Torikish Meelight

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey gagged the castaways with the fact that they would be split up into two groups ahead of the next tribal council. With both groups having someone win immunity and both groups voting someone out. After Jonathan won his group – with Maryanne, Tori, Lindsay and Drea – reward and the chance to be the second tribal council of the evening, the all male group headed off to scramble on a second beach. And while Rocksroy thought it was an easy Romeo vote ahead for them, Omar and Hai flipped things and blindsided Rocksroy from the game and straight over to the jury bench.

Travelling back in time a wee bit, the victorious group returned to camp, quickly frying up their kebabs and devouring their feast. Lindsay meanwhile shared how thrilled she was to be grouped with Jonathan and Maryanne, meaning the former Taku’s would be able to control the upcoming vote. And given Drea has an idol, Tori is clearly the easy vote. Jonathan meanwhile was desperate to blindside Drea with the idol in her pocket, with Maryanne thrilled to be a part of the plan, given she has been on the outs since the merge. Sadly for him however, Maryanne didn’t appreciate the way he spoke to her though was willing to suck it up if she gets further. But best believe she ran straight to Tori with the Drea plan, despite him forbidding her.

Meanwhile Jonathan caught up with Drea, telling her the fake plan to take out Maryanne to flush her idol. Which would be fine, except for the fact she also has an idol and that is something that would clearly come back to bite her. Jonathan then caught up with Lindsay, with her quickly point out that the plan to put a vote on Maryanne is stupid, given if Drea plays the idol, they are screwed. As such, she tried to convince him they need to loop in Tori so she and Drea put their votes on each other instead, so that if an idol is played, they have nothing to worry about. Though Jonathan just would not listen. At all.

At their tribal council, everyone was shocked to see Rocksroy was the one voted out by the first group. Drea wasn’t sure what exactly it meant, while Lindsay admitted that seeing him on the jury has made her question whether their current plan is the right one. Drea then pointed out that seeing two African American people voted out back-to-back made her nervous, while Tori was thrilled to be able to play in a little group as it gave them an opportunity to play with different people and try different things. Maryanne and Drea spoke about the previous tribal council playing on their minds, with Drea admitted that unconscious bias is likely leading to the African American contestants going out back-to-back-to-back and as such, she was playing her idol tonight.

This made Jonathan nervous and ask what her plan would be, with Drea throwing Tori’s name out there. While everyone got on board, Maryanne started whispering to Tori that she literally can’t vote out Drea and continue the cycle. And when the whispering was clearly heard by all, she gave an impassioned speech to the group about taking a stand for who she is outside the game. Jonathan then got defensive and said that he is not racist and then called Drea agressive and well, that is unconscious bias, but as a white heterosexual male, he struggled to see that. Both Drea and Maryanne spoke passionately about how they are not calling people racist, but are shining a light on the fact that they do have a harder path forward, particularly since they always have to be ‘on’ and have a lot of pressures that other people in the game do not.

The pressure of being a representative for their community got to Maryanne who admitted that she too would be playing her idol, not because she thinks she will receive votes but because she knows some idiot on the internet will say she only survived the episode because of race. Which is very true and so damn sad. Lindsay stepped in and praised the duo for being so brave, assuring Drea that she was not being aggressive and that she appreciates they have a harder experience that they don’t understand. Maryanne then summed things up by giving an impassioned, well-argued speech about how every minority has to play the game differently and ugh, I love her so much.

Given the raw emotion, the group opted not to officially vote and as such voted in the open. After Drea and Maryanne played their idols, Tori quickly deduced she would be the one going home and after getting them to give her a reason, she went to play her Shot in the Dark, which did not give her safety, sending her home while a teary Lindsay lived to see another day.

While Tori was overwhelmed by all the emotions of tribal council, she was happy with the fact there was little she could do to avoid being the boot given it came to only her and Lindsay in danger. And as such, she quickly moved on and was back to laughing it up and regaling me with tales to avoid giving me free therapy. When it became clear I wasn’t getting any freebies, I quickly plated up some Torikish Meelight and toasted a game well played.

The turkish delight chocolate bar may be the reviled snack-size left in the bag, but genuine turkish delight is straight up delightful. Floral and fruity, super sweet and melt in your mouth, it is the perfect way to turn around a day.

Enjoy!

Torikish Meelight
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
4 ½ cups caster sugar
¼  cup powdered gelatine
1 cup hot water
1 cup cornflour
¼ tsp red food colouring
1 tbsp rosewater
1 cup icing sugar

Method
Oil a lamington or slice pan and line with baking paper, pressing it into the edges and leaving a couple of centimteres overhang.

Once that is prepped, pop the caster sugar in a large saucepan with 1 cup of room temp water and stir to combine over low heat. Cook, stirring infrequently, for about 20 minutes or until the sugar has disolved.

Grab a candy thermometer and pop it in the pan. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil without stirring, simmering for about 20 minutes or until it reaches 116C or the ‘soft ball’ phase. Reduce heat back to low and continue to simmer for five minutes, maintaining the heat at 116. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile whisk the gelatine in a jug with the hot water. Pop the cornflour in a bowl and whisk the gelatine mixture in to combine, avoiding any lumps forming before whisking in the red food colouring to give a pale pink colour.

Slowly whisk the cornfloured gelatine into the hot syrup until smooth. Return to the heat and simmer for an additional five minutes or so, or until it is translucent. Strain into a heatproof bowl, removing any foam or scum in the bowl before whisking in the rosewater. Pour into the prepared pan and leave overnight at room temperature to set.

Once set, lightly dust a chopping board with icing sugar and turn out the turkish delight. Using an oiled knife, cut into large cubes, dust with icing sugar to coat and then devour. Greedily.


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Melta Carajomenta

Baking, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls got creampied by the Pit Crew before they were tasked with a little improv. In the form of starring as guests on Putricia’s Diario for the Maxi Challenge. While Samantha’s look was iconic, her performance didn’t go anywhere while Jota was overwhelmed by her sisters. In her performance, Venedita stole the show from start to finish and rightfully took out the win. Poor Jota landed in the bottom with lip sync veteran Samantha Ballentines, and rightly chose to focus on the emotion of the song which was key to saving herself as Samantha sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were in their feels, while Jota was just glad to survive and ok that Samantha had gone given she wasn’t exactly thriving in the competition. That being said, she and Estrella were definitely going to miss her motherly ways and all that they have learnt  from her in such a short amount of time. Though Estrella was thrilled to not be in a house with her and Macarena, given they both finished in tenth place and it is clearly cursed. Everyone gathered around to swap stories about Samantha before Estrella went on a shady rampage, telling the dolls that Jota should not have even lip synced and explained why Onyx was far worse. Before a fight broke out, the dolls congratulated Venedita on a well deserved win and all appeared to be forgotten.

The next day Estrella confronted Marina for trying to take her farting crown from her which led to Marina trying to explain her fight with Juriji to the other girls and well, nobody seemed interested at all. Though they did end up making up so I guess that is a win? Before Diamente could act on her desire to mount Onyx, Supremme dropped by with the Javiers to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be putting on a little rusical, Holy Drag Camp! Which is a riff on the Javiers’ Goya winning film Holy Camp, inspired by their stage show Holy Camp. So yeah, this is los Javis inception moment. And I am horny for it.

Supremme bid the dolls adieu before the Javiers gathered them to lock in the roles, with Drag Sethlas and Diamante fighting for the same role before Sethlas pulled a Camden and realised she could slay another role and bounced out. Marina meanwhile was ready to take the lead role, Onyx was cast as a painting while Sharonne was typecast as the old queen. Oh and then Estrella and Jota also fought for a role, until Estrella auditioned and made Jota shit her pants about living up to the performance. And as such, she quickly opted to take the last free role.

The queens quickly joined Carlos Marco on the Mainstage to record their songs with the quartet of muses – Vendetta, Drag Sethlas, Juriji and Jota – mostly knocking it out of the park. Drag Sethlas was demented and hilarious, Sharon hit EVERY note, Estrella was delightful and cute, Onyx was awks, Marina seemed sedated and Diamante was very energetic. When it came to rehearsal, Sharonen and Estrella were clearly the stars while Onyx and Diamante were kinda just there. Oh and the muses were a mess.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone feeling the pressure of the upcoming opening and closing night of their rusical. Well, except for Diamante, who was more focused on getting spit roasted by the Javis. Which is super relatable. She then did a hard pivot, opening up to Juriji about her difficulties growing up and how she struggled fitting in as an immigrant and ugh, they are so damn sweet I can’t handle it.

Supremme, Ana and Los Javis were joined by La Prohibidia on the judges panel for the debut performance of Holy Drag Camp! The muses opened the show in the most demented way possible, with Jurij’s voice knocking it out of the park while Sethlas was hilarious. While Marina felt a bit flat, Diamante did her best to pull her through the show before Sharonne and Estrella arrived and lifted the energy. They were stupid, fun and oh so delightful. Onyx meanwhile was just there, but given the role, I’m not sure what else she could have done anyway. Wait, then Marina got a solo number and well, she can sing and really leaned into the emotion of her role and ended up slaying.

After watching the entire rusical, uncut, the dolls stomped the Two looks in One runway where Juriji was a disco Marie Antoinette. Onyx cracked out of a space egg and into a glamorous alien, Venedita was a rainbow troll that transitioned into full glamour before Jota went from a tree to Botticelli, however said reveal took an ever to do and ended up super awkward. Sharonne went from a white bird to a metallic phoenix, Drag Sethlas went from baby to doll to bride and well, she stole the runway. Particularly after she added her fourth sexy honeymoon look. Diamante served Kinder Surprise realness, Marina was inspired by Priscilla, going from dancing queen to a supermodel and Estrella was show stopping as she cycled through the iconic looks of Marilyn Monroe and well, it was a good week for Estrella.

Ultimately Jota, Onyx, Sharonne, Marina, Estrella and Juriji were deemed the tops and bottoms of the week. After Sethlas, Venedita and Diamante exited to untuck, Juriji was read for getting lost in the rusical whenever she wasn’t singing. Though everyone admitted that they loved her runway. Juriji broke down as she opened up about never feeling good enough which led to an epic pep talk from the judges and ugh, I love them. Onyx was read for being there in the rusical and for only doing one look on the reveal runway. Jota was read for revealing too soon on the runway and kinda botching it, and for struggling with her lines in the rusical. Once again, Sharonne received universal praise for everything she served this week, while the judges absolutely lived for Marina dominating week. That being said, their love for the duo was nothing compared to Estrella who was universally beloved and then she had everyone in tears as she thanked Javier Calvo for giving her a gay man to look up to on TV and ugh, now I’m crying too.

Backstage Venedita was showing off a third reveal she had prepared for if she had to lip sync before the tops and bottoms joined them and well, Onyx and Jota were not happy. Onyx was angry to be in the bottom despite such a strong look while Jota felt she wasn’t the worst. While Estrella and Marina celebrated being in the top, Juriji started to sob over landing in the bottom and disappointing herself. And yeah, the dolls were definitely going through it.

Ultimately Marina and Sharonne were deemed safe as Estrella took out her first win of the season before Onyx was sent to safety, leaving Juriji and Jota to fight for safety to Baloncesto by La Prohibida. And yeah, Juriji is a damn star, as she perfectly stripped down and leant into the sexiness of the song while Jota lost her wig and started to look desperate as she went from camp, to a late breaking run of sexiness while Juriji just stayed in the pocket. Which was enough to save herself as Jota was booted from the competition.

While Jota was heartbroken to leave the competition, I was quick to remind her that despite a short run, she was memorable and charming. Which is what I say to all young stars in the hope that they will like me and make me look cool. But seriously, how the hell did Jota do what she did at only 19? Want to know what I was doing at 19? Vomming in public toilets before I even made it out for the night because I had no stamina. As such, we laughed and cried, while I wished to be young again before we split a batch of Melta Carajomenta.

Melting moments, in addition to being delicious, hold such a memorable place in my heart. From my sister bringing extras home from the cafe she worked at when I was a kid, to my friend being obsessed with them as a dessert for after our pastel de carne breaks at work, melting moments are perfect. And sweet. And delicate.

Enjoy!

Melta Carajomenta
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
330g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup cornflour
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Pop 250g of the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the vanilla extract and half a cup of icing sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold through the flour and cornflour until just combined.

Using your hands, roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and pop on a lined baking sheet. When you’ve formed an even amount of balls, this is very important, press them down with a fork to flatten slightly. Pop the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with the lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy. To assemble, pipe some icing on the base of half the biscuits before sandwiching with the other half. Close, dust with some icing sugar and devour. Triumphantly.


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Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after farewelling the last remaining other target in Swati, Tori was feeling very nervous on Ika and as such, beasted her way through the immunity challenge to guarantee her safety. Oh but not until after all of the idols were activated as Drea found Ika’s and Mike begrudgingly said his phrase. Knowing her vote was critical, Lydia didn’t bother to risk hers on her journey up the mountain with Rocksroy. Which was the right move, given she, Hai and Mike held all the power as Vati went back to tribal council and Daniel was booted from the game. Though not before Chanelle threw a random vote at Mike, making her all the more untrustworthy heading into the merge. Oh and Omar has no vote and Hai, Lindsay and Drea got an amulet advantage, in addition to the trio of idols activated last week.

Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.

After tribal council, the Vati tribe were gagged to have pulled off the Daniel blindside, with Chanelle particularly thrilled to have bested Daniel in their feud. Though sadly for her, she threw out a vote against Mike to protect herself against any Shot in the Darks being played and thought he would be cool with it. Which he is NOT. Despite them hugging it out. Oh and while Hai would take a bullet for Lydia and Mike, Chanelle, not so much. So yeah Chanelle, you in danger girl. Meanwhile over at Ika Rocksroy was busy doing work around camp and picking fruits, while Tori tailed him like a hawk to try and find out what happened on the summit. Which annoyed the hell out of him as she wouldn’t accept his answers. Oh and as they fought, Drea and Romeo hid behind the bushes eavesdropping, agreeing that Tori is sketchy and not to be trusted. In the slightest.

We got to get a little whisper sesh from Jeff who explained that the merge twist would play out the same as last season, except for the fact they will know that the person going to exile will have a massive power and the victors are allowed to opt to go to exile instead of one of the sit outs. To further that sense of deja vu, the challenge was the same as last year too, where they will dig out a rock and then push it through obstacles to release a pair of keys and climb a wall before solving a puzzle. And the victors would get a massive Applebees feast, alongside a merge buff and immunity from the upcoming tribal council. Well, unless the exilee turns back time, that is. Lindsay and Rocksroy ultimately ended up pulling the grey rocks and landing on the sit out bench. 

Jonathan, Tori, Maryanne, Hai and Lydia formed the orange team, while Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar and Romero were on blue. And almost immediately, Jonathan took the lead for the orange tribe, coaching them through building a ramp and getting a massive lead as they quickly released their first key. While the blue team tried to close the gap, there is no denying this was team orange’s to lose as the group literally climbed Jonathan to get up the wall before he effortlessly pulled himself up. As Rocksroy and Lindsay rightly marvelled at his prowess. Maryanne and Lydia looked very zen as they calmly sorted their puzzle pieces while Drea held up blue as she struggled to climb the ball and ugh, it was tough to watch. Thankfully Mike and Romeo literally put their bodies on the line and they worked together to get up the ball and yeah, it was heartwarming.

Obviously the headstart proved insurmountable for the blue team as the orange group took out victory and the win, which likely means one of the five will be going home tonight giving this immunity means nothing. The group then cursed Lindsay, selecting her to join them on reward while sending Rocksroy to exile for two days. With only the game changing twist which will make him immune, for comfort.

The victors were giddy as they arrived at their island Applebees, smashing their burgs and delighting in the fact they had officially made the merge. Which is a lie they are tragically unaware of, while Jonathan admitted that he had considered opting to go to Exile which would have kept everyone that won safe. But before we could think about what could have been, Tori talked a bunch of shit about Rocksroy and their OG tribe and then aired all their dirty laundry. Which may endear her to them, or piss everyone off.

Meanwhile the losers ventured to the eventual merge camp where they were thrilled to smash the pity rice they received from Jeff before Drea rightly clocked the merge twist, which is honestly, so damn iconic. Drea then caught up with Mike and suggested that maybe since they both have idols, they should work together and as such, combine their individual alliances to take control. Leaving Chanelle and Tori well and truly on the outs in the process. 

We checked in with Rocksroy as he arrived at his desolate island where as predicted by Tori, he was absolutely thrilled to set up camp, whipping up a fire and shelter. And well, he was loving to have all this alone time to just live his best life and see all the vibrant colour the world has to offer (because he has a degenerative eye disease). Oh and he found the hourglass and hammer, but there were no instructions so he just moved them into his shelter.

The winners and losers reconnected at camp with Omar ready to befriend anyone and everyone to keep himself safe at the first tribal council. Lindsay meanwhile wanted to check in with Hai and Drea to discuss their amulet advantages and see whether they will stick together. And while they all said they would, Hai was nervous the women would eventually turn on him. Mike and Maryanne caught up, assuring each other they will work together before the iconic Maryanne started bonding with Romeo and assured him that the little people need to stick together. Oh and then she bonded with Tori too and while she looks well connected, I’m worried it will come back to bite her.

Mike and Jonathan meanwhile watched the sunset together on the beach, bonding over being gentle giants and agreeing to look after each other and ugh, I love them. And more importantly, how much they love each other.

The next day the tribe went hunting for food, collecting crabs and before Jonathan snatched an octopus, then almost grabbed a shark and well, it was iconic. While he is clearly a threat, Hai was still keen to work with him and use him as a meatshield. With everyone bonding around camp, Hai spoke about how he met his boyfriend which led to Romeo pulling him aside and opening up about being gay and wanting to be as open and honest as he is and ugh, I love them. Hai encouraged him to share his story and love himself as Romeo spoke about his fear of people not loving him or worse, needing to silence himself to be accepted. And ugh, once again, I’m crying.

Omar soon joined the boys and talk returned to the game, with Hai telling them both that Chanelle can not be trusted. Which confirmed to Omar that he doesn’t have a vote. And well, she doesn’t care enough for him to let him know he doesn’t have a vote and as such, he was ready for her to go too.

The next day Omar charmed Mike by telling him that he is saving himself for marriage and well, he is ready to marry his partner ASAP. Lydia and Maryanne bonded over being the younguns with the old lady gang names, while Hai officially locked in his alliance with Jonathan. They then pulled in Lydia, Omar, Drea, Mike, Lindsay and Rocksroy, and just like that, they had a majority. Oh and Chanelle or Tori are their number one targets, with Maryanne identified as the next to go from Taku. Though only because Jonathan didn’t want his new allies to think he wasn’t willing to offer someone up.

Oh and then Chanelle walked up to try and find some allies, with them all pretending they have no plans to take her out. Which made Chanelle more and more nervous as they assured her they will not take her out. As Hai, Jonathan, Drea and Omar caught up to further solidify their bond, Omar admitted that he may not have a vote at the upcoming tribal council. Though after confirming they are tight, Drea shared that she has an extra vote and would be willing to give it to him, should they need it.

We ventured back to Exile Island where Jeff arrived to announce the twist to Rocksroy, who was honestly buzzing with joy to be left on his lonesome for a couple of days. Probst then explained the twist to him and while he was nervous about potentially pissing a bunch of people off, he obviously then smashed the hourglass and earnt himself immunity. And guaranteed his place in the merge. And most importantly, left Tori in jeopardy.

The castaways joined Jeff for the first individual immunity of the season where they were gagged to learn about Rocksroy’s power and the fact that the winner’s of the last challenge are now at risk and would be competing in the immunity challenge to guarantee their safety. Which obviously delighted Chanelle, Drea, Omar, Mike and Romeo. Tori on the other hand was irate and told Rocksroy that she was pissed he took away her safety after she gifted him an advantage. Which only made everyone even more weary of her.

But back to the challenge, where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and walk back and forth along a lane, spell out immunity using wooden blocks. With the first person to finish guaranteeing their place in the merge and a spot on the jury at the minimum. Fuelled by her simmering rage for Rocks, Tori got out to an early lead in the challenge alongside Jonathan, until Hai picked up the pace and took out the lead. Until he dropped and handed the lead back to the duo. Then Jonathan dropped, giving Tori plenty of time to calmly walk the course and jag immunity. Despite a late breaking pursuit from Lindsay. And then Maryanne.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tori on taking out immunity and assured Rocksroy there are no hard feelings. Before everyone quickly split into factions to come up with a plan, with Jonathan assuring Rocksroy he already has an alliance and has nothing to worry about. After Romeo and Tori bitched about the meatheads in the game, Romeo led the charge to get rid of Jonathan. While Maryanne, Hai and Drea weren’t overly keen, Maryanne also just didn’t want to lose her place in the game. Lydia tried to pitch Jonathan to Lindsay and Chanelle, which made go into protection mode and suggested Maryanne would be a better option because she is super strategic.

Chanelle meanwhile saw through her plan to protect herself and Jonathan, which made her more focused on rallying the troops to keep the vote on Jonathan. While Omar desperately worked to protect Jonathan, which gave him a crack as Lydia admitted that she isn’t sure about this new majority alliance. And as such, he went person to person to turn the tribe against her instead. Which obviously pissed off Hai.

At tribal council Hai admitted that this vote is very defining to their season, particularly since the game has been so fluid thus far. Romeo meanwhile spoke about trusting his gut and reading the cues, with Drea countering that sometimes people are just too nervous to make a move even if they want to. While Hai wanted to take this moment to take control of the game. Lydia once again spoke about how playing Survivor has helped her accept all parts of herself. Jonathan wanted to be able to say that he did all that he could do in the game when it was over, while Omar tried to be chill despite knowing people would come for him eventually. While Rocksroy spoke about his nerves over missing two days of the game.

Maryanne said that she planned to make the decision that will help protect her long term, which Drea said is not the right way to approach the game. Maryanne then tried to get her to agree they are on the same page, which Drea, again, iconically refused to agree. Maryanne spoke about being nervous about how charming and chatty she is while Hai spoke about everyone having a different perception of the game. Oh and then a beetle landed on Rocksroy, which is important, if you ask me.

With that the tribe voted, as Lindsay, Jonathan and Maryanne all received a few votes before the rest piled up on Lydia and sent her from the game. Just missing the jury, tragically. Despite the brutal way she went out – the twist, again, is not great – Lydia was still super calm and zen, happy to have been given the opportunity to play the game. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it sucks to go out in such an unfair twist, it does put her in the epic company of Sydney and she can always use it to justify needing a second go at the game. With that, he laughed and cried before smashing some Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

I know, I know – red velvet is just chocolate, but the elegant drama they bring to the looks department always make me excited to eat them. Delicate and fluffy, these babies are the ultimate way to sweeten the bitter after-taste of getting the boot. Or a rough day, TBH.

Enjoy!

Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
150g raw caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100ml buttermilk
50ml vegetable oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp red gel food colouring
100g butter, softened
225g icing sugar
100g cream cheese, softened

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and pop the unsalted butter and raw caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry until just combined, before mixing through the food colouring. Again, until just combined but also a consistent colour.

Divide the batter amongst the cupcake cases and pop in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are chillin’, beat the butter and icing sugar on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so, or until just combined. But for realsies, because the longer you beat cream cheese, the softer it gets.

Once the cakes are cool, piping the icing on top (or dollop with a spoon and hope for the best) before devouring. 


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe were put through their paces in a difficult immunity challenge which made everyone confused, except for Shay who slayed the game and well, proved Sam right. They should have booted her when they had the chance. The couples alliance continued to ignore Sam’s opinion while the cousins started to worry that Jordie was fast becoming an issue for their game. Jordie meanwhile was busy wanting to take out Mark, while Mark and Sam wanted to split up the cousins. Ultimately though, they stuck together and split the vote on the twins, with Mel tragically booted from the game.

The next day Chrissy was pondering whether Dave had passed away as he quietly slept by the fire, before moving on to Sam and getting her to colour in her brows with charcoal. While they joked about opening a beauty parlour to hide from their male overlords, Michelle was ready to fight thanks to her sister pointing out just how dangerous Josh was on her way out the door. Poor Josh meanwhile was struggling in the spotlight, wanting to try and improve his bond with Sam and most importantly, get rid of Jordie as he is the least trustworthy person in the alliance. You know, because he outed Mark’s idol to him which actually proved loyalty.

As Jordie and Jesse disappeared to bathe together, Josh pulled Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Dave aside to talk about Jordie’s duplicitous ways. Unaware that Chrissy and Dave also had no idea about Mark’s idol until he outed it. While Josh appeared to have their best interests at heart, this conversation irked Sam who desperately wanted to keep her closest ally Jesse safe and should they target Jordie, he runs the risk of being collateral damage. Sam and Mark caught up alone to talk about Josh’s plan, with Sam admitting she doesn’t want to make a move without at least talking to Jesse.

Sam found Jesse, with the latter pointing out that he and his brother are desperate to get Josh out ASAP. And after Mel’s performance at the last tribal council, he now knows he is a target and as such, the longer he survives the more nervous and paranoid he will become. Making his gameplay wilder, which is super solid logic!

The tribe joined Jonathan for the reward challenge where everyone was partnered up, tethered and forced to collect blocks before balancing them on a wobbly platform. And given they are playing for KFC, I could dive through the screen and gobble down everything in sight. Shay and Jordan were facing off against KJ and Sam, Mark and Michelle, Jordie and Chrissy, and Jesse and Josh, while Dave got to sit out and bet on the pair he thinks will win and should they succeed, he gets to join them.

Chrissy is clearly a KFC fan too, as she quickly guided Jordie through the challenge and got out to an early lead. Jesse and Josh worked fast to close the gap, while frankly Mark and Michelle were the absolute worst. While everyone started to get nice and high, Chrissy and Jordie worked methodically and scored our icon some glorious dirty bird. Obviously Jonathan is a messy kinda girl, so gave them the chance to select two people to join them, selecting Jesse and Mark. While Sam looked enraged, Jonathan let them pick one more person with them ultimately picking Josh. So you know Sam is going to be angry back at camp, which is my favourite flavour of Sam.

The happy group of KFCers arrived at the pop-up restaurant and immediately got to licking their fingers and smashing anything in sight. As it is wont to do, the game came back into play as everyone started watching each other like hawks to make sure nobody found a clue. Which is exactly what happened when Jordie grabbed a towel to sit down, leading to him shoving it down his brother’s speedos without anyone noticing. Well, other than me and my flooded basement. With that everyone started pulling apart the hut with Jesse for some reason opting to take it out of his bum to move to his junk and well, it looked like Crissy caught him.

Back at camp Chrissy, Dave and Sam caught up and immediately spiralled with paranoia about Jesse and Jordie potentially finding an idol and as such, started to tail them. Sam continued to worry about Jordie being the undoing of her relationship with Jesse and as such, pulled him aside to see if he would be honest with her. While he instead denied finding a clue and focused on getting rid of Josh, while Mark watched on and used his soldiering past to identify that he was a big old liar. And as such, Jordie, you in danger girl!

The tribe met up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where they would each have to stand on a series of posts and use ropes to balance a plank, on which they have to balance a ball. Last one with their ball in the air taking out immunity. Michelle and Sam were the first to drop from the challenge before Shay dropped just before everyone transitioned to a smaller post. As did KJ and Dave, leaving challenge beast Chrissy against the Js and Mark. Tragically on the next transition, Chrissy dropped with Jesse soon following before Jordan fell off his post. The remaining trio moved to the next smallest post, which quickly took Josh out of the challenge, before Mark dropped out of nowhere, handing a struggling Jordie immunity.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to commence scrambling, with the boys locking in the vote against Shay, with a split on Michelle for safety. Though obviously, that wasn’t what was going to happen as Jordie and Jesse approached Sam to pull the trigger and get rid of Josh. While Sam admitted to being nervous, Jesse assured her the four of them will always have each other’s backs. With that, they roped in Michelle who was thrilled at the thought of getting revenge for Mel by taking out Josh.

Sadly for everyone, Mark was not keen on getting rid of Josh and as such, he approached him, Dave and Jordan to let them know and flip the vote on Jesse instead. And while he was spooked, he was also ready to use himself as bait so they could blindside Jesse without any risk. Mark then caught up with Sam to make sure she is ok with the thought of getting rid of Jesse, with her admitting it makes her feel uncomfortable and once again, Mark just did not care.

Josh went to Jesse to catch up with him, with them both pretending that they aren’t trying to boot the other. While Shay and Michelle were bonding over sarongs, Dave and Jordan were chatting in the water and as such, Jesse started to feel like something was up given everyone was so chill and as such, pulled his brother aside to go hunting for the idol using their clue. Which he quickly found, guaranteeing him safety too.

Wait, no – Sam spotted him and quickly jumped out of the bushes to congratulate him. And while he was glad that she was the one to find him, I have an awful feeling. Particularly when she talked him into handing over the idol for better hiding in her sarong, given everyone will be looking at him to make sure he doesn’t have one. And again, I don’t feel good about this.

At tribal council Dave spoke about sticking to the plan, essentially, while Sam continued to worry about the warring factions within the alliance while Jordie got sick of talking in circles and as such, admitted to there being a majority and well, they were ready to get rid of one of the minority. Both Josh and Jesse reiterated this fact despite both planning to take out the other before Mark stupidly talked about idols potentially coming into play tonight, while Jesse agreed anything can happen with an idol. Sam admitted that idols haven’t been played correctly this season and as such, they really need to focus on holding onto the numbers if they want to make it to the end. Which Jesse readily agreed with.

Jesse was also confident that his plan will be the one to win out at tribal council and ugh, I’m nervous despite the fact Josh was also confident his plan would come to fruition. And that logic should make me nervous for him too, but well, he isn’t Jesse. Sam spoke about a break in the majority being inevitable, but wondered when would be the right time and how it would all play out. With that, the tribe voted and tragically Sam sided with her husband’s alliance, blindsiding Jesse with an idol in, well, her pocket. Which is cold. Bold and gutsy, but cold, and not going to win her any jury votes.

Before exiting Jesse warned her that he will burn her should she not hand the idol over to Jordie before the next tribal council, and damn, is this season all about how Sam lost?

Thankfully by the time he arrived at the Jury Villa, Jesse was back to being his usually delightful self (though I am biased as he has the cutest speedos of the fleet of the speedo zaddies). I pulled him in for a massive hug and reminded him that since Khanh is the only won that is winning any money outside of the eventual victor, going out in a massive, memorable blindside is the best you can hope for. Meaning, in a way, he won. Particularly if you take into account he got to smash a Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake.

One of my favourite Mexican dishes, tres leches cake is sweet, smooth and gloriously moist – or dripping, even – and just warms your soul. Add in the perfection that is a maraschino cherry (or fifty) on the top, and there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

Ingredients
Cake
115g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Tres leches
300ml sweetened condensed milk
355ml evaporated milk
180ml thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing
2½ cups thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12-16 maraschino cherries, double or treble to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and butter and flour a 25x30cm baking dish.

Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat until it is just combined. Remove from the burner and allow to cool completely. While it gets chill, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium speed until thick and voluminous. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a bowl before folding half through the egg mixture. Next fold in the butter and milk mixture, folded by the remaining flour until just combined. Pour into the baking dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, combine the tres leches – condensed milk, evaporated milk and thickened cream – in a bowl with the 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cake is done resting, stab the cake repeatedly with a bamboo skewer before slowly pouring the milk mixture over the top, allowing it to absorb all the sweet nectar. Leave to cool and absorb for about half an hour before covering with cling and popping in the fridge for an hour or so.

When you’re almost ready to eat, beat the remaining thickened cream, icing sugar, milk powder and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spoon and smooth over the top of the cake before dotting with a heavy dose of maraschino cherries.

Then serving and devouring (or eating straight out of the dish).


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Melinzer Chiang Cookies

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Dessert, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Blood and Water pulled a Spicys as two became one, reuniting loved ones and forming the Lava tribe. Which yes, is a worse name than Fire. At the first reward challenge Khanh won $60K which came with a secondary prize of painting an even bigger target on his back. At the immunity challenge KJ proved herself an undercover challenge beast, despite being narrowly pipped at the post by young, sweet Jesse. While scrambling, Mark and Sam had a domestic about voting out either Khanh and Shay with Mark being very insufferable as he patronised his wife into turning on her ally. Ultimately it worked though, as Sam stuck with her husband and sent Khanh from the game to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp Chrissy worried about how she would be able to pull off dinner without their resident Masterchef, while Mark and Sam took a quiet moment to apologise to each other. Though given Mark gave her more of a sorry not sorry, my alliance is better than yours and your bestie needs to go so suck it up, oh and you can thank me when we get to the end, I don’t think this is the end of their family feud.

The next day the sausage fest was hanging with KJ and Shay, with the latter two clearly just looking to get to 7th and 8th place or hoping to immunity their ways to the end. Mark was still feeling very pleased with himself and super confident that nothing will break it up, which hopefully means something is going to break them up soon. If not a blindside, potentially Chrissy’s mashed beans which look like severe gastrointestinal distress waiting to happen. While Mark was feeling confident, Chrissy and Dave caught up to gossip about the marital issues while Sam complained about losing Khanh to Mel and Michelle. Particularly since she still (rightly) thinks Shay is the biggest threat.

Sam meanwhile was worried that Mark may be as blinded by his allies as Mark felt she was by Khanh. As such, she caught up with Jordie and Dave to line up some targets, quickly locking in Shay as the most threatening. Speaking about Shay, she was growing more and more nervous about Sam coming after her and starting shadowing her in the most hilarious way possible. Talking to Jordan? Shay will give Jordan a shoulder massage! As Sam straight up walked away, Shay tried to get Jordan to see the importance of keeping some singles around otherwise all the duos will end up screwing themselves over as they’ll have no way to work out of it.

Jordie and Jesse caught up with Josh in the water, congratulating themselves on controlling the game while Jesse assured them that Sam just gets nervous and to not worry about her blowing up any of their games. Particularly since Jordie was more focused on getting rid of Mark should their alliance part ways. And the first part of his plan was to out his idol to Josh. Sadly for Jordie, however, Josh didn’t seem to worry Mark was keeping the idol a secret and was very nervous about the idea of turning on him. Particularly coming up with enough votes to split between Mark and someone else.

The tribe met up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to fill a leaky drum with water to level a table to build a puzzle on. Leave your bucket to lose too much water and the table drops and you have to start over. Which is very clever, TBH. Everyone had slightly different strategies; sorting pieces first, stockpiling extra water and just trying to stay calm and methodical. While Josh and Shay were neck and neck at the start, Josh dropped his table leaving Shay to power ahead and jag herself immunity just before Josh or Mel could catch her.

Kinda proving Mark should have listened to his wife last night, no?

Back at camp Sam thankfully was completely enraged by the fact Shay had immunity and as such, worked to try and take out who she felt was the head of the alliance, aka Josh. Not Mark. Particularly since he talks to everyone in the alliance except her, meaning she knows she is on the bottom in his eyes. While she warned Mark that Josh is the biggest threat to their game, he assured her the time isn’t right to turn on him. Meanwhile Josh was filling in his cousin Jordan on where things stand, with them agreeing that Jordie and not Mark is a threat given Jordie is clearly ready to flip.

But first, they had to get rid of some of the floaters and as such, when Jordie dropped by they locked in a split vote between Mel and Michelle.

Josh then went to the other floaters and told them they would all be splitting the vote between the twins, with people not realising they could easily take control if they stopped just doing what they were told. He then went one further and spoke to Michelle about the vote and let her know it would be split between her and Mel and while she thanked him for his honesty, she told us that Josh will regret telling her. Oh and when Mark confirmed for Mel that she was the target, both twins were ready to fight.

With that Mel and Michelle decided that they should bring all the girls together and load all their votes on Josh instead and since the boys were splitting the votes, they would take control. The twins rallied the girls to float said plan and while everyone appeared interested, Sam’s nervous face made me nervous that this won’t come together. Shay agreed that this is the right time to make a move against the men, which got Sam fired up given she doesn’t want the men to dictate the future of the game. Though was worried that getting rid of Josh, which is good for her game, would ruin Mark’s, and she may not have the numbers to get much further should it blow up.

Shay encouraged Mel to talk to Chrissy and KJ about locking in the vote on Josh and while Chrissy knew he was a threat, she still wanted a little more time to think. Meanwhile Michelle pulled Jordan aside to ask why they were targeting her and her sister, with Jordan assuring her there is no right or wrong that she did and it is all just part of the game. But he just wants her to hold her nerve and stay strong aka she is the back-up plan, not the target. While all the girls worried about when the right time would be to target the boys should they not act now.

At tribal council Khanh looked like a total snack on the Jury Bench – well said, Jordan – while Josh straight up admitted to being part of the majority which is controlling the game. Dave said the alliance is really zen and makes all decisions by committee, with Mark agreeing it makes the most sense so no one person is the target. Michelle jumped in to talk about the stupidity of targeting herself and Mel, with the latter joining in to remind people they need to build a resume if they want to win and targeting those on the bottom will never build the resume. 

Josh blamed Sandra for our current predicament, reminding them she told them all the strong people would go come merge and as such, they know they have no other choice but to band together. When Jonathan asked Mel what would be the smarter decision, she told everyone that Josh is a far bigger threat and as such, they need to get rid of him. She then doubled down, pointing out he knows the game just as well as she does, plus he is strong and is playing a strong social game. While Sam tried to be non-committal, Mel continued to play to the people on the bottom of the tribe and told them they have to make a move before it is too late and as such, they need to wake up and fight. Now.

With that the tribe voted and tragically the twins plan did not come to fruition as Mel found herself booted from the game. Though lucky for her, she now gets to hang out with Khanh on the jury which would be way more fun.

As soon as Mel arrived at Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her how heartbroken I was to see her go so soon. Particularly since I worried it means we’re getting the opposite of last season with a male-dominated endgame with an alliance that holds out. Maybe I’m wrong and Sam will flip everything next week, but the one thing that mattered most to Mel, was that I stop rambling and get to baking. You see, we’ve been the best of friends since I started going to her clinic, so she knew I would be packing a fresh batch of Melinzer Chiang Cookies to cheer her up.

These simple little cookies are so good (and so much fun). Buttery, spiced shortbread with a good whack of jam doing a peek-a-boo through heart cutouts? Sign me up. And now you, I advise.

Enjoy!

Melinzer Chiang Cookies
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground clove
100g butter, at room temperature
60g almond meal
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg
⅓ cup raspberry jam
icing sugar, for sprinkling

Method
Combine the flour and spices in a bowl before massaging through the butter with your fingertips, like you would do damper or scones. Add the almond meal, sugar and sugar and mix together by cutting through with a knife until it comes together in large clumps. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and pop in the fridge for half an hour or until chill.

Once chill, roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of round pieces of dough, then use a small shape – ideally heart, obvi – to form a window in half the cookies. Transfer to a lined baking sheet before popping in the fridge for half an hour to chill.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Once the biscuits are chill, transfer them to the oven to back for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

When it comes time to assemble, spoon a little jam on the whole biscuits, close with the cut-outs and then dust with icing sugar. Before devouring, giddily.


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Lemon Crisps

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

While Ru has expanded his reach across the globe, jetting Down Under and across the pond to the UK for local versions of Drag Race, that world domination is not enough. No, no – this time, Ru is taking it to the world, assembling a cast of iconic All Stars from across the globe in sunny old England for the chance to become the first Global Drag Race Superstar. Queen of the World, or something of that ilk, you know?

First to return to the UK Mainstage – literally – was one Ms. Baga Chipz, serving people’s princess realness and reminding us how great she did on Season 1 despite how annoying her confidence can come across. She was quickly joined by her fellow Frock Destroyer Blu Hydrangea who was looking like an exploded highlighter and ugh, I loved her Mary Berry Snatch Game so damn much. And in contrast to Baga, I am living for her newfound confidence. Blu congratulated Baga on not looking like a mess this time and while they were thrilled to be in each other’s company, they were soon delighted to be joined by their Essex sister Cheryl Hole. Thankfully vowing to be mediocre through and through.

They briefly started speculating about their international sisters before zaddy Janey Jacké arrived representing Holland and ugh, she is such a damn serve. I love her so much. The UK trio welcomed her with open arms and ugh, this congeniality is so glorious. The quartet were joined by Canada’s drag clown Jimbo, giving the kids a toastie – literally – and just being demented, and well, I’m already in love with this season. Particularly since Jimbo reminded us that Michelle was the guest judge when she went home and she is more than willing to confront her. But enough about that, Lemon is back and well, I look forward to her channeling Jojo Siwa at every opportunity.

Things took a massive turn as Pangina Heals the HOST of Thailand arrived to represent her country and ugh, she is perfection. And more importantly, she is such a damn superfan and looks ready to slay and have the best time. Oh and did we know Thailand lights contestants on fire? Beause slay! While the girls were gagged to be competing against a host, Cheryl was just glad to see someone else that hasn’t won a challenge. Yet. Next up was the ICONIC Monique Heart and well, she was feeling her oats as much as I feel her oats. While Blu shaded her for competing for the third time, Monique quickly mocked her for losing and wearing a glowstick. Before it could descend into chaotic fighting, Jujubee arrived to round out the cast and I don’t care how often they bring her back because she is the best.

I mean, can’t she just be the Tim Gunn/Christian Siriano in every Werk Room globally? Where do I start THAT petition?

After a brief getting to know you, a siren sounded before Ru arrived on a cherry picker to welcome them all into the competition. She then announced that this year, the winner would not only claim the crown but also get to record a duet with her, the one and only Ruple Charles. But first, they would have to show off their talent in a Royal Command Performance and then, Ru warned them, they would be the ones to eliminate their sisters.

With that out of the way, the dolls exited the mainstage and headed back to the Werk Room to claim stations and de-drag. More importantly, Cheryl was adorably showing Pangina her station from Season 1 as Baga and Jimbo were clowning up, breaking the room and claiming a corner together. Meanwhile the US girls were busy reading everyone for filth and ugh, this chaos makes me so happy. Not to be outdone, Blu was talking to Cheryl about how the US girls really changed the vibe of the room while poor Chez just wanted everyone to get along. Thankfully Baga decided to do some diplomacy, brewing tea for her sisters and teaching the international girls all of the local slang and explaining important things like the tube or Prince Andrew and pizza shops.

Elimination Day arrived with the girls quickly splitting up to get ready with Jimbo finding a toastie on her shoulder while Cheryl and Janey were just excited to get things started. Blu meanwhile approached Monique to explain that they met before Blu got famous and she was quite rude to her, with Monique quickly apologising to try and smooth things over. Janey and Pangina were meanwhile worried about being the sole representative of their countries, with Pangina trying to put it out of her mind and just do herself proud. More importantly, she is able to take criticism as well as she takes penis, which is something I’d get put on a T-shirt if I would gracefully take criticism.

Cheryl, Lemon and Juju were bonding in another corner, with the latter explaining this time feels different for her and despite it being her fourth time, she is still nervous. Chez was just grateful to now have them as her friends before talk turned to Jimbo and Lemon’s bond ,with Lemon confessing they aren’t actually close. Chez promised them that despite the competition being hosted in the UK there isn’t a hierarchy. While Juju reminded her she isn’t bothered because it has been UK vs the World for centuries.

And ugh, what. A. Read. Give Juju a damn crown!

Talk turned to the local drag scenes, with everyone pointing out UK is all about comedy while Canada is eclectic and Holland is straight up fierce. Oh and I stopped listening because Pangina’s friend owns a shrimp farm and then she explained that they don’t eat their shrimp on account of it being bad luck. Which is probably the greatest sentence I’ve ever read.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by the one and only Melanie C aka Sporty mother-tucking Spice on the judges panel before Lemon opened the show performing an original song. It was high energy and ridiculous as she kicked and flipped herself around the stage before finishing with a slightly taller version of the ‘is she gonna jump from there moment’. And IT was ICONIC. Monique was serving a red leather clad love child of Tina Turner and Prince and ugh, perfection. She IS the moment, let me tell you. Brown cow, stunning.

Janey gave a lip sync number complete with multiple reveals and while I live for her, the first few looks were not great. The entire performance led to Baga deeming it a glorified strip show. Speaking of Baga she performed her song Much Betta when I think she was actually meant to lip sync, but God was it ridiculous and entertaining despite the fuck-ups. Speaking of ridiculous, Jimbo came out as a pregnant alien ghost with an empty briefcase of talent before birthing slices of devon and throwing them everywhere. It was demented, crazy and completely hilarious, having everyone in stitches. Except Cheryl who was just confused. Which was also an understandable reaction.

Cheryl was classic Chez, slaying as she lip synced to her hilarious song, hitting every moment and serving as she finished with a death drop. Jujubee then sang a ballad and while it was decent, I just kept waiting for an iconic ‘sensible 74’ moment. Pangina meanwhile dominated from start to finish, giving comedy and narrative and the sharpest dancing I’ve ever seen on the mainstage. Blu then did a cheer routine to her original song complete with a duo of mannequin dancers tethered to her arms and legs and it was a totally stupid pop delight. I mean, she offered to blow Ru and read her mannequin sister for stepping on her toes. Perfection!

On the I’m a Winner Baby Runway Lemon was a grown-up version of her baby pageant girl from Canada Season 1, looking as golden as her gown. Monique was gorgeous in a lush green gown while Janey was perfection in a sparkling, red nude illusion. Baga meanwhile was a literal Oscar and while it was scary, she sold it. Speaking of scary, Jimbo was the scariest black and white queen and it was completely stunning. Chez meanwhile popped some gold stars on a white gown and while it was basic, she gave us a perfect mug and an absolutely massive bouffant. Juju gave a generic beaded purple pageant gown while Pangina stole the show in a shimmering white Thai inspired gown. And it. Was. Stunning. Before Blu came out looking like a licorice all sort that she described as a BDSM troll that just fucked a highlighter which is truly the only way to describe it.

Ru then announced that this season, the rules will revert to the All Stars 2-through-4 format where the top 2 will lip sync for the win and the right to eliminate one of the the bottom queens. Monique, Cheryl and Jujubee were quickly sent to safety before the judges praised Lemon for opening the show so strongly, though Mel C would have loved for her to serve more face as she looked bored. With the runway, Michelle wished she had just taken things further. Janey received universal praise for her runway though the judges felt her talent was a bit subpar. The judges lived for Baga’s comedy leading to Mel C serving some epic shade against Vicky B’s vocals and Baga’s terrible lip syncing skills. While they were just all super confused by her runway.

They loved everything Jimbo served, particularly for giving the most bizarre and unique talent of all time. And a perfect runway. Then came Pangina, who rightly had the judges living for everything she did from being vulnerable and open, to showing she is SO damn talented. Blu too received all praise, with the judges thrilled by how filthy she is. That being said, they felt her runway didn’t make sense for the theme, though Mel threw shade at Geri which truly does make me feel much betta!

Ultimately Jimbo and Pangina were deemed the top two before Baga and Blu were sent to safety, leaving Lemon and Janey in danger. Backstage Jimbo and Pangina giddily grabbed a drink before the queens gathered around to congratulate them before Pangina thanked Cheryl for not being as annoying as she thought she was on TV. Lol. While Pangina was thrilled to prove herself, Jimbo was just happy to get to clown in front of Ru and have the time of her life. Chez praised Lemon for killing the performance before Lemon opened up about how disappointed she was to land in the bottom, particularly since she was in the bottom in the first episode of her original season. 

While Lemon was heartbroken, Janey was steady and accepted that the competition is so tight that it is truly just nit picking. The dolls split up to plead their case with Jimbo praising Lemon for doing a good job though admitted that she has to hear out Janey and can’t just tell her she is going to save her, even if she wanted to. Pangina and Janey continued to bond and despite Pangina feeling the reveals were quite boring, Janey was confident in the fact she gave something original while Lemon didn’t.

As the rest of the girls jokingly speculated who each winner would send home since the duos were obvious. When Pangina caught up with Lemon, the latter reiterated how much she wants to stay in the competition. Pangina congratulated her for killing her performance and assured her that friendships will not play into her decision making. While Jimbo monologued about her options as poor Janey just desperately tried to get a word in.

After Pangina and Jimbo selected their lipsticks, they made their way to the mainstage to lip sync to Say You Will Be There by the Spice Goils. And damn, Pangina is a star. She hit the lyrics, she gave high energy choreography, comedy and literally saved Jimbo from falling over mid-performance. Multiple times. It was, in a word, amazing. Particularly since Jimbo was hilariously just wandering the stage like a drunk aunt at a wedding, tripping over everywhere. While I lived for Jimbo, it was well and truly clear that Pangina deserved her victory. And while she didn’t want to have to make the decision, heavy is the head that wears the crown and as such, poor Lemon was booted from the competition.

Backstage I reminded Lemon that she is such a damn icon, that when it comes to All Stars it often is better to get eliminated as a robbed-queen before you end up becoming the villain. As such, I tied up my hairwa and pulled her into the kitchen to toast her enduring success – and iconically short run – with a big batch of Lemon Crisps.

While I wouldn’t call Lemon Crisps the most iconic biscuit of the Arnott’s range, they too still have a place in her heart. Packing a zesty punch, these little copycats are the perfect way to work through your sadness and/or eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

Lemon Crisps
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
185g butter, softened
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Cream 125g of the butter with the caster sugar on medium speed, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for a further minute, or until combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and lemon zest until a dough forms. Form a rectangular slab, wrap in cling and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.

Once the dough is super chill, get it out and roll into a 5mm rectangular slab. Cut into 10cmx4cm rectangles, prick each rectangle with a fork and transfer them all to a lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet/s into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

As they are cooling down, beat the icing sugar and remaining butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat until combined, adding extra sugar should it start to split.

Once the biscuits have cooled, pipe the icing on to half the biscuits and use the other half to close. Then devour, ignoring the fact you’re a first boot and remembering you’re an icon.


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Dayoyo Bickiettys

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, seven brand spanking new queens arrived in the Werk Room to start their campaign for the next crown. Feeling inspired by All Stars, Ru tasked the dolls with putting on a cheeky little talent show to help the judges get to know them. While there was the usual mix of lip syncs and dancing, Kerri skipping her way into my heart and Willow Pill’s take on self-help lip sync were stand outs for doing something different. As was Orion, who did comedy and stood out for a tragic lack of jokes. Ultimately, Kornbread slayed lip syncing to her original song and took out the first victory, while June landed in the bottom with Orion for missing the small details on her look. She didn’t miss the details in her lip sync however, slaying the performance and sending a heartbroken Orion – who also killed the lip sync – home.

Backstage the first group were heartbroken to watch Orion leave the competition in tears, while June was just thrilled to show out in front of the judges and able to save herself. While Kornbread, the icon, made jokes about her not knowing how to clean properly as she washed away the mirror message. The dolls sat down to kiki, congratulating Kornbread on her victory before talk turned to the as yet unveiled new group of queens. Bosco admitted that she would be shocked to find anyone as threatening as the queens in their group while June just didn’t want anyone to touch her stuff while they were taking the episode off. Which is relatable.

The next day Jorgeous was the first one to arrive from group two, serving sexy, Latina showgirl come pocket twink out of drag. She was quickly joined by DeJa Skye, a curvy, neon clown and ugh, her charm is so damn infectious. Jasmine Kennedie looks like the biological child of Laganja and Alyssa in drag and is the sweetest nerd out, so you know my basement is flooded. Before anyone else arrived, the dolls noticed that some other queens had clearly already moved in, though thankfully for June, stopped short of touching her aforementioned stuff.

Up next was Maddy Morphosis in a Guy Fieri inspired look which feels right for our first cisgender, straight queen. Not that she was going to be talking about her sexuality any time soon. Angeria Paris Van Michaels immediately won my heart as a mix of Jaida, Ginger Minj and Kennedy Davenport, with the voice of Chi Chi thrown in for good measure and ugh, she is perfect and magnetic and I can’t take it. Lady Camden arrived giving us ‘90s pop realness and given she is originally from the UK, you know she is going to slay. And I live, despite Maddy calling her Old Spice. And ugh, she is going to hook up with Country Spice aka Angeria, and I look forward to that sex tape. Rounding out the cast is Daya Betty serving mullet, rocker queen. And most importantly, she is related to – and sounds exactly like – Crystal Methyd.

The dolls were interrupted by Ru, who arrived to officially welcome them to the competition by way of announcing that someone has already left the competition and that one of the seven of them will be following her tomorrow. But before they could stress about things they were whisked to set for a photoshoot in a giant bowl of tic-tacs. Though not until Ru gave a killer performance of fake-cussing out the crew in the vein of Ellen.

Speaking of crew, DeJa had the pit crew in hysterics as she rolled like a rotisserie chicken. Angeria meanwhile sexed it up and snacked her way through the shoot. Jorgeous was silly and charming – and ready to bottom – Jasmine looked like she was in a hair commercial and Maddy was rained on by tic tacs before finding a buried hat. Allegedly belonging to Santino. Daya was camp, ridiculous and a little possessed while Camden literally had tic tacs in every possible orifice. Ultimately though, it was Angeria who took out a very well deserved first victory.

Before bidding them adieu, Ru announced that they too would be competing in the Charisma Nerve and Talent Show as they giddily split up to claim a station. Daya was shocked by Angeria out of drag while Jorgeous thought DeJa could pass as one of her tios while Camden was gagged to still be pulling more tic tacs out of her varied holes. Maddy meanwhile looked like a farmer, delighting all the dolls. Daya asked everyone about whether they are gold star gays with Daya admitting to knowing about how Maddy identifies like a shady icon.

Ru returned to pow-wow with the dolls with Angeria admitting her name comes from her college girlfriend and sharing that her talent would be performing an original song. Daya delighted Ru with the knowledge her drag name comes from the fact she is diabetic. More importantly, she will be lip syncing to Pink and well, that makes her entry look make so much more sense. Despite Ru not loving the fact it won’t tell the judges anything about her. Camden meanwhile will be performing ballet on the mainstage despite the fact Ru finds it boring. DeJa will be teaching people how to cheer but assured us that she will make it funny, which generally means it won’t land with the judges. Maddy was next to drop by to chat to Ru, admitting that she would be playing guitar for her talent before the other queens were gagged when Ru outed Maddy as straight.

¡ Escándalo !

Elimination Day arrived with Camden already shitting bricks at the thought of Ru watching her. DeJa asked the dolls how long it takes to beat their mugs, with Maddy admitting that it usually takes her three hours but in a pinch, she can do it in 90 minutes. Despite her fears that the other queens might not be as welcoming because she is straight, Maddy was thrilled to be embraced by her new sisters who were thrilled to have a straight cis male in the competition. Maddy meanwhile just wanted to show that people can do whatever it is they want and people should follow their passions despite how society may perceive it and ugh, I love Maddy.

Oh and then Alicia mother tucking Keys popped up in the revenge of the queens mirror to give them some love and encouragement before they took the stage like a proud mama.

With that Alicia joined Ru, Michelle and Carson on the judges table as Jorgeous kicked off the pageant with a lip sync / dance where she hit every damn line as she split and flipped all over the stage. Jasmine followed by slaying an equally tight dance as she humped the floor and kicked to the sky before doing a backflip IN HEELS. Daya Betty then did a Pink lip sync and while I loved the nesting top hats and confetti, it just felt a bit basic. Plus, Pink. Camden meanwhile served Centre Stage realness, complete with camp comedy and ugh, I loved it. I mean, she incorporated the Macarena into ballet. What’s not to love? DeJa meanwhile was a bit awks, though like Orion last week, I admire her going for something different.

Maddy meanwhile gave moody guitar blues complete with a Lady Gaga in House of Gucci look and I loved it. She was followed by Angeria and her total bop, complete with costume AND wig reveals, popping and locking and straight up having the entire crowd singing along with her original song. 

On the Sickening Signature Drag runway Jorgeous was stunning in a shimmering purple gown come stoned bodysuit. DeJa was a Southern bombshell in a figure hugging lace number. Jasmine was a vision in the gold version of THE J Lo dress. Maddy slayed as Marie Antoinette, post guillotine. Angeria meanwhile was perfect in a shiraz coloured gown that fit like she was poured into it. Camden was an iridescent peacock while Daya was laced into her scrap dress which sadly was starting to come apart at the seams.

The judges lived for everything Jorgeous served this week from perfect looks to her killer, energetic performance. DeJa received praise for her look though was rightly read for missing that big swing that was her talent. Jasmine on the flipside also received universal praise for everything she served this week before Maddy was praised for giving the biggest gag on the runway. Despite Michelle advising her to work on the make-up. Oh and they loved the guitar though felt it could have been more. Angeria was universally beloved for everything she gave this week, breaking down to get such high praise for her song from Alicia Keys. Camden got perfect scores for being polished, camp and letting the judges know EXACTLY who she is. While the judges felt that Daya didn’t show enough of herself in the talent show.

Backstage Maddy was thrilled to be the second Arkansas queen in the series and to kill the first runway. Angeria meanwhile was excited to have killed the first challenge AND runway, while Daya knew that she could be in trouble. Camden on the other hand was just ready to kiki with her sisters.

Daya opened up about how proud of herself she is, despite the outfit falling apart and the judges not really knowing who she is. The dolls rallied around and reminded her how great she looks and to not take it to heart. Maddy too was nervous about potentially lip syncing, while Angeria wished that she could see just how great she is. Plus, they all lived for her runway. Jorgeous meanwhile was feeling her oats, so thrilled that the judges were living for her. DeJa on the flipside was happy with her runway, though was very disappointed about how her talent show went. As she broke down, Camden stepped in, encouraging her to have expectations for herself by all means, but not let them make her be hard on herself.

Which is just perfect life advice, no?

Camden opened up about realising that she needed to show who she was rather than giving a perfect ballet performance. Angeria cautioned her that she needs to let her walls down so that people can fall in love with who she is as well as for being a sickening performer. Things took a very deep turn as Camden opened up about how much she struggled to embrace herself, with Daya reminding her that her younger self would be so proud of how talented she is. Jasmine then broke down over how empowering it is to come into your power when you come out as the girls bonded over their journeys to self-acceptance.

Maddy acknowledged that she obviously has lived a different experience and admitted that while she felt she was a good ally growing up, doing drag opened her eyes up to how difficult it can be. Maddy then shared that pride is such a great way for queer kids to learn all the varied ways you can live your life, while growing up straight you don’t get to see any other options of how to be. She shared that she hopes to show people that you can step out of your comfort zone and do things that aren’t stereotypically straight. Though also cautioned that not all straight people should be doing drag because it isn’t just silly fun with your friends and you need to have a passion for the art form and to support the community that is welcoming you.

Ultimately Jorgeous and Camden were sent to safety before Angeria took out a very well earned victory. After Jasmine was sent to safety, Maddy narrowly avoided the bottom as DeJa and Daya were tasked with lip syncing for their lives to Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Both the dolls immediately snapped into the emotion of the song, hitting every lyric and giving it their all. Sadly for Daya’s nip slips – which I’m always a fan of – DeJa was mixing up her performance with drama and physical comedy which was enough to save herself, making Daya the other First Boot of the season.

Obviously Daya was disappointed to not live up to the standards of the Haus of Methyd in the competition, her sweetness shone through and she was glad to be able to show a little bit of herself in the brief time she had. I pulled her into my arms, gave her the usual pep talk and reminded her that she is a star and I know she is destined for greatness. And I truly believe she will make the most of any and all opportunities that are thrown her way into the future. With that out of the way, all I could really do to support was serve up a batch of Dayoyo Bickiettys and call it a day.

Not to be confused with an equally iconic Melting Moment, yo-yos are a little less prim and proper in their construction but by no means are they lacking in flavour. While Christina Tosi rightly describes milk powder as the MSG of baking, I would argue that custard powder has a similar effect. Smooth, rich and delicious, these are a perfect way to work through post-boot pain.

Enjoy!

Dayoyo Bickiettys
Serves: 6-10.

Ingredients
Biscuits
185g salted butter, at room temperature
⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ cups flour
⅓ cup custard powder
Frosting
½ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

To make the biscuits – or bikkies if you’re trying to get more Australian slang in your life for 2022 – cream the butter and icing sugar together in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy.

As an aside, I use salted butter with these because it cuts through the sweetness nicely, but you do you boo.

Sift in the flour and custard powder into the bowl and fold until just combined. Form into large macadamia nut sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet, gently flattening with the back of a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for about fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place on a rack until cooled completely.

To assemble, cream all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. Dollop a teaspoon or so on the base of a bikkie and close with another to form a little yo-yo. Repeat the process until you’re all done.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Victoria Scones

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were challenged to become fitness instructors for Ru’s new business Dragoton. Which is awks, given Victoria busted her knee and was now forced to participate in physical activity. Something I find offensive on a good day. Elektra and Vanity were way ahead of the rest of the dolls in their team, while last week’s winner was terrified by the idea of a performance challenge. Thankfully Krystal overcame her lack of confidence to take out another victory, while Vanity and Elektra were forced to battle to survive before pocket-rocket Elektra was sent home.

Oh and then Victoria was summoned to the front of stage as Ru announced that her knee needs further medical investigation and as such, she would be pulled out of the competition temporarily before the doctors would decide whether it was safe for her to continue.

Backstage the dolls toasted Elektra’s killer lip sync, with Vanity admitting that while she deeply loves her, she was never not going to fight. And the rest of the queens best beware should they land in the bottom against her. As the girls split up to chat, Choriza checked in on Victoria who was desperate to continue to fight through the pain and make the most of the opportunity. After throwing some shade at Krystal’s fat shaming, talk turned to the gag that Charity avoided lip syncing with Scarlett admitting to being surprised while Veronica told her to just get out of her head and continue to fight.

The next day the dolls sans Victoria returned to figure out if there is anything Krystal can’t do, with her admitting that she was bricking it during the last challenge and as such, she planned to brick it for the rest of the season. Did I mention I love the phrase bricking it and thus included this pointless moment just to say bricking it? Bricking it.

Tragically, it was at that moment that Ru interrupted the dolls to announce that Victoria was officially out of the competition, much to the shock and disappointment of the rest of her sisters.

Thankfully I accompanied her to the hospital and while she was bitterly disappointed to be out of the competition, I assured her that her short stint would already have the world falling in love with her. Plus, Ru will totally have her back next season and if I have my way, she will become our first AFAB entrant in the Winner’s Circle. With that, I gave her a hug, dried her tears and we ate our feelings in the form of some Victoria Scones.

Ok, ok – this recipe is kind of a cop-out given you always have scones with jam and cream. But to that I say, I totes dusted them with icing sugar so they truly do look like baby Victoria Sponges. So, be grateful. I mean, I was so damn heartbroken to learn Victoria was Scone, so I could think straight.

Enjoy!

Victoria Scones
Serves: 2 dear friends or 6-8 peeps, greed dependent.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cups milk
1 cup Raspberry Jam
600ml cream, whipped
½ cup icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Now following the Lisa Wilkinscone recipes exactly, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and using a butter knife, cut across the bowl until just combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, making sure not to overwork the dough.

Flatten the dough until it is roughly 2cm thick and cut into small, cookie-sized discs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and puffed. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To assemble, slice each scone in half, top with a dollop of jam, followed by a dollop of cream and the top of each scone. Dust with icing sugar before devouring, as your melancholy washes away.


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Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Brad grew paranoid of his ally JD and how quickly things flipped at their first tribal council. Tiffany meanwhile was exhausted on Yase, leaving Xander plenty of free time to find the aware advantage – aka the three-way idol that is only powered if everyone says the same weird phrases at the same immunity challenge. Sadly for him, he was the only person that found one meaning it was powerless and he lost his vote. Oh and then Yase lost immunity again thanks to Tiffany struggling badly in the challenge. Despite this, it came down to the boys and while Evvie continued to explain Xander’s idol was powerless, Tiffany convinced them to boot sweet Voce instead.

The next morning Liana awoke bright and early, regretting the choice to get rid of Voce – I think – given it could cost her the game if the tribe continues their losing streak. As she tended to the fire, she missed an advantage sitting right next to her. Thankfully, Tiffany woke up not much later and found it under the watchful eyes of Evvie and Liana. As such, she beckoned them to follow her down to the beach where she learnt that later that night a boat would arrive to take her to another island where she would be faced with a choice. The failure to get on said boat would cost her her vote at the next tribal council. Which she was obviously thrilled about, while Liana questioned whether missing it will cost her the game.

Meanwhile over at Ua, JD was bonding with Genie, Ricard and Shan while Brad got up and started tending to camp. Thankfully for him, as the tribe partied together, he found the same advantage that Tiffany got and as such, the King and Queen of chaos are destined for a twilight meet-up and damn, I am excited! We then jetted over to Luvu where Sydney was telling the tribe that Naseer pulled her aside last night and suggested getting rid of Danny, while poor Naseer sat alone at camp. Breaking my damn heart, given he is so sweet and joyous. Thankfully he apologised to everyone and while everyone seemed great, Sydney was still very much against him. And then grabbed the hidden advantage in front of the tribe to avoid Heather or Naseer grabbing it.

We returned to Ua where JD was wandering around, searching high and low for a hidden immunity idol to add to his collection of advantages. Given he was struggling, he decided that someone else must have found it and then listed why every other person in the tribe had it. As the tribe reconnected, we learnt that Brad and Genie had found the idol together but half an hour earlier and while Queen Genie was disappointed to not be the owner of the idol, she was glad her closest ally had it. Brad started to feel guilty that their other ally Shan wasn’t in the know, so pulled her aside and let her know about the madness of the three-way idol before gagging her with the knowledge of his OTHER advantage. And while she pretended to be excited for him, she was also concerned about his growing power.

That night, Brad built a body out of supplies on the beach so that people would think he was sleeping away before he ventured out on his boat trip. While Tiffany and Sydney weren’t as elaborate with their escapes, they did meet him on a new island where they learnt that they would have to select themselves a tarp or ‘a steal a vote’. And like the other dilemma, if they all select the tarp they all get a tarp but if they all choose the ‘steal a vote’, they all lose their vote at the next tribal council. And then if the decision is split, those that choose tarp get nothing while the others get the ‘steal a vote’. Tiffany quickly suggested they all agree that one of them gets the ‘steal a vote’, while the others get nothing which made Sydney very nervous about her. After they discussed back and forth, they all made their decisions in private and returned back to camp.

The next day, Tiffany and Sydney learnt that they were empty handed while Brad was delighted to find his steal a vote. Which is the outcome Sydney was hoping for.

The tribes reconvened with Jeffrey for the latest immunity challenge where they had to swim out and cross a rope bridge over the water, run to shore, dig up sandbags and toss them on small shelves. Oh and the winning tribes also get a fruit platter. After Brad and Xander offered up their idol phrases, they sadly discovered that they were missing their third partner and they were now both without their votes. Deshawn got Luvu out to an early lead before Shan pipped him on the rope bridge and gave Ua the lead. The tribes continued to trade out the lead while Xander desperately tried to close the gap for Yase. Eventually all of the tribes caught up when it came to tossing the sacks, which proved to be Tiffany’s secret skill as she landed the first one for Yase. Xander quickly landed another two, while Deshawn tried to close the gap. Ua then got in on the action and landed a few but it was all for nought as Luvu took out immunity followed by Xander snagging a victory for Yase, sending Ua to tribal council.

Back at camp the tribe tried to process their loss, while Brad was more frustrated by the fact his idol isn’t powered and as such, he doesn’t have his vote and nor can he play any advantages. A factoid we only just learnt. JD ventured off to go to the bathroom before returning with his extra vote visible. As such, Shan and Ricard pulled him aside to give him the chance to come clean but given they forced his hand, neither of them really trusted him. The duo then caught up and discussed the merits of getting rid of either JD or Brad since they are both untrustworthy, though they argued that the latter does contribute more around camp. Knowing he was screwed, JD apologised to Shan and offered up the extra vote for her to mind until later to the game. We then learnt that Shan felt emotionally connected to both of the boys and as such, she is even more confused about what is the right decision for her game.

At tribal council Shan spoke about how disappointed she was to be back at tribal council while JD quickly took responsibility for their loss in the challenge. Ricard admitted that he is already at the point of the game where he would rather vote based on his allegiances rather than strength, while Genie was concerned she was getting his vote given she voted for him last week. Though wasn’t overly concerned, given she has a solid alliance. Brad spoke about the importance of building trust, which JD jumped on and assured them that while they may not trust him at the moment, he hopes to win back the trust. Brad reminded them that things always look up after tribal council as the joy of surviving comes to them. JD spoke about how Survivor gave him his confidence and built him up to the man he is today and ugh, the way Brad watched on with pride was just too precious.

With that the tribe voted and powerless, poor Brad was gagged to find himself booted from the game. But more importantly, does this mean that Xander will never get to stop talking about his dead flying relatives?!

But that is a question for another time, because as soon as I saw Brad wander into Loser Lodge, I pulled him into my arms and started to cry over his loss. You see, I’ve known Brad for years after hitchhiking my way across America working as a ranch hand in the hopes of finding my own Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar. While I was tragically unsuccessful, Brad took me under his wing and tried to make me into a decent person, often looking on with the same pride he looked at JD with. The results may have been hit and miss, but he was always proud of me when I whipped out a batch of Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

There is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate, a fact best proven by these little numbers. Smooth, chewy peanut butter, mixed with sharp, rich chocolate? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Serves: 2 dear friends, makes 36.

Ingredients
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4 tbsp unsalted butter 
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
500g melting chocolate

Method
Combine the peanut butter, butter and muscovado sugar in a saucepan and cook, stirring over medium heat until melted. Bring to a gentle boil before removing from the heat and folding through the icing sugar. Stirring until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge to chill.

Line 36 mini-muffin holes with paper patties. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and salt together until smooth and shiny. Immediately pour a tablespoon into each muffin cup and swirl to cover the base.

Take the chilled peanut butter mixture out of the fridge and roll into 1 teaspoon sized thick discs. Pop one in each of the muffin cups, top with the remaining chocolate and transfer to the fridge to set.

Remove from the pattie liners and devour, joyously.


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Laura Bakewells Tart

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Baking, Dessert, Pie, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Dani, Wai, Flick, Laura and Gerald scored a massive KFC reward which honestly would have made my damn life. High on fried chicken and tipsy from the beers, Dani quickly suggested they pull together an alliance to get rid of Emmett. Which is convenient, given he lost his first individual immunity challenge. However sadly for Dani, Flick and Gerald were more loyal to Emmett, so instead the Brawn trio decided to let the Emmett vote happen and instead idol Dani out of the game. Sadly for them, George had all the information and decided it was wiser to bring the Brains back together. And as such, they sent sweet, unsuspecting Gerald from the game.

Things had calmed down the next morning with Laura doing some marine inspired dance moves while George was duck walking around camp, hoping not to pop a ball. All while poor Emmett looked on, still smarting about George finally proving Hayley right and officially turning on the Brawn tribe. While he was saltily chatting to Dani in the shelter, he worked up the courage to suggest that maybe they should call a truce and figure a way out of their combined current situation. Sadly for him, Dani really wasn’t interested. And that was before George even told her that the Brains only flipped because they wanted to save her.

Flick meanwhile was frustrated at not only George, but also herself for deviating from Brawn strong and casting a vote against Dani. With that, she caught up with her and apologised for turning on her before sharing with us that she struggles with lying in the game and doing things that in the outside world would be considered bad. We then learnt more about her family, with Flick sharing with Wai, George and Hayley that her mother is living in a care home as she is suffering from early onset dementia. She broke down as she spoke about coming on the show to draw attention to the horrific disease and ugh, don’t make me cry on a Monday night, Flick!

We did an extreme pivot and checked in with Hayley who shared that while she voted with George and the Brains to prove her trust, she also knows that George likes to play a big game and while she appreciates it, playing against it makes things difficult for her to navigate.

Another thing making it difficult for her is the fact that George is the one that found yet another clue that everyone seemingly walked past that morning, directing him to go to the well. There, he promptly found a key to a hidden immunity idol locked under the voting urn at tribal council. And better yet, said idol could be played anonymously, meaning he doesn’t have to out a relationship, should he want to play it for someone else.

Like Cara for instance, despite everyone knowing how close they are.

As Hayley and Emmett fished in the billabong, Dani shared how grateful she is that everyone is in such a zen headspace. The tribe then realised that Flick had gone missing and while Dani worried about what it could mean, they eventually learnt that her mother had tragically passed away and again, I was not emotionally prepared for this episode. Poor Flick held back tears as she spoke so eloquently through her grief, talking about her beautiful, courageous mum. Thankfully the tribe rallied around her and raised her up as she announced that after speaking to her family, they encouraged her to stay in the game and damn, I need her to win for her mum now.

Taking an even more extreme pivot than earlier, the tribe met Jonathan by a hill where he sweetly paid his respects to Flick and gave her a genuinely warm hug before turning his attention to the immunity. Said challenge involved the castaways racing up a hill to grab four sets of puzzle pieces, one bundle at a time, before solving a puzzle. Oh and to make things even more interesting, only the last four to finish would be eligible to be voted out at tribal council that night. 

Meaning a twist is coming, right?

While Andrew and Emmett got out to an early lead, Wai and Cara languished at the back. Given they just kept running up and down, it was kinda hard to keep track however it was very obvious that Andrew and Emmett quickly started to lap poor Wai. Laura and Dani had also essentially given up, encouraging each other on the walk to just think about how to work it back at camp. Cara meanwhile was one upping them, just straight up begging everyone that passed her not to vote her out later that night.

Andrew was obviously the first back with all his pieces, though was quickly joined by Emmett and Hayley. While the trio cooled down with the puzzle, Cara started walking with George and suggested they should all push to vote out Wai, given everyone thinks she is going to win anyway. Meanwhile at the start of the pack, Andrew took out the first immunity, followed by Hayley and Emmett at practically the same time. Flick arrived and quickly secured the fourth immunity, while George, Laura and Dani battled it out of the final slot. Which eventually was taken out by George as sweet Wai encouraged herself to keep pushing for her last stack.

Back at camp Andrew was excited to be immune, but disappointed that two of the people in the bottom are his allies. But instead of worrying, he focused on locking in the vote for Cara and while Laura and Wai quickly go on board, me thinks George’s idol is going to ruin that plan. A nervous Dani caught up with Andrew, with her grateful to find out that the target is not on her back. Feeling confident that everyone was happy to get rid of Cara, Andrew announced it to the rest of the tribe to vote for her too and seemingly decided to call it a day.

Which did not sit well with Emmett. Sadly for him, he doesn’t have any power in the tribe. But someone who does? Her closest ally George. While George assured Laura and Hayley that he is happy to vote however the rest of the OG Brains want to – and eventually agreed to vote out Cara – he then obviously ran straight to Cara and while he wanted to assure her that she would be fine, he knew that he couldn’t risk people finding out about the idol. Instead, he just tried to get her target off Wai and instead encouraged her to vote Laura and idol her out of the game with a single vote.

At tribal council Andrew said that he would be voting for someone that has plenty of relationships. Cara spoke about everyone deserving to be here rather than identifying a target and trying to sway people to her side. Wai spoke about the fact that there is always hope in the game, with Cara admitting that she will still try and shift the target despite seemingly giving up. And just not knowing who that would be. Hayley spoke about needing to continue to build trust while Cara hoped that sticking Brawn strong, wouldn’t be her undoing. And poor Emmett, he was just trying to find new allies given his alliance was blown up the night before. 

By George. And Cara. And Dani. And the Brains too, I guess.

George gave a monologue about how strong his relationship with Cara is, praising her for sacrificing herself for him previously. Laura meanwhile was just hoping her luck avoiding eliminations wouldn’t run out – is there going to be another twist? – while Dani just tried to make jokes about her lack of running ability, smartly downplaying her other physical strengths. George meanwhile was not being very stealth, whispering to Hayley whether the vote had changed and when she asked him whether he was going to do something to save her, he sadly said that there is absolutely nothing he could do.

With that the tribe voted and what do you know, there is something George could do as he unlocked his hidden idol and secretly played it for Cara. Denying it yet again to Hayley as the votes were read, negating all but one of the votes, with Cara singlehandedly sending Laura from the game. Just as George planned. Again.

I did my best gay gasp when I saw Laura walk into the Jury Villa, shocked that once again George Gabon-ed the shit out of the season  – come on, he is boy Sugar – and sent the finally well positioned Laura home instead. I pulled her in for a hug and once again assured her that being booted in a memorable way is always better than a bland one, before catching up. You see, we’ve known each other for years after meeting while studying Marine Science. While I quit almost instantly upon discovery it wouldn’t make me Lori Petty in Free Willy, we became the firmest of friends. And I knew the only thing that could sweeten up her boot was a fresh Laura Bakewells Tart.

For some reason I spent my childhood assuming that bakewell tarts were disgusting but once I actually found out what was in one, I was hooked. I mean with the combo of frangipane, jam and glace cherries, how could you go wrong?

Enjoy!

Laura Bakewells Tart
Serves: 6 people or two dear friends.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp for the frangipane and more for dusting
250g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs
120g butter, softened
120g raw caster sugar
115g almond meal
½-1 cup cherry jam
12 glacé cherries

Method
Sieve flour and 50g of icing sugar into a large bowl. Using hands, work the unsalted butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add an egg and work together until it forms a ball. If the dough seems too wet, add more flour until it is at the desired consistency. Don’t overwork the flour otherwise it won’t be short, as the name shortcrust demands.

Pat the dough-ball into a disc, wrap in cling-wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Dust a surface and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 5mm thick. Cut the dough into 12 10cm discs and press into a greased mini-tart tin (or a muffin pan, in a pinch)

Prick each tart base with a fork, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge to set for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove the shells from the oven, line with pastry weights and blind bake for ten minutes before removing the weights and cooking for a further ten. Or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While they cool, beat the regular butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mix in the remaining egg, followed by the tablespoon of flour and mix until just combined.

Spoon a tsp of cherry jam into the base of each shell, smoothing as best you can to cover the bottom. Now dollop a tablespoon of frangipane and return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the tart is golden and springy. Set aside to cool completely in the pan.

To make the icing, mix the remaining icing sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the top of each tart before pressing a glacé cherry on top. Leave to set for half an hour before devouring, sumptuously.


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