David Voce de Leche and Pumpkin Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reduce the oven to 120C.

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

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

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

Melt the remaining white chocolate and leave to cool slightly.

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

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

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

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

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


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Andy Meldrumsticks waiting to be gobbled up by the hapless Australian Survivor ultrafan, Andy Meldrum

Andy Meldrumstick

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a broken rope eliminated King Ross from the game, breaking the heart of the nation in the process. Prior to that the post-swap Champions tribe was dominated by two power couples – Daisy and Shaun and Luke and David – who were battling it out for dominance, though were laying in wait to take control. Andy meanwhile tried to play both sides, but botched it so badly that nobody wanted to play with him and quickly made enemies. Clearly not having heard about Julia getting run over in Koah Rong while standing in the middle of the road. Meanwhile at the Contenders the OG Champs had dominated the tribe, though when it came down to just them and Harry had considered getting into bed with him and forming an unlikely alliance to control the post merge.

We immediately checked in with Jonathan at the top of a hill where both tribes were still sad to have lost Ross to injury. While I was offended by the lack of mourning period, that didn’t stop the game as Jonathan told them all to drop their buffs – sadly John didn’t take his speedo off with it – as the merge had arrived. Pia was thrilled to have gone from potential first boot to in a good place post-merge, while Luke was pumped to have made it for the second time. Janine was excited for the game to restart, while Andy was excited that all those sharks are circling and ready to sacrifice their next victim. Which is likely to be him.

Before returning to their new camp, Jonathan introduced them to their first individual reward challenge where the would need to hold a weight tethered to bucket of water above their head, with the last person dry snatching a mystery crate of goodness. Mere minutes into the challenge Jonathan offered the first temptation, with Luke dropping out and snatching a packet of Tim Tams. Which will, tragically, run out. Pia and Harry were next, dropping out for phone calls from home with Pia’s partner giving her a pep talk while her daughter was more concerned about keeping her up to date with her ear-wear. Which is iconic. Abbey and JaQueen dropped out for tacos and margies, John, Shaun and Baden dropped out for red wine and some spaghetti and Andy dropped out for John’s love, a mexican parma.

Daisy, Simon and David stayed firm through bacon and eggs, cake, shampoo and conditioner, an advantage in the next immunity challenge and an entire pizza, instead choosing to battle it out for the big ol’ box. Wanting to hurry things along, Jonathan changed the rule to leaving both hands on the bag, which immediately claimed David while Daisy and Simon continued to fight. Well until Simon couldn’t handle it anymore, dropping the bag and handing Daisy the big box. Which she could open when she arrived at the new camp.

Back at camp Daisy was thrilled to be above average as a member of the newly merged tribe, which settled on the palatial digs of the camp formerly known as Champ Camp. While they tried to act like one big happy family and settle in, Andy brought up that they need to name the tribe. Obviously he had researched a name, suggesting ‘Soli Bula’ which means welcome together. After everyone agreed on it and laughed about how obvious a superfan he is, he shared that ‘Soli Bula actually means sacrifice and he can’t wait to sacrifice everyone on the tribe. Sadly unaware that he is likely to be the next person sacrificed.

David and the rest of the Champions went for a walk down the beach with David filling them in on what he and Luke went through on the other tribe with the idol plays and swift moves. Luke stayed with the Contenders to make them feel like he is in with them and hide how tight the alliance truly is. David warned them against Andy and his ways, though pointed out that Daisy and Shaun are the most dangerous and need to be split up ASAP. Speaking of Daisy, she was catching up with Baden and Harry who warned her against the target on her and Shaun’s back, before reiterating that if one of them goes, they all go one after the other.

Shaun decided staying Contender strong is the most beneficial for their games, approaching Harry and John to get them on board. Pia was feeling slightly more confident, knowing she has a meat shield in the form of JaQueen and that her social game has been so strong, nobody has bothered to notice the strategy. She also suggested that playing lowkey and hiding your superfan status is important, which is something Andy needs to learn ASAP. Pia and JaQueen went for a walk to the well, where she suggested that she still wants to take out David, though whether it is something that she needs to happen ASAP is unknown.

Finally Daisy went for a wander into the jungle where she discovered her box and learned that her reward was actually every single item that Jonathan offered at the reward, in addition to a bath. After a brief chat with her mum, she then read the advantage which sadly gave her no information. After smashing a few meals, washing her hair and smashing her margie, she then lifted up a final closh, discovering that she also won an individual immunity idol filling with with unending joy and a little bit of hope. She then returned to camp to fill them in on her reward, however David was not buying it since she didn’t mention anything about an idol. Or the obviously ball hiding it in her hand.

Daisy and Shaun caught up near the well, with her sharing that she found an idol in her box – direct quote – which made Shaun confident that they will be able to swing the odds in their favour, despite the target their alliance has put on their backs. That night David, Abbey, Pia and JaQueen decided to make Daisy feel so nervous that if she has an idol, she plays it while they target someone else.

The next day John flashed everyone is pearly white arse, before everyone headed off to find Jonathan for the first individual immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a rope threaded through a tile and attached to a bag holding 60% of their bodyweight, with the last person still holding their bag with their tile intact scoring immunity. Oh and we finally learnt Daisy’s advantage is starting ten minutes after everyone else. Out of nowhere Zaddy John and Luke started to struggle within the first ten minutes, dropping out first at the same time, followed closely by Harry. After Daisy joined the fray, Baden opted out of the challenge with everyone riding out the next ten minutes safely. Pia started to struggle before joining the boys on the bench, followed by David after everyone spoke about the dangers of being too confident. He was followed by Andy, and then Simon at the thirty minute mark. After 40 minutes Shaun and Janine started to struggle, with Janine needing more of a boost if she wanted to stay in the challenge. Abbey, Shaun and Daisy continued to fight it out with the latter dropping out despite her advantage. Finally, after 55 minutes in battle poor Abbey couldn’t hold old any longer, handing Shaun the first individual immunity just when he needed it.

Back at camp Andy was feeling nervous about his place in the tribe now that Shaun has immunity. Meanwhile David was frustrated that his number one target had immunity and his number two likely had an idol, and as such, wanted Andy out in retaliation for his failing ways as a snack. With David iconically referring to him as a worm. While everyone agreed to band together to take out Andy, Shaun wasn’t happy about getting rid of him as a number and instead suggested to Daisy that they need to stick together as Contenders and target Dave. They then floated the idea of playing their idol to save Andy JIC and while Daisy can’t trust him, she also was attracted to the idea of making a big move.

Pia too was struggling with the easy Andy vote, realising that getting rid of Dave would likely be better for her game. She, Abbey and JaQueen caught up, agreeing that getting rid of Dave would make sense, so approached Andy to see what went on at the post-swap Champions tribe. Luke and Abbey approached Shaun and Daisy to start making Daisy nervous enough to get rid of her idol. Eventually Andy and Dave caught up for Andy’s last attempt to save himself, sharing that he didn’t actually try to throw the challenge and instead was making it look like he was to keep Daisy and Shaun happy. Knowing it was a total lie, David told him that he trusted him and  that his only chance at surviving the night would be to join the Champs and vote for Daisy. And honestly after the mess of everyone scrambling, I am so confused about what is actually going to happen.

At tribal council JaQueen tried to downplay how tight the OG Champions were, suggesting that they are all contenders ready to battle. John pointed out that the original tribes were hard to break, before David joined in downplaying the day one alliances. Shaun admitted that he is aware of the target on his back but people need to realise he can not win ten immunities in a row. Andy spoke about loyalty being hard to come by now that the tribe merged, before Luke jumped in to remind him of the move he tried to make against Daisy pre-merge which showed a lack of loyalty. Andy tried to lie out of the hole, with Dave joining in to tag-team Andy with Luke saying that they would actually respect him if he owned his moves. Shaun asked Andy point blank if he had tried to make a move against Daisy, with him once again lying about it happening.

Baden said that it was the most important tribal of the game, while Daisy admitted that she is feeling very nervous. David jumped back in to point out that just because someone is taking a lot of heat, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the one getting the boot and honestly I don’t know if that should make Daisy more or less nervous. He and Janine questioned the vote coming down to tribal lines, while Shaun was hopeful that tomorrow everything will be clearer and people will then be able to figure out their next move. David then spoke about the vote being clear cut, though was sure that some people will likely be shocked by the outcome.

With that the tribe voted, Daisy played her idol for herself and the tribe joined together to rid the game of Andy. Though not before one final moment of making me feel confused about how I feel for him, joking about voting for Daisy a couple of times and following it up by outing Dave’s idol. While sure, he didn’t actually think that Dave has the idol which he has, but the fact that he dropped the bomb and has left drama is something I’ll be forever grateful for. Plus, the look of pain as he tried to not show how disappointed he was to just miss the jury is the exact way I would be looking, and as such, the man still deserved a comforting Andy Meldrumstick.

 

Andy Meldrum waiting to dry his tears with an Andy Meldrumsticks

 

While Andy’s big moves never went anywhere, those massive swings are what makes the game exciting … kinda like the combination of white chocolate, salted caramel and peanuts. As salty as his moments of loss and deceit, as sweet as his (surprising to me) numerous victories in challenges and as cold as his persona, there is no better way to toast the ultrafan. And distract from the fact he was outshone as a villain by David.

Enjoy!

 

Andy Meldrum washing away his pain with an Andy Meldrumstick or two

 

Andy Meldrumstick
Serves: 1 Sonic Look-a-like and his dearest frenemy

Ingredients
400g white chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
6 waffle cones
8 cups Vanilla Ice Cream, softened.
2 cups JL Salkeld Caramel
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over a rollicking boil until smooth and silky. Remove from the heat and stir through the oil until well combined.

To assemble, pour a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each cone and place into a couple of glasses and transfer to the freezer to set for ten minutes or so. Once set, remove from the freezer and pipe the ice cream into each cone, adding swirls and peaks to make it look legit. Using another piping bag, pipe a core of salted caramel into the middle and swirl over the top. Return to the cup and pop it into the freezer to set for half an hour or so, repeating the process until the ice creams are done.

Once set, brush with additional white chocolate and drizzle over the top, sprinkle with peanuts and return to the freezer to set for half an hour. Then devour, sadly, knowing you’ve missed the all winners season … even before losing the season in a spectacular fashion.

 

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