Christoffee Waltz

Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with Em, Reese, Gustavo, Tilda and Miloš for this year’s Oscar Gold celebration Call Me By Your Gold, I knew there was only one person I could invite over to finish things off – my dear friend Christoph Waltz.

You see with two people – Rachel Weisz and my love Mahershala – going for two for two like him, I knew there was no one better to have over.

While I’ve only know Chris for a decade, our bond is probably one of the relationships I’m most proud of. I was on the set of Inglourious Basterds visiting Brad and was immediately blown away by his talent, so forced him to hire me as his Oscar strategist.

Which may or may not be why he is two from two nominations.

Speaking of which, it is time to finally explore the last four categories. We feel Film Editing will go to Bohemian Rhapsody for the Live Aid sequence alone, though wouldn’t be shocked if BlackkKlansman surprises on its way to a string of wins. Poor Rach will be defeated in Best Supporting Actress by Regina King, though TBH I wouldn’t be shocked if she, Em and Ames are beaten by Marina De Tavira. Best Supporting Actor will see Mahershala follow in Chris’ shoes, as much as I desperately want to see Richard E. Grant take it out. We were both torn when it came to Best Picture, assuming it is a foregone conclusion that Roma will take this one however my gut says we’ll be witnessing some upsets, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Black Panther win.

Full disclosure, I’ve desperately tried to have Chris over for the last two Oscar Gold celebrations however I’ve never been able to master the Christoffee Waltz and have kicked him out. Not this year, however!

 

 

Finally, FINALLY, I’ve managed to master the art of toffee making and TBH, I am feeling super smug. Super sweet and so hard it could chip a mouth full of teeth, this is the perfect toffee for snackin’, garnishin’ or simply eatin’. I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Christoffee Waltz
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 cup caster sugar
¼ cup water

Method
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Up the heat to medium and cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 145C.

Immediately pour the piping hot syrup on a lined baking sheet and leave to set for ten minutes. Before cracking and devouring.

 

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Tina Turnovers

Baking, Dessert, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Snack, Sweets

We’ve crossed the halfway point of this year’s Grammy Gold celebration – Somebody That I Used to Gold – and no tea no shade to Gaga, ONJ or Trey Park, but I decided it was about time I enlisted one of my most iconic friends. And thankfully the one, the only Tina Turner was keen to roll down the river for a date.

While I haven’t know Tina as long as most of my celebrity friends, the moment we met in the late ‘80s forged an instant bond and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Though there really is no bond stronger than one built on thirsting over footy players while filming an ad.

I know I haven’t told you about said bond before, but she means so much to me that I wanted to wait sharing our love on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace until there was a special occasion. And there is no occasion specialer than an EGOT contributing award show.

After holding each other close and catching up on what we’ve been up to, Tina being Tina
interrupted our gabfest by saying, “hit me with the odds Ben. And put some stank on it.”

I mean, if that is not the mark of an icon, I don’t know what is. With that we agreed that Arctic Monkeys will take Best Rock Performance, that we’ve never heard of any of the metal performances, Greta Van Fleet feel like the best shot for Best Rock Song and Weezer should take Best Rock Album.

Did I half-arse the running of odds? Sure. But I really wanted to focus my attention on making my Tina Turnovers perfect for my dear friend.

 

 

Creamy, sweet and full of juicy, tart blueberries, these are the perfect snack for any occasion. And are super easy, so you’d be mad not to have a crack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tina Turnovers
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese, softened
¼ cup raw caster sugar
2 lemons, zested
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and quartered
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 egg, whisked
demerara sugar, for sprinklin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Combine the cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Divide amongst the squares of pastry, dot with the blueberries and seal to form triangles.

Transfer to a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Devour immediately.

 

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Alan Cumin Chicken

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

You know how special it is when you’re watching an Academy Award winning performance and just marvel at the perfection unfolding on screen? Think, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight … and Meryl in everything.

Take that majesty, multiply it by 73, carry the fourteen, square root the power of three and you have a fraction of how electric it is to witness a Tony Award winning performance on Broad-way. And my dear part-time lover Alan Cumming’s performance in Cabaret gave me all the tingles in all the ways … in all the places.

Now full disclosure, I’ve only seen his performance as the MC in its most recent revival given the drunken stupor in which I navigated the 90s – opposite my girl, Academy Award winner Emma Stone, no less – which didn’t actually earn him the Tony Gold … but it was still as electric and sexual as always. Plus, dat arse has not quit in the time away from the role.

Despite the fact I almost got kicked out from the showing after befriending two wild, tipsy women from Washington, I screamed out to Alan that security were manhandling me, he recognised my moans, worked it into the show and got me backstage.

Oh – I should probably mentioned that we hadn’t spoken since having an epic lover’s quarrel at Natasha Richardson’s funeral, so the fact that he saved me getting the boot and allowed me backstage was quite the olive branch. Though we had been friends since meeting on the set of GoldenEye – I was in Sean Bean’s entourage at the time – and I had helped his career reach the next level, so I shouldn’t have been too shocked.

We quickly got reacquainted backstage after the show and have been in regular contact ever since. He was thrilled that I had finally found another way to bow down at the altar of the great white way with Tony Gold, so jumped at the chance to celebrate and run the male performance odds.

Like with Ang, we both agreed that Ben Platt and Nathan Lane would take out Leading Actor in a Musical and Featured Actor in a Play respectively, we couldn’t reach consensus with the others. While he favoured Corey Hawkins for Leading Actor in a Play, I went with Chris Cooper and for Featured Actor in a Musical, I couldn’t go past my lover Andrew Rannells … which piqued his interest when we sat down to my Alan Cumin Chicken.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking – cumin, just fucking cumin? Are you kidding mate? The answer is a firm no, no I am not … as this is delicious. Just spicy enough to be exciting, but not too overpowering to make you want to vom and run out of the kitchen in tears.

What a freaking salesman – enjoy!

 

 

Alan Cumin Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts, cut into pieces
3 tbsp ground cumin
juice and zest of a lemon
a clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the cumin, lemon, garlic and oil in a small bowl. Add the chicken to the mixture, toss, cover and allow to baste for an hour of so.

Heat a griddle on high until scorching, reduce heat to low and cook the chicken for about five minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Serve on a platter with some natural yoghurt and fresh coriander … to devour.

 

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Basil Gnudi Dench

Main

Dame Judi ‘J-dawg’ Dench is an absolute, deadset legend of a person and is, quite frankly, the best gambling partner a young chap could ask for.

After working through her rage of being egged in the late 60s, Jude worked on fulfilling her My Fair Laddy fantasy by turning me into an upstanding citizen who wore pants that covered his arse. Sadly my powers were too strong for her and we went through a reverse of the tale, where I systematically worked through making Jude as debaucherous, raucous and offensive as possible.

That is where her love of black-market gambling first came about.

While some may argue that the awards season are an excuse for famous people to either turn up to receive trophies from aging journalists and critics that want a good photo-op or for them to masturbate about their gripping performances, Judes and I are firmly of the belief that aside from being more important than Nobel prizes etc. they are a fantastic betting opportunity.

Yes, we will always be team Cate, Kate and Fassy – for obvious (NSFW) reasons, with the last one – we have to follow the money during awards season and spent most of our catch-up discussing the pros and cons of each nominee and whose bookie had the better odds.

Obviously we needed serious sustenance for such a consequential discussion, enter stage left my Basil Gnudi Dench.

 

basil-gnudi-dench-1

 

Gnudi is gnocchi’s easier to make cousin, being that you don’t have to bother with mashing any potatoes … because let’s be honest, you never leave the potatoes to cool long enough and end up with third degree burns when rolling them. Or is that just me?

Either way, they were perfect for our catch-up as nothing says illegal gambling quite like a delicate dish with fresh basil, tangy lemon and creamy cheese.

Enjoy!

 

basil-gnudi-dench-2

 

Basil Gnudi Dench
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large bunches of basil, leaves picked
250g ricotta
125g grated parmesan
2 large eggs, plus 1 eggstra yolk
100g plain flour, plus a little extra
Semolina, for dusting
15g butter
1 lemon
2 tsp chilli flakes
30g grated pecorino, to serve

Method
Heat a pan over a low heat and add a splash of water with two-thirds of the basil leaves and heat until wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, squeezing out any excess water.

Chuck the leaves in a blender with about a quarter of the ricotta and blitz to a purée. Empty into a large bowl and combine with the remaining ricotta, parmesan and eggs, and whisk vigorously, until light and fluffy.

Fold the flour into the ricotta mixture using a large, metal spoon until it is soft and moist. If it is too wet (nothing suss), add a bit more flour and relax. Trust your judgement.

Meanwhile, spread a layer of semolina over a baking tray and fill a piping bag with a 1.5cm opening with the ricotta mixture. Pipe long strips of the gnudi the length of the tray, leaving about a centimetre in between.

Dust the strips with a thick layer of semolina, cut them into 2–3cm pieces, making sure they are well coated in the flour. Cover the tray with cling film and pop it in the fridge for a few hours or ideally overnight, but who ever remembers to do that?

To cook your gnudi, remove the tray from the fridge and let it to come up to room temperature.

While nature is heating things up again, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and the reserved basil leaves. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until the butter starts to foam and the leaves have crisped up. Finely grate in the zest of the lemon, add the chilli flakes and season well. Remove from the heat to rest.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat and gently place the gnudi into the pan. When they float to the surface, they’re cooked.

Drain the gnudi and gently toss in the chilli lemon basil butter. Divide between bowls and serve with grated pecorino with lemon halves on the side to squeeze over.

 

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Notes on a scandalous friendship

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Awards season is now in full swing, with Giuliana desperately combing her scripts to avoid racially offensive jokes and Brad Goreski commandeering all loafers in the Southern Cali area while Gary attempts to make him witty. As such, it is well and truly time for me to start connecting with some of my fellow lauded friends.

FYI, I win an Academy Award in 2036.

The Baftas are this weekend, so I thought it best to make a quick jaunt across the pond and catch up with my dear friend, Academy Award winner and survivor of co-starring with Gwyneth, Dame Judi Dench.

I first met Judes in the late 60s where I suffered my first crushing rebuke at playing a highly sexualised version of the Emcee, in the original West End production of Cabaret. While I am sure constantly being pummeled by eggs when entering or exiting the theatre wasn’t fun, Judi was a good sport and took me under her wing and tried to teach me to tone down my sexuality.

While it clearly didn’t work, we’ve remained close for the last half century and are the first to be there for each other whenever there is a milestone to celebrate or an awards season to gossip about.

What is worthy of a Dame while we run the odds of the upcoming Academy Awards?

Picture source: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images.

 

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