Choc Berry Muffins

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

It has been an extremely busy week celebrating this year’s Grammys with my annual Grammy Gold parties, but as usual, I always push through. Or get by with a little help from my friends, so to speak. And Somebody That I Used to Gold would have been nothing without the love and support of my dear friends Lady Gaga, ONJ, Trey, Tina, Kandi and today, the late, great Chuck Berry.

Given I already had the delorean out to visit Kandi, I decided I should take it out for another spin and seeing Chuck again was high on my list of priorities.

I met Chuck in the ‘40s while studying to become beauticians at the Poro College of Cosmetology. While I wasn’t very good, my boy Chuck was a bloody star and so I quickly helped him rise in the industry. Until I heard his dulcet tones and realised that making him a singing star would be far more beneficial to my bank account.

While in the car, I started pondering about the major Grammy categories that I still needed to run the odds for. Obviously I am backing This is America for Song of the Year, however my gut – or indigestion – is telling me that movies are going to dominate the other two, With Black Panther snagging Album of the Year and Shallow getting Record of the Year, though This is America truly deserves the double.

With that out of the way, I arrived back in the ‘80s to help celebrate his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and boy was it an absolute thing of beauty. His kind, talented soul, and my Choc Berry Muffins, obvi.

 

 

Tart berries and gooey chocolate are quite possibly my favourite flavour combination. Add them into some pillowy cake, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells, ya! Like my dear friend Chuck, may he rest in peace.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Berry Muffins
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsp baking powder
75g raw caster sugar
200ml buttermilk
1 egg
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
200g milk chocolate, cut into rough chunks

Method
Preheat oven to 160C and line a six-hole Texan muffin pan.

Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk the buttermilk and egg with the melted butter. Fold together with a wooden spoon until just combined before folding through the berries and chocolate.

Divide the batter between the holes and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until risen cooked through and golden.

Allow to cool slightly, though making sure they’re still warm enough for the chocolate to be gooey. When you devour.

 

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Tina Turnovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Tina Turnovers
Serves: 8.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

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

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

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

 

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Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire, Sweets

Another week, another painful wait for a cast announcement. I mean, since the season has already been filmed – not to mention my ability to time travel – I’m totally all over the cast of Edge of Extinction, I feel bad that you’re not in the know. And I can’t give you my sassy hot takes.

I will tease the fact there are three guys, all of whom I love, that I can not tell apart.

A lack of cast however will still not deter me from counting down – and trying to push through my concerns slash the general negative sentiment – to the upcoming season however, so I called my dear friend Chris Daugherty to drop by.

And hot damn, I just realised that this year’s countdown features dates with victors from controversial or low-rated seasons?!

Anyway despite an apparent dislike for Vanuatu as a whole, it is up there with one of the best turnarounds by a winner. Chris went from potentially being the first boot to find himself the last man standing at the final seven before joining with three other outcasts to take control of the game, slaying his biggest threats and taking out victory.

While I was rooting for Eliza when it aired – who I really need to catch one day soon – since she was young and scrappy and I was a teen, there is no denying that Chris deserved victory after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

With that, I finally told him that I was proud of the game he played, asked him to help me figure out a way to identify the three identical strangers of Edge of Extinction and smashed a few Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts.

 

 

You know how much I love a creamy filled bun, and these babies sure don’t disappoint. Pillowy dough, tart lemony cheese and a sweet and sour crust? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts
Serves: 24.

Ingredients
750g flour
150g raw caster sugar, plus ¼ cup for filling
7g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup buttermilk
3 eggs, at room temperature
30g melted butter, plus extra to coat the ‘nuts
250g ricotta
3 lemons
1 cup caster sugar

Method
Combine flour, 150g raw caster sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, stir in the milk, buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 30g of melted butter. Attach the hook and knead for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for two hours.

When proving is half an hour from being done, blitz the ricotta with the remaining egg and the juice and zest of two lemons. Chill in a bowl until you’re ready to go.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Knock back the dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3mm thick. Cut into 24 rounds and place a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the centre of each. Fold to enclose, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until done, cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Once puffed, transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes.

While they’re baking, combine the regular caster sugar with the zest of the remaining lemon.

While the doughnuts are still hot, dip in the butter and toss through the lemon sugar. Then devour.

 

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Jane Crackpieski

Baking, Dessert, Hashbrown: The End, Pie, Sweets

Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt itself, we’ve reached the end of the road of our farewell celebration – Hashbrown: The End – and I am starting to get a bit misty, which is inappropriate when you’re meant to be honouring a hilarious show. But after catching up with Carol, Dylan, Ellie and Tituss I was too emotional, so I reached out to my dear friend and icon Jane Krakowski to see if she was free to drop by.

And she obviously was, since you’re ready this.

As you know I met future EGOT Jane in the 80s while co-starring in Starlight Express until my before I was callously cut. Thankfully it was Jane’s undying love and support that saw we through the tragic loss of my role of a lifetime.

Given Jane is a damn comedy icon, I try to see her as much as possible however it has tragically been well over two years since we last got together. As soon as she walked through customs I ran into her arms and started sobbing – some say it was because I missed her so, but we both knew that it was because at the close of today Jacqueline Voorhees will go the way of Jenna Maroney. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together long enough to drive home, go to the fridge and pull out the ultimate comfort food in the form of a Jane Crackpieski.

 

 

I feel like I am on a bit of a Milk Bar kick at the moment, but you know, when it’s right, it’s right. Any everything they do is right, even when it is a mistake. If you don’t know the story, Christina Tosi made the pie for staff dinner and while it was undercooked and she felt it was a dud, they couldn’t stop eating it and an sweet, addictive icon was born – the Crack Pie®.

And if that doesn’t offer you hope in a post-Kimmy Schmidt world, I don’t know what does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Oat Cookie
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g muscovado sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ cup flour
120g rolled oats
⅛ tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt

Assembly and filling
180g muscovado sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the base
1 tsp kosher salt, plus ¼ tsp for the base
280g butter, melted – 55g for the base, the rest for the filling
300g raw caster sugar
20g milk powder
24g corn powder
¾ cup double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks, separated with military precision
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Kick things off by working on the oat cookie. Cream the butter and sugars using the paddle attachment on a stand-mixer on medium-high for 3 minutes or so, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, before increasing speed and beat for a further couple of minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and using the paddle, mix by hand until moist enough to return to the mixer to beat on low until just combined.

Dollop the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and flatten into a 1cm thick splat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelised, puffed and firmly set. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to get to work on the final product, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the cookie in a food processor with a tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ¼ tsp of salt, and blitz until it is the consistency of wet sand. Add 55g of melted butter and blitz until it comes together as a ball. Transfer the ball into a pie dish and firmly pack to cover the edges in an even thickness.

To make the filling, combine the remaining sugars, with the milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended. Still going, add the remaining butter and mix for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are moist. Add the double cream and vanilla and continuing mixing for 3 minutes, or until completely combined. Scrape down the side and add the egg yolks, mixing on low speed until it is glossy and combined.

Pour the filling into the pie dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and close the door once it has cooled to that temperature. Cook for a further ten minutes, or until firming around the edge but jiggly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering in cling and transferring to the freezer to set. Remove to defrost a couple of hours before you’re ready to serve.

When you’re ready for your mind to be blown, dust with icing sugar, grab a spoon and devour. Greedily. Thankful that we exist at the same time that Milk Bar does.

 

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Sandra Dohnuts

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Snack, Sweets

Just like that we’ve arrived at the end of this year’s Golden Globe Gold celebration, Goldy Bird and are ready to see whether my bets will pay literal dividends or whether I will need to assume a new identity and disappear again. But let’s not worry about that because after catching up with the divine Ryan, Katey, Rich, Diane and Gael, we’re wrapping things up with icon, queen and this year’s nominee slash host slash my dear friend, Sandra Oh.

I’ve known Sandy for close to two decades after meeting on the set of The Princess Diaries. I was part of Mandy’s entourage at the time but I quickly bonded with Sandra given she is extremely delightful, charming and I knew she was destined for greatness.

Despite the fact I introduced Sand and her ex-husband, I took her under my wing, introduced her to Alexander Payne and then encouraged her to audition for a little show called Grey’s Anatomy.

Needless to say, she is grateful for the way I shaped her career.

Sandra was super stressed as we caught up, busy perfecting the final Globes script with my boy Andy Samberg and getting set for their moment in the sun. Given two of my friends are co-hosting, it goes without saying I haven’t been this proud since the Tina and Amy years.

Given how busy she is, I didn’t want to waste to much of her time so we quickly sat down to run the final odds of the season. Obviously she downplayed her chances for Best Actress in Drama, predicting it is Julia’s to lose – I know Sandy is winning though – while we both agreed that Matthew Rhys will take Best Actor, Penelope Cruz will take Best Supporting Actress and Pose will snatch Best Drama.

With that, I now hand things over to the globes while Sand and I sit in her dressing room preparing for the final show and smashing some Sandra Dohnuts.

 

 

Pillowy dough covered in sticky, sweet ganache and a healthy layer of sprinkles? They may not be classy, but damn are they perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sandra Dohnuts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
100g butter
¼ cup raw caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk, plus 2 tbsp for the glaze
½ tsp vanilla extract, plus 2 tsp for the glaze
3 ¼ cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup sprinkles

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. With the mixer still on, add the eggs, one at a time allowing to mix after each addition, and the milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Still mixing, add in the baking powder and salt until just combined – it may look a bit curdled, but relax.

Remove from the mixture and fold in the flour until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe into a doughnut pan. If you don’t have a pan you can try and pipe them into circles – they may not look perfect, but they’ll taste it!  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and fluffy.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process until the batter is done.

While they’re all chilling, sift together the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla until a smooth, pourable glaze forms. Pour over the chilled donuts and sprinkle, with the sprinkles.

Leave to set, then devour.

 

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Nick Blintzon

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor twenty Americans were marooned on a cyclone ravaged Fijian Island and separated into two biblically themed tribes based on whether they were successful or not. Ironically – I think, Alanis help me out – the first boot wasn’t taken out by a vote but instead Pat was felled by an act of God as a wave sent their arc flying and cracked his back. He was followed out the door by Jessica – after my pizza curse struck again – and Jeremy before Bi up and quit – due to a torn ACL, but don’t tell Jeff –  just as the tribes were switching.

Despite being in a Goliath majority on her newly formed tribe, Natalia became the second and final victim of my pizza curse before Natalie became a victim of herself, exiting without so much as turning to face Angelina as she begged for a jacket, followed by poor Lyrsa who was wondering how in the hell she would tolerate the pre-jury vacay with the boss.

With that the tribes merged and Elizabeth started to accrue a Harem of Hunks, as she was followed into Ponderosa by John, Dan, Alec and Carl before Gabby broke the drought after trying to turn on Christian. Turns out she was one vote too soon, as he followed her out the door before Davie, Alison and Kara arrived to round out the jury.

The final three plead their case to the jury with Angelina completely shut out, no doubt in part because she opted to humiliate Alison on her way out the door – but she gave up her shot at immunity for rice, guys! Despite a strong game Mike proved that Goliath’s always have a weakness, as Nick overpowered him at final tribal council and snatched the title of Sole Survivor slash $1M.

While poor Nick struggled to find his feet in the first few days, Pat’s medevac saved him from the fate of becoming the first one out and allowed him to reset his game. And reset he did, taking control of the original David tribe with Christian, and then manoeuvring out of a minority position on the post-swap Jabeni tribe.

By the time he was playing a pivotal role in snatching back the majority on the merge tribe, keeping a meat shield long enough to avoid being targeted and snatching a string of late game immunity challenges, he pretty much had the game on lock. And what an exciting game it was. And by game, I mean season. This season was great. So great, the only way I could toast his success was splitting a big plate of Nick Blintzon.

 

 

Picture it: crepes, rolled into cheese filled tubes and then fried (or baked). Still with me? Then you dust with icing sugar and go to heaven. Because these are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nick Blintzon
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs
400ml milk
250g flour
1 tsp salt
butter, to grease
1 cup ricotta cheese
250g cream cheese
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp vanilla
icing sugar, to garnish

Method
Whisk three of the eggs and milk together in a small bowl, and the flour and salt in another. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, whisking continuously, until smooth and combined.

Melt a good knob of butter in a skillet and pour ⅓ cup of mixture into the pan to make a crepe. Repeat the process until the batter is all used. Leave them to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Beat the remaining egg, ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth and combined.

Place a couple of tablespoons in the centre of each crepe and fold like a burrito. Brush with some melted butter, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, dusted heavily with icing sugar.

 

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