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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Pear and Jeanger Turnover

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

With the frontrunner Khrystyana out of the way, Jeana – the Kennedy Davenport of the season – and Kyla – who better be the damn Trixie – received final critiques.

While Kyla received lukewarm praise for her walk, the judges agreed that she she sold the clothes to everyone which is ultimately what a model is employed to do. Tragically the judges loved Jeana’s walk, but thankfully read her for filth for abandoning the kid at the end of the runway and for only ever thinking about herself.

The judges loved Kyla’s body of work after finding herself mid-way through the competition, though were concerned about her early work. Jeana on the other hand was read for starting strong before dipping and getting stronger again. Ultimately the judges loved Kyla’s growth and potential while they were conflicted by Jeana, acknowledging that while she slays she isn’t moldable, won’t go beyond being Jeana and can be difficult.

With that, Tyra finally made a decent decision and crowned Kyla as America’s Next Top Model before Jeana offered an extremely insincere apology. Though given she had literally just lost the competition – again – I will go soft on her. Particularly since she showed a rare moment of humility as she lamented said loss.

While it is abundantly clear the producers gave Jeana a terrible edit, the fact is she did say all the awful things she said throughout the season. So yeah. That being said, she is beautiful, confident and a hell of a model, so everyone should be kind. And that is what I told myself as I whipped up a big fat batch of Pear and Jeanger Turnover.

 

 

Spicy and sweet, hot and rich, this turnovers are velvety smooth in the middle with a kick of spice. Enclose it in pastry and everyone is a fan.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear and Jeanger Turnover
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
4 pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
⅔ cup muscovado sugar
2-3 sheets puff pastry, cut into quarters
1 egg, whisked

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once frothy, add the pears and simmer for about five minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and muscovado, and cook for about ten minutes, or until caramelly and sticky. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When the filling is cool enough to work with, place the cut puff pastry on a workspace and spoon 2-3 tbsp of filling into a corner. Fold over on the diagonal to form a triangle and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until the pastry or filling is all gone.

Brush each turnover with the egg and transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Allow to cool, if you can, before devouring.

 

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Shanitzel Carroll

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra sent 15 girls into the finals and straight into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills. One by one – from Maggie to Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio – they left the competition until only four remained. Jeana by the skin of her teeth, after being saved for the second time which was an act of the devil known as Philipp Plein. Shanice came from nothing to be a rising star, Kyla lost herself but found her way by begging for Life Size 2, Khrystyana was a saint we don’t deserve and Jeana, well, she is either getting a militantly aggressive edit or is a huge bitch.

The final four went straight from panel to be ogled and judged by Philipp Plein at the fitting for what I will loosely term his runway. Kyla was quick to congratulate all the girls, Shanice was over it and just wanted a winner to be selected and we got a supercut of Khrystyana winning literally everything. Kyla was nervous to arrive at Philipp Plein, knowing that she isn’t the best at runway and he could cut her at any minute. Jeana on the flipside was super confident since Philipp’s penis really wanted to see her on the runway. Time’s up Philipp, you creep.

Continued to destroy any shred of a decent image, Philipp hated Khrystyana’s walk, specifically calling her a horse a couple of times which managed to erode all the work she has done to build up self-confidence over the years. Shanice was stuck in her head, getting read by both Philipp and Jeana who we can safely confirm are two of the three horsemen of the apocalypse. Speaking of which, Jeana thought flirting constitutes telling him she won his clothes rather than paying for them. In any event, no one got cut which is three goods, one crap.

Back at the house Khrystyana brokedown over how awful Philipp was to her, feeling ugly and not worthy of a place in the competition. Her eyes were still red by the time Tyra Mail arrived announcing their final shoot for their Paper spread.

Thankfully the shoot replaced Philipp with Drew … however he came bearing the bad news that based on Cunty Plein’s feedback, the panel decided to eliminate – not Jeana, gloated Jeana – Shanice from the competition pre-shoot.

While she was heartbroken to find herself cast off the set while a literally demon that has been twice eliminated continued in the competition, she cheered up when she saw me, her dearest friend, waiting for her backstage. Particularly when she noticed the big fat Shanitzel Caroll I was packing.

 

 

Soft, tender chicken, a delightfully crunchy crumb, melty sharp cheese, a whack of chilli and a zing of lemon. Do you need anymore reason to head to the kitchen and smash a schnit?

Enjoy!

 

 

Shanitzel Carroll
Serves: 2-4, depending on you need for comfort.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast fillets, sliced in half and pounded into 1cm(ish) thick fillets
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup finely grated parmesan
½ tsp ground chilli
zest of 1 lemon
small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
milk
flour, for dredging
olive oil spray (because you know frying scares me)
fries or Gabriel Mash to serve

Method
Preheat oven 180°C.

After you’ve pounded the chicken breasts within a centimetre of their life, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, chilli, lemon zest and parsley in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Whisk the milk and egg in another and the flour in a final third bowl.

To assemble, coat the chicken in the flour and dust off any excess. Dip in the egg wash and then straight into the cheesy crumb. Transfer to a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until all schnitz are crumbed.

Spray the schnitzels with some olive oil and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty-thirty minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Serve generously with chips and gravy or mashed potato. Or you know, salad, but we all know you don’t make friends with that. So I’d advise devouring with potato of some form.

 

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Indian Shants

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra brought all the girls back – well except for quitters Liz and Brendi K – to compete for the chance to return to the competition. Yes – all the girls … minus those two. I’m talking Maggie, Ivana, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Erin and even Jeana returned to take the place of one of the girls. Rio slowly unravelled throughout the entire episode, taking a horrible photo and finding herself out of the competition and replaced by her friend turned foe Jeana.

We arrived back at the model house where it was time for Kyla, Shanice and Khrystyana to celebrate arriving in the true final four. I assume, not really caring which of the demon twins was joining them. While they were a solidified, friendly unit, they had interest in Jeana and her attitudes return. Given she vowed to be savage upon her return, I still don’t blame them. Shanice then shared that she let herself down last week and had kind of just given up, though was galvanised to work through the final challenges and make something of herself and do her family proud. Khrystyana then spoke about how much she loves and needs her mother, how proud she wanted to make her and damnit, girl – I’m crying! She then couldn’t share that she had been molested as a child and broke down and damn, I can’t.

The next day the models were summoned to a carnival, or so they thought … it was actually a shoot for Pantene. The girls were given four different products – a foam, moisturising conditioner, a speedy miracle and a volumising conditioner for Jeana’s human hair wigs – and tasked with styling and directing their own shoot. Jeana then selected a wig that looked exactly like Khrystyana’s hair, before styling her make-up the same way and using the same props. But she is sweet yo, and is too busy to notice. Kyla slayed her ethereal shoot, as did an adorably bossy Khrystyana, Shanice relied on props similar to the queens Michelle hates that rely on their body and Jeana, well, thought she did well but kinds just looked dead.

The top four were then tasked with selecting their best photo where Kyla struggled as she couldn’t sell the product to herself and felt like she failed. They then delivered their photos to the client, where they were all praised … except for Kyla, who Pantene had wished selected a photo with the feather. Ultimately Khrystyana continued her dominance, winning the challenge and given a secret reward to share with the girl of her choosing. She chose Kyla, FYI.

Back at the house Jeana continued her reign of terror, laying into Kyla for talking like a baby while lamenting her confusion about the point of the challenge. Thankfully the editors are shady as hell and cut to Khrystyana talking about how proud she is off her dominance and how desperately she wants to stop Jeana from getting any further. Even Shanice complaining about her psoraiacis being more difficult than Jeana donning a wig, looked tame compared to Jeana being a demon.

The next day the girls were surprised by the arrival of Kyla and Khrystyana’s mothers. While the former immediately put her mother to work making beds and cleaning the house, Khrystyana took her mother aside to finally share with her about her molestation. Her mother was sweet and fiercely protective and it was all beautiful.

After the mother’s disappeared, the final for four arrived at their editorial shoot for the week promoting the same products from earlier. Better yet, the winning shot would ultimately form part of their prize and become a campaign for Pantene. Backstage Khrystyana was feeling confident until she noticed that once again Jeana had selected the same hair colour as her again. And based off the side-eye Jeana kept throwing, it was completely deliberate and she is the absolute worst.

Khrystyana went first and absolutely slayed the shoot – and vowed to outshine Jeana, which duh, she will – until Jeana walked over and played mind games while mimicking her entire shoot like a deranged psycho. Kyla was up next and powered through her long neck, and completely embodied the Pantene personality and looked beautiful. Shanice finally got her makeover look and looked stunning. That in turn gave her confidence and she looked great albeit terrified. Thankfully wicked Jeana struggled through the shoot, desperate to bring sex to the shoot rather than the everywoman look of Pantene. She however loved it, making me uber excited for her second fall.

At panel Shanice quickly got to work thirsting over guest judge Philipp Plein before Tyra dropped the bomb that he joined the panel to help select which girls would go on to become the final three and walk in his runway as the final challenge. While Shanice looked beautiful in her shot, the judges couldn’t agree whether it was a good or bad photo. Jeana was universally despised and was read for being way too sexy. Well except for Philipp Plein who just came off as thirsty. Kyla absolutely slayed and looked like a box for hair dye, while Khrystyana looked sexy though was able to overcome it because of the innocence she brought to it. Ultimately, Kyla took out best photo, followed by Khrystyana leaving Shanice and Jeana to fight for the last slot in the final runway. Thank f- Tyra handed the final photo to Shanice, eliminating Jeana from the competition again …

Oh, wait! Nope. Philipp Plein’s boner save Jeana yet again, earning her a free ticket to the final show. Though obviously she will get a fourth place finish, right? RIGHT.

Conveniently I was watching the episode with the current reigning top model and my dear friend India Gants, so you don’t have to go without a recipe. You’re welcome. India was a stand out last season with her down-to-earth personality, kindness and ability to take insane pictures. As such, she and I are backing a win by Khrystyana next week … though wouldn’t discount Kyla taking it out after slaying Pantene. Jeana is dead in the water, obvi, and Shanice is a winner just by making the top three. It was exhausting catching-up, running the odds and plotting the next in her career, so it was lucky I had a big vat of Indian Shants ready to go.

 

 

Spicy, hot and completely soothing, this rich curry is the best – and dare I say it, only – way to eat shanks. The meat crumbles, the curry burns and the raita cures all that ails ya’ – perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Shants
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves
3 dried chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cinnamon quills
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp hot curry powder
400g crushed tomatoes
400ml coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
rice, Joe Manngo Chutney, fresh coriander and yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good lug of oil. Once nice and hawt, season the shanks to taste and seal the meat for about five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a couple of minutes, or until just starting to get translucent.  Add the cloves, chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute to release the flavours. Stir through the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, add the shanks, add water until they are just covered – you may not need any – cover and place in the oven to simmer for two hours.

Once your entire house smells glorious, remove from the oven and transfer the shanks to a plate and keep warm. Place the dutch oven over a medium heat on the stove and cook until the sauce has reduced.

Serve the shanks immediately on a bed of rice, slathered generously in sauce, yoghurt/raita, chutney and coriander.

Devour.

 

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Megg Nog Ryan

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Drink

Now in it’s 14th year – and the fourth one that is being documented on this anthropological patch of cyberspace – Megs and I assumed the ceremonial cloaks and get straight down to whipping up an eggy sacrifice to give her career new life.

We were both so hopeful that last year was going to be her year after her directorial debut Ithaca, but it didn’t register a blip on the Oscars radar and no offers rolled in despite another potential employment stream.

“Ben, bless you! We don’t need to keep going until the shaman’s ritual limit of 15. I’m happy with where and I, and knowing how fiercely you love me is more than enough to keep me going.

“You’re my prize Ben. You’re my A-list.”

Like, of course I am, duh … but seriously, how sweet is Megsy? That is why I’ve persevered to get her back on top like Tyra. Not to be confused with the other (shit) Tyra.

Anyway, we donned our ceremonial cloaks, headed to the kitchen, chanting the incantation and kicked things off with a boozey, chill Megg Nog Ryan.

 

 

While I will agree that Egg Nog is a festive drink, I would argue that there is nothing more festive or important than the Meggstravaganza. Spiced and potent, there is no better way to summon the spirits of the Hollywood Gods … and dull the pain of Monday.

Enjoy!

 

 

Megg Nog Ryan
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs, separated
⅓ cup raw caster sugar, plus an extra tablespoon
2 cups milk
1 cup double cream
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup bourbon

Method
Beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer with the ⅓ cup sugar until completely dissolved and glossy. Set aside.

Meanwhile combine the milk, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk half a cup of the mixture into the sugary yolk. Once combined and free of curdling, slowly whisk back into the warm, milky mixture and cook over low heat until the mixture reaches 70C. Remove from heat, whisk in the bourbon, cover and transfer to the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to serve, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold through the yolk mixture until well combined. Transfer to glasses, sprinkle with some extra nutmeg and down. Until everything feels groovy. Because I’m now in The Brady Bunch, it seems.

 

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Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Jack Falafelee

Main, Snack, Street Food, Vegetarian

While I haven’t known Jack for very long, as soon as I met him on the set of How to Get Away with Murder, I knew I had made a friend for life. You see, I was visiting my holy trinity of friends – not to be confused with Trinity Taylor nor BenDeLaChristViola, Alfie and Liza, but saw what Jack brought to the role of Connor and let’s just say, I was hooked.

And not just because he is beautiful.

Though obviously I was all over him like white on rice – “Jack, you’re so talented. We should rehearse that season 1 printer room sex scene, to make sure you fully get the nuances” – our relationship has remained mostly platonic. Despite my best efforts.

That being said, it is probably for the best because what has developed is a lovely bromance and – I hate myself for even typing this – I’m glad we haven’t marred that with a brief fling.

Jack was so excited to arrive down-under and kick-off his hiatus with me, his dearest friend.

Try as I might, he wasn’t able to share any intel on the potential fifth season, though was living for my idea about Coliver becoming Coliverjamin. I mean, swoon. Anyway, we lay out the potential plotline, laughed, cried etc. etc. the usual, which made us positively famished. Which made my Jack Falafelee a sight for the sorest of eyes.

 

 

Now I know you were probably expecting a big piece of meat, or at the very least some glorious cakes, but Jack is hella fit and focused on his triathloning – which I am sure is the correct term – so I went with a protein rich and healthy falafel. Plus – when they taste this good, even I can’t get enough. Like Jack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jack Falafelee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
¼ tsp cinnamon
small handful of parsley
½ cup flour
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil spray

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Chuck the chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli, cinnamon, parsley, flour, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.

Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 patties and place on a lined baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and cook for ten-fifteen minutes before flipping and cooking for another ten minutes, or until golden and brown.

Devour immediately with salad, Michael Flatley Bread, lemon and natural yoghurt.

 

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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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