Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies

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

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls were delighted to play Snatch Game. And while Sharonne slayed the game, there were many a stumble on the panel. While I lived for whatever vocal fry Sethlas was offering up, the rattlesnake noise told he that she was bombing just as hard as Diamante, who followed Trixie’s footsteps and botched RuPaul while Onyx was way too cerebral and didn’t bring any jokes. Sharonne rightly took out her second victory, while Sethlas narrowly avoided lip syncing as Diamante faced off against Onyx, sending my sweet zaddy home.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked to have lost Onyx, while Sethlas in particular was struggling, given they were so damn close. Diamante even had mixed feelings, given she loved Onyx despite the fact she was thrilled to have survived her time in the bottom. Everyone congratulated Sharonne on a very well earned victory, while Marina quietly seethed about Diamante remaining in the competition. Which was only made worse when she admitted to being lazy in the lip sync and turning tricks rather than learning the words. Oh and then Marina’s wig got stuck on her head and Sharonne had to perform surgery to remove it.

Things were a little more chill the next day as Juriji teased Sethlas for hooking up with Onyx, before the girls read Diamante for being so callous in the way she wiped off the mirror message. Which actually delighted Venedita as it showed that she was a little unhinged. Before we were able to explore that further, Supremme arrived with the Pit Crew each wheeling in different bins of materials which they would each have to use to fashion a look. As this week, they’re throwing a ball and the final look would be designed from the materials, ready for the 30th century drag runway. After they stomp the 10th and 20th century runways before them.

Immediately, the Pit Crew opened up their packages of plastic, paper and metal and the dolls absolutely went to town on them … to collect their supplies. Everything was flying, Sethlas was getting swallowed up by cardboard and Estrella was fighting Juriji over umbrellas. It was WILD.

After Supremme exited stage left, the dolls got to work on their outfits, with Venedita confident in her skills, since she went to design school, while on the flipside, Estrella and Diamante were terrified given neither of them have any skills. Marina too was struggling to understand a sewing machine while Juriji just felt stupid. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were calmly working away in another corner of the room, while the other girls dropped by periodically for advice. Estrella meanwhile was going with a different plan of attack, trying to distract Juriji from her outfit before just straight up flashing her bum.

Supremme made her return to check how the girls were progressing with Venedita admitting to being a little overwhelmed by the task and worried it will all fall apart as soon as she starts walking. Estrella meanwhile was not fooling Supremme about her lack of skills or direction, while Diamante shared that she took some sewing classes before coming to the competition. Which don’t appear to be helping her, but whatevs. Thankfully she was faring better than Marina who was sprialling about anything and everything. Sethlas and Sharonne meanwhile were living their best lives, carving away at their cardboard and working with a clear plan. While Juriji was confident in her concept, just not happy with how quickly, or not, she works.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls speculating that Diamante was lying about her lack of sewing skills given the ease with which she pulled together her outfit. Everyone was equally impressed with what Sethlas could do with a glue gun, while Marina and Estrella were terrified about whether their looks would even make it to the runway, let alone down it. The dolls stopped throwing shade to start prepping their first looks where Estrella opened up to Sethlas about her friend Ivan who left her a letter in her luggage to help keep her motivated. And as is oft the case with the emotional interludes, I love how sweet the dolls are with each other.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by the iconic Choriza May on the judges panel, which honestly, is what she deserves. First up walking the 10th Century was Sharonne who was a bright, theatrical mess before revealing a jewelled bodysuit. Estrella gave mediaeval quest, Venedita was perfection as the moon, Diamante was harlequin chic before Sethlas stole the show as a stunning manuscript. Marina was a harvest earth mother while Juriji went from monk to the sexiest winged Joan of Arc known to man. And stole the show from Sethlas.

For the 20th Century looks, Sharonne went dripping in cash, literally. Estrella served gay Franco, Venedita was a post-Franco bride, ironically enough, Diamante was an architectural  floral delight while Sethlas served the internet. And broke it in the process. Probably. Marina was a slutty, plastic bride, while Juriji was delightfully demented as a liberated, mod Swedish girl.

Sharonne opened the 30th Century runway giving golden architecture, Estrella was a mess as a silver, robotic soldier while Venedita was perfect as a floral, structured delight. Diamante was simple yet effective as a satellite building, Sethlas was serving shaped, geometry realness – and slayed – while Marina was sloppy though did pair it with some nudity, so win. Oh and then Juriji stole the show as Gaultier Barbarella, having the time of her life.

After Sharonne was sent to safety solo, the judges read Estrella for absolute filth despite the fact they loved her personality. Venedita received universal praise for always telling a story while looking perfect, while Diamante was read for being a little safe and not really standing out from the crowd, good or bad. Sethlas was praised for telling a cohesive story over her three looks, and looking perfect while doing it. Marina was praised for selling her looks, though read for the last look being a bland mess. And then Juriji received universal praise for all that she served.

Backstage the dolls joined Sharonne before she went mad from boredom, quickly filling her in on who were the tops and bottoms. Despite it being quite obvious. Estrella was very confident she would be lip syncing, though was unsure who she would be against, while Diamante feared it would be her. Marina meanwhile was fine to be in the bottom, though mainly because she felt she didn’t belong there. Juriji meanwhile opened up about believing in herself before Choriza May swung backstage to kiki with her sisters. Who was just as charming as she was in UK 3, encouraging everyone that they are doing a great job and to not be too hard on themselves.

Juriji somehow was only deemed safe, leaving Sethlas to take out her first victory of the season. Which left Venedita as safe, before Marina’s superior first looks managed to save her from the bottom, leaving Estrella and Diamante to lip sync for their lives. To Se nos rompió el amor by Rocío Jurado, no less. And well, as requested by Supremme, neither queen left anything on the runway as they dug deep into the emotion. While it appeared like Diamante knew all the lyrics this time, and turned the show, she was no match for the charm, passion and raw emotion of Estrella who saved herself, booting Diamante from the competition.

Backstage Diamante was gladly holding her head high, proud of all that she was able to showcase in the competition and for giving it her all. And while that kinda, sorta makes me and my culinary comfort redundant, I gave her a big hug, reiterated how talented she is and celebrated her success with a batch of Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies.

Brownies are one of the safest sweets you can make. I mean, if they are undercooked you are left with a fudgy delight and if they are overcooked, they’re a bit cake-like. While you never want to overcook them, they will do in a pinch. And when they are full of juicy raspberries, well, it doesn’t really matter though, does it?

Enjoy!

Raspberry and Dialmonde Merybrownies
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 people.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup slivered almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and leave aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars until combined. One at a time, whisk in the eggs until the mixture comes back together before folding in the flour and salt. Followed by the raspberries and almonds.

Pour the batter into a lined 25cm square cake tin and pop into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. And by just set, just set. Remove from the oven to cool in the pan for an hour before carving and devouring.


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Torikish Meelight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Torikish Meelight
Serves: 8-12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Rocksroy Cakes Bailey

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

Previously on Survivor the tribe came back together after the two-part, time travel extravaganza and were ready to power ahead as the official merge tribe. At the reward challenge, Drea’s distaste for PB&J led to her swapping with Maryanne to sit out of the challenge. Which obviously led to another advantage for Drea. Though thankfully the producers got a little shady and guaranteed she would get caught red handed by hiding said advantage in a pot of red paint. While she tried to downplay it, Tori spotted her and the duo reignited their feud. After Tori won immunity again, the tribe had to pick between the remaining outsiders, settling on getting rid of Chanelle despite Romeo getting super paranoid.

Back at camp Romeo quickly assured everyone that he isn’t bothered about being the secondary target, though behind their backs he was spitting fire and ready to get revenge. Hai meanwhile was spiralling over receiving one vote, with him quickly – and rightly – identifying Romeo as the culprit, though he denied it to make Hai more and more paranoid in front of everyone in camp. And well, it well and truly worked.

The next day Hai was catching up with Rocksroy, Jonathan and Mike, telling them that Romeo still needs to go ASAP. They however could not care less about their petty grievances, given they realised that by being the big providers, they are the likely targets and as such, they need to pull together an all male alliance. Which never seems to work, but go off sis. Rocksroy spearheaded pulling the other males together, though given he had never spoken to Omar before that moment, I don’t think he was the best ambassador for their cause. Particularly since the way he spoke to Hai next was off putting, so yeah, not good.

Kula Kula joined up with Probst out over the ocean where he explained to the tribe that this round they would be split into two groups who would each vote someone out. For the immunity challenge, they would each balance on narrow footholds on a triangular platform with the last one standing from each group winning immunity. And the person that lasted the longest would win kebabs for their group and the right to be the second tribal council of the evening. Given the water was super choppy, Marynne was the first to drop from her group before Rocksroy, Omar and Mike immediately followed on the other team, leaving Hai and Romeo to battle for immunity in their group. Romeo then touched his hand on the platform, handing immunity to Hai who tried desperately to stay in the challenge to win reward. Drea and Tori then dropped leaving Lindsay and Jonathan to battle it out for the other group with Hai and Lindsay dropping, leaving Jonathan to take out immunity and reward for his group.

The losers returned to the old Taku camp where Omar was living for the fact Rocksroy got his all boys group, meaning he already has to turn on them. Romeo meanwhile was assuming he would be the one going home given he isn’t close with Rocks, Mike is 100 – his words – and Hai hates him, ergo, screwed. Rocks meanwhile was very confident in his place in the game given he is already aligned with everyone. Omar quickly pointed out that Rocks is too rigid for his game and as such, he would rather go further with Romeo. When the duo caught up, Romeo was quick to point out to Omar that while he was very keen to make a move on Rocks, Hai hates him and as such, it is unlikely to work.

Omar took matters into his own hands, pulling Hai aside to float the idea of getting rid of Rocks and given neither of them are into the idea of an all mens alliance, he was keen. Though didn’t want to make a move against Rocksroy without Mike’s blessing. With that, Hai approached Mike and while Mike could not care less about voting him out, he was worried that his other allies would view him as untrustworthy for making the move too soon.

And reminder, the game has like nine days left.

At tribal council the group spoke about how awful the cold and rainy conditions are while Mike spoke about how that makes it hard to come up with plans and stick to them. Particularly when they throw massive twists at them, like this week. Hai admitted that what he wanted to do at this tribal council has completely changed after the tribe were split in two, while Rocksroy said everything was super chill as they scrambled and that they quickly came to an agreement. Which, he should at least be paranoid about, given Hai said he changed his mind. Mike admitted it was an easy decision, Romeo agreed that they all just gave each other a nod and locked things in before returning to chatting. With Rocks agreeing that nothing changes his mind or made him nervous back at camp.

With that the group voted and it appears Rocksroy really should have seen something coming as he was unanimously booted from the game. And while he took his boot in his stride as he arrived at loser lodge – more on that one later – he was disappointed to have blindly trust in those he thought were his allies. After I reminded him that he always has the fact he made the jury, he perked right up. Although maybe that was the Rocksroy Cakes Bailey.

I know, I know – the name makes them sound hard, dry and inedible. But there is something so fundamentally soothing about a rock cake. While they are dry, the also delicately crumble in your mouth and are filled with little bursts of sultanas. And, are super basic to make.

Enjoy!

Rocksroy Cakes Bailey
Serves: 6-10.

Ingredients
2 cups flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup raw caster sugar 
1 ½ cup sultanas 
125g butter, melted 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and sultanas in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the butter, followed by the eggs with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 15 fifteen minutes, or until golde brown. Then devour.


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Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

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

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

Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
Serves: 12.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Jorgeousoufflé

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls were put through their paces putting on a little roast of the hilarious Ross MatthewsRu’s weekly intro-roast of the rotating judge. While Bosco slayed, Willow and Camden were hilarious and Angeria was charming as hell, the other three bombed and ended up in the bottom with not one but two queens told to sashay away. While DeJa was far and away the weakest in the lip sync, I gay gasped to discover that Daya Betty was deemed safe as the pocket-rocket lip sync assassin of the season was finally felled.

Yes, Ru’s favourite. The born-to-do-drag person of the season (usually a signifier of an upcoming winner). A queen Ru would literally give her left lung to keep alive. Jorgeous. Jorgeous was sent home.

While I agree that Daya’s performance made the most sense for the song – which is something I admitted to Jorgie – I was shocked that Jorgeous did slide through on charm. Because as villainous as Daya as been – which I live for – Jorgeous has been equal amounts charming and I thought she was going all the way to the finals.

Backstage I pulled her in for a hug, thrilled to finally be in the presence of someone shorter than me, and congratulated her on a race well run. And reminded her she has all the right chops to make it far on All Stars. With that, we did the requisite laugh, cry and chat before toasting her status as Ru’s favourite with a Jorgeousoufflé.

I honestly don’t think there has ever been a better connection between a recipe and their namesake. Sweet, fluffy and always ready to stop the show, souffle is a light, delicious delight that always impresses.

Enjoy!

Jorgeousoufflé
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
unsalted butter, for smearing
1 cup raw caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
6 eggs, separated
1 tbsp lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
pinch of salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and butter 6 ramekins. Sprinkle with some sugar and spin around to coat the edges. Remove the excess.

Whisk the yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar until light and think, almost looking like soft butter, until it forms a ribbon. Beat in the lemon zest and juice until it comes back together and set aside.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Add a spoonful of the whites to the lemony yolks to loosen them, before folding through all the whites until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the ramekins, pop on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, devouring with a sprinkle of icing sugar.


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Dejate Skye Loaf

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls bombed Snatch Game, putting on the most awkward version the show had ever seen. While I would argue Angie’s version of Tammie Brown was delightful and Camden’s smutty Skakespeare had its positives, DeJa was the only queen that truly managed to shine. As such, everyone but DeJa had to lip sync for their lives in a lip sync lalaparuza smackdown. One by one, Daya Betty, Willow and Jorgeous managed to save themselves before Camden defeated Bosco and Angeria bested Jasmine. In the final round it came down to Bosco and Jasmine with Bosco getting a song that played into her strengths, slaying the performance and saving herself as one of the lip-sync assassins, Jasmine, was finally felled.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to still have a place in the competition but were emotionally exhausted after everything they went through after disappointing Ru and Detective Visage. And Bosco more specifically was exhausted after having to rub off Jasmine’s extensive mirror message, which is very on brand for the chatty queen, TBH. While Daya was still enraged by Jasmine. This time because she was rooting for her friends, which did not include Daya. Surprisingly, since she is a delight and was always kind to her sister with such lines as, I want to hit her head on the sidewalk. 

Before Daya could have a full meltdown, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’d be starring in the romantic musical Moulin Ru! Which obviously had Camden excited, given that is 100% what she does. The dolls would star as Saltine the fading showgirl, Mama Z the bearded queen owner of the club, the Green Fairy aka Kylie Minogue as an absinthe trip and the four Moulin Ru girls, Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Oh and they’d once again have to fight for their parts amongst themselves, rather than anyone assigning roles.

After Ru departed, Bosco was confident in her abilities, before Daya snatched Uniqueness without any battles. DeJa took the role of Nerve, Willow went for the Green Fairy while Angeria and Jorgeous fought over Talent with Angie backing down and taking Charisma instead. Saltine then came down to a battle between Bosco and Lady Camden, with them both digging their heels in until Bosco started reminding Camden that she has the skills to pull off Mama Z as well, while she does not. After DeJa suggested they were just wasting everyone’s time, Camden suggested flipping a coin before Bosco suggested the queens vote which they ultimately went with leading to Bosco getting the part. After a torn Willow was forced to break the tie.

Leading to Camden threatening Bosco that she has to turn it out, otherwise she will be pissed. And damn, both of the girls are fired up!

Things were very tense after the battle, with Jorgeous telling everyone that they need to get rid of the bad feelings because taking that energy into the rehearsal will ruin things for all of them. Bosco and Camden each went into their corners to sulk, with Bosco getting eaten up by guilt before Angeria joined Camden and encouraged her that she also didn’t get a part she wanted. Which did nothing more than fire Camden all the way up to slay Mama Z, as she realised that she really could turn any damn role.

The dolls headed to the mainstage where they learnt Leslie Jordan was their extra special director and argh, he is so cute and I love him! After regaling them with tales of her time as drag queen Baby Wipes in a time before even Ru had started drag, Bosco stayed on stage where she nailed rehearsal as Camden looked on angrily while also trying to stifle a smile. Angeria meanwhile was on struggle street but got there in the end. Willow was starting to regret her choice when she realised how quick her moves were going to become while Jorgeous and Leslie compared height before she slayed the moves. While Daya, obviously, questioned Joregous’ skills. At dancing. Because she hasn’t proven to be one of the best all season.

Oh and then Camden slayed from start to finish. 

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to beat their mugs while Angeria assured us that she had well and truly rehearsed and was ready to slay. Camden meanwhile was opening up to DeJa about how embarrassed she is over how tense she let things get the day before, though given she was feeling her new role pretty hard, that is a very easy feeling to have. Daya opened up about being a theatre queen, while Jorgeous read her (and musicals in general) for filth for being boring, OTT and too happy rather than ratchet like she likes. Angeria asked Bosco if she is nervous, with her opening up about learning to dance through her grandma who is a former (almost) rockette. Jorgeous admitted that she learnt how to dance from watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which Daya had never heard about. While DeJa admitted she also had never taken a dance lesson in her life, with Jorgeous joking that it showed.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by the iconic, Academy Award nominated musician-actress Andra Day for the premiere of Moulin Ru! Angeria, Daya, DeJa and Jorgeous started the show strong, though I was honestly more focused on the sexy dancers in corsets with exposed nips. Camden then joined them and bought all the fire; she was camp, giving perfect lines and was a little demented. On the flipside, while Bosco started super strong, Leslie Jordan arrived to play the Duke and well, then my eyes were pulled in only his direction. Oh and Willow stole the show as the green fairy.

On the Mirror Mirror runway Camden was a perfect star nymph, Bosco was an intergalactic, spiky sex-pot tin wo-man. Willow was a ‘70s rock goddess, Angeria was a stunning, shimmering blue mosaic, Daya looked like Lady Kiss – in a good way – while DeJa was a nude-illusion, shimmering, caged Queen as Jorgeous was a shimmering ribcage and looked a dream.

Camden received universal praise for elevating the MC role and totally stealing the show, while her outfit was great, Ross didn’t love the bottom. Bosco meanwhile was read for not taking the roll as far as it needed to go while Michelle just wanted Bosco to show diversity on the runway, despite looking perfect. Willow received universal praise for everything she served this week while Angie was beloved for doing a lot with a small part. Oh and she looked perfect on the runway. Daya was praised for combining performance and energy, and for slaying the runway while the judges felt DeJa started slow, she came to life in the rap. And well her look didn’t meet the criteria. Jorgeous meanwhile was read for losing energy throughout the performance though they loved her runway.

Ru then got shady and asked everyone who should go home this week with Camden casting her vote for Bosco for being the weakest in the rusical, while Bosco suggested Jorgeous should go home for her track record. Before everyone else voted for Bosco to go home. Particularly because she fought so hard for the role and didn’t deliver. Oh and Jorgeous then doubled down and reminded Ru that Bosco was in the bottom three times in a single episode, so maybe they should take that into account too.

Backstage Bosco opened up about being shocked to be in the bottom, though didn’t have any issue with her sisters saying she should have gone home. Before she ran off to prep the lip sync, Angeria and Daya just told her they only said her because of the critiques, while Joregous reiterated she voted for her for how she treated Camden to get the role. She then pointed out that her runway was actually on task, which is what Jorgeous identified as the reason that she too would be lip syncing. Though DeJa felt she could also be there. 

Angeria meanwhile worried she would somehow land in the bottom – um, no – while the dolls congratulated Camden on a job, very well done! Though Angeria felt Daya could snatch victory for making the most out of such a small role. While Willow was thrilled to once again be in the top, but knew she wouldn’t be taking out the win. Camden then opened up about the fight with only Daya telling her she was a little bratty, which, lol girl. She was interrupted by a video from her mother who was equal parts creative and sweet, which gave Camden that much needed boost for the rest of the season.

The nervous girls split up to get prepped for the lip sync, leaving the tops to kiki. With Camden wanting them to come up with a strategy for not making things awkward again when assigning roles. Jorgeous asked everyone who they felt was their biggest competition, with DeJa scared of Angeria, Jorgeous and Angeria were nervous about competing against Willow, while Camden was threatened by Bosco – which was reciprocated – though Camden was also nervous about Jorgeous. Distracting from the potential rage from Daya for not being viewed as a threat, Andra Day dropped by to chat with the girls and ugh, she is just so damn cool.

Ultimately Daya and Willow were sent to safety before Camden was handed her second win of the season. Much to her absolute delight. Angeria too was deemed safe before DeJa’s performance saved her from the bottom, leaving Bosco and Jorgeous to battle it out. To my dear Whitney Houston’s Heartbreak Hotel, no less! While Bosco had all of the fire and turned it out, Jorgeous knew she was fighting an uphill battle and well, she scaled said hill and back. Gagging her sisters as she eliminated Bosco from the competition. Well, until she unwrapped her chocolate bar and we finally, FINALLY, struck gold as everyone celebrated her second chance. While she broke down with joy.

Backstage Bosco was thrilled to have been saved by a candybar, particularly since she truly believes she deserves to be here. While she was thrilled, DeJa was annoyed that none of them have a shot at immunity while Jorgeous was just annoyed that there are still so many girls to send home. Bosco assured everyone that she holds no ill will against them for suggesting she should go home, before apologising to Lady Camden for the drama between them. With Camden thankfully copping to her part too and once again, all was harmonious.

The next day Daya continued to be horned up while Angeria praised Jorgeous as the lip sync assassin of the season which for some reason, enraged DeJa, who felt she was the one true assassin. But before we could get answers to who would truly be the best, Ru arrived with Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills for a mini-challenge where they would each paint Ru’s face. On a brick wall. Not her mug. Oh and Dolly’s, with DeJa, Gorgeous and Angeria together painting Ru, while Willow, Daya, Camden and Bosco would paint Dolly. And well, they benefited from having an extra person because theirs was drastically better. While Ru was gagged by how busted the girls made her look.

Before departing, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge, the dolls would be roasting the one and only Bossy Rossy. And for winning the mini-challenge, Bosco, Willow, Daya and Camden would decide the order. Which did nothing to ease Jorgeous’ nerves. Trying to make up for last week, Bosco asked the losers where they would like to perform, wanting everyone to do their best. After taking their requests, the victors pulled themselves aside to decide the order with Bosco offering to go first, letting Joergeous have second like she wants with Willow taking third, knowing she would look better after Jorgeous. They then put Angeria in fourth, Daya fifth before Camden debated about risking it and going last. Particularly since DeJa didn’t want that place. Ultimately, she decided to risk it for said biscuit, which made everyone very happy. While Bosco was just glad no one could complain.

The dolls split up to work on their roasts with everyone feeling particularly terrified except for Bosco, who was quietly righting away. Willow threw out some hilariously bad jokes, Daya was charming – gay gasp – as she wrote nothing while DeJa reminded them all to go in hard, then wrote terrible jokes while cracking herself up.

Bosco was first up to rehearse with Dulce Sloan and Michelle with her struggling through with both of them reminding her to go hard and come out guns blazing. Though I hope it is all a massive fake-out and she slays. Willow was too rambling for their liking while Angeria was charming as hell despite the girls not loving all of her jokes. Daya’s fears were allayed as the judges chuckled at the few jokes she had written while DeJa’s jokes were not landing with anyone but herself. Oh and then Camden proved it was the right choice to take a risk as she was hilarious before Jorgeous tried to win them over with compliments rather than telling any jokes. But she was living her best life over her own jokes, despite pretty much just being ready to lip sync.

Backstage Jorgeous opened up and explained she was well and truly over things, and while her sisters tried to remind her she is talented and just needs to get out of her head. She truly just felt defeated and it was hard to watch.

Elimination Day arrived with Camden feeling her oats, focused on trying to keep her confidence and deliver a good set. Bosco meanwhile opened up about feeling good about opening the show while Daya was hoping her second half would be as successful as the half she rehearsed while Jorgeous was only getting further in her head. Bosco tried to remind her that she has proven herself to be a star and as such, she needs to take that energy into the challenge. While DeJa was confident that her track record would continue to improve. Oh and Bosco borrowed one of Daya’s sponges which straight up looked like a chopped off testicle.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Dulce Sloan on the judges panel for the Ross Matthews Roast, with Bosco slaying from start to finish, reading anything and everything in sight. Jorgeous was iconically bad from the very first moment. It was incoherent and bizarre and I LIVED for every second. Willow was hilarious, smart and such a star, Angeria was solid and super charming, Daya took so long to get anywhere it was an absolute mess before DeJa said hold my beer and was even worse. Which only made Camden funnier than she already was, slaying from start to finish.

On the Tu-tu Much runway Bosco was a star as a bladesaw ballerina covered in blood. Jorgeous was a mess as a biker ballerina, Willow was a camp, judgemental old queen and OH SO PERFECT. Angeria was rocking a beautiful gown made of tutus while Daya looked stunning as a rose gold stilted ballerina – though only because she is so damn tall – while DeJa looked like an extra from the Season 8 promo before Camden was perfection as a classic ballerina.

The judges lived for everything Bosco served up this week, from slaying the jokes and giving such a bold runway. Jorgeous received praise for her runway though was read for struggling in the roast, despite giving a good energy. Willow’s look was beloved and while they loved her roast, they felt she could have gone even further. Angeria was praised for having fun on the roast despite not being the best. Though they lived for her runway. Daya’s look received universal praise though she was read for being bad in the roast. DeJa meanwhile was read for everything she did this week and then when she tried to explain her at-home schtick she was even worse. Thankfully Camden received praise for everything she did. Except for the echo arsehole joke.

Backstage DeJa was ok with the fact she would clearly be lip syncing, though felt bad for putting in jokes that Michelle and Dulce told her were shit. She broke down over messing up so badly and for not delivering what the judges see in her, though more so she was heartbroken to clearly be lip syncing against Jorgeous. Despite the fact that Daya is right there and bombed just as badly. Jorgeous reminded everyone how hard the challenge is though was feeling good given it is over. Angeria meanwhile was worried that Jorgeous was losing her confidence and starting to fade away.

As DeJa continued to sob, Camden tried to remind her how good she is and how she has appreciated how hopeful she has been throughout the season. This snapped DeJa out of it, thanking her sisters for being so kind and grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of them.

The dolls congratulated Camden on clearly making it to the end while looking like such a star on the runway. Angeria meanwhile felt it was awkward to not really know how you were going on stage while Jorgeous just hated every moment of it. Willow was thrilled to have performed ok and for looking amazing on the runway, despite the fact she could barely speak due to her lip prosthetics. She then received a video message from home and ugh, her family are so damn cute and charming, praising Willow for being a star and just making them all so happy and proud. While she laughed and cried, she couldn’t move her face at all because of her lips and it was great.

Dulce dropped backstage to talk to the dolls, congratulating them on performing so well and reminding them that they are lucky to be here. And to just celebrate making it. She then immediately bounced as Willow kissed everyone with her massive lips.

Ultimately Camden was sent to safety before Bosco took out her third win of the season before Willow and Angeria were sent to safety. Ru then gagged Daya, Jorgeous and DeJa with the news that they would all be lip syncing for their lives and not just that, only one of them would be surviving the lip sync. Despite looking terrified, as soon as Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u started Daya was ready to save herself. She sold all the emotion, had the lyrics down and made sense with the song. Jorgeous meanwhile gave her usual performance though the style didn’t seem to work with the song while DeJa was just kind there. Despite reminding us she was the only one Ru called a lip sync assassin. As such Daya was deemed safe, leaving both Jorgeous and DeJa to sashay away.

Things started a wee bit more awkward than usual, as DeJa questioned how the lip sync assassin and her apprentice – Jorgeous is nobody’s apprentice – were felled by Daya. And while yeah, we all hated Daya until this very episode, the judging was fairly on point this week. Which is obviously not what I told her, as I cried about them being robbed of their place in the rumix and begging them to come back and slay on All Stars (which both DeJa and Jorgeous could easily win). After perking her back up, I distracted her with a delicious Dejate Skye Loaf and all was right in the world.

I once started a cafe at home in the middle of the suburbs when I was five after whipping up a packet mix version of date loaf. While I literally fled the business before seeing whether it was a success, date loaf won my heart and as such, I dedicated my life to perfecting a recipe. And well, this is it! Sweet, moist and oh so moreish, there is nothing better!

Enjoy!

Dejate Skye Loaf
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup boiling water
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ½ cup flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 pinch kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a loaf pan.

Pop the dates in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, leaving to rest for 5 minutes or until nice and plumped. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla before quickly beating in the egg.

In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients until well combined and pour into the lined loaf tin. Tranfer the cake to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.

Or, serve a little bit warm with a thick smear of butter.


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Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Breakfast, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jordie, KJ and Shay were languishing at Purgatory as they awaited another friend so they could battle it out for a way back into the game. Speaking of the game, Michelle told Sam people were concerned about the idol theft despite the fact nobody really believed it happened. Mark then won immunity making them even more powerful and while the alliance appeared to start to splinter, they banded together to send Michelle to Purgatory. The four icons finally took the stage to fight it out with Jordie and Shay quickly returning to the game before KJ narrowly pipped Michelle at the post, reigniting her flame and officially sending Michelle out of the game. Ending the drought of eliminations with a tragic cost.

The next day Chrissy was frustrated by the fact three people they voted out had returned to the game, mainly because it made her feel awks about how they would interact now that they know she is on the other team. Jordie meanwhile was living for his second chance and damn, was he ready to finally get revenge on Sam?! Jordie tried to appear upbeat to his tribemates, joking about going out again soon enough, while he quietly tried to lock in his numbers. While he, Shay and KJ are now a tight trio, Jordie realised their best chance moving forward was to pull in Josh and again, while it looked like their plan could come together, I’m still nervous about getting my hopes up.

He then caught up with Sam, assuring her that while she is his last hope, he would still be willing to work with her. In a pinch.

The tribe reconnected with JLP for the Survivor Auction where Chrissy wisely snapped up a pie for a crisp hundo. Jordan blew all his cash on a parmie and a beer – good idea – David snagged a burger for $500 – aka all he’s got – while Sam and Josh gossiped about keeping the money to get the advantage, which spooked Jordie into going all in on a covered item. Which was enough to spook Mark into putting in all his money too. Which led the boys to go to rocks, with Mark ultimately getting a steak and chips. Though no advantage. While Jordie got nothing.

Shay scored a pizza and wine for $300 before Sam bet $500 on a covered item, getting herself vegemite on a single slice of toast. With the covered items summing up the lack of luck-parity in the Wales-Gashes luck in the game TBH. For $220, KJ scored herself a cup of tea AND a clue to an advantage, which was hidden from all the rest, thankfully. Everyone then fought it out for their letters from home, with Shay buying one for $200. Which obviously made JLP get saucy, giving her the choice to either keep the letter or give up hers for everyone else to receive theirs. As she sobbed, she obviously chose to give everyone their letter and then Jonathan quickly dismissed everyone as the auction came to a close. 

After returning to camp, everyone gathered round to thank Shay for her generosity. Sam and Mark sobbed as they heard about how their son is going and well, I lost it hearing about little Harry waiting for her by the door every morning and ugh, while their dominance has been boring at times, give her the win because she has dominated the game. Jordie started crying before even hearing from his dad again, who opened up about how grateful he was to Jordie and Jesse for carrying him as his wife passed away recently. And damn, I am officially ugly crying.

KJ sobbed hearing about her children, Chrissy’s kids missed her mad hair skills and loud voice while Jordan’s brother and Dave’s daughter Briana were both still proud. We then got special music as Josh opened up about potentially starting a family through IVF before he was gagged by the fact his letter came with the ultrasound of his partner’s surprise pregancy. This is too much. As Josh sobbed happy tears, I just can’t. Let’s just shut down this segment, because my heart is warm and I can’t see the screen through my tears.

With a very warm heart, KJ found a quiet place in camp to read her clue which directed her to an advantage where she could send three people out of tribal council and ideally, overthrow the majority. Which only added to the fire she had after returning to the game and then hearing from her kids. And yes, KJ, arise!

The tribe joined with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would face off racing down a slide and swimming to shore before going through a series of obstacles and then collecting puzzle pieces and solving said puzzle. The same very one Michelle Fitgerald kicked over like an icon after winning it. Twice. Dave got out to an early lead, while Jordie solved his first layer of the puzzle but decided it was incorrect. Shay joined the fray and started to pull ahead, with Josh nipping at their heels. While Jordie and Chrissy openly tried to copy anyone possible, Sam and Jordan were still struggling to snag their puzzle pieces. Thankfully they were soon put out of their misery as Josh quickly solved the next two layers and scored himself immunity. Sadly minus the signature Michelle kick.

Back at camp, paranoid Sam immediately kicked it in to overdrive as she locked in her alliance to get rid of Jordie. For realsies, this time. Jordie, Shay and Kj meanwhile were keen on loading all their votes on Sam to get rid of her instead. To help the case, Jordie pulled Jordan and Josh aside to lock in a split vote with himself at risk to force Sam to play her idol or get voted out of the game. Reminding them they literally have three tribal councils left to get rid of either of the idols.

While Josh, still, just couldn’t believe they have two idols.

Obviously Sam continued to panic, though tried to stand firm and stay calm. She and Mark agreed to leave both the idols back at camp during tribal council so that should one of them go home, the other comes back to both idols at camp. Which again, is genius. Jordie, KJ and Shay caught up to figure out their best way forward while KJ worried about how best to play her advantage. She then caught up with Shay and Sam, with the latter suggesting they need to find a way to move within the majority rather than turning on it. And no, no, NO, KJ, do not side fall for Sam’s highly skilled, talented mist!

At tribal council Josh was thrilled to be safe at tribal council, admitting that finally having immunity makes him feel a little bit powerful. He then opened up about how disappointing it is to have to deal with people that they have already voted out before Jordie admitted he will never stop fighting. KJ outed herself as a woman that has been poked one too many times and as such, she was planning to play her secret advantage. And rather than saving herself and her allies, she wisely stacked the odds in her Purgatory pals favour, sending an already immune Josh back to camp with Mark and Chrissy.

As Mark made his exit, he made a massive show about leaving something for Sam – which is not an idol – while she admitted that she is speechless. KJ meanwhile opened up that she sent those people back to camp, given she knew that going back to camp would have resulted in Dave going home rather than a big player. Which lol Dave, you got saved because you are a non-entity number. Nervous, Sam jumped up and whispered to KJ, Jordie and Shay that she has Mark’s idol if they want to make a move together. Jordie expertly lied and said she told him that she has THE idol, while Jordan and Dave got paranoid by their bickering over which idol she was talking about.

Shay backed him up and agreed that she always felt Jordie was telling the truth, while Jordan was sure only one idol was in play while Dave knew that ONE of them was lying, though was still struggled to figure out which one it was. With that, the tribe voted and despite all the drama and turmoil between Sam and Jordie, Dave flipped to the Purgatory Pals to boot Jordan from the game.

Jordan followed the sound of my wailing sobs to the Jury Villa, where he pulled me in for a hug, wondering what was wrong. He explained that he was ok with going out the way he is and understands it was a game, which yeah, is great and all but now that he is gone, I have no more Speedo Zaddies left in the game. And while I tried to get that out, every time I thought about it, I would start crying all over again. So instead, I quickly whipped up some Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt to eat my feelings.

Pancakes – and all cakes, TBH – can instantly change your mood and fill you with joy. Add in a little bit of warming, gingerbread spice and they take things to a whole new level. Warming and delicious, they are the perfect way to work through post-boot pain or start your day.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt
Serves: 2 dear speedo bros.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 egg
200ml milk
butter, for fryin’ AND eatin’
maple syrup, just for the eatin’

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl, and whisk the egg and milk in a jug. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the eggy milk, stirring as you go until a batter forms. You could add another couple of tablespoons of milk at this point if you prefer your pancakes on the crepe-ier end of the spectrum.

Pop a teaspoon in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot and butter foamy, add about ⅓ of a cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and hold their shape when they burst. Flip and cook for a further minute.

Repeat the process until all the batter is done, sneakily eating the first one ‘since it isn’t up to standard’ as you go.

Then devour the good ones, slathered in butter and maple syrup.


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Kerri Columbines

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

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru dropped by to see if the dolls could help her get rid of Miichelle’s leftover Glamazon purchases by upcycling them to create sickening looks on the runway. Jasmine was an absolute mess, Daya felt it was her time to shine after blocking Willow from serving a baby doll look and Maddy was a patchwork delight, albeit a little sloppy. Jorgeous meanwhile threw an outfit together in minutes and took out her first victory of the season, much to the absolute rage of the safe Daya. Who had more than a lot of emotion for being safe. Jasmine and Maddy faced off in the lip sync after a massive fight in Untucked with straight icon Maddy tragically going home.

Backstage Jasmine was super sassy about her performance in the lip sync, gloating about how easy it was beating Maddy. Just like she said she would. Jasmine was feeling her oats after showing off how good she was and while she was in the bottom, Willow did admit she was great. And knew she’d be thrilled to get the last word in the argument with Maddy. As the dolls gathered to reflect on the week, Camden admitted she was fired up for the win and that fire remains given how close she was this week. While Camden congratulated Jorgeous on her win, Daya called her out for throwing it together at the last minute and winning. While Jorgeous shadily told us that maybe she should have steamed her garment and done some different make-up if she wanted to make it to the top too.

As they split up to de-drag, Jasmine and DeJa congratulated Jorgeous on her win and asked if she was ok about the Daya situation, with her opening up about how much it sucked to be made to feel like shit when she should be feeling good. But all of them agreed Daya needed to shut up. And stop giving Crystal in every damn look.

Things were far more jubilant the next day with Jorgeous finally able to feel thrilled with her victory as Daya continued to give a bitter face. While Daya apologised for ruining her moment, it wasn’t a very good one and well, maybe she should have just not.

Before anyone could call her out, Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be starring in the new soap The Daytona Wind, about the duelling drag dynasties, the Davenports, O’Haras and the Michaels. With the soap directed by Ruple herself and as Jorgeous won, she was allowed to allocate the roles and damn I hope she screws over Daya. And looks after Camden, who is very confident given she went to acting school, and I don’t want that confidence to be misplaced. Like Juju, Gorgeous wanted the dolls to do well and to speak up when they saw the roles they wanted.

As they read through, the dolls calmly put their name down with Kerri suggesting she would pick one with fewer lines given it gives you the chance to go big and steal the scene. Like a more bang for your buck situation. DeJa meanwhile was very relaxed when Jorgeous told her she also wanted the same role, given it was her choice and immediately moved on. Which I hope Baga watched to learn about the concept of grace. They continued through the script with everyone snatching at roles until there was only one left, which Camden got stuck with given she was still on page one. But again, she took it in her stride and just hoped for the best. But given she loves Angeria and their roles get to make out, she was thrilled.

Bosco, Willow and Daya caught up to work through their scene with Daya continuing to be desperate for some face time with the judges and given she and Willow were bouncing off each other well, maybe she’ll get her wish. And well, Bosco is a star so I’m sure she will shine too. Kerri, Jorgeous and DeJa were doing well too, until DeJa told them to try going off book with DeJa immediately forgetting every single one. While Jorgeous was just terrified about bombing another acting challenge.

The dolls met Ru on set to film the show, reminding them to find their angles rather than emotions because that is what Joan Collins would want of them. DeJa, Jorgeous and Kerri were up first with Ru giving some great direction to get them as camp and southern as possible, with DeJa struggling while Kerri was a delight and Jorgeous was a campy, soap STAR. Jasmine served Alyssa Edwards realness and she, Angeria and Camden were perfect. Mainly because Jasmine’s accent was just too much and so ridiculous, in all the right ways. With Bosco rightly describing it as so bad it is the best thing she’s ever seen.

Daya and Willow arrived on the scene and were amazing from start to finish, with Ru wanting to bequeath Willow a daytime emmy. Which you know fired up Daya, making it more ridiculous and so fun. Which is new for Daya on the show. Bosco then knocked it out of the park before Angeria and Camden slayed their love scene. And well, I ship them. Despite Angeria feeling herself fading throughout the shoot.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone but Angeria thrilled to watch the video back, as Willow and Kerri checked in to make sure she was ok with Willow worried she isn’t remembering how damn special she is. Daya gave a far better apology to Jorgeous, with Bosco joining in to casually agree that the competition doesn’t necessarily bring out the best aspects of her personality either.

Talk turned to the chaps runway with Bosco bringing up kinks, asking if anyone is into the leather community with Camden admitting how much she loves going to the Folsom Street Fair. Once again, Angeria had no idea what the fair was and when the girls clarified what it was, she was desperate for a ticket. The dolls brought up Maddy again, with Jasmine admitting she felt bad about the fight though was thrilled to get a lovely note from her before she left. Daya then offered that maybe she could catch up with her next week after she herself is eliminated.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by the iconic TS Madison as the dolls rocked the Chaps on the Runway runway. Willow was a sexy, stunning latex wedgie vixen complete with high-pigtails. Bosco was a sexy pink hippy leather daddy, DeJa wore a vibrant blue leopard print chaps bodysuit while Kerri gave a stunning hair chap look and Jorgeous was just shimmering in crystal and lace. Angeria was perfection in a golden shimmering disco chap while Jasmine was a blue and yellow graduate, Camden was a sexy, stunning rocker complete with a fall-on-your-face-fake-out, losing her wig and becoming Freddie Mercury. While Daya gave Carmen San Dieg-ho, again serving Shannel’s eyes.

Ru announced that while watching the dailies, she felt something was missing in all of their performances so she asked the editors to work overtime in post. And by that, the name The Daytona Wind made a lot more sense as Ru’s heavy-handed additions of farts elevated the script and frankly, was perfection. Jasmine’s ridiculous acting was joyous, Angeria was delightful as always despite how she felt while Camden was an absolute star. While Willow gave perfect bimbo, Daya truly did get her moment in the show and well, it was stunning.

DeJa, Kerri and Angeria were sent to safety, leaving Daya to finally receive critiques for the first time since week two. When she was eliminated. Backstage the trio were absolutely gagged to be deemed safe, unsure how they avoided being the bottoms of the week. Admitting they all struggled with the challenge, they quickly deduced that those left on the stage were the top six of the week and that there must not be any bottoms (we’re all bottoms). Angeria opened up about how being in the top each week made the pressure get to her, though was grateful for Jasmine getting her out of her head before filming. Kerri felt she was going to slay, but realised the judges just wanted to challenge her and push her out of her comfort zone. Admitting that being pretty, you really don’t usually have to work as hard.

Back on the mainstage, Ru announced they were the top six and that because everyone did such a good job this week that nobody would be going home. Instead, the top two will lip sync for the win. Jorgeous received universal praise for the look despite not giving much chap, though Michelle felt she could have given more in the show despite hitting every damn beat. Jasmine received universal praise for her runway and demented accent before the judges gave Camden even more glowing praise, particularly for the best runway reveal ever. Daya finally got her moment in the sun, with the judges living for everything she did with Ru decreeing this the week she finally showed up and that she is so proud of her. As always Willow was universally beloved, though Michelle read her for being too similar to Moira Rose. Oh and once again, Bosco was beloved for knocking it out of the park with her ending role.

The top six returned to the Werk Room and immediately confirmed the safe girls’ suspicions, with Angeria admitting she was gagged since she knew she belonged in the bottom while Jorgeous was ready to get grumpy. Daya opened up about her glowing praise, grateful for her moment and taking another in Untucked as she monologued about her skills. Jorgeous finally got to step in and talk, glad to finally not bomb an acting challenge while Kerri asked Camden if she was ready to lip sync for her win and ugh, I love them both.

Camden opened up about how gagged the judges were by her reveal with Jasmine agreeing that like Jorgeous, she was glad to finally slay an acting challenge. Which irritated Daya, despite the fact she wouldn’t shut up. Daya continued to get frustrated, asking the safe girls who they felt would be in the top and when they agreed Bosco and Camden should be lip syncing for the win, she got even more annoyed. They then made things worse by saying it could be Jasmine, pissing off Daya since they were once again overlooking her.

Angeria thanked Jasmine for getting her out of her head with Angeria opening up about how much she is missing her mum. Camden opened up that she wanted to lip sync to the song because it was one of her mum’s faves and was even wearing one of her mum’s chokers. DeJa spoke about feeling horrible for how she has treated her mother in the past before TS dropped by to kiki with the girls, agreeing that for the LGBTQIA+ community, the support of your family is critical.  TS asked the dolls what they want out of the experience with Jasmine opening up about wanting financial stability and how the pandemic left her struggling to put food on the table. She then told Jorgeous she was fierce and then left.

DeJa then asked the dolls if anyone had considered transitioning, with Bosco announcing that yes she has thought about it and definitely thinks she wants to push the dial a little more to the feminine side of non-binary (which she did post-filming!). Jasmine started to sob as she opened up about the fact she was going to start hormones before the competition, though got scared, however seeing Kerri thrive just made her feel like she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She then came out as trans, grateful to feel safe enough to talk about it and like Bosco, have a supportive partner to go on the journey with. She spoke about how Kerri is an inspiration for her and who she wants to be, leading to Kerri sobbing over how happy she is for her sister.

After that deeply personal, empowering conversation, the dolls returned to the mainstage where Jorgeous and Jasmine were sent to safety while Camden was announced as one of the Top 2 queens. Bosco too was sent to safety, leaving Willow and Daya for the final spot, as Daya was placed in the top while Willow was sent to safety. As soon as One Way or Another kicked off however, it was clear the Top 2 was as far as Daya was getting because Camden was absolute fire. She was charming, camp, stupid and splitting and kicking all over the stage and ugh, it was just an absolute joy to watch. And rightly handed her her first win of the competition.

Backstage Daya was thrilled to make it to the top, despite the fact Camden demolished her out of the win. Camden too was rightly feeling her oats while DeJa congratulated them both on a job well done, as Jasmine suggested she should have been in the top two over Camden. She was proud that once again Ru told them how good they are which made Willow joke that eventually there will be a challenge they will all bomb. And oh God, is that a premonition? As the dolls de-dragged, DeJa checked in with Jasmine to see how she was doing, as Jasmine admitted she felt she did a better job than Daya in the challenge though given she came out in Untucked, it probably was best she didn’t have to lip sync after such a cathartic moment. While everyone once again reiterated how proud of Jasmine they were.

Then Kerri and Angeria started wrasslin’ and well, I love the dolls!

The next day Willow was shocked by how real the competition was feeling, with Bosco admitting that she now wants the money and will gladly become their friends AFTER the show. Which was the perfect transition as Ru arrived to open the library. Which is what Bosco feels she was born for. Kerri was up first and was surprisingly cutting and hilarious, Angeria was brutal, Camden called Jorgeous a waste of time and Willow a hunchback while DeJa went in on Kerri’s safe streak. Jorgeous went in on Jasmine for proving white do crack, while Jasmine read Kerri for a lack of dancing skills and Daya’s two-faced ways. Willow was hilarious as she called Jorgeous Serena ChaCha, Daya was solid and then Bosco stole the show with smart reads including the dolls being Ru’s pallbearers on the mainstage so they could let her down on the runway one last time.

Obviously Bosco took out victory, though Camden was commended for being super shady too. But more importantly, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be forming ‘60s girl groups with everyone allowed to form the three bands themselves. The dolls split up to listen to the songs to decide what they wanted, with Daya desperately focused on getting the Bad Boy song. Sadly four of the girls wanted that one, leading to a stand-off for the band. And guaranteeing Daya does not win fan favourite or Miss Congeniality. Eventually DeJa took a step back, leading to Bosco and Willow sticking with Daya in one band, while DeJa joined Jasmine and Jorgeous as the Ru-nettes while Kerri, Camden and Angeria formed the Ru-premes.

While Daya was confident in their chances of taking out a win, DeJa had already moved on and was ready to slay with the Ru-nettes. Shang-ru-las be damned! Though given Jasmine is straight up tone deaf, DeJa you may be in danger girl! While Kerri was just excited to knock it out of the park and get her first Grammy.

We first followed the Ru-premes as they joined Michelle to record their song, with Angeria selling confidence and giving all the Diana Ross. Kerri meanwhile was pitchy on her first run, leading to her getting in her head and damn, I hope this is a fake-out. When the Shang-ru-las stepped up to record, Bosco was hilarious while Daya was super confident and tragically seemed to knock it out of the park. None of the Ru-nettes were singers however, filling Michelle with nerves for them. Though when DeJa slayed from start to finish, things looked up. Wait, no, Jorgeous and Jasmine could not sing. At all.

Thankfully they were better when it came to choreography, though not by much as DeJa got stuck in the details as they ran through their moves and frustrated the hell out of her dancer sisters. Willow, Daya and Bosco were super together, nailing it from start to finish while the girls finally realised that Willow is a damn dancer! Camden meanwhile took control for their band, choreographing a simple routine so everyone could shine and while Angeria struggled anyway, I am confident their charm will sell the shit out of things. Despite the other girls looking on in fear for their chances.

Elimination Day rolled around with the dolls splitting up to get in their ‘60s looks, while they kikied about their favourite songs, with the dolls mainly focusing on Destiny’s Child while Camden spoke about her love of Spice Girls. And how girl power got her through high school. Angeria spoke about her love for En Vogue, while Kerri opened up about how her family didn’t let her embrace any music and she was forced into listening to church music only. Which made her even more obsessed with that kind of music.

Talk turned to the reading challenge and how amazing Bosco was before Daya confronted Jasmine for calling her two faced. And while she was super cut, Jasmine straight up listed all the things she said behind her back and how she had never said anything to her. With Daya admitting she would have, but Jasmine was preparing to lip sync for her life at the time. And while Daya was getting pressed, Jasmine reiterated that she never even tried to apologise, just make herself the victim.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the panel by Alec Mapa as the girl groups took the stage with the Shang-ru-las up first. And as much as I hate to say it, Daya did a killer job. Though not as good as Bosco and Willow, thankfully. The Ru-nettes did well, in no small part due to Jorgeous getting to speak all her lyrics instead of singing. That being said, this was well and truly DeJa’s performance. Closing the show the Ru-premes were so, so charming with Angeria and Camden in particular knocking it out of the park.

On the Heart On runway, Willow was stunning as she dropped all of her panties, Daya looked a mess as Jojo Siwa and Pink’s daughter, while Bosco was perfection in all white with her hole out and a heart in her hand. DeJa was a sexy nurse in an episode of Sailor Moon, Jorgeous was full on Victoria’s Secret realness, though made it carnivale. Jasmine gave a red, velvet gown with some hearts pinned on her hips while Angeria was a star as a high-headed checkerboard while Kerri was a dripping heart and veins while Camden was perfection as cupid, shot by her own arrow.

Willow, Bosco and Jorgeous were sent to safety, leaving Daya to receive universal praise for her performance as the one that stole the limelight. Which is not how I saw it. They also lived for her runway. DeJa too received universal praise before Jasmine was read for not finding a key, though praised for her commitment. Angeria returned to her place in the top as the judges loved everything she served, before Kerri was read for being too churchy for the challenge rather than giving girl groups. And well, she wasn’t very fun and they felt her outfit needed work. Camden meanwhile was read for blending into the background, though praised for looking like a star on the runway. Though reminded to bring the energy she served last week, every week.

Backstage Bosco was just thrilled to definitely not be lip syncing, given her outfit is quite immobile. Talk turned to the reading challenge with Bosco happy with everything people said about her, while laughing about how pressed Daya Betty was about being called two-faced. They agreed that Daya clearly is feeling the pressure of the competition, though were glad she is in the top to get praise. And to hopefully take the edge off. They speculated about the dolls placements, agreeing DeJa may be in the bottom as would be Jasmine. Unsure whether Kerri or Camden would be joining them, unaware that both were in the bottom, while DeJa was high.

Talk turned to Jasmine’s coming out, with Bosco and Willow talking about how hard not being able to do drag was throughout the pandemic given it was an outlet for their gender expression. Willow admitted that after years of focusing on her health concerns, she finally feels able to explore who she really is and what she loves about her body, including how she identifies.

The tops and bottoms joined the party and gagged the dolls with the fact DeJa was one of the tops. Kerri shared she was read for being too churchy and that she will definitely be lip syncing. Daya was thrilled to share that she was definitely in the top, thanking Bosco and Willow for helping get her over the line. Jasmine praised Daya for breaking through, though Angeria joked that it was all anger. Camden agreed she was in the bottom, though hopeful she would avoid the lip sync with Jasmine assuring her that she will be the one lip syncing, not Camden. While Angeria was once again thrilled to be in the top, further cementing herself as THE front runner.

Jasmine and Kerri once again caught up with Jasmine thanking her for being such an inspiration, ready to slay and be the woman she was born to be. The tops and safe dolls caught up, with Daya admitting she was deliberately selfish this week because she wants to win and well, she doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it.

Returning to the stage, somehow Daya Betty took out her first victory, proving tantrums do pay off, while Angeria and DeJa were deemed safe. As was Camden, narrowly, leaving Jasmine and Kerri to lip sync for their life to a weird remix of Toni Braxton’s iconic Unbreak My Heart. And well, it was a show. Jasmine kicked off a shoe and didn’t even bat an eyelid as she served with only a shoe, jumping and splitting all over the stage. Kerri meanwhile gave all the charm and emotion, and while I lived, it proved to be not enough against Alyssa Edwards Jr, leaving the iconic and powerful Kerri Colby to sashay away with only her chocolate bar for company.

Kerri was heartbroken to be eliminated from the competition, though was accepting that she did the worst in the challenge. Plus, Kerri had such a strong impact on so many of her sisters, it was hard for her to not feel the obvious love the world has for her. Which I reiterated to her backstage before sharing a fresh bowl of Kerri Columbines to sweeten her power. 

While Columbines were tragically discontinued in the early ‘00s, they have such a special place in my hearts. Sure, they are just chewy caramels but the memories attached are so joyous. You see, every time my grandparents would come to visit we would arrive home from school to discover a bag of the pink and blue wrapped delights at the foot of our beds. It was such a small thing, but it still makes me happy so I was glad to make a copycat for the iconic Kerri.

Enjoy!

Kerri Columbines
Serves: 4 excited grandkids in the ‘90s or 2 dear friends in the (20)20s.

Ingredients
225g butter
450g muscovado sugar
395g can sweetened condensed milk 
1 cup light corn syrup 
½ tsp kosher salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method
Pop everything but the vanilla extract In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it reaches 112-116C on a candy thermometer. Cook for a further couple of minutes at that temperature before removing and gently stirring in the vanilla.

Pour the caramel into a lined baking tin and leave to cool completely at room temperature. Once set, use an oiled knife to cut into squares before wrapping in waxed paper or you know, devouring greedily.


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Michael Crocembouche

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

Previously on Australian Survivor we were finally introduced to speedo king Jordan’s cousin Josh, who proudly joined the new Blood tribe to eliminate his cuz’s former ally Amy before she could turn the tribe against him. While Nina had positioned herself in her new tribe, she tragically injured herself when coming off a slide during the reward challenge. As Blood enjoyed their reward, Jordie, Josh and Mark vowed to share any idols clue they came across. Which is exactly what Mark didn’t do, unaware that Jordie spotted him stealthily popping the clue in his shoe. Before we could get a resolution to that scene, Nina was whisked away from the reward for further testing before returning at the site of the next immunity challenge where we learnt she had an avulsion fracture in her ankle and was tragically being medevaced from the game.

With Nina’s departure confirmed, Jonathan did a hard pivot as the castaways wiped off their tears before learning of the upcoming challenge. First they would race through a mud pit, barge through a wall of hay bales and clear a path to carry a chariot, before throwing a monkey fist to release sandbags and lift the rider to the top over the tower to collect the sandbags and drop them down for the tribe to use to knock out tiles spelling their tribe names. Oh and in addition to immunity, the winning tribe would also get an advantage they can read all about after they get back to camp.

Blood got out to the earliest of leads which was only extended as they quickly smashed through the wall of hay. Jordie and Jesse then got carried on the chariot for their rival tribes, with both boys struggling to land their monkey fists before Jesse landed his out of nowhere, collected all the sandbags and started shooting while Blood floundered. Jesse and Khanh traded out with Khanh shooting away at the targets as Jordie finally released his sandbags and against all odds, ended up closing the gap. As Josh and Khanh shot head to head, Josh took the lead for Blood again, while Khanh was always just behind, tragically allowing Josh to jag a come from behind victory for Blood.

Back at camp Ben was frustrated to once again lose a challenge, though joined up with Sam and Jesse to lock in the vote against Michelle, with a split on Khanh to clear out his idol. While Ben was feeling good to be near the top, but not near enough to ever be the target, it was sadly all a ruse as Sam and Jesse went for a swim to laugh about their upcoming blindside against Ben in place of the Michelle votes.

Sam and Jesse split up to lock in this vote, with Jesse left behind to keep Ben feeling good about his place in the tribe. Sam, Chrissy, Michelle and Khanh caught up by the well, all glad to jump on board the vote against Ben while they worried about whether Croc would be ok with getting rid of his ally Ben. While Chrissy reminded them to all keep quiet and not pull a Cara. As the group split up, Sam caught up with Chrissy and suggested that they really do need to get rid of Khanh’s idol ASAP, despite their assurances they won’t target him.

Back at camp Ben started to get nervous about everyone whispering, while Jesse worked overtime to make sure he felt ok before pulling KJ aside to talk through the plan with her, with her obviously agreeing to join them and load her vote on Khanh, given she doesn’t really have any options. While Jesse was confident about the plan coming together flawlessly, Chrissy straight up told Ben that she had heard his name being thrown around and while she tried to say she’s heard a lot of names, you could tell she realised that despite her warnings, she had become the Cara. Much to young Jesse’s simmering rage.

Jesse tried to downplay her faux pas, assuring Ben his name has not come up in any of the plans though and quickly went through all the votes again to keep him safe. As Jesse and Sam caught up and spoke about how safe Ben is feeling and how perfectly this will play out, Croc decided that he wasn’t thrilled with the plan and instead wanted to flush Khanh’s idol instead. With that, Croc went to KJ, Michelle and Chrissy and floated the idea of genuinely flushing Khanh’s idol, which they were all thrilled about. Particularly KJ, who didn’t want to be dictated to by a 21 year old.

Jesse noticed an increase of whispers and approached Croc and KJ to make sure everything was ok, with Croc admitting he’d rather get rid of Khanh than Ben. And well, the vibe between them was just all kind of weird and as such, Jesse was terrified the blindside would backfire and they’d have to deal with a very angry Ben back at camp.

At tribal council the Water tribe were gagged to learn that the Blood tribe would be joining them, since their advantage was to sit in on tonight’s tribal council. Oh and that was followed by another gag when Jonathan announced that the tribe would be voting immediately. Which you know means this is a non-elimination and Sam really just can’t catch a break when it comes to trying for a big ol’ blindside and production screwing her. After everyone voted, Joanthan tallied the votes with 1 somehow landing on KJ, 2 on Khanh and 4 on Ben, however before he got his torch snuffed, Mel read the second part of their advantage where they could steal someone from the rival tribe. The catch being, they can only vote to steal someone from Water who had received a vote at tribal council.

This finally got some discussion happening with Mark talking about voting for what is best for the tribe. Shay meanwhile was hopeful the tribe would reunite her with her boyfriend, who was angry about his blindside. Which is why I would leave him there if I was the Blood tribe. Chrissy was nervous about potentially having to deal with the fallout back at camp while Jordie was busy whispering to his allies about who they should vote for, admitting to Jonathan he was weighing up making a great decision for his tribe but also trying to keep his brother safe. This blew Khanh’s mind who didn’t even think about it, while KJ just straight up pitched that she was ready to jump to the other tribe and reconnect with her original allies.

Mark spoke about the fact it is probably easier to bring a single over – aka Khanh or KJ – rather than making another pair, while Josh was nervous about the prospect of bringing Khanh over, given that could make things dangerous should they go to tribal council given his idol. Jonathan then explained that one at a time the Blood tribe would vote for the person they want to steal, with the person with the most votes immediately joining the tribe. With that, the tribe voted and Jordie straight up said he was voting KJ to leave Ben to completely blow up his game, as the rest of his tribe – minus Shay, obviously – joined the fun and snatched KJ to join Blood.

Back at the new-ish Blood tribe, Shay was angry with her tribe for not bringing her partner over to the tribe while it really feels like the best thing for her. That being said, she was glad to have another woman join the tribe because they are well and truly a sausage fest ATM and – I never thought I’d say this, ever – not in a good way.

Meanwhile over at the Water tribe Ben was trying to act like the blindside never happened and he was still dear friends with everyone in the tribe. Chrissy meanwhile was feeling super awkward, worried how things would blow up with him eventually. As she swam in the water with Ben and Jesse, Jesse apologised to him and while the boys quickly made up, she looked on in shock. Particularly since she was worried that Ben was angriest at her, given they were so close.

Chrissy and Jesse then caught up alone by the fire, worried about Ben getting to merge and reuniting with Shay and being protected by the other boys. Jesse’s only answer however was to throw the upcoming immunity challenge and get rid of Ben ASAP, particularly before Ben realises it was him and not Chrissy that organised it. As Chrissy and Jesse whispered by the fire however, Ben called them out for gossiping before assuring everyone that he just wants to be an asset and hopefully, they won’t have to return to tribal council.

Back at the Blood tribe KJ was living her absolute best life, loving the new surroundings and glad to be back with her allies Jordie, Mark and Josh. She caught up with Jordie to get the lay of the land, with him admitting that he is essentially working with everyone but Shay. And knowing the Water tribe wants to get rid of Ben made him even more sure it was the right move. As Shay quietly did chores in the water, the boys told her Shay was glad to have another woman in the tribe though given KJ planned to work with the group, I feel like it may not actually be helpful. Though KJ was living for the speedo king Jordan and his allies, so I have no choice but to stan her. Shay meanwhile continued to feel on the outs, missing Nina even more,knowing that the only way to guarantee her safety is to win immunity. Though based on last night, that may doom her/my speedo king Ben.

The tribes met up with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would have to navigate three balls through an upright obstacle using a flat paddle, passing it off from person to person, one at a time, as they each navigate their own maze. Both tribes were neck and neck from the start, until Jesse dropped his first ball – deliberately – to slow them down. Michelle joined in the fun of throwing the challenge as Mark landed Blood’s first ball in the final obstacle. When Ben landed the first ball for Water, Jesse stepped up his game and started dropping more and more while Ben looked frustrated while he waited at the end. Obviously Mark whipped through the final maze and landed their second and third balls, handing them immunity. But yeah, Water definitely threw the challenge.

Back at camp Sam was thrilled to have a target laying in wait for the tribe, quickly locking in the vote against Ben with Jesse, Chrissy and Croc reminding them that his survival would make post-merge chaotic for all of them. With that locked in, the quartet disappeared with Croc ready to leave Chrissy to play with her allies while he instead thought about going out on his own to save Ben. With that, he pulled Michelle, Khanh and Chrissy aside and instead floated the idea of getting rid of Jesse instead, given he and his brother are just as threatening, if not more so, than Ben and Shay. Chrissy just looked awkward, while Khanh and Michelle appeared on board with the plan.

After Chrissy shared how horrible Croc’s plan is for her game, he caught up with Ben to float the idea of getting rid of Jesse and while he appeared down with it, he immediately went to Jesse and Sam with the information. The two people who led the blindside against him the night before. With Jesse and Sam seething with this news. 

Ben pledged his undying loyalty to both Jesse and Sam, assuring them that he would gladly work with them moving forward. And just like that, the vote moved on to Croc with Chrissy to be kept in the dark. They split up to lock in the rest of the numbers, with Ben quickly getting Michelle on board before she went to catch up with Chrissy. Who felt like she was stuck in the worst position, given she and Croc are on different pages in the game. And she does not want to vote for Jesse.

While Chrissy was already feeling guilty, she caught up with Jesse who assured her that everything is still the same as the night before, without either of them realising they are both lying to each other, despite not wanting to. Chrissy reconnected with Croc, opening up about how much she doesn’t want to get rid of Jesse, given she considers him like a child while Croc just couldn’t care less about it. And once again, somehow, Khanh appears to be about to skate through another tribal without using his idol.

At tribal council Chrissy shared that Ben handled his blindside with grace, unlike how she would have played in the same situation. To which Ben responded that he thinks the tribe has just found its natural order again and all is right with the world. Chrissy reiterated she wouldn’t be handling things as cooly as he was, before Sam spoke about Ben being a threat, though the fact she now questioned whether it was even the right time to get rid of him last night. Jesse meanwhile agreed that things change very quickly in the game of Survivor, while Ben showed his gratitude for the fact everyone is still willing to work with him.

Khanh meanwhile was just shocked his name was not part of any of the plans that he heard, which actually, come to think of it, makes him more nervous, given it means he may actually be the plan. While Croc was just trying to stay strong and hold his ground. Jesse admitted that there are definitely strong alliances in the tribe, though most of the votes have been ones of consensus. Ben continued to play it cool, agreeing while there are people calling the shots everyone still has a voice. Which is something Michelle agreed with, encouraging them all to leverage themselves to put them in the best position possible.

Chrissy essentially said she and Croc – or she and Jesse – would be voting differently tonight, which made Jesse nervous while Croc reiterated he is voting solely on how things will play out post-merge. Which led to Sam jumping in, reminding them that there is no guarantee the merge is around the corner and they need to find balance, while Jesse straight up said he was very confident he was onboard with the winning plan. As was Croc.

With that the tribe voted and Jesse’s confidence appeared warranted as the tribe joined together to blindside Croc from the game. Now leaving them to contend with a very angry and upset Chrissy.

Despite his obvious disappointment to be arriving at Loser Lodge, he was confident that he had left Chrissy in a good standing for the rest of the game and as such, he couldn’t feel too sad. Which is 100% the kind of guy Croc is. I’ve known Croc for years and years as we’re both part of the broader Roosters alumni – my dad played three first-grade games, which makes me an immortal, FYI – so I knew he would need something sweet enough to move past his blindside. Sweet enough while impressive, both technically and physically, meaning I quickly served him a commiseratory Michael Crocembouche.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve done profiteroles before – for another NRL great, no less – and technically, croquembouche is nothing more than then stacked into a tower (a small one, in this instance) but that doesn’t take away from how good these are. Plus, this time we have caramel!

Enjoy!

Michael Crocembouche
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
1 ⅓ cup raw caster sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
½ cup thickened cream, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake it for about 10 minutes or until the pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and ⅓ of a cup of sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

To make the salted caramel, heat the remaining caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir constantly into the sugary clumps that form turn in a thick, molten liquid. Once melted and it becomes amber in colour, whisk in the butter until combined. This will splatter and expand, so be careful to avoid a burn.

Cook for a further minute without stirring before slowly adding the thickened cream, again being careful to avoid the rollicking mixture. Allow to boil for a minute before removing from the heat and leaving to cool slightly. Stir in a teaspoon or two of salt, stirring until well combined.

Once cool enough to work with, dip each puff in the caramel and repeat the process as you build them to form a croquembouche. Or multiple mini ones like my lazy self did.

Whatever structure you choose to go with, devour immediately, in anticipation of Chrissy burning everything to the ground.


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