by Flick who tied things up between the teams. This left Cara and Dani to fight it out for victory for their team and with Dani narrowly scoring victory for her team.

We followed the victorious team as they arrived at their pop-up pub and immediately started smashing the chicken before even thinking about the beer. After the madness of eating died down, Laura got to work charming the former Brawns and seeing whether she could build some new bonds. Conveniently, Dani was on the same page, throwing it out there that the five of them should just form an alliance before doubling down on the fact they should unite and specifically get rid of Emmett given he is the biggest physical threat. Sadly while everyone was agreeing at the table, Flick looked absolutely livid and as such, was ready to take her out if needed.

The victors returned to camp, gloating about how much food they didn’t get to eat before George licked Dani’s pocket given she at least tried to smuggle food back for them. Meanwhile all Flick could think about was how angry she was with Dani.

The next day Flick and Gerald pulled Emmett aside to let him know about Dani coming for him and rallying the Brains against him. And just like that, Emmett knew that he needed to fight hard at the next immunity and if not, turn Dani into the new target.

The tribe reunited with my love Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they each had to sit on a chair and hold a weighted disc against another disc using only their feet, with the last disc standing winning immunity. Feeling like there was another Emmett victory coming soon, George dropped out almost immediately. Poor Wai was next to go after half an hour, followed by Dani and Laura. While the loser bench started to gossip, the rest of the tribe were fighting hard to stay in the game. Dani eventually got them talking about the vote ahead, convincing them that Emmett needs to go should Hayley win the next immunity challenge. Speaking of which, she was struggling as her disc fell lower and lower before Gerald dropped out of nowhere. Hayley was next to go with Cara right behind while Flick, Emmett and Andrew battled it out for immunity. Much to everyone’s delight, Emmett finally lost an individual immunity challenge. With that Jonathan wanted someone to win and let them all go home, so told them both to pop their hands on their heads to make it harder before Flick absentmindedly removed hers, giving Andrew immunity.

Back at camp Dani was feeling very cocky after Emmett’s loss, quickly chatting to the Brains about locking in the vote against her ally. Laura suggested they tell Emmett that the Brains are still against Hayley and as such, wanted to vote her out. Dani approached Emmett to tell him about the Hayley vote before Emmett caught up with Gerald by the billabong to lock in the vote against Dani instead. But Gerald only wanted to do it if they can guarantee the numbers will still be there after the vote. With that, Emmett caught up with Cara and George to get them on board with the vote while Flick agreed to play her idol for Emmett to really cement the blindside.

Meanwhile George was thrilled that the Brawns were cannibalizing themselves and while Emmett felt they had him on side, George planned to finally unite the Brains and together, they will co-opt the blindside – a babushka blindside, if you will – to get rid of another Brawn and walk out of tribal council in the majority.

George went back to camp to talk to Andrew, Laura, Wai and Hayley, filling them in on all the drama within the Brawn tribe and suggesting that while Dani and Emmett are both threats, Gerald is the better target given it leaves the trio all alone. While George was emphatic that Flick is definitely playing her idol for Emmett, neither Laura or Wai were convinced and as such, ominously spoke about trusting their guts instead. Hayley meanwhile was just giddy to hear that her name isn’t on any lips, though was worried that it was nothing more than a ruse to blindside her for a second time.

At tribal council Baden was looking like an absolute zaddy as he arrived on the jury before Andrew spoke about how good it was to beat Emmett, though he was disappointed that Flick only lost because she removed her hand from her head. Hayley spoke about her return from Redemption Rock being like a rebirth, given the fact she has already experienced the worst case in the game and as such, was planning to right her wrongs and play calmly from here on out. And reminded everyone that she is a number to be used and as such, she is here to help them.

Emmett for one wasn’t ready to trust Hayley and was confident that his alliance of six would hold firm and he isn’t at risk of going home. He admitted that he is nervous without immunity, however ultimately he trusts his alliance more. Gerald agreed that the alliance will stand strong while Flick admitted that while the Brawns may look outnumbered, she trusts George and Cara implicitly and as such, they are good. George meanwhile was trying to downplay his role in the upcoming vote, reminding everyone that they are all key and as such, need to draw a line in the sand at some point.

Flick spoke about always being nervous until the votes are read, while Gerald ominously mentioned that equilibrium might be knocked by the vote. While Dani was 100% confident in the outcome of the tribal council and that a threat will be going home. With that, the tribe voted, Flick played her idol for Emmett before Gerald was gagged to be booted from the game. Only less gagged than Dani, who was sure she was about to go home after the idol play.

Poor Gez was a bit bamboozled by the time he arrived at the Jury Villa, unsure how he was the one booted given Emmett and Dani were gunning for each other so hard. As you can imagine, I’ve know Gerald for years after meeting on the woodchopping circuit – I routinely get told I dress like a lumberjack, after all – and becoming the fastest of friends. I explained that while he was dudded out of the game, being a victim of the babushka of blindsides, you can at least be proud to know your exit is memorable. With that, we laughed and cried as we caught up on each other’s life before smashing a Geralto Youlesandwich or two.

While this baby is technically less sando and more bar, it doesn’t change the fact that this is near perfect. Rich, creamy coffee gelato with a dulce de leche filling that is THEN coated in tempered chocolate? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

Geralto Youlesandwich
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups Cophie Clarke Ice Cream
1 cup Dulce de Nick Lachey
500g dark chocolate

Method
To assemble, leave the gelato out of the freezer for fifteen minutes to soften slightly. Transfer ¾ to a lined lamington tray and smooth to form a thick, gelato slab.

Use a spoon to create two or three – depending on the width of the pan – lines down the length of the pan and fill with dulce de leche. Press the dulce de leche into the gelato before smoothing the remaining gelato over the top. Transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours to set.

Once the gelato is firm again, cut into phone sized rectangles with the gelato running down the centre. Place on a baking sheet and return to the freezer.

Now comes the difficult part, tempering chocolate. Start by placing ⅔ of the chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler and melting until smooth and velvety. Once the temperature hits 45°C on a thermometer, remove from the heat and stir through the rest of the chocolate until it is melted and combined.

Once the temperature has dropped to 27°C, return it to the double boiler and heat until it reaches 32°C.

To coat your sandwiches/bars, I am happy for you to do what feels right given I’m not convinced my approach worked. But essentially, you want to ‘lamington’ them, so I dipped the base in the tempered chocolate, transferred them to a lined baking sheet and then smoothed the chocolate over the top and sides. But as you can see, I ended up with a few cracks so just do you, boo.

Return to the freezer to set and then devour, with your dairy loving besty!


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