Chelsea Lamingtownsend

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

Previously on Survivor, Probsty boy dropped a bomb on the top ten announcing that they’d be competing for immunity in two groups with a winner and a trip to tribal council for each. At the first tribal council Jenna tried to play Donathan, though her shady behaviour made him nervous and he played his idol for himself, ensuring she was booted from the game. Meanwhile tribal council number two didn’t prove anymore successful, with Kellyn playing her extra vote to boot Laurel which tragically failed when Michael didn’t jump on board, sending him from the game.

Back at camp the two groups reconvened with Kellyn coming clean about playing the extra vote on Laurel, which Laurel was obvi not keen on. Though neither were the editors it seems as we quickly transitioned to Probst on the beach the next day for the reward challenge for a huge feast AND loved ones. With that, everyone started to breakdown before anyone even arrived on the beach – thought when Wendell’s dad arrived, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Nor my pants, given Wendell’s hungry jocks. Anyway, he was followed by Kellyn’s brother, Donathan’s Queen Aunt Patty – ugh, my heart is breaking. I love Donathan – Angela’s daughter – again, crying along with Probst – Chelsea’s sister – hang on, which one is the castaway? – Laurel’s brother, Sebastian’s booty-short baby sister and Domenick’s wife, who is an icon TBH.

Wendell was first across the pole – again, I wish – arriving at the balance beam first for the puzzle pieces. Sadly Laurel, Chelsea and Kellyn overtook him at the next obstacle and commenced digging their hole to slide under a log. Sadly for them Sebastian came out of nowhere and quickly slinked his twink build under and landed his sandbag on a podium just after Domenick arrived, securing the win. Given Sebastian isn’t an idiot or heartless, he selected second placer Dom to share the reward … followed by Wendell and Donathan. While the girls stood around glumly, Probst dropped another bomb on Sebastian saying that an advantage awaited someone on Ghost Island and he could either snatch it for himself, give it to one of his boys … or it will go to random draw for the girls. While Sebastian had no interest, Wendell jumped at the chance to snatch the advantage, pissing off the girls – particularly Kellyn – in the process.

At Ghost Island Wendell rationalised dropping his father like a newborn giraffe before discovering his advantage was to have a redo of the balance the ball on an ever-expanding pole challenge, like Malcolm in the Philippines. You know, the one that led to his first tragic loss? He also got to practice, so hopefully that makes perfect. Meanwhile out on the reward Domenick assured Donathan and Sebastian’s loved ones that they’d be going to the end together. Though that doesn’t seem to be something Donathan is interested in, given they’re both threats. Back at camp however, Kellyn was burning with fiery rage for Wendell dropping his dad for the reward. She then immediately pulled Chelsea, Laurel and Angela aside to form an alliance, pull in Donathan – because us gays always get along better with girls, right? Eyeroll – and take control and split up Domenick and Wendell. Which despite making Laurel extremely nervous, given their advantages, is super tempting … since they would crush her at final tribal.

With all that excitement out of the way, the final eight arrived to discover they’d be competing in the final immunity challenge from Philippines – swoon Malcolm and Denise … and Lisa – and that Wendell has the chance to reverse Malcolm’s curse. Kellyn quickly dropped out of the challenge, before Angela couldn’t even get it up in the second round, followed by Wendell who used his advantage to stay alive. Sadly it was all for nought, dropping again and losing the challenge. Sebastian dropped soon after the final round kicked off, followed by Laurel and Chelsea, leaving Donathan and Domenick to battle it out for immunity. The boys shook their way for a couple of extra minutes before Donathan dropped the ball and handed Domenick his second immunity win.

Everyone arrived back at camp to kick off the scrambling, with Domenick pulling Wendell aside to share that he kept the boys in line at reward before they locked in the vote for Chelsea. Meanwhile the girls connected by the fire to confirm aligning to break up the boys, with Angela confident she’d be able to pull in Donathan and take control. Which he was keen on. Sadly Laurel seemed open to the boys plan to take out Chelsea, though didn’t make Wendell feel confident and therefore, he planned to play his idol. Laurel and Donathan then joined together to lament the pain of being in the middle, with them both terrified of crossing people they trust just because they can’t be beaten for people they can’t trust to get them to the end. FYI – the latter is always the better option, because the other way is a guaranteed loss. But I’d probably suck and be overcautious if I were there too.

At tribal – gaaaah, MICHAEL?! – Kellyn quickly mentioned dropping two votes on Laurel at the last tribal, I assume to impress the jury. Sadly for her, Donathan stole her thunder announcing that Naviti are at breaking point and he and Laurel would be taking advantage of it … TONIGHT. This made the two factions look around with crazy eyes, denying their scrambling and trying to play innocent. Donathan continued to cause chaos, outing both the girls and boys for coming to them and trying to take control. While everyone on Naviti tried to deny the obvious scrambling, no one was being fooled by anything anyone else had to say. Channelling Tai-nerves-of-steel-Trang, Wendell opted out of playing his idol with his bravery rewarded – you missed your chance and handed he or Dom the game, guys – and him narrowly avoiding the boot while poor Chelsea banished to the jury. Which I can confirm is her name, after getting to meet her at Ponderosa … on account of her having less that five confessionals all season.

Anyway she took her boot like a champ and was an absolute delight while we reconnected. Turns out, I didn’t realise that Chelsea is one of my dear friends – we met whilst in cheerleading camp together – on account of her barely being on the show despite a brief immunity run. After realising our bond, I held her close, apologised for the producers shafting her and whipped her up a big batch of Chelsea Lamingtownsends.

 

 

The Australian – or Kiwi, TBH – classic is one of those baked treats that are perfect, sweet and delicious … but I always kind of forget exist in favour of something showier. Like the pizza curse that Survivor NZ couldn’t reverse, I feel like bequeathing Chelse with the confection kind of cursed her edit. Though thankfully, the light sponge, rich chocolate and shit tonne of coconut are so good, she didn’t seem to notice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chelsea Lamingtownsend
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
125g butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the chocolate icing
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup milk
3 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups desiccated coconut

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cream the butter, raw caster sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come together before adding the next.

Remove from the mixer and fold through half the flour and baking powder until well combined, followed by half the milk until well combined. Lather, rinse and repeat until the batter is just combined. Pour into a lined lamington pan, smooth the top and place in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until just cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

While it is working its way to chill, combine the icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl with half a cup of boiling water and the remaining butter, and stirring to form a smooth chocolatey liquid.

Cut the cake into 16 squares and place the coconut in a dish. Working one at a time, dip the cake in the chocolate icing using a fork until coated. Shake off the excess and dip into the coconut to coat. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to set for a couple of hours.

Then devour.

 

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Bill Skolsbård

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Between Michael on Survivor and my ongoing obsession with Kameron Michaels on Drag Race, you’d be forgiven for thinking I had reached peak thirstiness. But I haven’t, dear reader, I haven’t. Well, technically hadn’t, until my dearest Billy Skars dropped by to catch up.

While I will always hold Alexander up on a pedestal as my number one Skars, there is something about Bill that fills my heart with joy. And well, make blood rush to other places.

But anyway, I first met Bill through Al – after he stopped seeing me as a creepy stalker – a few years ago and I instantly knew he had that certain something Stellan, Al and Gustaf all had, so I vowed to make him a star. I got him a job with Kiz, Az and Cazza on Anna Karenina and followed it up with my husband and my family movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant with our cousins Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd.

I then spoke to Finn and got him the job on It … and the rest, as I oft say when I can’t think of anything to add, is history.

After Bill and I caught up and then caught up, we were positively famished so it was super convenient I had a big fresh batch of my Bill Skolsbård hidden away by the bed.

 

 

Fresh, warm, spicy and pillowy dough, jam packed with sweet, creamy custard, these babies are the perfect thing for an afternoon snack … after an afternoon delight. And they’ll definitely make your stomach see skyrockets in flight. Boom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Bill Skolsbård
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ⅔ cups milk, plus ½ a cup for the custard
60g unsalted butter
7g yeast
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the custard
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 yolks, plus one whole egg, whisked, for brushin’
½ cup cream
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Method
Combine the not-for-custard milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it has just melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the yeast and caster sugar and leave to foam for ten minutes or so. While things are getting frothy, combine the flour and spice in the bowl of a stand mixer before slowly combining the liquid. After it reaches peak froth, obvi. Knead using a dough hook on medium for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock the dough back down to size like an emotionally abusive parent and divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into logs, cut them into 4, shape each into rounds and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Cover and leave to prove for a further halfies.

While the buns are rising – as opposed to making me rise – preheat the oven to 180°C and start work on the custard. Combine the remaining milk in a saucepan with the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat straight away. Meanwhile whisk the yolks, cornflour and vanilla in a clean, dry bowl before slowly whisking in the warmed dairy until smooth and combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat and cook, stirring, until starting to thicken. Transfer to a bowl via a sieve, cover directly on the surface with cling and chill until ready for bakin’.

Do as I do and press into each bun to make a deep indentation. Fill said hole with the fresh, creamy custard. Brush the exposed buns with the egg to glaze and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and risen. You may need to rotate / swap the trays throughout baking if you’re without a fan force. But is anyone these days? Please let me know in the comments.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes or so before combining the icing sugar with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Brush each bun with the glaze and sprinkle with the coconut. Leave to set for ten minutes or so before annihilating. Sorry, I mean devouring.

 

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Rio Summers Fruit Tart

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls created avatars in the ANTM mobile game leading to Jeana being pissed about her lack of personality. Feeling the pressure, she then dived into Shanice and Khrystyana’s shoot, or so they thought, leading to some drama before Director X cleared things up at panel. Sadly it wasn’t enough to save her, with Khrystyana taking out best photo again and Jeana booted from the competition.

The top four returned to the house to celebrate Khrystyana’s 600th first call out, and for Kyla and Shanice, the demise of Jeana. Rio then shared a beautiful note that Jeana left her following her departure, though was thankful she was gone as her odds just got better. Khrystyana offered to have her join them in the other bedroom, though she didn’t want to give up her big bed and while I get it, ugh Rio. Tyra Mail arrived and warned the girls that it was throwback week and they’d have to recreate a past challenge, leading to a shit tonne of speculation and Rio and Shanice sharing their pride about how far they’ve come.

The next day the girls joined Ashley, Drew and Law to learn that they would be recreating the cycle 16 bubble runway of death. Stacey McKenzie returned to help the girls through the challenge before they dropped the bombshell that the eliminated queens – no quitters – would be returning to compete for a place in the new top four. The girls all reconnected, well except for Jeana and Rio as the latter was feeling frosty about her potential return, particularly if it is at the cost of her place. Law then told the girls that only the four best eliminated queens would temporarily move back into the house and compete to return after the shoot.

Rio struggled in the ball according to Jeana, though she did kill it so maybe she is an authority. All of the other girls seemed to struggle, even Queen Khrystyana, except for Christina, Kyla, Erin and Liberty. Erin took out victory in the challenge and was given a ticket back into the house, along with Liberty, Christina and Jeana much to the chagrin of Rio. Lol.

The potential returnees were feeling unloved back at the house, with Jeana really hurt by Rio icing her out as it triggered her memories of being bullied and isolated in school. Christina joined the OG top four from Rio mid-rant, before she vowed to raise hell if she is the one to be eliminated. Rio then took her rage next level, moving out of her beloved big bed and into the room with her fellow never-eliminees behind Jeana’s back. Seriously, Rio is losing it and it is scary but also glorious.

The models then arrived to recreate tarantula shoot from Cycle 3, posing with Eva who won that cycle and shot by former judge, all around babe and noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker. The final four were paired with one of the potential returnees, Erin with Khrystyana, Liberty and Kyla, and obviously the drama pairs of Christina and Shanice – who felt safer with the tarantula – and Rio and Jeana. Liberty didn’t love the spider, though loved the experience with Nige. Erin was terrified and Khrystyana was annoyed that that made her have to suffer through more time with the spider. Erin then pulled out all stops and posed with the spider on her face. Eva pulled Jeana aside to talk her through the shoot, pissing off Rio who felt the entire thing was fake. Jeana then went on to dominate the shoot while Rio couldn’t get out of her head and looked weak as hell. Shanice then struggled the entire shoot while Christina completely dominated.

The girls arrived at panel where Tyra warned them all that Eva looked fierce in all the photos and they had better hope they brought it. Christina and Shanice were up first with Christina’s photo receiving universal praise and Shanice getting read for filth, though she admitted she hated the entire thing and wasn’t surprised. Rio and Jeana were up next with Jeana praised for owning the shoot and coming back to slay, while they felt Rio was lost and just floating through the competition. Liberty was praised for looking rich, while was no competition for Kyla whose photo was gorgeous. Khrystyana had a rare stumble and while Erin’s photo looked terrible, she was praised for owning the runway.

Kyla received best photo – though it kind of felt like it was by default – followed by Khrystyana, leaving Shanice, who has grown throughout the competition, and Rio, who has plateaued. As such Shanice was given a reprieve, despite the weaker photo and poor Rio was eliminated from the competition. With that Tyra turned her attention to the eliminated girls, with Jeana earning her place back in the competition much to rage of Shanice, Kyla and Khrystyana.

Now like Jeana last week, I know I’ve been harsh on Rio and while I did scream at her and let her know just how disappointed I was by her attitude, this week kind of showed just how much the competition had gotten to them both. While Jeana had the chance to reflect after her brief elimination, Rio couldn’t process losing and highlighted how desperate she was for the title. She cried, I held her tight – did I mention I was conducting clinical trials in the hospital she received treatment at and motivated her to take up modelling? Because I did – and sweetened the deal of her loss with a big fat slice of Rio Summers Fruit Tart.

 

 

Sweet, fresh and a little bit tart, this is the perfect reflection of her narrative arc on the show. From beloved to reviled, she brought it every week and TBH, this is the kind of tart you’ll want to devour every damn week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rio Summers Fruit Tart
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
150g cold unsalted butter, plus 115g at room temperature
250g flour
50g icing sugar
salt, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
milk, optional (dependent on size of the egg, really)
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp spiced rum
¼ tsp almond extract
1 cup almond meal
3 peaches, sliced
1 cup blueberries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

To make the pastry, cut the cold butter into cubes and blitz in a food processor with the flour, icing sugar, a pinch of salt and vanilla. When resembling wet sand, add the egg and blitz until it just comes together to form a dough. You may need to add some milk if the egg is small, but you should be ok. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling and rest in the fridge for an hour.

Sprinkle some flour in a bench and roll the dough until it is roughly 3mm thick and press it into a 25cm loose bottom – yum – tart case. Trim off an any excess dough and return to the fridge for half an hour or so. When you’re ready, line with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Transfer to the oven and blind bake for ten minutes. Remove the baking weights and cook  for a further ten minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Leave the oven on while you beat the remaining butter and sugar in a stand mixer until it is so light it looks to be pulsating. Add the remaining two eggs, one at a time, followed by the rum and almond extract before removing from the stand mixer and folding through the almond meal. Smear into the tart case and smooth the top.

Press the peaches into the frangipane in any fashion you find aesthetically on point for you – dick and balls would look hella artistic, for instance – before pressing the blueberries around the gaps. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, our until the tart is golden and puffed and the blueberries are blistering.

Devour immediately with some ice cream. Sad model friend optional.

 

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Gaberry Soufflibe

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a hint of Megs and a dash of Shirls, we’ve arrived at the televisual stardom section of my egg-based ritual. And based on her successful post-Precious TV career with The Big C, American Horror Story: Coven through Hotel and Empire, my girl Gabs Sidible was the only person worthy of joining me for day three of this year’s Easter Meggstravaganza.

I’ve known Gabs for years after meeting on the set of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. I was there visiting my part-time lover Lenny Kravtiz and was immediately drawn in by her performance and vowed to make her a star, and get her an Oscar. While she was robbed by my frenemy Sandra Bullock – she should have been robbed by Meryl instead – she never held my inability to bring Bullsy down against me.

Given how busy I’ve been being Miley and the sort, and she is still hard at work on Empire, Gabs and I haven’t had the chance to catch-up in a while. And let me tell you, it was such a treat to see her again.

She was not only so excited to see me again and reconnect, but also help bring Megs the renewed fame she deserves. We laughed, we hugged, we plotted my way into American Horror Story and finally put on our ritualistic robes and devoured a Gaberry Soufflibe.

 

 

Don’t let the terrible photos scare you – the air conditioning really did a number on them – these babies are damned near perfection. Light, sweet and full of berrylicious tang, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Or off, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaberry Soufflibe
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup raw caster sugar
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornflour
2 egg whites
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the ¼ cup of sugar, berries, vanilla and cornflour in a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for five minutes or so, or until broken down and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to rock and or roll, place the remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold through the berry mixture and pour into 6 small ramekins, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until risen (like Megs’ career, yo).

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After the debacle of catching up with my frenemy, the worst winner of Drag Race and – my honest opinion only – all around garbage person Tyra Sanchez, it was so nice to spend time with my kind friend Engelbert Humperdinck.

Kind, warm, funny, charming and best of all, kind and open with his fans … friend.

Unlike Tyra.

Anyway, I first met the Dinck and his – well, you know – back in the ‘60s when he was still getting his career off the ground. My dear friend Tom Jones’ manager was his former roommate and one night while we were out partying, we decided his name was holding him back. Ten minutes later Engelbert was born and Arnold was no more.

With that, I earned his complete and unequivocal trust, shaping his career ever since. Well until yesterday, when he tragically declined my offer to coach him to another Eurovision berth. Which no doubt would have been more successful.

While I was upset he didn’t trust me, I respect his wishes like a friend – unlike say, Tyra would – and we instead focused on reconnecting and havin’ a laff. Though that is kind of the go to reaction to splitting an Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake between two best friends.

 

 

Moist, sweet and perfectly spiced, hummingbird cake is like a carrot cake on crack. In all the right ways. Add in some cream cheese icing and my shorts are creamed, culinarily speaking obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup, muscovado sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 ripe bananas, mashed
450g crushed pineapple (in juice), drained with juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar mixture

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl. Fold through the muscovado sugar, coconut and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and ⅓ of the pineapple juice. While stirring pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and continue to fold until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the lined tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking after half an hour. You want it golden brown on the outside and an inserted skewer to just come out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until it is light, fluffy and just combined. Don’t overbeat as the icing will become too soft.

To assemble, smear a third of the icing on top of one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, and smear the rest of the icing on top and around the edges. Press the remaining walnuts into the icing and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour or so, removing ten minutes before serving … and devouring.

 

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Brandi K Seinaps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandi K Seinaps
Serves: 6-8.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Viola Halvis

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

Once again, I’ve reached the end of my Oscar Gold celebrations and no tea no shade to Diablo, Henry, Kathryn, Brad or Mahershala, I’ve well and truly saved the best to last – current reigning Best Supporting Actress, Viola Davis.

And that is not just because we’ve been the best of friends for 17 years. She is the only Black Actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting, and that makes her long overdue for some coverage on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Viola on the set of Kate & Leopold when dropping by to visit Megs (Megs, Megs) and Liev, and while she only had a bit part I knew she was destined for greatness. As such, I sidled up to her at the craft services table and promptly hitched my wagon to her, to achieve greatness by association.

While I also wasn’t able to convince her to bring me along as a date, she did have a surprise up her sleeve … she convinced one of our mutual friends to take me (let’s call her Beryl Strap)!

Anyway, I could talk about her being the only good thing about Fences, slaying in How to Get Away with Murder and realistically should have a couple of Oscars under her belt by now, that isn’t what you came for. You came to hear our opinions on who will snag the female acting gongs.

While we both agree that my dear friend Allison Janney will succeed her as Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya, I desperately wish for a tie between her and fellow TV star Laurie Metcalf who was beautiful in Lady Bird. What is becoming a tradition in this year’s acting categories, we both feel Frances McDormand is a sure thing for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I feel like fellow Gold Coaster Margot Robbie gave the better performance in  I, Tonya and am desperately hoping for an upset.

Like my date with Mahersh, I started to feel down thinking about Margot likely not snagging a win for Karl and Susan. That led to the requirement for something sickly sweet and totally delightful, like my Viola Halvis.

 

 

While there are so many forms of halva, this is obviously the best. Rich and nutty, delicate and floral, all wrapped up in a sickly sweet package, it is the perfect way to honour the ninetieth Oscars and Faye and Warren’s inevitable mis-crowning.

To The Goldfather, enjoy!

 

 

Viola Halvis
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g walnuts
250g blanched almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
500g pitted dates
1 tbsp rosewater
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the nuts and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or so, or until toasted and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.

Place the cooled nuts in a food processor with the dates and rosewater and blitz for about five minutes, or until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined small baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to set for an hour or so. Then remove and cut into squares, dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the models made viral videos before turning all deli-like and serving up beauty sandwiches. Yes, beautiful sandwiches aka three heads smooshed together, where Rio shone as her attitude got dark about wicked Sandra being beautiful, Christina’s attitude stayed the same and Coura continued to coast … floating right out of the competition.

On the way home from panel, Shanice and Brendi K threw some shade at Christina, asking whether Coura should have stayed over her … and if being rude to the judges is what she is going for. Allegedly she isn’t rude and, I guess in her defense, she didn’t fight back when Brendi K continued to decimate her verbally, so she can hold it back occasionally.

Back at the house Rio continued to rub me the wrong way, using her best photo to slam the ‘pretty girl’ and vowed not to compare herself to others, while comparing herself to others.

That confusion was interrupted by Tyra-mail where she announced it was Pride Week, filling Kyla with joy at the prospect of doing drag. On the flipside, Liberty was scared since she hasn’t met any game people. Brendi K then came out as bi, yet Shanice still won the scene proclaiming her love of cock. I mean, we have so much in common, how can I not love her?

The models then rolled into WeHo where Erin taught the children some acronyms, Liberty was still not sure what to expect given her town views homosexuality as an ailment and my basement started flooding from some questionably pantied dancers. They rolled into Mickey’s to meet Drew, Law and Stacey for a pop-up runway, doing everything themselves – selecting outfits, hair, makeup … models better work. The winner automatically wins a place in Christian Cowan’s show at NYFW, so it was worth it.

After some more gratuitous nudity, the models took to the runway where Jeana killed and Liberty looked like she doesn’t understand what homosexuality is given how she tried to work the crowd. Brendi K bombed despite it being her community, Rio owned the stage, Khrystyana was serving Katya’s-mother-to-Katya-realness and will be robbed if she loses, Christina did ok, Shanice killed it giving pimp-realness and then Erin slayed while serving her cakes. After poor Brendi K broke down over letting the community down, Jeana, Erin and Khrystyana were praised as the best performers … before the latter rightfully won her place at NYFW.

Tyra-mail arrived announcing a royal photoshoot which got everyone pumped for drag queens, before Liberty fully lost me with her anti-feminist ways. I mean, seriously? Christina decided to try and work through some of her issues with the girls, joining the models in the spa to share some of herself and apologise to Brendi K. She then corrected Brendi K’s misuse of a word – which I was totally doing myself – before the conversation abruptly ended. That night, Erin went into full mum mode, going to Christina and given full-blown I’m not mad, I’m disappointed realness.

The next day, the girls were joined by Manila Luzon, Katya and Valentina, who would be the queens to their princesses. Can they join the competition permanently, please? Rio got paired with Valentina – who let’s be honest, was looking all Princess Disastah – and gave an ok performance … before the queens descended on Liberty. After being threatened to be burnt and rolled down a hill, she tried not to let Katya destroy her … but she was. Khrystyana slayed while working with Katya, who could be her sister. Kyla was way too excited to be paired with Manila, bumbling her way through the shoot. Shanice murdered Valentina, I wish Erin and Manila could adopt me, Jeana also killed Valentina, as did Sandra. Are you sensing a pattern? Manila then worked to stir the pot, with Christina still unable to see that she was the most consistent aspect of each feud. Tragically Christina got Katya, who would have chemistry with a steaming turd, while Brendi struggled to get a shot with Manila.

Brendi K and Kyla were questioning their performances as the models arrived at panel. Christina’s picture channeled her grumpiness in a good way, Shanice dominated Valentina, Khrystyana was gorgeous, Brendi was boring in beige, Jeana was brought down by Valentina, Erin slayed, Sandra was pretty, Liberty was awkward, Rio schooled Valentina in a Mills & Boon-esque shot and Kyla was a hot mess.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Khrystyana rightfully snatched the best-photo-crown, before Liberty landed herself in the bottom with Kyla before exiting the competition, I assume, to make America great again. While I appreciate the irony of her getting the boot during Pride Week, Liberty has been nailing the competition so it was a shock to see her going home. Thankfully Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil is hella delicious, so it dulled the pain of any feelings of wrongful bootage.

 

 

Like this quote-unquote all American girl, this tea cake feels as wholesome and delicious as apple pie. Through thankfully the verjuice and cinnamon provides a kick, like a fire crotch that runs into Libs in the street and takes issue to the term fire crotch.

Enjoy!

 

 

Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil
Serves: 6-8 people thinking they’re making America great again because they own a cap that says so.

Ingredients
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
⅓ cup Verjuice
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup milk
icing sugar, to serve
ice cream, to serve

Method
Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the apples and verjuice in a medium saucepan and cook with a pinch of muscovado sugar and cinnamon for about half an hour, or until just soft and smelling deliciously caramelly and spiced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium, or until so fluffy it looks to be pulsating. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour, cinnamon and milk until just combined. Cakes and pastry are all about the just, ok?

Spoon half the mix into the greased pan, top with flagrantly caramel apples, and spoon over the remaining batter to enclose. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until golden on top and cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a huge-ass dollop of ice cream. Because, obviously.

 

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