Pixie Poliaf

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls did a makeover on their dearest minders, the Queen Team. Oh and Ru was sick and skipped out on most of the episode. While everyone was perfectly paired – by accident, no less – results were a little more mixed. Danny was able to make her newest sister feel confident enough to don a beard while Cheddar and hers were having a while dripping in gold. At the other end of the pack, however, Pixie aged up her new sister badly. Oh and apparently Dakota’s perfect makeover and consistent branding wasn’t enough, as the judges placed her in the bottom with Pixie. Cheddar rightly took out the win before Michelle continued to glitch and booted Dakota.

Incorrectly.

Backstage everyone was gutted to lose sweet Dakota, none more so than Pixie who had to deal with the guilt of eliminating her. Cheddar meanwhile led the dolls in praising her for being so damn strong and making such a splash on the competition, while Danny assured Pixie that they are glad she stayed. Despite how terrible her outfit was. Pixie meanwhile was glad to have lip synced given she has been coasting and that moment in the bottom she was able to be shaken out of her head. As they sat down to kiki, Danny sobbed talking about how she felt like Dakota had much more to give and she felt like she didn’t even deserve to be in the bottom. Which is true, but I hate the fact it came at the expense of Jonbers feeling like she doesn’t think she is worthy. Because she is.

The next day everyone spoke about how surreal it is to make it to the top five, with Cheddar admitting that she is shocked to have made it this far given she wasn’t sure her drag would come across. Peppa obviously saw herself here, while everyone admitted that they thought Dakota would get there. This led to Pixie reiterating that she didn’t think Dakota should have been in the bottom, which again led to Jonbers getting frustrated and when Pixie continued to go in, Cheddar stepped in to assure her they just want to know more about the story she is telling.

Before things got physical, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would be overacting in The Squirrel Games. A murder mystery set in the Big Mother house, overseen by a deranged squirrel. And as Cheddar won the last challenge, she would be casting the show before they acted with director – and Dakota robber – Miselle Visage. They sat down to read through the script with everyone excited by the range of iconic British reality stereotypes, while Pixie was laser focused on getting the lead hero role. Jonbers meanwhile wanted to play a dog given she dreamt it, Peppa went with the Bear Grylls character, Cheddar went with the vapid influencer, Danny got the Davina McCall role leaving Pixie with the easiest win, Kim Woodburne. Everyone split up to learn their lines with Danny concerned about Peppa and Jonbers bringing the group down, but damn were they having fun.

The dolls joined Michelle on set where Danny was a charming mess, unable to get her lines down, but well, you know she is going to slay so this is a fake out. Peppa was very loud and intense, Cheddar’s accent was less consistent than DK – aka Dorit Kemsley – while Jonbers just could not remember her dog’s name. While Pixie was doing a perfect character study, though struggled with light and shade. And her lines. So yeah, it was an absolute mess.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls split up to beat their mugs with Jonbers opening up about how much she is missing her family. Particularly since her family is super supportive, with her dad desperately pushing her to audition for the show. Cheddar too opened up about her supportive family and how her dad calls out homophobes on the reg, while Danny’s dad kinda took coming out, out of his hands, letting him know that he knew and will always love him. Pixie too is grateful for building a relationship with her dad the older she has gotten, while Peppa spoke about how much her chosen family mean to her and that they lift her up when her birth family don’t.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the stunning Lorraine Pascale as Danny opened the Ruff and Ready – aka ruffles – runway in a stunningly gaudy blue gown, Jonbers was perfection in a white and green fluffy number – complete with playing some sexy flute – while Cheddar was a gorgeous living pansy in honour of the pansy project, where pansies are planted at the sites of homophobic crimes. Peppa was stunning in a denim-does-Oz look and ugh, she is per. Fect. Pixie meanwhile was gorgeous as a slutty Elizabeth, which was bested only by Michelle’s queen puns. We then settled in for the premiere of The Squirrel Games and well it was better than the shoot would have us believe, but well, it wasn’t exactly stunning. Though watching Cheddar go full demented, vapid delight was an absolute joy to behold. As was Pixie’s Kimmy performance.

The judges lived for Danny’s character and how hard she went in, making Davina a wild caricature and obviously felt she looked gorgeous on the runway. Jonbers meanwhile was read for giving one note despite having two characters, though they lived for every single moment she served on the runway. Cheddar was praised for giving light and shade and slaying the acting, with the praise only getting better when it came to her beautiful look. And the story behind it. Peppa was read for screaming through the challenge despite everyone living for the depth she brought to the runway, while Pixie received universal praise for the performance despite the fact she didn’t bring herself to the character. And Michelle felt she didn’t bring enough ruffles to the runway, despite looking gorgeous.

Backstage Jonbers was thrilled by Ru calling her outfit one of the best of all times, particularly given it proved to the other dolls that she has a brand. Peppa too was happy with how they felt about her runway, despite knowing it will be her and Jonbers lip syncing tonight. Danny reiterated how much they all love Jonbers before Pixie praised her for serving stunning tonight, which led to Danny breaking down about feeling good looking. Pixie too was emotional about the fact Ru told her she was proud, while Cheddar was just thrilled to be having so much fun in the game. And well, is she starting to feel competitive? The dolls then received messages from home with us learning Jonbers brother is a total zaddy, Peppa’s loved one is also a zaddy and so is Danny’s partner. And that is the end of zaddy watch.

We returned to the mainstage where Danny was sent to safety before Cheddar took out her fourth win of the season – please don’t go the route of Bimini and Ella and be robbed, Cheds – before Pixie joined them, leaving Jonbers and Peppa to battle it out for safety to Some Kinda Rush by Booty Luv and well, it is was a show. Both the dolls had a fire within them, desperate to avoid missing out on the top four, hitting every lyric and giving tricks, hitting every line and flipping and splitting around the stage and well, I was glad to see Ru bring some sense back to the judges panel – who would have thought?! – as she saved both the dolls, leaving the top five to fight another day.

Backstage Jonbers and Peppa were on cloud nine, thrilled to have both made it through. And while Danny led the other girls in congratulating them for turning out the show, she was disappointed to have been beaten by Cheddar. Particularly since she felt her runway was superior. But well, she best be scared because now that Cheddar has her fourth badge she is hungry for the win.

The next day the top five were feeling deja-Ru to be starting another week as a fivesome (or do we just say orgy). Danny was feeling less bitter today, congratulating Cheddar on her win while the latter joked she is aware that she now has a massive target on her back. Before we could unpack any of that, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would need to participate in the General Erection where they will roast their opponents and the eliminated queens. Immediately filling Peppa with dread, even though they will be coached by Bafta winning comedian Aislin Bea. Though given she survived the week before, she and Jonbers were given the power to decide the order which could help her. If she plays it wisely.

As soon as Ru exited, Peppa and Jonbers pulled themselves aside to strategise the order with the former wanting to hide in the middle. Jonbers meanwhile didn’t want to put Pixie in the end and give her the chance to finish strong, given Pixie is very confident in her ability to roast. Cheddar meanwhile was terrified of the challenge, so told the girls that she would like to go early or in the middle. Danny just didn’t want to follow Pixie, who was reading the dolls and not charming them, which was a vibe. Ultimately the order was Danny, Jonbers, Peppa, Pixie and then Cheddar, with her positively ropeable given she felt her style will end things on a flat note. And well, things were well and truly tense in the Werk Room. And, well, work. One by one the dolls met with Aislin and well, she was an absolute delight, giving wonderful, smart advice and uplifting the dolls who were more nervous. I mean, even Peppa left rehearsal confident in herself!

Elimination Day arrived with Danny opening up about how nervous she is about the challenge, particularly given everyone expects her to do well. Cheddar agreed that the competition is terrifying and despite being successful, stepping outside of your comfort zone is risky and always fills her with fear. Peppa meanwhile was glad to surprise people while Pixie was looking forward to absolutely roasting everyone.

We ventured to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Olly Alexander for the General Erection Roast where Danny opened the show and absolutely demolished, going for Olly’s teeth and slaying Starlet’s lack of personality. Then she pivoted back to teeth, reading Peppa and Alan’s too, before casually destroying everyone. Completely. I mean, just give her the badge now. Jonbers followed and was an absolute delight, leaning into her drunk persona and joking about her gender reveal being a bomb scare because she is from Northern Ireland. I mean, she was delightful, charming and a ball of fun. Peppa destroyed Pixie’s messy makeover – and gurl, she was angry – but the jokes stopped there until she just told them to laugh whenever she wanted. 

I mean, at least she is a self-aware icon and her telling everyone to laugh at her bombing was adorbs.

Despite following such a mess, Pixie seemed to be even worse as she got into her head under the pressure of the expectation she would easily win. And ugh, it was hard to watch as she botched her jokes, lost her way and looked absolutely broken. Cheddar thankfully bought some energy back to the roast, leaning into a solid character and going with safe jokes. While it got a little derailed, she was charming and that saved things.

On the Pretty in Punk runway Danny continued her triumphant week in yellow tartan in honour of fucking gender and well, it was glorious. Jonbers gave showgirl punker, complete with giant safety pin through her front and well, I loved it. Peppa served sexy Beyond Thunderdome and it was a total slay, while Pixie served a punky Queen Liz and Cheddar closed the show looking classic punker, giving Sid Vicious Ts.

The judges rightly gave Danny universal praise for everything, from dominating the dolls in the challenge and giving all the Westwood glory on the runway. Jonbers too received only praise, particularly for playing it smart in the roast with the drunk character and for giving a killer look on the runway, despite Michelle not living for the wig. Peppa was praised for being so bad she was good and the fact she had everyone rooting for her, though they sure as hell lived for the runway given it was absolute perfection. Pixie was read for bombing the roast and not even mentioning Alan’s teeth with the stonehenge joke, though they liked the runway despite it swallowing her a little. Oh and then Cheddar was read for showing her first sign of weakness and playing it too intellectual, though her runway was deemed perfect.

Backstage the dolls kikied about the critiques, with Jonbers gagged to have landed in the top, while it was obvious Danny won. Cheddar felt the judges were fair with what they wanted, before reiterating that her going at the end was kinda bad for everyone. Particularly since she verbalised not wanting to go last. Pixie meanwhile was gutted to have bombed, with Danny assuring her that she would have done well if she just had a couple of laughs in the first 30 seconds to build momentum. While Peppa was just ready to send someone home. The eliminated queens dropped by to chat with Dakota talking about how funny they were, while Le Fil wanted them to go harder on her. Talk thankfully turned to Sminty’s iconic exit and how much Ru lived.

Obviously Danny took out victory with Jonbers joining her as safety, before Peppa was gagged to learn that she would be facing off against Pixie for safety. Meaning Cheddar earnt her spot in the finale, because, duh. As soon as Another One Bites the Dust began, Peppa was on fire and while Pixie also turned it, Peppa is Peppa and knows how to turn a show. And then poor Pixie literally stumbled mid-performance and while she recovered well and powered on, it wasn’t enough as she became the last person eliminated, sending Peppa through to the finale. 

Backstage I pulled Miss Polite in for a massive hug and praised her for doing such a killer job throughout the season. And more importantly, for not being too polite all season and for giving us some iconic moments. Speaking of which, while she only had one win, Pixie was consistently killer from the first week and while she had her stumbles, they really only happened when she got in her head, proving the inner saboteur is real. Real, but easily vanquished with a piping hot, herby Pixie Poliaf.

While pilaf is a basic kind of French side, it proves that sometimes classics are the best – right, Pixie? Gently spiced, full of herbs and a little sweet, pilaf pairs perfectly a French stew. Or TBH, devoured from the fridge at midnight (being mindful of the rice is poison situation, of course).

Enjoy!

Pixie Poliaf
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups long grain white rice
120g butter
1 onion, diced
1L chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and pop the stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 

In a dutch oven, heat the butter and saute the onions and rice for a few minutes, or until the rice becomes opaque. Slowly stir in the hot stock and bay leaf before covering and popping in the oven to braise for 20 minutes.

Once cooked, separate with a fork, stir through the thyme and remove the bay leaf. And then serve and immediately devour.


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Bread Palomalette

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sandwich, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France, ten of the best and brightest from across the country – though mainly Paris – arrived at Nicky Doll’s Werk Room ready to showcase all the best France has to offer. And while they didn’t always have the global rights to their lip sync songs, they did serve up a joyous and fun season, despite the fact we had to lose many an icon along the way. Starting with firestarting sweetheart La Kahena. She was soon followed by the camp Lova Ladiva before the sweet La Briochée exited. Kam Hugh then joined the WIN to ELIM club before Elips followed her out the door.

After an emotional lip sync, La Big Bertha was felled, before the top four had to lip sync for their place in the finale which saw Lolita Banana’s run come to an end. The top three then battled it out writing verses – in English, no less – and performing the remix on the mainstage before lip syncing for the crown. Despite all of the top three being more than worthy of taking out the crown, Nicky had not yet been given enough power by WOW for winner, winner, three chicken dinners. As such, she chose the supremely talented Paloma to take out the crown, leaving La Grande Dame and Soa De Muse as very worthy runner-ups.

And again, future All Star winners.

From the moment I saw her promo picture complete with a ship on her head, I fell in love with Paloma. And while I would travel to the ends of the earth for Soa, that does not take away from my love for Paloma.

She calmly ventured through the competition with kindness and such a gloriously chill vibe, channelling her energy into delivering killer performance after killer performance. And well and truly earning herself the crown.

As she returned to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her for such a strong, diverse run. She gave glamour, humour and heart and well, she is the perfect winner of the inaugural title. And the piping hot Bread Palomalette that goes along with it.

This little social media number I spotted back during the darker times of COVID is an absolute delight and oh so simple. Part toasted sandwich, part omelette, all joy, this one pan wonder is worthy of a winner. Or us regular folks in need of a quick, hearty breakfast.

Enjoy!

Bread Palomalette
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bread
2 slices American cheese

Method
Whisk the eggs and shallot together in a large bowl with a good whack of pepper and a better whack of salt.

Pop a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once gloriously foamy and covering the pan, add the egg and shallot mixture and agitate the pan to form ripples. Dip the bread in the egg, then flip it to sit close to the edge. Repeat with the other slice of bread and place next to it, on the opposite edge.

After the egg is set, flip the entire omelette and bread so the top of the bread toasts. Pop the cheese on top of each slice of bread. Fold the omelette over the cheese before flipping one slice of bread on to the other to close all the cheesy egg inside a sandwich. Flip and cook for another minute or so, or until the bread is toasted. To regal perfection.

Then devour, victoriously. 


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Soavlaki De Muse

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.

As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.

Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.

And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.

Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.

You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?

Enjoy!

Soavlaki De Muse
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 red onions, sliced
400g Jaida Essence Halloumi, cut into large chips
6 Pita Andre Bread
⅔ cup Carole Radtzikiwill
2 cups Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 tomato, diced
1 cup lettuce leaf

Method
Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.

To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.

To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.


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La Grande Damarretto Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.

Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’s Catwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.

Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.

After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.

Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.

The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.

Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.

Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.

Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.

The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.

As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.

The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.

Enjoy!

La Grande Damarretto Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened 
4 eggs, at room temperature
125g raw caster sugar
100g almond meal
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’
¼ cup amaretto liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.

Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning. 


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Lolita Cubanana

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Sandwich, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France as the dolls edged closer to the end, they were tasked with naming a signature fragrance and starring in the commercial. So aka, French versions of Delusion by Jinkx. While Paloma, Soa and Grand Dame definitely erred closer to Jinkx, Bertha and Lolita gave off more Coco Montrese. Ultimately Paloma shone just that little bit brighter, taking out her second win of the season. Bertha and Lolita meanwhile lip synced for their lives, with Bertha showing skin and Lolita straight up shaving her head. Which proved to be the winning move, saving herself and sending Bertha out of the competition.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked by Bertha’s departure, as she willed Soa to make it to the end and jag the win in her message. Everyone gathered around to toast her performance and praised Lolita for demolishing the lip sync. The next day the dolls were once again fired up and ready to slay, as Lolita unveiled her fully shaved head. Talk turned to how Paloma killed the challenge, before everyone ran through their track records with Lolita feeling the pinch. Nicky arrived and after shading them by asking where the top four were, she gagged them by announcing that this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to makeover one of their besties. Grand Dame, Soa and Paloma would be making over their female besties, while Lolita got her best friend slash fellow dancer that looked like his twin.

Everyone split up to kiki with Nicky hanging out with Grand Dame and her friend, who we learnt is a make-up artist and well, they are going to be good. Soa and Jackie would be going with matching energies, Paolma and Camelia were going to go with a vintage theatre look. Which made Nicky nervous, given it sounds so simple.

With Nicky exiting stage left, the dolls started to get their new sisters prepped, with Lolita nervous about her friend walking in heels. But once he got them on, he was living his best life and ready to shine. Paloma’s friend meanwhile, was not as confident given she never wears heels. Soa obviously delighted the other girls, talking about drag being all about personality and to not fear their debuts. Antonio then pivoted and grew nervous about his drag birth, though was focused on making his wife and daughter proud, and to get Lolita to the top. Paloma and Soa then asked if he was going to be tucked and well, that definitely made him nervous. Camelia looked delighted with her Paloma mug, while Kiki lived for Soa’s warrior mug and Antonio was gagged by how beautiful she looked.

Nicky, Daphne and Kiddy were joined by Raya Martigny et Loic Prigent on the panel as Paloma introduced Columbina and well, they were living their best lives giving vintage theatre camp. Lolita and Paquita were delightfully vibrant Mexicanas, with confetti, synchronised dancing and gags and well, I live for them. Soa and Kiki were so good, giving harpy chic and all the drama. While La Grand and Ma Petite Dame were silly and delightful as living dolls and well, to quote Trinity, I LIVE.

Paloma received universal praise for her Irma Vep inspired runway with her only critique being that she was so focused on making sure her new sister was doing ok. And Kiddy being triggered by the matching outfits. Columbina opened up about how proud of her friend she is and well, it was so sweet to watch. Lolita’s friend also gushed about how proud he was of his friend, with them receiving universal praise for the look, despite it erring on the side of gimmicky. Soa opened up about how proud she is to have made it so close to the end, while the judges lived for the theatricality and heart of their runway. Despite it not screaming drag. While La Grand and Ma Petite were beloved for liberating Barbie and looking a million bucks and giving big Paris and Nicole vibes.

Backstage the dolls welcomed their new sisters to the family, with everyone grateful to have a reminder from home to calm their nerves. Talk turned to their fallen sisters, with Soa praising all of them for making it such a fun season. Talk turned to who would be in the bottom with everyone releasing that all the critiques were on the same level and as such, something may be up.

Ultimately there was no winner this week, nor bottoms, as everyone would be competing in a lip sync Lalaparuza to make it to the end. With the winners of the first round of lip syncs jagging a little gift – a new outfit – while the second round would send someone home. First up were Lolita and Soa to Dieu m’a donné la foi. And well, it was an absolute battle as both of the girls came to flight. Soa made the most of her feathers while Lolita revealed a bejewelled bodysuit and a little banana to snack on. Lolita gave acrobatics and attitude, while Soa was in the pocket from start to finish, giving comedy and being an all around star and well, it was only right she made it through to the finale. Particularly since she had her cakes out.

Paloma and La Grande Dame took their place on the stage to lip sync to Le Banana Split, which was a missed op for Lolita, if you ask me. Both the dolls were energetic and having the best time, using every corner of the stage but TBH, I couldn’t take my eyes off Paloma. Botched split be damned. Which rightly earned her a spot in the finale alongside Soa. Oh and a new outfit.

Lolita joined La Grande Dame – well, after an outfit change – to lip sync for the last spot in the finale to La Grenade and well, I’m most shocked about the fact they could afford the rights to three songs in a single episode. While Lolita was brimming with power and fight, La Grande Dame gave glamour and all the attitude. It turned out to be a tight lip sync, but when Grande Dame started giving sass to Lolita, it was clear that she had booked her spot in the finale as poor Lolita was eliminated in fourth place.

Despite falling so close to the end, Lolita rightly felt proud of herself for making it to the top four. Particularly given how strong the season has been. As she rounded the corner to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and thanked her for bringing so much joy and energy to the season. While at times she felt like an outsider, her bravery in sharing those feelings and building relationships with her sisters was truly beautiful. And well, very deserving of a big, fat Lolita Cubanana.

Do you really need multiple versions of pork on the same sandwich? No. But do I find that question offensive and stupid? You betcha, because a cuban is damn near perfect – from the ham to the roast pork, mingling with the nuttiness of the cheese and the tang of the pickles, this is heaven on bread.

Enjoy!

Lolita Cubanana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices sourdough
1 tbsp American mustard
4-6 slices leg ham
4-6 slices roast pork
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 pickles, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter

Method
Spread the bread with mustard before piling the ham, pork, cheese and pickles on two of the slices. Use the empty slices to close the sandwich and butter the top.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once hot, place the sandwiches buttered side down. Spread the butter on top of the remaining butter. Once the sandie is nice and golden, flip and cook for another couple of minutes, or until it is also nice and golden.

Then devour, victoriously. Despite being eliminated just before the end.


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La Big Breakfast Buritha

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the final six were tasked with forming two girl groups. UK3 style, with two different versions of the same song. This time with a rock edit replacing the ballad. While everyone kind of nailed the assignment, Soa well and truly ate the most and made us feel well and truly fed. Despite an all around strong week, somebody tragically had to be named as the bottom two with Paloma and Elips deemed the weakest. And after another novelty royalty-free lip sync, Elips sadly went home.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to find a very long-winded mirror message from Elips and while it was a bitch to clean for Paloma, it was super sweet and only added to the dolls feeling heartbroken for her. Everyone praised Paloma on killing the lip sync, and again, we didn’t hear the song, so we’ll trust them. Though, I do live for the idea of a season of novelty lip syncs only, right? Because the last one was an absolute bop!

The next day the dolls were giving air hostess realness as they returned, before congratulating Soa for winning her second challenge. Talk turned to what they’ll be facing next, with Paloma wanting an acting challenge given that is the only one she has won so far. Before we could hear anymore, the cock crowed to announce Nicky’s arrival to challenge the dolls with a little puppet mini challenge. Because everybody loves puppets. Big Bertha got puppet Lolita, Soa picked Paloma out of the Pit Crew’s box – swoon – Lolita got – Grande Dame, while Paloma got Bertha, leaving Grande Dame with Soa. 

After dragging up their shady boots puppets – the France producers are iconic with Grande Dame’s loooooooong legs – Bertha gave the full Lolita fantasy in the best, verbal-diarrhoea way possible. Soa was a camp, dramatic delight as Paloma, she in turn was hilariously on point as Bertha. Lolita then stole the show, barely seeing over the puppet theatre as she bored the dolls with her impersonation of Grande Dame. Proving you don’t have to be good to steal a show. Though I guess Grande Dame also stole the show with her pitch perfect Soa yo-yo-yo, in the right way. So she truly stole things? Ultimately though, neither won the challenge as Nicky crowned Paloma.

The dolls then learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to name and brand their own perfumes, and then film a commercial. But more importantly, the Pit Crew returned looking hot AF with their boxes. As the winner of this week’s Mini Challenge, Paloma was able to allocate said boxea, gifting Bertha iridescent inspiration, Soa bamboo, Grande Dame leather, Lolita got pink sequins and keeping crushed velvet for herself.

With the boxes ready, Nicky departed and the girls unveiled them to find their perfume muses with Paloma, as expected, getting glamour and champagne. Bertha meanwhile got rainbow-clown chic. Minus the chic. Soa got the flavours of the Amazon jungle, Grande Dame’s was obviously leather daddy dom, while Lolita’s inspiration was disco influencer. Everyone started to work on their storyboards before Nicky returned to kiki with Paloma choosing to make fun of herself and the fact she isn’t Paloma Picasso. Bertha was going with the annoying-hen’s-party cliche, Soa planned to give office worker glamazons the scent to kill toxic masculinity. Grande Dame meanwhile was nervous about serving the challenge, while Nicky encouraged her to make it her own before Lolita shared she was planning to go hormonal teen pop star.

Soa was first to film her commercial and well, the Pit Crew were rocking skimpy panties, so I am wet. And she looked to be having fun. But honestly, how could you not? Grande Dame was hilarious as a mechanic, though she forgot to pack her perfume, so it could go either way. That being said, I love her. Paloma was a delight from start to finish, executing all her ideas and doing it perfectly. And then Lolita was a total boss, getting the Pit Crew in costume and living her best life. Bertha meanwhile was a drunk mess, and I love it.

Jour de l’elimination arrived with everyone talking about how they make their living. With Paloma and Grande Dame being full-time queens. As talk turned to how they got their start, Bertha admitted she was sick of getting dressed in bathrooms, while Soa only earnt $20 for her first gig. Bertha then opened up about how she started drag professionally after being diagnosed with cancer.  She explained that drag gave her the bright light to look for at the end of the tunnel and something to work towards and fuck, why do I keep crying?!

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Yseult et Alexandre Mattiussi for the Haute Couture runway where La Grande Dame looked straight off the runway in an all black, corseted number with a Gaultier hat. Big Bertha draped nude sheer fabric over her like a caftan and while I love her body-positive message, it felt a bit lazy. Lolita came out on stilts to reach Grande Dame’s height, with a glamour pin cushion on her head. Soa was cool in black, leather and frills before Paloma closed the show with an iconic recreation of a 1920s fashion illustration.

When it came to the commercials, Grande Dame was a hetero mess in the most chrming way possible. Bertha was high energy and fun as the most amusing bachelorette. Lolita meanwhile made no sense, but I loved it. Soa knocked it out of the park as the boss bitch of the office. And then Paloma did one better, leaning into the stereotypes of perfume commercials like Alaska before her, and was just so silly and entertaining.

Grande Dame received universal praise for the runway though they wanted a little more sturcture in the commercial. Bertha meanwhile was read for her runway and for not taking the commerical where she wanted it to go. Lolita was praised for nailing the runway despite her simple commercial. Soa received universal praise for elevating all that she did this week, while Paloma received even better critiques than Soa, giving perfection in all that she did. Paloma then thanked Nicky for her kindness and support throughout the competition and ugh, I’m crying, Nicky’s crying and I love them all.

Nicky then pivoted and asked the shady question of who should go home toight with Grande Dame thinking it is Lolita’s time to go. Bertha agreed it should be Lolita, while Lolita identified Bertha. Very begrudgingly. Soa and Paloma then identified Lolita too, while she quietly cried on stage.

Backstage the dolls were still caught up in all the emotion with Lolita feeling like she doesn’t belong, while her sisters all tried to remind her how great she is and how much they have grown to love her. Lolita called everyone out for only just getting to know her recently, with Soa sharing that she is frustrated by the fact she always felt like she didn’t belong.

Ultimately Soa was deemed safe as Paloma secured her second win, while at the other end of the pack Grande Dame was deemed safe, leaving Bertha and Lolita to battle it out for safety to Yseult’s Corps. And well, I was not only gagged by the fact they paid for the international rights, because they turned it. Bertha emoted every single moment and was so powerful, but there was no beating Lolita who did a slow mo split while ripping off her wig before straight up shaving her head on stage. Bertha was stripping, Lolita stripped AND THEN THEY PERFORMED TOGETHER. Crying, hugging and oh my god, it was amazing. I was crying, they were crying, the judges were crying. It was, perfection. Or le-gend-daire, if you will. 

Tragically despite the emotion felt by everyone, somebody had to go as Lolita saved herself and zaddy Bertha was tragically eliminated from the competition. As her sisters and the judges sobbed.

While it was heartbreaking to see her go, my second favourite platitude to offer the queens is that being a robbed goddess is often better than making the finale. And well, Bertha definitely fits the bill. She absolutely slayed every moment of the competition and while she didn’t win any challenges, I’d argue she didn’t really bomb any either. Which is reason enough for me celebrating her run with a La Big Breakfast Buritha.

My favourite thing in life is to turn any food into breakfast by cracking an egg on top and calling it a day, but I assure you, this is far more elevated. Crisp bacon, crunchy hashies and a fresh salsa work together to give you the best start possible to your day.

Enjoy!

La Big Breakfast Buritha
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 hash browns
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
2 large tortillas
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
⅔ cup Salsa Struthers

Method
Start by cooking your hash browns as per packet instructions, or if homemade, until extra crispy.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and cook the diced bacon until nice and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Whisk the eggs with a little bit of salt and a generous whack of pepper. Add the butter to the still hot pan and once melted and foamy, pour in the eggs. Agitate to form ripples on the base before gently stroking across the pan in different directions to form ribbons of delicately cooked egg. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the heat.

To assemble, sprinkle some cheese in the centre of each tortilla. Add the hash browns, egg, salsa and bacon, and no judgement if you sprinkle some more cheese on at this point. Fold in either side before rolling to form a nice enclosed pocket of goodness. And then, devour.


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Celippos

Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls finally played Snatch Game and well, it was a pretty good show. Grande Damn, Soa, Paloma and Elips all had their characters down and had Nicky in stitches, with nary a rattlesnake noise to be heard. While Lolita clearly struggled, I still found her to be quite solid with only Kam and Bertha struggling. Ultimately La Grande Dame’s slay secured her first win of the season, while Kam and Bertha ended up lip syncing for their lives. Hilariously to stock music, given they didn’t have the rights to the song in Australia. While we couldn’t really tell how either girl went, Bertha fought her way out of the bottom while poor Kam exited the competition.

Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to have lost Kam but delighted to see she has left such a fun, cute message. With Kam going with a win under her belt, the dolls were shaken and well and truly realised that they are rapidly approaching the pointy end of the competition. The next day, however, the dolls were back to feeling their oats and living their best lives as they posed their way back into the Werk Room. Bertha opened up about how sucky it feels when you have to lip sync for your life, though she was glad to survive and ready to rise like a phoenix. While Soa was ready for Grande Dame to lip sync, now that she has a challenge win under her belt. 

Nicky interrupted their kiki to announce that given they have worked so hard, they would each be able to nap for a minute … before ruining their bliss with a Mini Challenge where they would pair up star in a beauty parlour skit where they would be doing each other’s make up. While wearing wacky glasses, assuming nothing got lost in translation. Soa and Grand Dame were silly and wild, as Soa was aggressively put in a baby-hooker mug. Lolita gave Elips the sloppiest mug, though their segment kinda dragged before Paloma and Bertha were just oh so fun, despite Bertha finishing up looking like a granny-hooker. Though obviously it was Grande Dame and Soa who took out victory, since duh, Soa is charismatic as hell.

And given said victory gave them the chance to pick their groups in this week’s girl groups Maxi Challenge, it was the correct one to win. Soa selected Elips and Lolita to join her band, while Grande Dame went with Bertha and was left with Paloma. Who thankfully wasn’t upset, just ready to demolish writing their verses and performing their song Boom Boom live on the mainstage. Oh and they’ll be doing things UK Season 3 style, with one group getting a pop version and with the other ones rocking out.

After Nicky exited, the dolls sat down to listen to each version with the groups conveniently wanting different ones, making it super chill and very much not an All Winners Vivienne or Camden vs Bosco vibe. Soa, Elips and Lolita were ready to rock the rock, confident in Lolita’s ability to kill the choreography. Team Grande Dame meanwhile were going to be popping up consent, which instantly made the returned Nicky nervous about her making things fun. Meanwhile Team Soa announced they would be going by The Nails and were super confident with their plan to focus on their flaws and make fun of them.

Paloma, Grande Dame and Bertha – aka Les Soeurs Jacquettes – were first up to record with Mark Weld and zaddy Thoj. And once everyone got over how hot Thoj was, they made quick work of laying down their vocals. Well Paloma and Bertha did, as Grande Dame struggled to find her intro. Though when she did, it was perfect. While Elips was a little bit apprehensive when The Nails stepped behind the microphone, they all ended up knocking it out of the park as they got into their rock personas.

Jour d’elimination arrived with the dolls quickly splitting up to get ready for their girl band debuts before Soa admitted her dad didn’t know she did drag. Lolita opened up about how acceptance and support varies from family to family and she is lucky to have her family’s support, in drag and as someone living with HIV. She opened up to the girls about her status and how she has had to push through so many labels in her life though was grateful for them and her parents support. And then talk turned about how the gay community are generally more careful about HIV than the straights which is a timely reminder, given they have the highest rates of transmission now. So yeah, everyone needs to be sensible and take precautions, ya hear red cross?!

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined on the judges panel by Shy’m and Yanis Marshall as Les Soeurs Jacquettes opened the show with their pop version of Boom Boom. And it was so much fun, despite barely being able to hear Paloma’s verse, as the trio looked to have the best time in all their bright glory. And nailing every move. The Nails’ rock version was moody, cohesive and a hell of a good time too, despite Elips feeling slightly out matched by her sisters.

On the La nuit des 1000 Mylène runway, Lolita was a moody, sexy vamp, dripping in blood and spreading the undetectable = untransmittable message. Elip was a chic delight – so chic, Jamie – in a chequered 80s suit, Grande Dame was stunning in a big, geometric gown, revealing a sexy nude illusion dress underneath. Soa brought the drama, looking beautiful in a red gown before revealing a skimpy white skirt and bandeau underneath. Paloma was beautiful in a shimmering golden gown before revealing a flowing, white Tawny Kitaen-esque gown. On and then Bertha closed the show looking gorgeous as an ancient warrior.

The judges felt like Bertha went into cosplay territory on the runway, though loved her performance. Despite Daphné finding her to be too reserved. They loved Paloma’s look too, though found her to be nervous in the performance. Grande Dame meanwhile received universal praise for both the runway – despite not giving Myène – and the performance, though she was reminded to follow direction better. The judges loved every single thing Soa served this week, as they did with Lolita. Particularly for her powerful message on the runway. Elips meanwhile was beloved on the runway, though read for being too reserved and nervous in the performance.

Backstage Bertha toasted everyone for nailing the challenge, though TBH they were all exhausted. Everyone agreed it was Soa’s challenge to lose and it was likely Elips and Paloma would be the two lip syncing. Soa admitted she was trying to make sure everyone shined in her team before Paloma opened up about being so lonely growing up.

We then quickly flipped back to the mainstage where the dolls were proven right, as Soa took out her second, very well deserved victory of the season before Elips and Paloma were told they would be lip syncing as Lolita, Bertha and Grande Dame were sent to safety. And once again, they couldn’t spring for the Australisian rights to the song and so the dolls two-stepped the Wagon Wheel Watusi until Nicky opted to send Elips home. But before we get to that, let’s focus on how much of a bop the royalty free song was. Truly Le-Gend-Aire!

As was Elips’ run on the show, she was super chill and composed as she made her way backstage. I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for how magnetic and polished she is as a performer. While she was one of the quieter personalities, there is no denying that Elips is an absolute star. One that is very worthy of being celebrated over a batch of Celippos.

Yes, these little copycats are nothing more than frozen juice. But when they taste like nostalgia and joy, how can you be disappointed? Sweet and fresh, these are the perfect way to fill a summer afternoon.

Enjoy!

Celippos
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
3 cups pineapple juice
3 cups raspberry juice

Method
Freeze both juices for about half an hour, or until starting to firm but are by no means solid.

Blitz the first juice in a blender and pour into ice cream moulds (or sandwich bags, if you want to try for the calippo shape). Blitz the second juice in the blender and gently pour it in the mould, to have two distinct colours.

Transfer to the freezer and leave to set for a few hours. Then, devour.


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Blueberry Jam Hugh

Condiment, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls threw a little French Ball, serving hometowns and cliches before stomping the runway in a final look fit for the Cannes red carpet. Though made out of pool toys. While everyone kinda slayed the first two categories, it was Kam who rose above the pack and even shone in her designed look, serving glamour Nemo. At the other end of the pack, Briochée, Bertha and Soa kinda sucked. Ultimately though Bertha was given a reprieve, leaving Soa to solidify her place as the lip sync assassin of the season as she sent sweet Briochée home.

Backstage they were heartbroken to have lost Briochée while Soa made the dolls horny as she flashed her butt while cleaning the mirror message. Which was all we got for an aftermath meaning they either had nothing bad to say about Briochée, or we’re in for a big episode. The dolls Squid Game-d their way back into the Werk Room the next day with Soa disappointed to once again be in the bottom, though was proud to be deemed the lip sync assassin of the season. Everyone congratulated Kam on her win, while she was ready to finally intimidate the dolls as a winner.

Nicky interrupted the pleasantries to drop by and open the bibliotheque with the help of the zaddy Pit Crew for the première French reading challenge. First up was Big Bertha who absolutely eviscerated Paloma as looking like the critic from Ratatouille and Lolita as a pain. Kam meanwhile was a mess, Lolita was read while trying to read, Elips was surprisingly cutting and so damn good while La Grande Dame was amazing calling Lolita as an Oompa Loompa, which would hurt if it wasn’t so true. And then Nicky for not winning. Paloma then read Grande Dame for being a slut and Kam for being nipped and tucked before Soa charmed the hell out of me whether she was necessarily good or not. In any event, La Big Bertha took out victory.

But that was only the warm up, as has become habit, the dolls would need to back up their shade by participating in the ultimate Drag Race challenge – Snatch Game! As Nicky left the dolls split up to talk through their strategies with Grande Dame nervous about slaying the improvisation, while Soa was ready to be as wild as possible. Nicky returned to Kiki with the dolls with Paloma opening up that she will be playing Fanny Ardent or Roselyne Bachelot, which was Nicky’s choice for her. Kam meanwhile went with Mirielle Mathieu despite being cautioned she isn’t the funniest character while Lolita looked to be on a winner with Rossy de Palma. Elips would be playing Chantal Ladesou and despite being nervous, clearly has the voice locked down. Soa is going with the wild and underground Félindra, ready to return to the top. While Bertha was confident in her decision to play Jean-Pierre Coffe. Oh and Grande Dame is ready to slay as Alexandra Rosenfeld.

We quickly ventured to the Snatch Game set where Berengere Krief and Bilal Hassani joined the dolls with Soa immediately slaying, being stupid and fun. Grande Dame leant into all the beauty queen jokes, bouncing off Soa perfectly. Bertha meanwhile didn’t have the laughs translate over from the Werk Room. Lolita was charming, Kam looked perfect though quickly faded into the background. Paloma meanwhile was fun and breathy while Elips was hilarious despite me having no idea what was going on. While Soa, Grande Dame, Paloma and Elips went from strength to strength throughout the challenge, Bertha and Kam struggled more and more and well, it was hard to watch.

Jour de l’elimination arrived with everyone splitting up to beat their mugs, with Bertha and Lolita clearly petrified about landing in the bottom after struggling throughout Snatch Game. With Soa working overtime to try and give her a pep talk/reading her before Lolita opened up about feeling like she pushed all her sisters away and while it was hard to watch her breakdown, it was nice to see everyone rally around her to make sure she was okay. Proving emphatically that she isn’t isolated and truly is loved.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Bilal Hassani on the judges panel as the dolls stomped the Lendemain de soirée runway where Elips was stunning with a disco ball lodged in her head. Bertha gave glamour in a black pantsuit with a train of trash bags,  Soa was sexy and street and ready to fight while Kam brought the bed back in a pink and red quilted gown. Grande Dame was stunning dressed as a used condom, complete with a cum wig like a damn icon. Paloma served tabloid princess, Lolita served balloon baby that got drunk at her kid’s party, complete with a drink in her wig.

Ultimately Elips was sent to safety before the judges praised Bertha for looking stunning on the runway, with her opening up she made the look last night as she felt her original one was too simple and she needed to prove herself after Snatch Game. Which the judges agreed just wasn’t fun. Soa was praised for everything she served this week, from the killer runway to her hilarious Snatch Game. Kam’s runway received universal praise for looking such a delight, while her Snatch Game was read for being such a bomb. Grande Dame received universal praise for being the sexiest condom of all time and for nailing Snatch Game AND having fun doing it. Paloma too received universal praise for all that she did, while Lolita was read for being lost in Snatch Game. Despite the judges loving her fun concept on the runway. Allowing her to open up to the judges and having them reiterate that she truly belongs.

The tops and bottoms joined Elips backstage where they all agreed Grand Dame would be taking out the win, though they weren’t sure who out of the bottoms would be lip syncing. Kam admitted she was disappointed she wasn’t funny, though this was the challenge she was most afraid of. As she broke down, she told them she was angry at herself for going from the top to the bottom. Bertha too was emotional, hating to have disappointed the judges but to also have to lip sync against one of her sisters.

Ultimately the dolls were right as Grande Dame took out her first win of the season while Soa and Paloma were sent to safety. At the other end of the pack, Lolita narrowly avoided the bottom as Bertha and Kam lip sync to a song that was banned in Australia which is a bit of a lol TBH. But either way, Bertha was doing the absolute most while Kam walked off stage for a baggy wig reveal. Though sadly, it wasn’t enough to save herself, as Bertha was saved and Kam joined the win to elim club, which is kinda iconic. As iconic as say, somebody not paying for the rights to the song for all regions.

As a heartbroken Kam ventured backstage, I quickly pulled her in and reminded her that not only is she a massive talent. The win-elim club seems like hella fun and if you can’t be a Porkchop girl, that is definitely the way to go. Plus, she will always be remembered for serving such a strong package in the ball and that is enough to be beloved. And to smash a vat of Blueberry Jam Hugh.

Like Kam, this little jam is a perfect little sweet number with a hidden layer of depth to it. In colour and juiciness from the blueberries. We’ve all fallen in love with raspberries and strawberries, though I implore you to give their blue sister a go. Because it is good.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Jam Hugh
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
500g blueberries
2 cups raw caster sugar
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method
Combine everything in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, simmering for half an hour, stirring frequently. When the jam is starting to jell, you know it is done, otherwise keep on truckin’ for another 5-10 minutes.

Spoon the hot jam into sterilised jars and sealing, inverting for a couple of minutes before turning the right side up and leaving aside to cool completely.


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La Briochéesecake Ice Cream

Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls were tasked with starring in a parody of Call My Agent. While France trended closely to Espana – aka showing the entire, lengthy scene – every time Paloma was on screen, she lit it up and stole the show. Which is saying something, given Briochée gave an iconic turn as Marion Cotillard possessed by Edith Piaf. Everyone turned delicate, beautiful looks on the Dites-le avec des fleurs runway which meant that Soa and Lova’s slightly muted acting performances landed them in the bottom, with Soa demolishing the lip sync and sending sweet Lova home.

Backstage the dolls toasted to how kind and lovely Lova was, with Lolita particularly going to miss her. On the flipside, Kam was just glad to see another girl home and was ready to power through the competition. Soa meanwhile was feeling her oats after slaying the lip sync, ready to send other girls home but also not loving the vibe of being in the bottom. Bertha meanwhile was just in her feels to have lost her fellow big girl. The next day the dolls were energised and ready to turn it as the speculated what challenge they’re likely to be up against, with the dolls agreeing they either want to dance or sew. 

Obviously that manifested Nicky, who arrived to put them through their paces in a Mini Challenge where they would have to film a video about making a baguette in teams of two. And while I feel like Nicky was trying to come for my gig, I am willing to look the other way. Because the other way saw the return of the zaddy pit crew and they seem to flood my basement more than any pit crew that has come before them. Soa and Bertha were up first and appeared to be having a ball, making a total mess and being so stupid. Lolita and La Grande Dame saw their stupidity and raised it as Lolita ended up with flour all over her face as Grande Dame’s arms flailed about. La Briochée gave an acting masterclass as Elips created as much chaos as possible before Paloma and Kam literally added tits to their dough. Though obviously victory went to Elips and Briochée.

Nicky then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be throwing a little French Ball, with them first stomping the runway in a Ma France à moi look while the second look would need to be about French Clichés. And well, Elips and Briochée were both feeling confident. Even after Nicky announced they would also be modelling a third dress which they would have to make in a day, ready for the red carpet of the Festival de Cannes. And they would be made out of a minimum of three beach toys. Which obviously filled everyone with dread. Even Elips and Briochée who won a headstart in the ransack for taking out the Mini Challenge, which proved quite a prize since everything soon disappeared once the other dolls got involved.

Everyone split up to go through their haul with Bertha looking to give a Gaultier and Galiano hybrid. Briochée had a detailed plan for an asymmetrical dress. And for everything she couldn’t do, she would go get advice from Elips. Kam and Grande Dame meanwhile were busy kiki-ing about their hometowns, with Kam admitting it was difficult growing up in a small town, while Grande Dame had to leave Nice after experiencing a hate crime. A crime so violent she doesn’t even remember what happened. Which was a story that broke Lolita, Bertha and Soa’s hearts who were all ready to defend her till the ends of the earth.

Nicky dropped by to check on the girls’ progress with the one and only Kiddy Smile to give them advice on stomping the runway. They lived for Bertha though wanted her to not fear being serious, Kam was reminded to walk tall, Elips was perfect, Paloma kinda gave Ramona in RHONY, Briochée was read for looking down, Lolita stripped so was great in my eyes, Soa was perfection from the walk to the attitude, as was Grande Dame. And well, the dolls are ready for their ball.

Nicky then dropped the bomb that Véronique Philipponnat and Chantal Thomass would be joining them on the judges panel before she departed and well, the dolls were now far less ready and far more nervous.

As Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy took the stage with the duo of icons, Paloma kicked off the Sweet France of Mine runway, looking like a caged, camp delight in honour of cheese. Lolita was a netted, locked delight in honour of Paris, Grande Dame gave all the drama in a massive haute couture black widow gown, while Elips went from black widow to glamour pride and it was gorgeous before Briochée served glamour in a blue and pearl gown. Soa was perfection in a tartan and white delight in honour of her mother, Kam sold suited sexy pigeon and well, it was amazing before Bertha closed the category with a glamorous blue jean gown before she straight up flooded herself, the stage and my basement.

When it came to French Cliches, Paloma was stunning as a white suited artiste, Lolita gave the sexiest chartreuse protester known to man, Grande Dame was a white ruffled delight, like if Jerry’s shirt was glamour, before Elips served red wine. Which obviously is a win in my eyes. Briochée gave gingham glam with baguette arms – aka Baguette Bardot – while Soa read all the basic white women of France and well, I live. Though maybe it is because her arse is hot? Kam served sexy maid and then revealed a bodysuit covered in croissants. Which again, is a win in my eyes. Oh and then Bertha gave an accordion gown and well, it was so damn cool. Complete with a light bulb up her arse.

When it came to the designed looks for the Cannes Festival, Paloma was pink perfection. Lolita gave a polished yellow and teal gown looking like The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica. Grande Dame was stunning in bright blue with red rope detail – a description which doesn’t do it justice – while Elips was suited in lime and black. Briochée was kinda messy, giving more Marilyn impersonator rather than Cannes, while Soa looked more Studio 54 in gold lame. But again, her butt was out. Kam was stunning in a pink and orange stripe as sexy Nemo. While Bertha was stunning in navy, despite the gown being an absolute mess construction wise.

Paloma was praised for being so funny while serving three stunning looks. Lolita was praised for her bold design, they lived for Grande Dame’s commitment to being the fashion queen of the season while Elips was read for her designed look, given there was absolutely no tailoring. Which led to Briochée pointing out that she spent most of her time helping everyone else, which may have contributed. Before Briochée’s designed look was read for absolute filth for having a giant rip on the leg. Soa’s brought looks were praised, though she was read for not giving enough on the third. Kam meanwhile received universal praise for everything she did in each category. From the polish to the concepts, they lived for every damn moment. While Bertha similarly received praise for her bought looks, while her designed look was deemed an absolute mess.

Backstage everyone congratulated Kam on her obvious win, while she pointed out Paloma and Grande Dame were just as good. Soa, Briochée, Elips and Bertha weren’t sure which duo would be lip syncing, with all of them feeling like they had let themselves down and well, I hate to see it. Particularly Elips who looked broken, while her sisters reiterated how grateful they were for all that she did for them this week. 

Obviously it was Kam that took out her first victory of the season before Bertha and Elips were narrowly saved, leaving Sea and Briochée to lip sync for their lives. And once again, Soa was not going down without a fight and absolutely slayed from start to finish. As soon as Pookie by Aya Nakamura kicked off, she pulled all the focus and while Briochée was cute, charming and hitting every lyric, Soa’s fire was just too much to come up against as she once again dominated and saved herself. Tragically felling sweet Briochée.

Backstage Briochée was so kind and upbeat about her elimination, I almost ran into Nicky’s dressing room and screamed at her until she agreed to reinstate the icon into the competition. But alas, I was mature. And instead, I pulled her in for a massive hugged and thanked her for not only sharing her talents with the world, but also for being so open with her story. Given she is a delight, she took it all in stride as we laughed together before smashing a massive bowl of La Briochéesecake Ice Cream.

Just when you thought I was going to zig, I zagged instead. Straight into an epic bowl of deliciousness. This barely tweaked take on the Milkbar classic is so damn delicious. So delicious, in fact, that even a cheesecake hater could be converted.

Enjoy!

La Briochéesecake Ice Cream
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
1 gelatin leaf
240ml milk
45g Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
25g milk powder
¾ tsp raw caster sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
15g butter, melted
15ml double cream
½ batch of Liquidita Von Däshcake
1 tbsp sour cream

Method
Pop the gelatin leaf in some water for ten minutes to bloom. While that is getting soft, transfer some of the milk into a saucepan and lightly warm. Drain the excess liquid from the gelatin before adding to the warmed milk and whisk until completely dissolved.

Meanwhile combine the graham crumbs, 5g of the milk powder, raw caster sugar and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl until well combined. Fold through the melted butter and double cream until well combined and small clusters form.

Transfer to a blender with the gelatine milk and remaining milk, the liquid cheesecake, sour cream, remaining milk powder and salt, and blitz until smooth. When you think it is blitzed enough, leave it going for another couple of minutes.

Pour the liquid into an ice cream churn and cook as per instructions before transferring to an airtight container. Pop in the freezer for a couple of hours to set, or just smash straight out of the churn if you want it soft-serve style.


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Rolova Ladiva

Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France ten new queens from across France joined the franchise and showed off their skills with a killer little talent show. Though not before competing in the traditional photoshoot with their local zaddy Pit Crew, that is! While the talent show featured much lip syncing and killer dancing, Soa took out the first win of the franchise giving an amazing, moody vocal performance. Meanwhile at the other end of the pack, Lova et La Kahena landed in the bottom for their nerves, with La Kahena earning the distinction of being France’s Porkchop.

Backstage the dolls were in their feelings, heartbroken to have lost sweet La Kahena but also shellshocked by the fact this is going to happen every week until only one of them snatches the crown. The next day they managed to perk it back up however, living out their spy fantasy and just being silly and fun. Everyone congratulated Soa on taking out the win, while Lova assured them that she will not be lip syncing again any time soon. Before the dolls even had time to kiki, Nicky arrived – serving leather daddy dandy, swoon – and put them to the test with a quick drag rock and roll mini challenge alongside some killer drag kings. Though sadly it meant we had to forgo the pit crew. Which, well, is not something I love.

My love Bertha was up first and brought down the house with a two face look and all the attitude, Paloma was gloriously trashy, Brioche stripped off and literally fell to the ground, Lolita was serving Hedwig, Grand Dame was dementedly itchy (and old), Elips was a perfect rock vamp while Soa was just so damn sexy and I live. While Lova was wild and looked perfect, Kam let her freak flag fly and looked to be having the best time. Ultimately there could only be one winner and that rightly was Grande Dame for her stupid old lady performance.

They then learnt that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be acting in the drag parody of Call My Agent, creatively titled Call My Queen. And as the winner of the mini challenge, La Grande Dame would be casting all the roles. Which instantly made Bertha nervous, since she would totally be shady if it was up to her. After reading through the scripts, Grande Dame gave all the dolls the opportunity to put their hand up for the ones they wanted, with everyone thrilled by their roles.

Except for Kam who had to bow out for Briochee to avoid any dramas.

Nicky returned to surprise the girls with a visit from Marianne James who would be directing their scenes. But not before a very sweet peptalk, obviously. On set Grande Dame struggled, trying to add flavour when they just wanted her to be the straight girl. Lova meanwhile gave full melodrama while Paloma was perfection from start to finish. Kam was cute and fun, Bertha got stuck in her head while Elips was an absolute star. As were Briochee and Lolita, who let go and had so much fun. Soa meanwhile was just nervous and unsure how she went.

Jour d’élimination arrived with the dolls talking about how they went with the shoot with Lova confident in her performance, as Paloma strongly disagreed and straight up worried for her elimination. As they split up to beat their mugs, Kam and Paloma bonded over the fact they didn’t really need to come out given everyone in their life already expected it. This led to everyone sharing their experiences coming out, with Briochee going through both of hers and how grateful she is that everyone loves her no matter what. 

Nicky, Daphné Bürki and Kiddy Smile were joined by Marianne James on the judges panel as the dolls stomped the Dites-le de flores runway. Soa was up first giving a punk delight complete with a bird of paradise mohawk. Kam gave full blue hydrangea, not to be confused with THE Blu Hydrangea. Bertha was a star in a black widow gown with a reveal memorial wreath on her back. Elips was an alien flower garden, Briochee was breathtaking as a Piranha Plant from Super Mario and Lolita was glorious in a Frida Kahlo inspired gown. Paloma meanwhile was a red and purple thorned delight, Lova was a wood nymph crossed with a bride of Christ while Grande Dame was an architectural delight, complete with flowers all over her face. 

When it came to the scene, it was clear that Paloma is a star, stealing the show from her very first moment while Kam was very, very fun and Elips was perfection as the mime. On the flipside, Lova felt like she was in a different scene, while Bertha was kinda just there and Soa was at an 11 from start to finish. And while I lived, I feel like the judges won’t. Oh and Lolita was delightful as France’s answer to Shangela, and I live.

Lolita, Soa, Grande Dame, Bertha, Paloma and Lova were deemed the tops and bottoms of the week, with Kam, Elips and Briochee sent backstage to untuck. Soa’s outfit was read for not being as polished as other girls and they were disappointed as they expected more from her in the challenge. Bertha meanwhile was read for being too simple – and wearing ugly shoes – despite the fact she was strong in the scene. Lolita received universal praise for her showstopping runway and being an absolute delight in the scene. As too did Paloma, for giving such a gorgeously polished look and for giving an acting masterclass in the challenge. Lova meanwhile was read for not giving enough flower and for just being there in the challenge. And while Grande Dame struggled in the shoot, she ended up doing well and ultimately landed in the top because her look was absolute perfection.

Backstage the dolls weren’t sure who would be in the bottom alongside Lova before the critiqued girls dropped by to spill the tea. Everyone agreed they couldn’t tell who would be the winner out of Paloma and Lolita, while they couldn’t even tell who was in the top with them between Grande Dame and Big Bertha, given both got mixed critiques.

Ultimately Grande Dame was sent to safety before Paloma took out her first win, tragically making Lolita only safe. At the other end of the pack, Big Bertha narrowly avoided the lip sync as last week’s champ Soa faced off against Lova to L5’s Toutes les femmes de ta vie. And well, let’s just say Soa was not happy about it as she channelled all her rage into a killer performance. She was giving all the attitude, hitting every lyric and was full of fire. Not to mention, she was silly and fun and as such, she lived to fight another day, while Lova was eliminated.

Backstage Lova was disappointed to have had to lip sync both of her episodes of the franchise, but I reminded her that at least she got to shine both times. Plus, it is always better to be the second boot than the second boot with an iconic exit that is brought back, makes it to the end and makes people wish she had a robbed goddess arc. Not naming any names, though. With that, she perked right up and gladly joined me in smashing a batch of my homemade Rolova Ladiva.

Smooth chocolate surrounding a gloriously salted caramel centre, rolos are a truly underrated chocolate. Or maybe they aren’t. Who knows? All I know is that these are goooood. And given they are small, you can feel like a waif.

Enjoy!

Rolova Ladiva
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
150g chocolate
100g Kerri Columbines
1 tbsp cream

Method
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until smooth and glossy before removing and spooning into a silicone chocolate or candy mould. Using a small spoon or skewer, brush the chocolate up the edges to completely coat each cavity. Transfer to the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Back in the (now cleaned) double boiler, combine the Kerri Columbines and cream and cook stirring, until smooth and combined. Remove the chocolate mould from the fridge and spoon the caramel into each cavity, followed by additional melted chocolate for the base. Return to the fridge to set for about an hour.

Remove the mould from the fridge and gently free the chocolates before devouring, greedily.


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