Jackie Glaziered Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Heroes V Villains, Baking, Cake, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor seven groups of castaways were marooned across Samoa, Fiji, Cloncurry and Charters Towers – well, after a terrible season in the Great Australian Bite and an ok season of celebrities – ready to battle each other and the elements to prove themselves. And in doing so, became heroic competitors or iconic villains. After a supercut of past maroonings and some star moments of our returnees old and new, we cut back to where it all began in Samoa ready to put good and evil to the test. Despite the fact Sandra kinda already proved that villains are always more likely to take out victory.

We first got a glimpse of our Heroes as they wandered through the bush with Shaun reminding us he is a total zaddy and Hayley hoping good will triumph like it did on her first season, before jumping in the Season 1 trucks that were left in the bush like a cast off from Jurassic Park. They were joined by my personal hero Benjamin Law and AFL’er David Zaharakis before we met Rogue Rubin who is an animal activist and all around badass. Mateship King Sam returned to drop his fave word alongside Nina, daughter of aforementioned Villain Queen Sandra and Flick, who tragically lost her mother during filming of Brains V Brawn and ugh, I’m crying just remembering how heartbreaking it all was.

We traded the good for evil where we reconnected with Jordie and the absolute Queen and saviour Shonee who was, is and always will be an absolute icon. I. Con. Hook the Shontent directly into my veins. She is here to fight against heroes and inflation and is ready to be cheeky and have fun and again, I love it. Simon and Jackie parkoured on to the truck alongside real estate agent Fraser who is ready to lean into stereotypes but let’s be honest, I’m only here for Anjali, former real housewife, when it comes to villain newbies. She is the moment and I love it, though let’s be honest, that probs just cursed her to become the first boot. We then got our first taste of George’s return to hog airtime, leaning into his self-appointed kingdom and dropping his key catch phrases and ugh, am I going to like it?

Almost as much as scandalous beauty queen Sarah who iconally wants Miss Greece to know if she had pushed her down the stairs, she wouldn’t have gotten up.

The two trucks converged on a narrow street before pulling up with Jonathan – ahhh, swoon town – along the beach at the site of their epic first challenge. But first, we had some introductions to get to! Jonathan doubled down on the characteristics of heroes and villains before George explained he is not actually a rulebreaker. Oh and he has been working out and got a bad immunity idol tattoo. Hayley immediately got shady, mocking said tatt – sweet baby George, no – and ready to get the job done. Again. We met lifeguard Matt who is like a human puppy before Queen Anjali spoke about how boring heroes are and that they are set up for a fall given they’re already on top. And well, she is ready to get the taste of hero blood and come out on top.

And again, Anjali came here to feed us and I love that mother is mothering so hard.

After collecting their buffs from Jonathan he explained that their first reward challenge would be rather simple. In front of them were a field of supplies and each tribe would simply grab what they need and take it to the top of a tower before going and collecting a torch at the end of the course, with the first tribe to light a fire getting to keep everything they collect and flint, while the losers would start with nothing. Despite saying it was rather simple, as soon as the challenge kicked off young Matt went from human-puppy to scrappy fighter, trying to tackle all the villains and stopping them from collecting anything. While the rest of the Heroes powered ahead, working in unison and being generally heroic, Simon likewise leant into his tribe designation, climbing the platform and stealing everything the heroes placed.

Obviously that annoyed Sam – that is NOT mateship, mate! –  who climbed up on the tower to stop him and save what they were collecting before Summer Bay icon Sharni Vinson stepped up – geddit? I have so many jokes lined up – to help him given Simon was crafty. While that battle was playing out aloft, Jordie and Matt were still wrestling – swoon – over supplies, with Jordie taking the time to get to know him and welcome him to the game. Which honestly, is pretty damn heroic for a villain like him. The Heroes continued to pull away as the Villains were comically messy, my favourite moments being when Liz tossed wood at the wall and Anjali getting rice thrown at her head. As Shaun ventured out to grab the torch and light the Heroes way to victory, Simon gave one last burst of entertainment as he ran interference by grabbing him off the platform. Sadly though it was only a slight delay, as Shaun quickly jumped up and secured the win.

We followed the Villains back to camp where the mood was decidedly dejected, with Anjali in particular annoyed by the fact the Heroes predictably won. As they settled in, Jordie asked everyone to do introductions, with Michael coming out as a journo while Anjali spoke about her extensively impressive career. Jordie was much more impressed, however, with Mimi who is in luxury car promotions, while Shonee was smitten with Liz the Olympian. Talk quickly turned to the fact that Simon is a chippy and as such, the tribe asked him to pull together a shelter while he opened up to us about knowing he can’t hide his skills, so was planning to be helpful and humble. Despite being good at everything. Sadly though he already was growing frustrated by people not helping out around camp as Shonee laughed with Anjali about having no skills in construction.

That being said, it was George already working on building relationships that was drawing Simon and Jordie’s ire rather than our Queens. Despite quickly falling in love with Shonee, George decided his best ally would probably be Jackie given she is a poker player and as such, knows how to play hard and fast. He then told Anjali how much he loved her on Dateline before roping her in to form a tight little threesome. And just like that, George is lining up allies. Or you know, painting a target on Anjali and Jackie’s backs. Either or, depending how the rest of the tribe feel about him.

Over at the far more stocked Heroes camp, the tribe plopped their bounty under the flag with sweet Matt particularly thrilled to be so Survivor rich. Benjamin suggested they go around and share with Paige opening up about living on a cattle station, David mentioned he was fired from the AFL and Queen Sharni tragically didn’t name drop Irene. Which to me, is a bit of a butter fingers of the mind move, darl. Being Heroes, they all rallied around to get camp sorted with Gerry ominously reminding Hayley to be humble in victory (he is totally orchestrating her blindside in the future, right?). She opened up about being the obvious first target and how nervous it makes her, so as such, she got to work charming the hell out of people. She bonded with Gerry and Matt while Shaun quietly got into Rogue’s ear about Hayley being a winner amongst them and as such, a massive target.

Unaware that he was working against her, Hayley calmly planned to find division and exacerbate it to save herself. And well, Rogue was making it a super easy job for her. She told Gerry she has been closer to death than him since a lion biting her butt is worse than a plane crash, checking whether Shaun was cut or uncut – babe, we love all dicks, who cares – and then the kicker, telling Nina she didn’t need to explain U.S.A. to her like an idiot AND that she is more African American than her, since she lives part time in the US. Which begs the question, was there a way that those interactions could have been edited to make it sound that bad because I don’t even know how you could Frankencut normal sentences to say those things. In any event, congrats Hayley for breaking the returning winner curse – love you Shane and Jericho! – Rogue has your back!

But seriously, looping back, cut or uncut, Shaun can sit on my face so just no, Rogue. He is my hero.

Despite the lack of anything, things were pretty swell at Villains camp the next morning as Jordie tried his darndest to get fire going as the tribe rallied around cheering him on. While they weren’t having much success, it was bringing them together. Well, except for Michael who excused himself to go hunting for an idol by himself. Sadly though, he wasn’t as stealth as he thought he was, getting caught by Jordie who also pointed him out to Mimi. After we learnt more about his career as a journalist, Michael bonded with Stevie and assured him he will stop at nothing to win and well, unless they are aligned, that isn’t the best pitch.

Michael then approached Shonee and Fraser to build his alliance before throwing out George as the potential first target for their tribe. Before even losing immunity. After assuring Fraser that Liz is good, she dropped by and agreed George was super annoying and as such, she would be willing to get rid of him. But more importantly, she was just keen because he is annoying, nothing else. Like a damn Queen. While Michael rallied his numbers, Jordie quietly watched how intense he was and decided he needed to go ASAP. After Simon freed himself from Michael’s grasp, he caught up with Jordie and the duo agreed that Michael is just as much of an issue as George. Though the question was whether George could be taken out later if they don’t strike immediately making use of Michael and his numbers before cutting him too. Since Simon learnt George couldn’t be left for later in their first season.

The tribes came together with Jonathan for the first immunity challenge of the season where they would race through a series of obstacles of mud and sticks before searching through coconuts for a hammer which they would use to knock rungs into a ladder. They would then ascend said ladder and throw additional hammers at tiles with the first tribe to crush all five taking out immunity. 

The Heroes got out to an early lead while Jackie and George were pulled from the course on the first obstacle to see the medic, after landing awkwardly in the mud. While the rest of her tribe tried to close the gap, Zaddy Shaun demolished their sticks and made life easy for the rest of his tribe. Somehow the Villains battled on as the tribes drew neck and neck searching through the coconuts before the Heroes took the lead back on assembling their ladder. Wait, no, Jordie was a boss as he assembled the ladder and took the lead for the Villains before Shaun swapped out for Sam and evened things up again. Both tribes were neck and neck throwing the hammers at the tiles, knocking them out one at a time before the Heroes once again pulled away and narrowly secured immunity for their tribe.

After the Heroes exited the Villains learnt that they would be two people down for the afternoon scramble as Jackie and George were taken to the hospital to receive further testing. Which either dooms them or helps them dodge the bullet, depending on whether the tribe wants to turn their attention elsewhere just in case the duo aren’t options.

Fast forwarding a little bit, after a quick X-ray at hospital it became very clear that Jackie at the very least would be unable to continue in the game due to a fracture in her collarbone and as such, I hightailed it over to cheer her up.

Well, after I stupidly pulled her in for a massive hug and made her fracture just that little bit more painful. After apologising with some pain meds, I gently grabbed her by the hand and told her how heartbroken I was to see her return cut short so damn soon. Jackie had such a spark in her first season and in her brief time out in Samoa, it was clear she was back and ready to take it all the way. Though sadly Australian Survivor is going to Australian Survivor with some brutal challenge set pieces, which tragically cost her the game. Though I did assure her that like Shonee, her third time will be for the win. Which perked her up, alongside a piping hot batch of Jackie Glaziered Muffins.

Yes, yes, these are clearly Halloween muffins, but the season was filmed around the holiday, so it made sense to us. Plus, they taste perfect, so who cares, you know? Sticky and spicy with a gooey, sweet glaze – remember, Jackie’s exit came early so I didn’t get to cool them as much as required – they are a decadent cake to eat away the *technically* first boot pain.

Enjoy!

Jackie Glaziered Muffins
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
140g butter, plus extra for greasin’
1 cup golden syrup
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour, plus extra for greasin’
2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease some skull muffin tins with a little bit of butter and flour. Or, you know, a Texan muffin tin if you don’t want to be festive.

Combine the butter, syrup, sugar, Guinness and spices in a pan and melt over a low heat. Once shiny and combined, remove from the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda, in a gentle fashion, until smooth. Next, whisk in the sour cream, followed by the eggs until smooth.

Divide the batter between the skulls, giving the pan a little tap on the bench to work through any bubbles. Place the pan on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If using a textured pan like the skulls, you’re better off cooking a little further to leave a drier crumb to make it easier to turn out.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon over the muffins once completely cooled, or if going for the melting in the Samoan heat until the skulls get a macabre Halloween vibe, leave them a little bit warm.

Either way, devour with villainous glee.


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Anzach Kozyrskcuits

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a BBQ reward had everyone fighting hard, slipping and sliding to snatch something to eat. After David, Moana, Zach, Brooke and Sharn dominated the others, they headed off to smash their feast before learning that they also won letters from home. While I thought that would be all the tears I would cry this episode, Lee was pulled away from camp to learn that his mother had suffered a massive stroke. After telling everyone what had happened, the tribe rallied around him as they farewelled him from the game to go be with his family. With his mother tragically passing away before he made it back to Brisbane.

Before we could process what happened, Jonathan returned to our screens for the next immunity challenge where they were required to tread water in the shallows while holding a ball in a shoot above their heads. With the last one standing, or treading more accurately, snatching immunity. Moana quickly dropped out, followed by Zach, Jacqui and AK, all within the first five minutes. Tarzan was next to go while the other four fought hard for over thirty minutes.

Sharn was next to go, quickly followed by Brooke leaving Queen Shonee to face off against David. Knowing that they were screwed should she win immunity, AK pulled Brooke aside and told her not to tell Shonee when she was close to dropping in the hope of saving themselves. Sadly for them, she and David managed to hold on for ninety minutes before David started to struggle. And then dropped his ball after two hours, handing Queen Shonee her second immunity.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Shonee on her victory before she shared that she is so good at swimming because she treads water while chatting with her friends at the pool every day. After throwing some shade at the people that call her weak, she caught up with AK and Brooke to figure out a plan while David, Zach and Tarzan tried to figure out who to get rid of after the tie between Brooke and AK. With them favouring Brooke, given she is the bigger beast in challenges. With that Sharn approached Shonee, Brooke and AK to make sure that they weren’t looking for idols, though admitted that she would be interested to talk. AK suggested that she could pick their target and join them to get rid of that person, sending them home without needing to revote.

Unsure whether Sharn would follow through, AK got to work chatting to Zach and David to find a way to get them to not split the votes between him and Brooke. And instead join them to get rid of Brooke. She, meanwhile, was focused solely on keeping their alliance together. Wait, no, she pulled Shonee aside to see if she would join her in writing down AK’s name and sending him home to avoid a tie.

At tribal council Jonathan caught the jury up on the Lee situation before Moana spoke about how they aren’t simply targeting OG Vakamas, and instead are trying to get rid of threats. And while David tried to echo the sentiment, AK called bullshit and said that he and Brooke are screwed. Brooke admitted to wearing her vote-out outfit – so she looks good getting her torch snuffed – before Shonee went in, telling the majority how funny it is how many different agendas their alliance is managing. Jacqui tried to downplay things, reminding everyone that they are all cogs in a wheel and it only functions when they stick together. AK laughed about how great it will be when they need to turn on each other, before Brooke called out Dave – a physical threat – for targeting her for being a physical threat. She then savaged Dave and told him to lift his game, which was a-maze-ing.

Jonathan then put a spanner in all their works, telling everyone that tonight, the three highest vote getters at tonight’s tribal council would be going to Exile Beach. Joined by three people after the next tribal council, before the six battle in a series of challenges until one person is eliminated. Which is convoluted, however I will forgive it because they had to drag things out another episode after Lee’s family tragedy.

With that the tribe voted and as expected AK and Brooke were sent to exile, while they stuck together with Shonee and the trio selected a frustrated Moana to join them. And when they arrived at Exile, her mood did not improve one bit as she silently put herself to bed as the other two snuggled in together. The next morning the trio awoke to a beautiful sunny day, while Moana was miserable, hiding in the jungle before rallying and encouraging her fellow exiles to make the camp as nice as possible. And then bonding with the duo so that should they all make it back, they are two people that she can have in her back pocket.

Back in the main game the tribe were eating a breakfast of sandy rice, giving Shonee the giggles while the boys grew annoyed at Jacqui. Who I assume, they assume put the sand in it. Despite being down 5-1, Queen Shonee was hopeful that her positive attitude and friendly nature would help her avoid going to exile for the second time. She bonded with Dave, swapping celebrity stories, however he knew her game and didn’t want to give her a further in. As such, he worked on Zach and Tarzan to confirm that they will still send Shonee to Exile before planting the seeds that Zach should sacrifice himself to save the rest of the alliance. And more importantly, Dave.

Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe would hold onto a long pole tethered to a board where they must balance three balls in holes one at a time. And then return to the end of their pole without dropping any. I’d like to say the challenge was exciting, but honestly, it was brutal to watch as everyone dropped their balls over and over again, until Sharn finally snagged victory and put everyone out of their misery.

Back at camp David got to work trying to avoid going to exile, while Sharn tried to figure out who to send to exile with Shonee. With Zach seemingly still keen to be one of them and Tarzan unlikely to win a challenge, so therefore safe, David and Jacqui were the only other options. Poor, sweet Zach – who would have thought – was keen to be part of the A team, as David tried to pretend that Jacqui would be a better member of the team, despite him having a better challenge record. David and Sharn caught up, with Sharn pointing out that David would be a good option to win the challenge with him trying to defend himself by pointing out that he is sick and weakened. Eventually they and Jacqui agreed that Jacqui was the better option and hot damn, why aren’t they targeting him?

Alone at camp with Sharn and Tarzan, Jacqui told them that she doesn’t want to go to Exile and as such, she and Sharn floated the possibility of blindsiding David instead. Sharn then told Tarzan that she has plenty of plans for how to navigate that moving forward and while he agreed nobody wants to face David at the end, why do I think this isn’t going to end well for Sharn? Oh, because Tarzan took said intel straight back to David, that’s why.

At tribal council Sharn spoke about the complexity of deciding how to send half the tribe to exile, versus booting a single person from the game. Jacqui admitted that she was keen to go to Exile for her resume to begin with, however the closer it got to the point of going, she got nervous. On cue David coughed to remind everyone how weak he is, before Zach admitted that he is still happy to go to exile. He then pointed out that Jacqui and Shonee are the best at challenges and as such, they would be the ones to join him. Sharn tried to play tough, reminding everyone that they all have their own votes and people shouldn’t fall in line if they don’t want to.

Shonee then admitted that she is going kicking and screaming and looked forward to spending more time with Jacqui on Exile, given she hasn’t really done anything to avoid it. Jacqui tried to defend herself and pointed out that she has done things to protect herself, leading to David pointing out just how strong she is at challenges. Zach reiterated how excited he was to build his resume, unaware that being voted out twice and sent to exile isn’t the best way to charm the jury. Unless of course, you’re Shonee – who I would gladly look the other way for. 

Sick of all the challenge talk, Jonathan announced that this little twist will work differently than they are expecting, with the exiled group competing in two challenges, with three people earning their way back into the game and joining the other people in the game to vote to boot one of the remaining people on Exile. Shonee tried to use this to point out that all the ex-Vakama people could technically make themselves safe and as such, the Mokutas would be the only people eligible to vote for and as such, sacrificing yourself is pretty stupid. Though Zach, bless, was undeterred. With that, the tribe voted and as expected sent Shonee and Jacqui to exile, with a tie for third between David and Zach. As such, that meant Sharn and Tarzan were required to revote and with her back kind of against the wall, Sharn opted not to rock the boat and sent Zach to Exile.

The exile crew were stirred awake by their new friends, a jubilant Zach included. He then regaled them with tales about how excited he was to volunteer and use going to exile as a way to boost his resume, while AK looked on in concern that someone could be stupid enough to volunteer. I mean, if it was such a great look for the resume, wouldn’t everyone have been pushing for it?

Back at the actual camp, the non-exiled trio were happily lazing about, with Sharn explaining to us that she kept Dave around because she wants to blindside him, not have him exit via a twist. Which sure, sounds great, but I feel like this is revisionist history right there. David was thrilled that he was able to convince Zach to volunteer, before pulling Sharn aside to thank her for protecting him the night before, hoping to make her feel guilty about potentially turning on him. He then suggested to the other two that they need to be careful of the five from exile returning to camp and turning against them, with Jacqui in particular a concern, given she didn’t have a choice in going.

Speaking of Jacqui, she was trying to put on a brave face on Exile while Zach continued to talk about how great their predicament is. This made Jacqui even more furious, annoyed by how stupid Zach is to not see that he is Dave’s puppet and is being groomed as the ultimate goat at final tribal. Thankfully Queen Jacqui was treating this as a wake-up call and she planned to use it to her advantage and turn on the boys as soon as she could. Seeing how enraged Jacqui is, Shonee decided to continue on a charm offensive and endear herself to Jacqui. And use that to flip her to their side. Moana meanwhile was feeling vulnerable, worried about a challenge dictating her fate and as such, was resolved to fight for her family even more.

With that Jonathan returned for the first exile challenge where the first two to make a stick long enough to collect a flint, and then use said flint to build a fire high enough to burn through a rope – deep breath, long sentence, no? – secure their safety and return to the main game. Moana got out to an early lead, thanks in no small part to the constant coaching of David and Sharn. As everyone struggled, Moana got to work on her fire, quickly getting a flame as her coaches cheered from the side. Zach and Brooke battled to release their flints, both anxiously dragging it towards them as Moana’s fire burnt through the rope and secured her safety. She started to break down, overwhelmed by saving herself, as the rest of the group battled it out for second place. Zach was next to get his flint as his allies cheered and coached from the sidelines, much to Jacqui’s chagrin. Brooke quickly joined him after releasing her flint, slowly building a fire while Zach feverishly worked on his, hacking his hands in the process. The duo were neck and neck as their flames built before Brooke’s started licking at the ropes and burnt through just ahead of Zach’s.

Brooke and Moana returned to camp with Sharn, Tarzan and David, talking about how thrilled they are to be back in the game. Well Moana at least, who they all love, while poor Brooke was feeling left out, despite being proud of herself. Meanwhile Zach returned to exile far less jubilant, as he, Jacqui, Shonee and AK lamented their loss. While Zach was confident in his allies saving him no matter what, he knew that winning the challenge is what he needs to build his resume, otherwise offering himself up is a bust. On the flipside, Shonee was still trying to work Jacqui to try and get her to turn on her allies. She and Jacqui caught up and spoke about the last vote, with Shonee telling her that she only voted for her to go to exile because she wanted to spend time with her and hated the thought of hanging with Dave. She then pointed out how her allies were barely cheering her on at the last challenge and as such, they should work together to guarantee their safety even if they lose the challenge.

Speaking of the challenge, Jonathan returned and announced that the final challenge would see each of them holding a weight via a rope and keep it between a coloured zone. With the last person standing returning to the game and the remaining trio becoming the only option for the rest of the tribe. AK and Shonee both struggled early in the challenge while Zach grew cocky, hopping on one leg until his allies told him to pull his head in. As they both continued to struggle, AK suggested he and Shonee drop at the same time, with the icon refusing. While they tried to fight through it, AK couldn’t hold out any longer and became the first person to drop. While Zach and Jacqui stood like statues, Shonee fought with all her might before just dipping out of the coloured zone and eliminating herself from the game. After thirty minutes, chatting about how both trust their allies but won’t give in, the duo started to struggle and in turn, bicker amongst themselves. Well until Zach dropped after 45 minutes, that is, sending Jacqui back to the tribe and filling Shonee’s face with a huge grin.

Back at camp David assured Zach that his alliance has his back and that they would all be joining together to get rid of Shonee. After joining together and outlining that they would force the minority to vote with them to ensure Shonee goes, Jacqui decided to head back to camp for a little more food. As she wandered back, Shonee and Brooke caught up, with Shonee updating her ally on her growing bond with Jacqui and how she believes that if they stick together, they could sway Jacqui to vote Zach as well and send him from the game. With Brooke and AK keen, Shonee caught up with Jacqui with the latter suggesting to turn on Zach before Shonee even floated the idea.

With the foursome locked in, Jacqui wanted to do damage control with Moana before even turning on her. While Moana wasn’t interested in turning on her alliance, she was happy with the idea of getting rid of Zach and freeing up David as a shield for her and Sharn. She filled in Sharn, who agreed that Jacqui’s plan was best for the three of them, but wisely she suggested that she and Moana pretend that they didn’t know about it, making it Jacqui’s move for her resume. And more importantly, keeps David’s wrath solely focused on her only.

At tribal council Zach spoke about trusting in his alliance to keep him safe as payback for protecting them at the last one. Jacqui was proud of herself for earning her safety, while Tarzan agreed that he would be voting to save Zach before David spoke about being across everything that happened on Exile. Tarzan agreed that the alliance didn’t suffer any damage after the twist, before AK hinted that he became aware of some cracks while on exile, though pretended that he got caught out and as such, shut them down. Brooke too acted defeated – shit position, ay – as the majority continued to say the exact same thing in slightly different ways before Shonee played dejected, appealing to Jacqui’s friendship. AK tried to plead with them to make moves before it was too late, while Jacqui pretended that she was happy with the status quo. Shonee and AK pretended that they will be voting for each other before Dave told them that while it sucks, a lot can change in a few days and to hold their head up high, clearly hoping to scoop AK up as an ally for his eventual flip.

With that the tribe voted and David was shocked and frankly, enraged to discover that he had been outplayed as Jacqui became the first one to flip, joining with Brooke, Shonee and AK to send Zach out of the game and over to the jury.

While Zach was embarrassed that his misplaced trust and confidence was his ultimate undoing, I quickly changed the subject and told him to focus on what is truly important. The fact that he got his redemption! I mean, Zach and I were essentially sworn enemies after he trolled me for trolling him during his first season. But showing his genuine, soft side this season, I was reminded of the man I befriended when we both worked on Gladiator. As such, I was thrilled to reward his kind heart and better showing with a batch of Anzach Kozyrskcuits.

Hard or chewy, there is nothing better than an Anzac biscuit. Sweet, earthy and super easy to make, you can tell why these were sent to people in war zones as they have a remarkable way of bringing you even just a moment of unadulterated happiness.

Enjoy!

Anzach Kozyrskcuits
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups flour, sifted
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup raw caster sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
150g unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 ½ tbsp water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method
Preheat the oven to 170C. 

Combine the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. Meanwhile place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring sporadically to combine. Remove from the heat.

Mix the water and bicarb together in a cup and add to the golden syrup and butter. Once the bubbling has subsided, add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized, balls, and place on lined baking sheets, pressing down the tops to form discs.

Transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five to ten minutes before devouring at their peak chewiness.


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Honey Boo Boocomb

Dessert, Sweets

It has been such a busy start to the year for me with Awards Season, Christmas, New Years and a new, sick puppy, that I haven’t had the time to stop, relax and see the world with childlike wonder like my dear friend Honey Boo Boo.

Or to congratulate her on slaying Dancing with the Stars Junior, Adam Rippon – who I must catch soon – be damned.

While I became Honey Boo Boo’s pageant mentor after she transitioned away from Toddlers & Tiaras, you could say this little spitfire was actually mentoring me all along.

It was such a treat to take some time out and gossip about DWTSJ and plot her next steps. I mean, Mama June could make a move to another Georgia reality TV show and join Kandi and the RHOA girls before Honey Boo Boo leads a Real Housechildren spin-off featuring Phaedra’s son Aiden, Kyla and Mo’s Portia, Ace Wells Tucker himself and Lisa and Ken’s non-Pandora child Max, all mentored by break-dancing champion Noel from RHONY.

I just decided said spin-off would be dance based to capitalise on Honey Boo Boo’s dance success.

In any event, she told me she was keen on the show – I guess I should call Andy who, fun fact, named his son after me – or maybe she just wanted to get her hands on the sweet, sweet Honey Boo Boocomb.

 

 

Honeycomb is the first and only thing that made me pay attention in science class. Do I know why we were whipping it up on a bunsen burner? No. Do I know how to make a perfectly aerated, melt-in-your-mouth honeycomb? Yes.

Thanks NSW Education – enjoy!

 

 

Honey Boo Boocomb
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups caster sugar
½ cup honey
⅓ cup water
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp bicarbonate soda

 

Method
Place everything but the bicarb – which I feel like was the reason we did this in science rather than home ec – in a large saucepan, and cook over low heat for ten minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Crank the temperature and bring to the boil and simmer without stirring for a further five minutes, or until it reaches 154C on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and allow to go still.

Working quickly, stir through the bicarb with a wooden spoon until it is foamy and puffed. Pour onto a lined baking sheet and leave to cool completely.

Snap and devour immediately, or throw it in some Violet Crumblchki.

 

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Mat Rojersey Caramels

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Mat continued to dominate and started to chip away at Benji’s ego. Not to be outdone, Benji wooed Sam to try and take a shot at Mat and finally take control of an episode let alone the game. He and Sam went to work lining up the numbers … only for Mat to dominant in a killer immunity challenge and saving himself. Meanwhile things went from bad to worse for Sam as his plan was exposed and well and truly backfired as he found himself becoming the second member of the jury. Complete with a sympathy hug from little JoJo.

We returned to camp where the newly clean Brian decided to spread the love, relocating in the shelter to be closer to his new friends Shonella. Knowing that Shonella = Life and getting in with them will either be good for the game, or just make you a kween. Well, not as far as Mat or Shane are concerned however, as they grew tired of his comedy routine and spent the evening throwing him daggers and plotting his downfall.

The next day Brian continued his comedy, rocking a snorkel mask to avoid the smoke from the fire, earning the ire of Mat, Steve and Shane. Meanwhile Benji and Shonee were catching-up to find a way to go from being a power-bottom, to a power-top … begging the question, what is wrong with being vers? Anyway – Shonee decided that in order to take out Mat, they would need to pull in Brian so off they went to get things sorted. Benji approached Mat to clear the air from the previous tribal and thank him for saving him at the last tribal. Mat too was feeling paranoid, so thought that in order to move forward he needed to take out the shifty Brian and pulling in Benji would unite him and the outstanding Contenders.

We were also reminded about Mat’s idol, meaning she is going down this episode, no?

Benji and Sharn went into the jungle for a pow-wow, with Sharn immediately assuring him that his Contenders are safe and that she wants to get rid of Brian ASAP. Sharn went for a walk, giddy with her growing power, only to discover a clue for a hidden immunity idol at the next challenge. Kween. Kween Sharn. While Sharn was missing, Benji got to work telling Brian that Mat was targeting him and Monika that Mat asked him to spy on her. Sadly for him, Brian wasn’t buying shit. Well, until he mentioned that Sharn was on board and he and Monika immediately jumped on board and King Brian vowed to take control.

My boy Jonathan returned to the screen for the immunity challenge where the tribe was required to dig under a log, with six moving on to solve a puzzle … with the top three playing Survivor snooker for immunity. Steve and Benji were first through to the second round followed by Mat, Shonee, Brian and Shane, who pulled a come from behind win and killed Sharn’s chance at an idol. Well, unless she is daring. Anyway, Brian, Shonee and Benji moved on to the final stage, and hot damn I need Shonee to snatch immunity just for being a saint. The final round was neck and neck, between the boys and not Shonee, with Benji – UGGGGHHHHH – snatching immunity. Not to be outdone, Sharn was a boss grabbed the hidden immunity idol. Well, boss … until she dropped it in front of the entire tribe.

Back at camp Sharn was forced to attempt some slapstick comedy to deflect from the fact her idol was outed as she crapped it out in front of the tribe. Mat however, was thrilled by the turn of events as it managed to deflect from his idol. Mat, Sharn and Shane got together to lock in the vote for Brian before Mat approached Monika to secure her loyalty, with he vowing that she can act and keep the blindside up. Though sadly for him, Brian doesn’t seem to be her target. Shonella and Benji also agreed to take out Brian to his face, but Benji was itching to finally take a shot at Mat and take control of the game.

The Contender trio caught up to discuss whether Brian and Monika could be trusted, with the duo wandering upon them and vowing their undying loyalty. With the power going to his head, Benji decided that now would be the ultimate time to flush Sharn’s idol. He approached his secret ally and told her that playing her idol would be the best case scenario, to get the target off her back and gain some trust back. Sadly for him, Mat interrupted their pow-wow … though not before making her nervous enough to consider flushing her idol to save herself and not Mat.

Steve also made a Brianside joke, and damn, purple zaddy is life.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to point out that Mat and his alliance were dominating the game, kinda making him nervous about his place in the game, concerned about how information can travel and how it could bite him. Benji gave a vague explanation about taking out threats, Monika shaded Sharn for her shitty/ing idol find. Brian speculated about the remaining idols left in the game, Mat shaded Russ-hole – rightly – for being overconfident and underestimating his opponents. Monika spoke – AGAIN – about idols placing a target on your back, low-key pushing for her to play the idol and flush it out with the blindside. She then spoke – AGAIN again – saying this vote, for her, is an easy won, Fenella spoke about following the numbers – which Sam and Robbie didn’t buy – while Benji was hopeful that he was trusting in the right people tonight. This appeared to make Mat nervous, with him issuing a veiled threat about being the next out if you make a play and miss.

With that, the tribe voted and Sharn opted to play her not so hidden immunity idol ON MAT leave Benji in utter shock, desperate and shitting himself like Sharn’s idol at the challenge. The votes then rolled in – like Benji’s waves of regret – wait no, Benji told her not to play it on Mat and instead told her to play it for herself to avoid going to a revote. She then played it for herself, confusedly so, as Steve anxiously watched Mat and the votes rolled him, sending him from the game to become the third juror.

Given Mat is arguably one of the nicest people to walk the planet, it was really hard to watch him be so blinded by his confidence and NOT to play his idol, when Sharn’s attempt to play her’s clearly highlighted that something was afoot. Thank being said, it was also really easy to watch his boot because the tribal council was lit and Benji convincing her to revoke her idol play and direct it to herself was masterful, despite me wanting him out next thanks to Shane’s wrath.

Anyway – MAT. I’ve known Mat for years, thanks to my long association with football. I mean, my dad played three – yes THREE – first grade games for the Roosters, I swindled the old lady in the neighbouring corporate box at Seagulls to hand over all of her soft drinks and have the thighs of a front rower. As I was saying, I took Mat and I became friends and because I loved him so, I introduced him to Chloe and hot damn did Jeans West fit best. Given how grateful they were, we’ve been the best of friends ever since and catch-up fortnightly to be besties and smash a shit tonne of Mat Rojersey Caramels.

 

 

Are Jersey Caramels something I used to tease my co-worker for eating because they are old people snacks? Sure. But TBH, they are also freaking delicious. Sweet and chewy, this edited version of the most basic recipe I could find on Taste.com is the perfect way to get rid of the bitter taste of a killer blindside.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Rojersey Caramels
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup
3 tbsp golden syrup
125g butter, roughly chopped
200g white chocolate, finely chopped
icing sugar, for kneading
500g fondant
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the half of all the condensed milk, sugar, glucose, golden syrup and butter in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar and butter have melted. Up the heat and bring to a simmer, while stirring constantly, for five minutes, or until the mixture has started to thicken. Remove from the heat and fold through half the chocolate, and pour into a lined square baking pan. Smooth the top and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the icing sugar on a clean, dry working surface and knead the fondant until smooth and malleable. Add the vanilla and continue kneading until smooth and well combined. Roll the fondant and carefully lay over the caramel, pressing to join.

Repeat the caramel process with the remaining ingredients and spoon over the fondant. Smooth the top and leave to set for half an hour, before covering with cling and placing in the fridge to set overnight.

Remove and cut into cubes before devouring. Or, you know, just bite off junks. No judgement.

 

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Jenna Baoman

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

Previously on Survivor, Des finally decided to bring some excitement post the Chris v. Domenick feud and approached the Malolos about taking out one of the bigger threats. Sadly for her, Laurel and Donathan had been doing a good job of keeping their alliance with said big threats a secret so took the plan straight back to them. That in turn led the champion of Naviti Strong – I assume a sequel to Country Strong – Kellyn to join them in turning on her and sending Des out of the game and straight to the jury.

Lavita returned to camp where Dom was thankful to still be in the game thanks to Laurel’s loyalty. Given the fact she saved not only him, but Kellyn and Wendell too, Laurel finally felt that the had a hold on the game. Sadly Kellyn pointed out that OG Naviti still had the numbers and as such, #NavitiStrong.

The next day Sebastian returned to our screens to briefly talk about upping the food intake before Wendell and Domenick stole the show to talk about sticking together no matter what. Well, that is Wendell was feeling while Dom was willing to get rid of him and his secret allies Laurel and Donathan. To further solidify his power in the game, Dom went for a walk to see if yet another idol had been hidden. Which he obviously found. However tragically for him, it was David’s fake idol that screwed Jay – #Justice4Jay – in the generation battle and unlike Ozzy’s stick, it didn’t glow up. Instead, the advantage was a beautifully designed fake idol that could be used to dupe someone into embarrassing themselves. Again. Which Dom was obviously confident he’d be able to do.

With the excitement of the shady non-idol out of the way, my boy Probst returned for this week’s rewa … wa, wa, what? The immunity challenge? Already? In any event, they’d be required to hold a bar up and keep a ball balanced between the contraption and a beam. Sounds simple … but that is NOT all. This week there will be two immunity winners and two people will be going home AT SEPERATE TRIBAL COUNCILS. The remaining players selected either orange or purple to form temporary tribes which would go to individual tribals and vote out a person each. Poor Michael seemed screwed on the orange team with Kellyn, Wendell, Laurel and Domenick while I dunno, Angela is screwed with lovers Sebastian and Jenna, and Chelsea and Donathan?

Kellyn quickly dropped the ball, literally, followed by Mich-angel leaving Wendell, Dom and Laurel to fight it out for the orange temp tribe. Donathan was the first purple out, followed by Laurel leaving Wendell and Dom to battle it out for orange immunity. Sebastian and Jenna soon dropped leaving Angela and Chelsea to snatch purple immunity. Despite Chelsea almost dropped it, Angela’s ball slipped out of nowhere and handed Chelsea immunity. Sadly for her group, she couldn’t hold on any longer meaning they’d be the first ones attended tribal. Wendell and Dom then brought their smacktalk game while struggling to hold on before Wendell just gave up and handed Domenick the second individual immunity.

Back at camp the two groups broke off and commenced scrambling with Domenick quickly deciding to lock in a vote for Michael. Meanwhile Michael, knowing full well he was royally screwed, approached Donathan to ask him whether he could borrow it for an hour to convince everyone it was his and deflect the target on to someone else. Donathan gave a firm no however, knowing it could come back to bite him breaking both mine and Michael’s heart. Michael then approached Kellyn and tried to feed her the simple lie that he has an idol. While she bought everything he was selling, she was concerned and hoped to put the target on to Laurel as a back-up. On the flipside, Domenick was not concerned when Kellyn brought the information back to him and vowed to get Michael out.

Clearly still concerned Kellyn went to Chelsea and Wendell to talk it through and hopefully convince Wendell to join her in sacrificing Laurel instead. Wendell took said information to Laurel who agreed Michael was acting like he had something up his sleeve, or had simply given up. Knowing full well that Kellyn was willing to flip on her, Laurel decided she would rather vote for Kellyn instead to ensure her safety. Sadly for her, Kellyn was planning to use her second vote and load them up on Laurel to ensure her safety.

The other group were decidedly less intense with Sebastian, Chelsea and Angela keen to stick with Naviti and take out Sebastian’s girlfriend Jenna while telling her they’re targeting Donathan. Jenna was feeling nervous, so approached Sebastian and Chelsea to confirm they’re voting for Donathan … and then went and told Donathan that they told her they’re voting her out. Confusing no? Wanting to try and turn the tables, Donathan then considered playing his idol on Jenna while she was working to turn the vote on him while lying that she was targeting Sebastian. To complicate things, Laurel approached Donathan with her concerns that Dom and Wendell wouldn’t turn on Kellyn and it would end up in her going out … unless she had his idol.

We arrived at the first tribal with me completely confused about what is going to happen. Donathan echoed my sentiments before Sebastian confirmed that someone from Malolo would definitely be leaving this group tonight. Jenna was quick to pretend she was going home and just wanted to vote already and get it over with. That upset Sebastian and made Donathan feel a little bit concerned about his place, and I assume, reconsider playing his idol for her. Jenna continued to talk about herself being the target, leading Probst to put a hold on the questions and get to the vote. Picking up on everyone’s shiftiness, Donathan decided to make the smart move and played his ScotJasonTai idol on himself negating the one vote against him and sending Jenna from the game BY HER BOYFRIEND.

Given the Sebastian’s ultimate betrayal and the fact Probst sent her straight to the jury, instead of doing the walk of shame, Jenna was feeling pretty upset by the time she made it into my arms in Ponderosa. Thankfully the fact that I banned [redacted] from entering Ponderosa until we had finished our feast seemed to cheer her up pretty quickly. Though I have a sneaking suspicion my Jenna Baoman may have helped.

 

 

Now I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I see some sweet looking things in the cover image of this here ‘story’? A) the use of inverted commas is shady, which I love, but also hurtful and b) this is my attempt at a dessert bao. And while it may not look impressive, the flavour sure as hell is! Chocolate and (peanut butter and) vanilla (ice cream), swirl … swirled together on a caramelly bun? Poifection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenna Baoman
Serves: 16.

Ingredients
7g yeast
160ml lukewarm water
250g flour
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup double cream
100g milk chocolate
100g crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Vanilla Ice Cream
salted peanuts, roughly chopped to garnish

Method
Combine yeast, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup flour and 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar in a jug and allow to rest until foamy and glorious, or about ten minutes. Once foamy, combine the yeast mixture in the bowl of a large stand mixer with the remaining water, flour and sugar and salt and oil. Knead using a dough hook for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to prove in a warm area for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Flatten out, sprinkle with baking powder and knead by hand for five minutes or so,or until well combined. Roll the dough into a long dough and cut into 16 pieces, placing them on a lined baking tray to rest for ten minutes or so, or until puffed. Once they’re glorious, steam for about 8 minutes or until they’re cooked through.

While the buns are provin’ and steamin’, combine the cream, chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over low heat until melted, combined and thick.

To serve, split the buns – my favourite pastime, FYI Michael – place a teaspoon of peanut fudge sauce on the bottom, followed by a scoop of ice cream, more fudge and freshly chopped nuts. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Brandi K Seinaps

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls were tasked with becoming social media celebrities – I assume inspired by me, FYI – which Kyla struggled with, earning the wrath of Rio who thinks she is stupid. And isn’t afraid to show it, whether it makes her look like a dick or not. Thankfully Kyla had the last laugh, slaying the photoshoot with poor social media star Sandra sent home instead.

The models returned home from panel to celebrate Kyla’s best photo, except for Rio who was just thankful she finally managed a tolerable photo. Rio’s rant was cut short by the arrival of Tyra mail telling the girls to work on their moves. Shanice was hopeful it was a dance challenge, Brendi was terrified and Jeana and Rio hung in the wardrobe doing high kicks oblivious to the fact that they’ve got from being likeable to the absolute fucking worst. And praise Shanice, she is ready to bring them down.

The next day the girls met with Ashley Graham and Jermaine Brown to learn how to move. Not that Jeana needed it since she grew up on dance teams. While she did well, her arrogance got in the way of listening to any criticism from Jermaine. Brendi K went for head to mouth movement – earning a diss from Jeana – Erin and Khrystyana appeared to do well, before Shanice went full damn broadway like Alexis Michelle was producing the episode.

Ashley interrupted the rehearsal to announce that the girls will be thrust into a challenge, modelling Philip Klein while doing the routine they just learnt … before being lifted by Jermaine. Shanice had the firm to take out the win, Jeana assumed she won before she even finished, Brendi K floundered, Khrystyana was adorable, Rio was insufferable, Erin was fierce and Kyla, well, bombed.

Brendi K was upset by her performance and started to withdraw from the other girls, despite the fact she clearly did better than sweet Kyla. Sadly Jeana’s arrogance was correctly placed, taking out the victory and selecting Rio to go with her on her spa reward. Which we tragically had to see. Though the fact that neither knew what cryotherapy was would make a great case for them, and not Kyla, being the fucking morons. Punctuated by their ‘sexy’ dancing in the cryo chamber.

The remaining girls, like me, weren’t pleased to see the bad guys win though agreed it was nice to be free of them for an afternoon. Jeana and Rio didn’t get a warm reception when they returned to the house, with Jeana and Rio putting it down to their jealousy … rather than the fact their insufferable attitudes did it to themselves. They then sat outside by themselves, literally on the outside of the group while the girls were having fun and, in the case of Brendi K and Shanice, bitched about how awful they are.

Once again Brendi K shared about her self-esteem issues and confided in the girls that she wants to go home. Erin, obvi, went into full-on mum mode, encouraging her to work hard and fight for what she came for. I think her kindness overwhelmed Brendi K, leading to her breaking down and want to retreat even more. All the girls – minus Jeana and Rio, who I assume they just locked outside for all our sakes – rallied around Brendi K and encouraged her to stick with it and be proud of where she came from.

The next day the girls joined Rio and Jeana outside for a bus trip to the desert for a movement photoshoot, complete with a wind machine and a parachute. Make no mistake, this is not going to end well and I see a medevac in our future. Brendi K was still feeling insecure, with Shanice rallying to keep her on task and focused on the competition. Jeana, who was also there, rolled her eyes. The wind then picked up, a make-up tent flew over and smacked Jeana in the back of her head and scratched her cornea, somehow. If it did hit her, which like Shanice I don’t think it did, I would argue it may be karma for being a dick the last few episodes.

Brendi K was up first and seemed to have her groove back. Kyla seemed to struggle, Khrystyana was back to slaying, Erin looked gorgeous, Rio sadly did well, Shanice went for her it and owned the shoot while Jeana started complaining before she even got her first frame, taking off her shoes and then hunching over for the entire shoot.

After a warning from Tyra about the impending elimination, Kyla had an overwhelming sense of doom about her performance while Brendi K continued to struggle emotionally. At panel Shanice received much deserved universal praise and Kyla was right to be nervous getting mixed reviews at best. Erin looked beautiful, Rio was a Monet and looked like shit in close-up, Khrystyana was a star, Jeana looked like a bad mini-Ongina impersonator and got knocked down a couple of pegs while Brendi K once again broke down at panel, quitting the competition to look after herself before receiving her critiques.

Despite assuring the girls someone would still be going home post Brendi K’s quit, Shanice scored best photo, Jeana and Kyla landed in the bottom two … and TyTy opted to save both since neither technically performed badly.

When Brendi K arrived backstage after her quit, she was still processing her pain. Thankfully so motivational words from me – I can be nice when I want to be – and a big batch of Brandi K Seinaps had her back on the path to glory.

 

 

Do these run the risk of burning off your fingertips? Sure, but they are more than worth it (plus – no fingerprints, great when you’re running away from the cops with Halle). Spicy, sweet and inherently festive, these babies are the perfect thing to perk you up when you’re feeling down.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandi K Seinaps
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
100g butter
½ cup raw caster sugar
⅓ cup golden syrup
¾ cup flour
2 tbsp brandy
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup double cream
½ cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until, and stir until combined. Add the flour, brandy and spices, whisk to combine and remove from the heat to cool.

When you’re ready to bake, line two baking sheets and roll the batter into small teaspoon-sized balls. Place the balls on the tray, five at a time, leaving space for them to spread out. Transfer to the oven and bake for about ten minutes, or until they form soft, bubbly, thin pancakes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 secs before lifting with a palette knife and rolling around a cannoli tube to form a cylinder. Place on a cooling rack and leave to sit for a couple of minutes, or until they’re holding their shape and crispy. Repeat the process until they’re done.

Once the snaps have completely cooled, whisk the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. It won’t take long, so don’t over whip. Just whip it real good.

Pipe the cream into the cooled brandy snaps just before serving. Then devour.

 

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Joshua Flapjackson

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Kicking off my Capeside celebrations is a huge honour that required a big name, and while Mich is arguably the biggest star of the bunch and the show was literally named after JVDB’s character, I couldn’t go past bequeathing said honour to my oldest friend Josh Jackson.

As you should probably guess, I first met Josh in the early ‘90s while working together on The Mighty Ducks. As a champion figure skater slash coach – I trained Tonya Harding, have I mentioned that – and ameteur street fighter, Disney hired me to train the cast to skate and effectively smoosh people into the glass during hockey.

While Josh wasn’t violent enough for my tastes, he was an expert skater and had the acting chops of a young Daniel Day Lewis. So you know what that means … I took him firmly under my duck wing and vowed to make him a star.

Between headlining a franchise, starring opposite soon-to-be Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf in Scream 2 and playing me in Cruel Intentions, I think I succeeded. And that is without even bringing Dawson’s into the equation.

Given how busy Josh has been with The Affair of late, we haven’t been able to see much of each other. Which is obviously equally heartbreaking for both of us. As such, it was such a delight to spend time with my bestest of best friends again and celebrate one of his sexiest characters – emphasis on one of – Pacey Witter. I mean, be still my throbbing …

We laughed, we cried, we reminisced and most importantly, devoured an entire batch of his favourite treat – my Joshua Flapjackson.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and a little bit earthy, this bars are the perfect pick-me-up snack when you’re struggling your way through life. I mean for you, obvi, I’m blessed with a wonderful life on the A-list.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joshua Flapjackson
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
150g butter
175g golden syrup
150g muscovado sugar
350g quick cooking oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch nutmeg

Method
Preheat oven to 150C.

Combine the butter, golden syrup and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well combined.

Place the oats in a large bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Fold through the buttery syrup until everything is sopping. Transfer to a lined square baking dish, packing it in nice and tightly – like Josh in my fantasies – and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Then you can devour.

 

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Jerry Festillervus Cake

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

We nearing the end of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations – after, wait for it, catching up with Jase, Heid, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike, Pat, John, J-Lou and Estelle – and as such, it is time to unleash the one-two Jerry punch. Since Seiny is obvi atop the Festivus pole, that means today is all about the king and creator of Festivus, my dear friend Jerry Stiller.

I’ve known Jez the longest of the Seinfeld bunch, having met in the early ‘50s.

You see I was working in a bridal shop in flushing … sorry, wrong show. I was working at a diner in Midtown and Jez came in with a nice young lady for a cup of coffee after he agent was rude to her. The young lady, his beautiful future wife Anne Meara  and it goes without saying that my service played a huge role in their eventual relationship.

I was the Best Man of Honour at their wedding in ‘54, am godfather to little Ben – who was named after, obviously – and was integral in getting the role of Frank recast because I knew that it truly was the role Jez was born to play.

I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen much of Jez since Anne passed away in 2015, so it was so wonderful to see him doing so, so well. There was a lot of laughter, plenty of tears and even a few grievances aired – his, most notably, was how little we see of each other – as we sat down to devour a traditional, hallowed Jerry Festillervus Cake.

 

 

While the TV Festivus dinner never featured the Festivus cake, this delight is a tradition of the real celebration. A light, moist chocolate cake, slathered in sweet chocolate buttercream and dotted with M&M’s? Sign me up … and yourselves.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jerry Festillervus Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
200g raw caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
275ml sour cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
M&M’s

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cream the caster sugar with 175g of unsalted butter and 2 tsp of the vanilla until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa. And then … in a third bowl, whisk the eggs and 150ml of the sour cream. Add the second and third bowls, alternating in thirds, until it is all combined.

Pour the batter into a 30 x 30cm cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make this icing, melt the remaining butter and chocolate in a medium bowl in a microwave until just melted and easily combined. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir through the golden syrup and remaining sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Ice the cake immediately, smoothing the edges half-assedly as you go.

Spell ‘Happy Festivus’ with M&M’s as best as your skills will take you … before carving up and devouring. Like a monster.

 

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Sundae Burquest

Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on the first half of the double tribal episode of Survivor – that doesn’t have a nice ring to it, does it – Will continued to try and play the middle but was sadly mowed down by Adam and his new alliance.

Back at camp Jay lamented the loss of yet another ally but reaffirmed the fact that he is a scrappy underdog and would persevere. He and Adam then connected to discuss their extremely toxic relationship and working together … while Adam vowed to take him out ASAP.

Once again, Jiffy didn’t want my mind drifting to Ken so appeared for the next immunity challenge – which looks as fun as Ken’s glorious torso – where they had to solve a puzzle while their balls were in play on an island pinball contraption.

Let’s be honest, all I heard was ball play and my mind wandered to Ken … who took out immunity with the help of Adam who wanted to guarantee neither David or Jay would get it.

How pretty did Kengel look while Jeff gave him the immunity necklace?

The tribe arrived back at camp Ken and David then went off for firewood while Jay sulked that Ken only won immunity thanks to Adam’s help, forcing Adam to admit that he wanted to block David – and not both David and Jay – winning immunity.

With David out of earshot Jay tried to rally the rest of the tribe to boot David, while David and Ken plotted to get rid of Jay. Hannah then arrived to assist with this highly scientific number crunching and brought up the idea of getting rid of non-entity Sunday, who I had honestly forgot was still here this episode.

#JusticeForPurpleSunday.

Adam then joined Ken and Hannah to discuss splitting the votes between Jay and David, to flush Jay’s idol and getting rid of a threat. While the tribe scrambled around the beach trying to decide on a plan, Adam approached Jay to let him know that he had to play his idol tonight. He then confided in Jay about his mother and they both broke down on the hammock in tears and it was heartbreaking.

I’m not sure how much else happened before tribal, on account of tears, but Hannah gave one last push to Adam to get rid of non-threat Sunday.

At tribal David said they were at the point where you have to rely on your friends in the game, while Jay lamented that all of his were now gone. Thankfully Jay is smarter than he is given credit for and pointed out that being a free agent that is a challenge threat is better than keeping a challenge threat that has allies … which only really works when Ken doesn’t have immunity.

Jeff posed the question of whether the tribe was planning on keeping final tribal goats – aka Sunday, I assume – or whether they were targeting them … which sadly ended up being a leading question as she found her way out of the game following Jay’s redundant idol play, dang it.

Sadly justice for Sunday will have to wait.

I first met Sunday – and I feel extremely awful (I know, I have feelings?!) about it – while running a religious scam. I was trying to use people’s beliefs for money and met Sunday at a religious retreat where I was recruiting. Thankfully Sunday’s beautiful soul – not that you’d know given her lack of visibility on the show – stopped me from being so hate filled and manipulative and showed me how to respect people’s beliefs rather than use them for my financial gain.

Obviously her kind, motivational nature earnt her a delicious Sundae Burquest after becoming the fourteenth boot.

 

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Comforting, fulfilling and oh-so-sweet, this Sundae is exactly like its namesake … not that you’d know, given her edit. Enjoy!

 

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Sundae Burquest
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup golden syrup
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
⅔ cup double cream
175g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
strawberry ice cream (maybe check back in a week), for eatin’
slivered almonds, to serve
maraschino cherries, to serve

Method
Whisk the golden syrup, sugar, cocoa, sea salt, double cream and butter in a large saucepan over low heat until it is all melted and combined.

Remove from heat and whisk through the chocolate  and vanilla until combined. Remove from heat and get down, to business … like I dream Kengel will say to me. One day. Oh, did I mention we just made chocolate sauce? We did

Generously scoop out some ice cream in a bowl. Top with some of the aforementioned chocolate sauce. Then some almonds. Then top with some maraschino cherries.

Then devour.

 

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Ruth Bader Gingersbread

Amer-she-can Week, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

So my Amer-she-can Week celebrations are about to reach their crescendo, so I needed to up the stakes as I made my way to the finish line … and there is no one more bad ass than my second favourite triple-barrel – RBG.

Yep – yesterday I caught up with the dominant force of nature who just so happens to be a close personal friend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I first connected with RBG in the ‘60s while I was working at Lund University. She was in town learning Swedish and researching for a book on civil procedure, while I was in town trying to woo myself a Swedish husband and fell into my first academia scam.

Despite only knowing the Swedish equivalent to the lyrics to Lady Marmalade, I took RBG under my wing and was able to teach her enough to write the book and for that, she has always been grateful.

RBG has been super busy lately dominating Texas’ moronic abortion laws, so it was such a treat for her to take the time out and catch up over a big fat piece of Ruth Bader Gingersbread.

 

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While I’m not exactly sure of where to geographically place this delightful cake, it was inspired by a recipe I made from Nigella’s Kitchen so I sold it to Hizza as a firmly, pre-Brexit British dessert.

I used to hate ginger and gingerbread, probably due to the awkward combination of my child tastebuds in the ‘90s and a bad experience with a hard, gross bakery gingerbread. Either way, Nige opened my eyes to the wonders of ginger with this soft, spiced cake.

Then I tinkered with it, slathered on some cream cheese icing and made something as beautifully notorious as RBG.

Enjoy!

 

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Ruth Bader Gingersbread
Serves: 8-12. Or two hardcore pals.

Ingredients
150g butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup
1 heaped cup muscovado sugar
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 eggs

Icing
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g icing sugar, sieved
80ml thickened cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease a large square pan (about 25cm x 25cm).

In a large pan over low heat, melt the butter, syrup, sugar Guinness and spices together. Remove from the heat and whisk through the flour and baking soda thoroughly.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs together before whisking through the spicy, liquored batter.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until risen, dark and starting to come away from the sides. When done, move the cake to a cooling rack.

While it is cooling, whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about a couple of minutes. Beat in the icing sugar, in three parts until fluffy and smooth. Add the cream and vanilla, beating a further minute and cool in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled.

Then, you know the drill, cover the cake with a thick smear of icing and devour.

 

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