JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, the tribe swap brought about shifts in the tribal alliances as Dave was reunited with his high school bestie Matt and Dylan found safety in some desperate Chanians who could save him from the evil Khangkhaws. As such, Chani threw the challenge lead by Renee, Dave and Arun, to take out one of the biggest threats. While Renee and Arun pushed for Matt, Dave ultimately worked his magic and changed the vote to Josh who, TBH, is too sweet for this game.

Back at camp Dylan was feeling very happy with himself and the flip, while Matt was completely blindsided by the blindside. Though let’s be honest, it could have been far worse so he should be happy. He and Dylan then awkwardly tried to banter through the awkwardness while Adam continued to play his ignore Dylan game, no doubt waiting for the best time to bitch to us before saying something hilarious and making me confused about how I should feel about him.

We visited Khangkhaw the next day where Tess was terrified to discover a scorpion in the mailbox, much to the amusement of everyone back of camp. This, my friends, is comedy gold. They surmised said mail was for an endurance reward challenge and as such, they got to work carbo loading and preparing for the challenge ahead. Well except Lisa who spent her time worrying about either Josh or Matt being eliminated last night and JT who was feeling absolutely rubbish and felt like his experience was wasting away with his health.

Meanwhile over at Chani, Adam and Renee who caught up on the last tribal council with Adam sick of the villains on his tribe and Renee wanting Matt’s scalp for daring to throw a vote on her at the last tribal. Not to be outdone, Matt vented about tribal council to Dave and shared that throwing the challenge is what upset him. Oh and he obvi told us that he does not trust Arun in the slightest, and he doesn’t know how he can trust Dave while he is still in the game.

Matty Chis arrived on the scene for long gestating reward challenge with Adam walking in with the angriest of faces, while Brad and Tess were completely shocked to see that Josh was booted. Despite it being the most logical move for OG Chani and Dylan from the left right out. The challenge involved one person holding on tightly to a big fat pole – my dream – while two members of the opposing tribe run down and try and pull them off and drag them away. Given it was for a pair of hens, feed and dozen eggs, it was definitely worth. Dave and Adam ran to remove Eve from her post while Brad and Tara attempted to pull Zadam off. The boys completely dominated Eve and she toddled back to her tribemates, leaving Arun and Dave so guilt stricken that they asked Matt to stop the challenge immediately and hand the reward to Khangkhaw. While Khangkhaw were willing to come up with a work around, they stuck to their guns and who would have thought that Survivor NZ would be giving us a lesson about violence against women.

Dylan wasn’t thrilled by the decision to forego the massive reward, while the rest of Chani were happy about their decision. Particularly Arun, despite wishing he did it before literally dragging Eve through the mud. Proving my theory that Dylan and Adam should just fuck, Adam was also annoyed by the fact the boys decided to quit the challenge and said they were just dramatic. Just as a reminder, it was the villains he was talking about earlier that opted to quit the challenge as it sent a bad message about violence against women. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw the chickens were settling in nicely while JT tried to turn the conversation away from gender and instead said it was all about size … and that he would have relished the opportunity to hold on to the pole. But really, who wouldn’t? Tara and Tess quickly boiled up some eggs to give themselves sustenance with JT still too ill to partake.

This is looking concerning, no?

The Outpost rolled around with Lisa hoping for an opportunity to further prove how “loyal”, “honest” and “not in it to win” she is and Dave quickly snatching the chance away from Dylan, hoping for food. Sadly for Dave, they were playing for a reward … though he appeared to have an idol clue on his table, so it wasn’t a huge loss. They both had to use a collection of letters in front of them to form a five word phrase which would advise them of the prize. Almost instantaneously, Lisa spelt out that she can steal a vote at the very next tribal council she attends and she is thrilled to try and reverse the curse of Fishbach and Cirie. Lisa and Dave add a quick chat to get information from each other without giving anything away. Though based on the fact Lisa continued to play the sweet, kind lady schtick, I’d call her the winner of the trip. Despite Dave actually getting an idol clue in his travels.

Lisa returned to camp and quickly tried to downplay her advantage, saying it was simply a piece of information. Sadly JT tore her story apart instantly and continued to back her into the corner, and it appeared, sowed some distrust with Brad. He then literally guessed it was a double vote, could tell he was right by her reaction and damn, WHY HAVE I BEEN SLEEPING ON JT?

Meanwhile back at Chani, Dave made a beeline for the well to find the idol. Which he did, leaving him feeling a heady mix of nerves, excitement and I assume arousal. In any event, he assured us it was Dave’s idol and not a team idol. He then wandered into camp and quickly caught everyone up on the challenge and Lisa’s vote steal reward. Meaning she has definitely made herself appear more distrustful heading into the merge.

Thankfully Lisa was back at camp sharing the true details of her reward with Brad and Tara, while JT skulked about in the bushes. Concerned about the closing gap between tribe numbers, they decided it was wise to throw the challenge and guarantee another Chani goes. Sadly for then, Renee and Dylan were also keen to throw the challenge and take out Matt to tie up the numbers, much to Dave’s dismay.

With everyone planning to throw immunity, we arrived at the challenge where each tribe was required to maneuver a box of heavy cubes through a series of obstacles before making a mathematical equation that equals 20. Well, if they were wanting to win. Which they’re not. Despite some of their worst attempts, Chani got out to an early lead and were working on the equation before Khangkhaw were even halfway through. Sadly – or happily, I don’t even know who is doing what TBH – Khangkhaw came from nowhere to snatch the win, despite neither of the problems making sense. Aren’t we meant to do multiplications and divisions first? Anyway Lisa was sick – how often do we see the medics?! – and as such, she wasn’t on her A-game to throw the challenge much to her heartache.

We returned to Chani where Arun was concerned about the fact Lisa’s vote steal lives to see another day, since he is her most likely target. More concerned about the immediate danger, Adam made it his goal to flip Arun and Dave on Dylan instead while Matt pulled Arun aside and tried to see if he could sway him. Sensing Arun’s concern about the extra vote, Matt used that to open the door – is it $10k and he’s Fergie? – and tell him how he can use his bond with Lisa to get the intel and protecting him at the merge. Meanwhile Dave and Adam caught up, with the former starting to get frustrated about having to deflect the vote from Matt. Despite being all in with Dylan to vote out Matt, Adam got to work sowing seeds of doubt with Renee about Dylan’s loyalty and speculated that he will go straight to Lisa because of her advantage. Dylan appeared to get nervous and spoke to Adam – has hell frozen over? – in the shelter, with Adam telling him the others convinced him to vote for Matt. Which totally means Dylan is going, right?

Instead of heading over to tribal, we randomly checked back in with Khangkhaw with Matty Chis dropping by camp to check in on JT’s illness. In the space of me typing that sentence, JT shared that the housecall wasn’t rando and that he was actually quitting the game due to his illness not improving. While his bestie Eve took it in her stride, poor Tara was completely shocked and started to breakdown.

Given she was still in the game, I heartlessly ignored her pain and instead turned my attention to getting JT on the boat and nursing back to health. Whilst also berating him for quitting the game. Picture Tyra Banks screaming at Tiffany, but like 90% angrier. I mean, JT is a superfan and has a killer collection of shirts and I was heartbroken to see him leave. Though not heartbroken enough not to share my JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding which I threatened to throw into the damn lake for Tara to eat.

 

 

Creamy, rich and oh so simple, there is something life-affirming and comforting about a bread and butter pudding. Maybe it is the bread. Or the butter … or the custard. You know?

Enjoy!

 

 

JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
5 eggs
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
8-12 slices white bread, crusts removed like on a toddler’s sandwich
butter, softened
⅔ cup sultanas
demerara sugar, to sprinkle
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Whisk the milk, cream, eggs, muscovado, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until well combined.

Butter both side of each slice of bread, cut into triangles and haphazardly place into a baking dish, sprinkling with sultanas as you go. Pour the custard over the bread and leave to rest for ten minutes.

Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately with a generous hunk of Vanilla Ice … Cream.

Devour.

 

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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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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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Eve Plumb Pudding

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my goodness – I didn’t realise losing Florence Henderson would be this hard.

As one of my first loves, I always knew my heart would break but given we were never able to launch a spin-off of her Retirement Living cooking show – which would have looked suspiciously like Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party – I’m distraught that I couldn’t help add a final jewel in the crown of her TV legacy.

But alas, this isn’t all about our dearly departed Florence …  and that is in no small part, thanks to the beautiful, caring support of my dear friend Eve Plumb, who helped me work through my grief.

As you know, Annelie and I connected with The Bradys via Mo and were cast as the worse versions of cousin Oliver. While we were wiped from the show’s history, we remained close with the kids – particularly Evie.

Like her character on the Bunch – oh, have I never mentioned we all called it the Bunch on set? ‘Cause we did – Eves was always the most down to earth (albeit a little jealous) member of the cast, and she took me under her wing and tried to help me through my multiple addictions and countless scandals throughout the years.

Fun fact: I am the one who got her into painting … which I took up when in rehab with my gal pal, Caz Fish.

I hadn’t seen Evie since her appearance in the Emmy Award winning production Grease: Live and was looking forward to toasting to her success and was on the phone to her when we heard about dear Flo’s passing.

It completely knocked me, I broke down and Evie knew that she was the only one that would be able to help me snap out of it – we actually inspired that scene in Moonstruck – and process my grief.

Of course, Eves was right about helping me, though making and devouring my Eve Plumb Pudding – as you probably guessed on Monday – should also take some of the credit, given its proven therapeutic benefits when it comes to helping process grief. In addition to being delicious.

(Talking about our sodden appearance on Sally Jessy also lifted our spirits, obviously … but that isn’t necessary to this story).

 

eve-plumb-pudding-1

 

I used to make this pud on set – which is pieced together from my grandmother’s handwritten par-recipe – every year to celebrate filming the last episode before our break and it was everything you want from Christmas and more – fruity, rich and ready to stuff you up … it sounds like everything I want in a man.

Enjoy!

 

eve-plumb-pudding-2

 

Eve Plumb Pudding
Serves: 2 mourners.

Ingredients
400g raisins
300g currants
150g sultanas
100g prunes, roughly chopped
100g dates, roughly chopped
250ml spiced rum
250g butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
Brandy custard, to serve

Method
This takes some planning ahead, ok? So I apologise, but place the fruit in a large bowl with the rum and leave to steep overnight to a day – the longer the better, you want that fruit completely written off.

Grease a two litre capacity pudding basin with extra, soft butter and line the base with a circle of non-stick paper. Leave aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, fluffy and creamy. Add vanilla and each egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and fold through the pulsating-ly fluffy egg, butter and sugar mix. Fold through the boozed up fruits and pour the batter into the prepared pudding basin.

Now for the fun – lol – place an upturned saucer – or something low and heatproof that fits – in the base of a large saucepan. Half fill the pot with kettle-boiled water and simmer over low heat.

While that is getting bubbly, cut a large square of non-stick paper and an equally sized square of foil. Fold them together, pleating at the middle to secure and place over the lid of the basin, foil side up. Press it down tightly and secure with kitchen twine like a poorly wrapped christmas present.

Lower the basin until the non-chalantly bubbling water – adding more if the tide is not high. Cover the pot as securely as possible and steam for 4 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Check on the pot throughout cooking and top with more boiling water as required – use your judgement.

Remove from the basin, allow to rest for about half an hour and turn out.

Top with warmed brandy custard … which reminds me, I need to make a call.

Obviously you can devour while I’m on the phone – maybe check back over the weekend?

 

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