%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Jimmychangas Fallon

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

To be honest, this marathon month of celebration is really starting to exhaust me and I’m feeling desperate to just relax and have a laugh while celebrating this year’s Grammys. And no tea, no shade to Whits, Burt, Tom or Madge, but there is no friend funnier than my fave chum Jimmy Fallon.

Well no one funnier that had won a Grammy. And was available, at least.

I first met Jimmy whilst loitering around 30 Rock to try and get Lorne Michaels to forgive me and let me join the cast of SNL finally. Whilst that obviously did not occur, I did befriend Jim when he was walking in and out of the studio. Did he mistake me for a beggar for the first six months of our friendship? Yes … but it showed that we truly did have a lovely relationship.

As is oft the case, i made his career my top priority and vowed to make him a star. I started by getting him to dip his toe in the cinematic pond, before making him quit SNL to defend my honour … and ultimately, release a comedy album that would go on to bag him a Grammy.

Since that is his winning category, he was thrilled to sit down and run the odds with me. He agreed that it is Jerry Seinfeld’s Grammy to lose … though can’t bring himself to count out Dave Chappelle. When it came to spoken word, however, we knew that there was no one beating my girl Carrie Fisher. Fuck I miss Caz.

Talking about Carrie got me feeling hella emotional, so it was fortuitous timing that I was already balls deep on making some Jimmychangas Fallon.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and comforting, this usually fried delight is just as perfect when oven baked. But I guess, can you go wrong with something slathered in cheese, sour cream, guac and chilli?

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Jimmychangas Fallon
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 red chillies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
2 shallots, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1kg brisket
olive oil
1 tbsp ground chilli
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of cinnamon
1L beef stock
12 flour tortillas
grated cheese, to serve
sour cream, to serve
guacamole, to serve
sriracha, to serve

Method
Place the chilli, cumin, coriander seeds, pepper, oregano, shallots and garlic in a food processor and blitz until it forms a paste. Blitz in a good lug of olive oil and transfer to bowl. Add the brisket and rub to coat, cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The next day, heat a lug of oil in a large skillet seal the meat for a minute or two on each side. Add the chilli, smoked paprika, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another minute before adding the stock and bringing to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for three to four hours.

Remove beef from the pan and rest before bringing the heat back up to reduce the liquid. After about ten minutes of rest, shred the brisket with a couple of forks and return to the sauce. Continue to cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to chill completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place a couple of tablespoons of the brisket along one edge of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll to form a small burrito and tie in the centre with kitchen string. Repeat the process until done. Brush with olive oil, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and remove the string from each. Top with some grated cheese and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve immediately, slathered with sour cream, guac and sriracha. Though be careful when devouring, since they’ll be bloody hot.

 

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Tom Crumpetty

Breakfast, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking this year’s Grammy Gold – Goldenade for those playing at home – off on an emotionally draining note with Whits, followed by a soul affirming date with my boy Burt, I was starting to feel disoriented. Almost like I was in an emotional free fall, which led to me calling my dear friend Tom Petty and begging him to come over to celebrate the Grammys.

Then I remembered that he tragically passed away but a few months ago and I truly felt like I was freeeeeeeeeeee. Free fallin’. I reversed the delorean out of the garage and this time set a course for earlier last year, to see him one last time and honour his legacy in the way that he deserves.

Since I obviously couldn’t take to him about this year’s nominees, lest I spoil his death, I ran the odds for the Rock/Alternative categories alone. I was obviously feeling misty while heading back because I opted to mark Best Rock Performance down for Leonard Cohen over the Foo Fighters. Metal Performance I closed my eyes and pointed at Code Orange, Best Rock Song I think will go to Metallica while Best Rock Album will go to Queens of the Stone Age … and Alternative Album should obviously go to Arcade Fire.

With that out of the way I charted my course back to last year to hang with Tom, and by George was it not the most delightful thing I’ve experienced in years. Tom and I have known each other for years, meeting when he was putting together the first line-up of the Heartbreakers. While he egregiously snubbed my audition for the bassist, the decade of stalking and torment eventually led to friendship and we’ve been the best of since the mid-80s.

I may or may not have bequeathed him a little song I wrote called free fallin’.

Anyway, Tommy was thrilled to see me and we laughed, fondly reminisce about our friendship and I was finally able to get the closure I desperately wanted after his death. In turn, he got to smash a batch of my Tom Crumpetty, so he was hella chuffed.

 

 

Light, fluffy and springy, there is nothing better than a freshly cooked crumpet. Even the ones that don’t exactly look the part. I mean, I tried my best but I just couldn’t be bothered greasing the crumpet rings and therefore, we got some jagged little edges like it were last year’s celebration. In any event, however, they taste delicious.

So enjoy!

 

 

Tom Crumpetty
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
¼ cup butter, plus extra for cooking
2 tsp raw caster sugar
7g dried yeast
3 cups plain flour
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp bicarb soda

Method
Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until butter melts. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 40°C.

Meanwhile combine the sugar and yeast in a small jug and slowly whisk through a cup of  the cooling milk and butter mixture. Cover and allow to get foamy for 5 minutes or so.

Combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and slowly whisk through the yeast mixture, followed by the remaining warm milk until smooth and combined. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Once risen, whisk the bicarb with 50ml warm water and beat into the batter. Cover, return to its warm place and prove for a further half hour.

Heat a frying pan over low heat and melt a little bit of butter. Add crumpet rings and fill ⅔ way up with batter. Cook until the mixture is hella bubbly and a skin forms on top, about five minutes, before removing the rings, flipping and cooking for a further minute. Remove and keep warm, and repeat the process until all the batter is done.

Then, obvi, devour slathered in more butter and honey.

 

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Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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Benny with the good hair

Golden Globe Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

2018 has already felt like a marathon effort, what with me counting down to RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, my first ever Golden Globe Gold celebration, getting all up in Schitt’s Creek, honouring the 20th anniversary of Dawson’s Creek and Tyra berating slash begging me to cover America’s Next Top Model. But there is still one more mega-week to go before the Oscars.

Yas bish, it’s time for my annual Grammy Gold party.

Will this be the year my girl Carrie finally gets a major award? The answer is, obvi, James Corden better bloody hope so.

On that menacing note, welcome to this year’s triumphant Grammy Gold: Goldenade.

Who will be joining me tomorrow? Let’s just say, I have a feeling it is going to make me so emotional …

Image source: Grammys.

 

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+.

Beygel Knowles

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

We’ve made it to the end of the Grammy Gold road and it has been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster. Between Elts and I ending a decades long feud, Salt-n-Peps shooping over to down some squid, Braff and I also working to rekindle a friendship, Nells dropping by to convince me she was still making music and well, barely surviving the sexual tension between groffsauce and I, I am absolutely spent.

But hold up, that doesn’t mean our final visit was going to be cancelled so get in formation – my favourite Knowles-Z, Beyoncé, is finally dropping by for a visit!

As you know, I’ve been a close member of the Knowles clan since starting a fight club in (Whitney) Houston and Bey and I have been best friends ever since.

That being said, I sadly haven’t seen Bey in the flesh since the infamous Met Ball of 2014 … though I was the first to find out about her latest pregnancy. Also yes, the rumours are true – if they are both girls, she will be calling them Kelly and Michelle and if they are boys … Ben and Jamin.

Anywho, Bey appeared – nay, manifested – under the cover of darkness to avoid alerting the media to her pre-Grammy visit and ran straight into my arms.

“Ben, they don’t love you like I love you. You’re irreplaceable, I’ve missed you my little Sasha Fierce.”

“You liked it, well you should have put a ring on it my Dreamgirl!”

We held each other like best friends do and laughed – though I think a part of her was serious – in front of a large wall of imported flowers, covered in a veil, while discussing the upcoming awards.

I’d like to make one thing clear – yes, even Bey thinks she is going to sweep the pool. But who can really blame her? I mean, she has already won 20 Grammys and we both know that the academy is terrified of getting yelled out by our mutual friend Kanye.

Despite it being an evening catch-up, Bey had one pregnant craving she needed me to help with, so I gladly whipped up a big batch of my Beygel Knowles.

 

beygel-knowles-1

 

I love bagels. Love them. So much. I mean, if you could marry a food I would have put a ring on it already.

My favourite, like these babies, are cinnamon and raisin. I mean, they are a gift from the gods … like Queen Bey. So get boilin’ and bakin’ and get in formation to celebrate her upcoming nine new Grammys.

Enjoy!

 

beygel-knowles-2

 

Beygel Knowles
Serves: one pregnant angel and her babin’ chum. I am the babin’ chum, FYI. Also FYI, it makes 8.

Ingredients
500g 00 flour
¼ cup caster sugar
1½ tsp table salt
7g dried yeast
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
125g raisins (or sultanas but they are as juicy as I feel around Jon)
1 egg, beaten

Method
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon and raisins in a large bowl for the stand mixer. Using the dough hook by hand, slowly stir in 300ml of warm water until everything is wet. Transfer to the stand mixer and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If you need more water, add it a tablespoon at a time. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until doubled in size.

While it is proving itself preheat the oven to 180°C.

When the dough is as big for its britches as Tay Tay when she beat Bey – remember that controversy? – knock it back to size and break into 8 equal pieces. Roll them into balls and push a finger through the centre to form a ring. Place on a lined baking tray and allow to prove for half an hour.

While they are proving again, bring a pot of water to boil.

Once the bagels have double in size, drop them into the water one at a time, and cook for thirty seconds each side. Transfer to a wire rack and continue until done.

Transfer them to a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and bake for about fifteen minutes, or until golden brown.

Devour, slathered in butter or cream cheese. Like a Queen.

 

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Jonathagnolotti Groff

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Main, Pasta, Snack, Vegetarian

The Grammys are rapidly approaching which means that sadly our Grammy Gold celebrations are about to reach their crescendo but thankfully there are two final catch-ups slash prediction discussions to be had, the latest being my dear friend and part-time lover Jonathan Groff.

Fun fact: I invented the nickname Groffsauce – contrary to popular opinion. You can probably infer how I came up with such a loving name.

Anyway, I am getting way to flustered and a little short of breath.

I first met Jo-Groff while co-starring in Spring Awakening – I should probably mention that Lea Michele is my drag name and I am serving fish, henny girl – and our love blossomed instantly. While I was singing about my mama who bore me, he was boring into …

Again – nevermind. We fell in love, it was beautiful but sadly it wasn’t meant to last. Surprisingly I was mature about the whole thing and agreed that we would make the best of friends.

Given how busy my delicious little Groffsauce has been lately – what with wrapping up Looking, his Tony nominated and Grammy award winning (by way of musical theatre album) performance in Hamilton and the upcoming show Mindhunter – we haven’t been able to reconnect since we last worked together on The Normal Heart.

JoJo was just as beautiful – and dare I say it, saucy – as the last time we hung out and we quickly caught up on each others lives, lamented the loss of Looking, gossiped about the plot of our upcoming film Frozen 2 and ran the odds on who would take over the crown Best Musical Theatre Album crown.

FYI – we are backing Waitress. Or Bright Star. Probably Bright Star.

Despite our indecision about the future winner, we both agreed that my Jonathagnolotti Groff is delicious, even if not served on a named body.

 

jonathagnolotti-groff-1

 

While it has more of an X rated history, the delicate cheesy, mushroom stuffed pockets have a simplistic elegance when slathered in burnt butter and crispy sage.

So yeah, delicious even without the dessert – enjoy!

 

jonathagnolotti-groff-2

 

Jonathagnolotti Groff
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g mixed fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup ricotta cheese
40 gow gee wrappers
75g butter
20 fresh sage leaves

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat and fry the mushrooms for about five minutes, or until all of the liquid is goneski. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat to cool and season.

Once the mushroom mixture is all chill – like I was hoping Jon and I would be, in the Netflix sense obvs – whisk the egg, ricotta and mushroom mixture in a medium bowl, until well combined.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil while you work on the agnolotti.

Lay your gow gee wrappers on a dry work surface and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of each. Brush the edges with water and fold into half moon pockets, ensuring to work out all the air before crimping them shut. Leave to rest until ready to cook.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat, add the sage leaves and cook until crisp. Remove to drain on a paper towel and continue cooking the butter until it is beautifully browned.

Once the water is boiling feverishly, place the past in the water and cook for about five minutes or so, or until it rises to the surface. Drain and serve immediately, slathered in the burnt butter and topped with the crisp sage.

Devour.

 

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Zach Braffogato

Drink, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Sweets

No doubt your first thought when you heard about Grammy Gold was finally, Ben’s friendship with Zach Braff is finally going to get the coverage it deserves.

So yes, I’ve opted not to zig or zag and instead do as you predicted and include my dear friend and famed Grammy winner, TV actor and director Zachy B in this Grammy celebration … despite our infamous falling out after my name was mysteriously struck from the Garden State soundtrack credits, losing me my chance at a Grammy.

Despite promising that neither he nor his other bestie/Scrubs co-star Donald Faison were involved, it begged the question, why even mention Don?

What resulted was a bitter decade-long feud – on my part – with me trying to bring him down at every opportunity. However after successfully getting Scrubs axed in 2010 and blocking studios from funding his follow-up film Wish I was Here, I felt unfulfilled and donated $100,000 of my grifted funds to help him make his movie and rekindled our friendship in the process.

It was a slow process to rebuild our relationship – particularly with him forbidding me from getting back with my ex / his new frequent collaborator James Franco – but we’ve finally got back to how it was in the good old days and he jumped at the opportunity to drop by, chat the Grammys – he is backing Straight Outta Compton (named after a song I co-wrote) to take out his old category – and catch-up over a perky nana Zach Braffogato.

 

zach-braffogato-1

 

Ice cream in coffee aka an affogato is delicious and perfect – the ice cream makes it sweet and thick and balances with the sharp coffee. Perfect, right? Well try coffee ice cream in your coffee … that is truly perfect.

Enjoy!

 

zach-braffogato-2

 

Zach Braffogato
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
double shot of freshly poured espresso
a scoop of coffee ice cream

Method
Pour the espresso in the cup – bucking the traditional method, I know – and add in a dollop of ice cream.

Down / devour.

 

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+.