Pfefferlix Godlo

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribe battled it out in an early morning reward challenge for lunch, some family love – via Skype, thanks pandemic – and an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Phil emerged as a bit of a beast, quickly taking it out before Tejan invited himself along with the advantage Meryl gave him. Phil then parlayed that advantage into his second immunity win of the season, leading to a little bit of chaos back at camp as everyone tried to make the most of the pivotal final 7 vote. Eventually it came down to a battle of Felix and Tejan, with Felix giving an impassioned performance at tribal council, leading to Shane switching his vote and sending Tejan out of the competition.

The next day Marian and Dino caught up to lament their losses, unsure who flipped and voted out Tejan. That being said, Felix felt like both of them had a hand in saving him and as such, that was probably a good thing. While Phil had told them he was in on their final four, they both agreed that there is no way he actually meant it and given he now has a hidden immunity idol, it is even more critical that they weaken him. Phil woke up and grew nervous about people exiting camp, finding Marian and Dino to recap the last tribal council. Phil tried to pretend he didn’t lead the vote against Tejan, despite Marian clearly hearing him telling Killarney to get rid of him. Phil admitted to us that he and Marian are loyal to each other above anyone else, though he didn’t plan on going to the end with her. Which is convenient, as she shared with us that she no longer wants to play the game with him. At all.

Back at camp Felix was asking Shane why the plan was to get rid of him the night before, with Shane admitting to him that he was one of the Tejan votes. And as such, he should now know that he can be trusted. Felix meanwhile only cared about the fact that his alliance with Dino and Phil was clearly done. Speaking of that duo, Phil and Dino were busy catching up solo, with Dino going in on Phil to try and get him to admit that he was the one orchestrating the vote against Tejan. Dino could tell their alliance was done, while Phil was blissfully aware as he went to catch up with Felix and make sure the trio were still tight. Though like Dino before him, Felix did not really buy that Phil was still being truthful with him.

Shane meanwhile was focused on splitting up Phil and Felix, not really caring who to take out. He then shared with us that his current plan was to take Killarney to the end, despite being confident he could beat anyone left in his ideal final four. Said group then caught up to lock in the fact they can’t trust Phil or Felix, with Killarney thrilled to be in on the plan and move ahead. Dino meanwhile was confident that Marian and Shane had his back and that Killarney saw him and her as a pair, making him feel safe about letting Shane and Killarney drive the next vote to split up Felix or Phil and keep the target off his back.

Dino and Felix caught up, with Dino admitting that he was one of the votes against him though that he always had his back and never intended to get rid of him. And while Felix said he believes him and was grateful for the honesty, I am not so sure.

The tribe joined up with Nico where they faced off in a reward challenge in duos where they would need to release sandbags, shoot them at a net, manoeuvre them over said net and then shoot them into baskets. For a full on spa reward, with lunch and drinks included. Killarney and Shane, Phil and Felix and Marian and Dino got to work on the challenge with the last pair quickly falling behind. Phil and Felix started to pull ahead of Shane and Killarney, while Dino and Marian desperately tried to close the gap. Philix made it to the final part of the challenge well ahead, landing three points before anyone even joined them. While everyone eventually made it to the end, the lead proved too much as Philix landed their final four bags and jagged themselves a massive victory.

As they arrived at their reward, they immediately started smashing the food before trying to plot a way to the end. Phil told Felix they can’t afford any more paranoia at tribal council as it just makes everyone paranoid and distrustful. They seemingly were still tight with Dino, as they debated who was the smartest to eliminate out of Shane, Marian and Killarney, ultimately settling on Shane as their number one target. Though given Felix felt something was off between him and Phil, me thinks this alliance is well and truly about to completely implode. After washing away a month of the game, Philix enjoyed their massage before assuring each other they had to stick together.

Back at camp the losing quartet were disappointed to lose out on reward, though were well and truly ready to lock in their final four. Dino pointed out that he is guaranteed a visit to the Outpost the next day, sure that it will give them something powerful to use at the upcoming vote. Killarney admitted to us that she doesn’t trust Marian and Shane, though knows that the four of them all need to work together to move forward, so trusts them for now given nobody wants mutually assured destruction. Killarney pointed out Phil is the biggest threat and while Marian agreed he is a problem, his alliance with Felix makes him another one to focus on. 

At that point Marian spotted Phil’s bag and decided to rifle through it, finding the idol and sharing its existence with everyone. And pointing out that should he be aligned with Killarney, he surely would have told her. Dino then decided to go through Phil’s bag in the hope of finding a note that outlines what his idol is, putting a stop to their fears that it is an idol nullifier or something more dangerous. After the group once again reiterated their final four, Phil and Felix returned to camp and were immediately embraced so everyone could smell their abundance of cleanliness. That night Phil told Dino about his idol, with Dino making him paranoid about people going through his bag while they were out at reward. Dino then pulled Felix aside and assured him they were good, though he wasn’t so sure he could trust Phil. And while Felix also was a bit confused, he knew he could trust that Dino wanted to stay in the game. Which is helpful. To a point.

The next day Dino was sure that Philix were ready to turn on him, while Marian was looping in Phil on the fact everyone wants Felix gone. Though admitted that Dino is always nervous about going home too. Phil tried to convince her to help keep Dino calm, pointing out that Dino is due at the Outpost so should feel safe. Marian took the information back to her alliance, saying that Phil appears to be in on the plan to take out Felix, though the group were still nervous about trusting him.

We finally made it to the Outpost where Dino was gagged to find champagne and strawberries and chocolate, as he watched a video announcing he had won an epic river safari holiday. And an extra vote, meaning this final six tribal council just got even more exciting for them. Oh and he got to take a bowl of fruit back for the tribe, which is helpful to create a lie about having to choose between the extra vote and food for the tribe. But he promised that he planned to tell Marian the truth in the hope of building some trust.

Shane was waiting by the sign as Dino returned, desperate to get any and all intel from the trip to the Outpost. Though given he was kinda intense, if I was Dino I’d consider flipping the vote on Shane instead. Returning back to camp, he unveiled the fruit and nuts and said the only other thing he got was a video from home. Which Felix quickly deduced was bullshit, given they always get something at the Outpost. Phil pulled Dino aside to catch up with him, lying and telling him that he got to practice part of the upcoming immunity challenge, which he quickly bought with both of them trying to assure each other that they trust each other. We then learnt that Dino snuck some chocolates back for Marian and Killarney and while the latter wasn’t sure why Marian got a treat too, she was solid with Dino. Marian then explained that they had implemented a Boston Rob style buddy system to keep an eye on Killarney, given her penchant for flipping and as such, this little pair were going to be spending a lot of time together.

The tribe reunited with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to launch balls into a shoot and run through netting to the other end to catch it. Once they’d successfully caught them, they then dig under a log before taking their final balls to solve a puzzle. Felix and Dino got out to the earliest of leads, while Phil nipped at their heels. Felix was first to make it to the puzzle, with Dino and Phil quickly joining him while Shane trailed behind. As the boys worked on their puzzles, Marian and Killarney continued to stumble at the end before Phil put everyone out of their misery by taking out immunity. Meaning they now have one less option on the split vote.

Back at camp Dino was concerned about Phil and his idol, now that he can use it for someone else should he want to make a move. Dino obviously was feeling like the biggest threat, as such caught up with Shane and Killarney to loop them in on the extra vote. As Killarney went to babysit Felix, Dino floated the idea of splitting the vote between Felix and Killarney to Shane. Who was obviously thrilled by the idea, given he won’t get his hands dirty should something fail. Felix and Phil meanwhile caught up, with Phil suggesting their only hope would be to rope in Killarney. Which obviously made Felix nervous that Phil intended to take Killarney to the end before Dino joined and told them to vote for Shane.

Killarney and Marian caught up at the shelter with Killarney assuring her to just play along with any and all plans Felix and Phil pitch to her while they are desperate. Back at the boys club, they floated the idea of a 2-2-2 vote, given everyone would get rid of Killarney in a tie. Though Dino cautioned them not to approach Marian about voting out Killarney, given they appear to have grown close. I mean, haven’t they noticed the girls hanging out together?

Phil and Dino then caught up with Marian, with the former suggesting that Killarney makes the most sense at the upcoming tribal council. While Marian was obviously keen on getting rid of Felix instead. Phil and Dino caught up, with Phil ready to make a move against one of his allies and feeling like getting rid of Felix is the safer option, as Dino going would make Felix nervous. While Dino was just constantly nervous. Phil meanwhile was feeling ready to play his idol, offering to do it for Dino as a way to build trust before blindsiding him next. Sadly for him, Dino was sceptical, given he had previously floated giving him the idol outright, leading to Dino and Marian coming up with a rival plan to play a fake idol nullifier to spook Phil into sticking with them.

At tribal council Dino admitted he was very nervous about the vote again, not wanting to join the jury any time soon. Phil was glad to wear immunity once again, while Felix spoke about his own nerves and the need to figure out who you should face off at final tribal. Killarney admitted that she has a few ideas about who she would like to face – lol – while Marian spoke about keeping her options open, given her priority is still surviving long enough to plead their case. Shane reiterated it is always hard to figure out who to trust, while Dino felt that everyone feels they have a case, while some are starting to feel desperate about needing to make a big move for their resume. Marian mentioned that tonight’s the night to make a move, given all the advantages are due to expire, with Shane agreeing big moves will definitely impress the jury and tonight could get confusing.

With that, Marian pulled out her fake idol nullifier and assured everyone that she knows where the idol is and has a good idea who it will be played on. As such, she will nullify the idol of the person she votes for to guarantee they go home. With that the tribe voted before Phil played his idol on Dino before the votes rolled up three-three between Felix and Killarney. After Nico pointed out there was no such thing as an idol nullifier, the tribe revoted where Felix was unanimously eliminated from the game. While Dante mimed to Marian to get rid of Dino ASAP from the jury. While Felix was disappointed to find himself out of the game, he was thrilled to have a far superior run on his second try. And to play such a solid social game. As such, their were no tears as we laughed the night away, toasting his success over a batch of Pfefferlix Godlo.

While Christmas is still a few months away, I would gladly smash a pfeffernusse any day. Spicy and sweet, they’re the perfect little snack to add a little joy to any occasion.

Enjoy!

Pfefferlix Godlo
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground allspice
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
⅛ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp ground star anise
pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ cup almond meal
½ cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup honey
75g unsalted butter
3 tbsp double cream
1 egg
2 ½ cups icing sugar

Method
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, star anise, nutmeg and almond meal in a large bowl and set aside. Then pop the muscovado, honey, butter and double cream in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined before finally folding through the egg. Transfer the dough – which is wet and sticky – to a piece of cling and wrap into a disc. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll each piece into a 3cm thick sausage before cutting them into 3-4cm lengths. Roll each piece into a ball and pop on a lined baking sheet. Once done, pop the biscuits in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and after five minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To glaze, whisk the icing sugar with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water until smooth, adding more water if you’d prefer a lighter consistency. Dip each cookie in the glaze and return to the wire rack to set. Before devouring, greedily though in a festive manner.


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Bread Palomalette

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sandwich, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France, ten of the best and brightest from across the country – though mainly Paris – arrived at Nicky Doll’s Werk Room ready to showcase all the best France has to offer. And while they didn’t always have the global rights to their lip sync songs, they did serve up a joyous and fun season, despite the fact we had to lose many an icon along the way. Starting with firestarting sweetheart La Kahena. She was soon followed by the camp Lova Ladiva before the sweet La Briochée exited. Kam Hugh then joined the WIN to ELIM club before Elips followed her out the door.

After an emotional lip sync, La Big Bertha was felled, before the top four had to lip sync for their place in the finale which saw Lolita Banana’s run come to an end. The top three then battled it out writing verses – in English, no less – and performing the remix on the mainstage before lip syncing for the crown. Despite all of the top three being more than worthy of taking out the crown, Nicky had not yet been given enough power by WOW for winner, winner, three chicken dinners. As such, she chose the supremely talented Paloma to take out the crown, leaving La Grande Dame and Soa De Muse as very worthy runner-ups.

And again, future All Star winners.

From the moment I saw her promo picture complete with a ship on her head, I fell in love with Paloma. And while I would travel to the ends of the earth for Soa, that does not take away from my love for Paloma.

She calmly ventured through the competition with kindness and such a gloriously chill vibe, channelling her energy into delivering killer performance after killer performance. And well and truly earning herself the crown.

As she returned to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her for such a strong, diverse run. She gave glamour, humour and heart and well, she is the perfect winner of the inaugural title. And the piping hot Bread Palomalette that goes along with it.

This little social media number I spotted back during the darker times of COVID is an absolute delight and oh so simple. Part toasted sandwich, part omelette, all joy, this one pan wonder is worthy of a winner. Or us regular folks in need of a quick, hearty breakfast.

Enjoy!

Bread Palomalette
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bread
2 slices American cheese

Method
Whisk the eggs and shallot together in a large bowl with a good whack of pepper and a better whack of salt.

Pop a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once gloriously foamy and covering the pan, add the egg and shallot mixture and agitate the pan to form ripples. Dip the bread in the egg, then flip it to sit close to the edge. Repeat with the other slice of bread and place next to it, on the opposite edge.

After the egg is set, flip the entire omelette and bread so the top of the bread toasts. Pop the cheese on top of each slice of bread. Fold the omelette over the cheese before flipping one slice of bread on to the other to close all the cheesy egg inside a sandwich. Flip and cook for another minute or so, or until the bread is toasted. To regal perfection.

Then devour, victoriously. 


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La Grande Damarretto Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.

Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’s Catwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.

Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.

After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.

Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.

The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.

Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.

Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.

Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.

The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.

As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.

The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.

Enjoy!

La Grande Damarretto Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened 
4 eggs, at room temperature
125g raw caster sugar
100g almond meal
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’
¼ cup amaretto liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.

Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning. 


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Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink

Main, Poultry, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa with Toni out of the way both factions within the tribe weren’t sure how to proceed or take control. While the OG Yontau tribe were still focused on getting rid of Dante, the fractured OG Masu group weren’t sure whether to band with them or take out Dino. After Meryl won immunity and ventured off to the Outpost, she scored another advantage for the small cost of her vote at the upcoming tribal council. Which thankfully proved to be unnecessary anyway, as the tribe banded together to eliminate all of their threat, Dante. My Speedo King.

The next day things were rather zen at camp with Felix disappointed to have lost his friend though he knew that he needed to adapt and move on, should he want to make it to the end. Marian meanwhile pledged her ongoing friendship with Dante. Talk turned to Tejan highlighting the Steffi, Meryl and Marian faction, with Dino pointing out it was hardly new information to anyone. Killarney approached Shane about splitting up the trio, suggesting Steffi needs to be the next one to go while Shane cautioned her that it is actually Meryl pulling the strings and as such, she needs to be their focus.

Speaking of Meryl, she was busy catching up with Phil and floating the idea of working together while Phil jokingly called her the kingpin. Which you just know is dangerous for her in the long run and oh god, don’t take out my queen Meryl!

The tribe reconvened with zaddy Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would first spin a ball in a hoop while traversing a balance beam with the last six standing moving on to a table maze. With the last one standing, getting one of their holes plugged. Then the first three to finish that, would move on to an upright maze with the first to navigate three balls to the top winning immunity and a brand new car, test drive and picnic. So immunity, but zero shot at winning the game. Just like Kass, I guess. Felix dropped almost instantly, followed by Marian and Steffi leaving the rest to move on to the table maze. Shane, Killarney, Meryl and Tejan all dropped, leaving Dino and Phil to battle for the advantage on the table maze. Which wasn’t much of a battle, as Dino just as quickly jagged the advantage.

When it came to the second round, Tejan quickly booked his place on the upright maze, soon joined by Dino and Meryl. While they all kept getting close to the end, they kept dropping until Tejan landed two balls in quick succession with Dino nipping at his heels. Mere centimetres from immunity and the car, Tejan dropped his third ball, giving Dino enough time to calmly work his final ball up the wall to score himself immunity and reward. Though again, he just cursed his game. Before Nico even offered Dino a chance to invite anyone to join him on the picnic, Tejan started begging Dino to take him given he was so close. Sadly for him, he instead invited Phil, Steffi and Meryl as they all gave up on the chance to eat last episode. After already missing out on food at the merge.

Oh and the five left behind would get the chance to draw rocks for a trip to the Outpost. Which was promptly won by Marian. Leaving Tejan feeling even more enraged to have missed out, given he is guaranteed nothing.

Back at camp Tejan was disappointed to have just narrowly missed out on victory, with Marian quickly growing annoyed with his sense of entitlement. Particularly since he is a challenge beast and being hungry only makes him easier to beat. While Killarney tried to distract him and perk him up with some illegal rice, Felix and Marian went to the well to discuss who should be the next target at tribal council with Marian suggesting Meryl is the most dangerous person left in the game. Tejan joined them to get to work on making the aforementioned rice, which annoyed them both though Felix wisley cautioned her from saying anything, given it only paints a target on Tejan’s back. 

We ventured off to reward where Dino explained to us that he took Steffi on reward as it means she can not forge new alliances and is unable to go to the Outpost. While the four of them suggested getting rid of Tejan next, Meryl knew that both of her alliances are close to death and as such, she needs to make a strike on Steffi and Marian before they go after her.

Returning to camp, Killarney was smashing rice while Tejan joined the other two in refusing to eat and as such, she promptly threw him under the bus when the victors returned to camp. He came back where Killarney confronted him in front of everyone before they all left to avoid the drama. When it was just the two of them, she told him how disappointed she felt to have been left out to dry. Oh and then he snuck a spoon of rice and hid in the jungle to eat it.

Steffi meanwhile was busy catching up with Felix, floating getting rid of Meryl first followed by Dino and while he was safe in her pecking order, her confidence made him more nervous about her. As such, he approached Phil about getting rid of Steffi instead, given she appears to have more power and is far more dangerous, should she make it to the top eight. While Phil realised Steffi was still a threat, he was concerned about which decision would be best at setting up his end game. Felix next approached Dino, telling him that he is the next one to go in Steffi’s head and just like that, he was on board to blindside her instead.

At the Outpost, Marian was given the choice between rice and a clue to a hidden immunity idol and despite not feeling confident in her choice, she felt a single idol wouldn’t be what wins her the game and instead, took rice back to camp given they were all starving. Upon her return, she told everyone she was given the choice between a dessert buffet and a bag of rice, before getting the rice out and sulking. With Meryl pulling her in for a hug, while Phil was shocked that Marian could be so close with Meryl while simultaneously plotting her demise. After Meryl disappeared, Marian confirmed they were still blindsiding her with Phil lying and saying nothing had changed. And then realised he needs to start coming up with a way to repair that relationship after getting rid of Steffi.

Steffi and Marian caught up by the well with Marian telling her the truth about the Outpost with Steffi reassuring her that she has her back and to not worry about losing out on an idol. Sadly for them, Felix was continuing to work the Steffi vote, telling Meryl that she and Marian are targeting her and as such, she should join them in taking out Steffi instead. Knowing they still need one more vote to get it done, Meryl then promised Tejan her reward steal advantage should he vote with her and just like that, shit is about to get real.

At tribal council Meryl spoke about blindsides occuring due to everyone having killer poker faces, while Marian agreed that everyone is playing a very strong game. Steffi opened up about the fact that just because she has a plan, doesn’t mean that nobody else has a different plan and that hers may be the wrong one. Shane said it all comes down to blind faith, while Tejan was confused about the prospect of the Meryl, Steffi and Marian trio breaking up with Steffi adding they all just need to stick with the plan. Meryl said that promises aren’t really her thing in the game, not wanting to write cheques she can’t cash before Steffi spoke about driving or piloting and confusing everyone. Tejan felt like he wasn’t sure what was happening at tribal council, while everyone else gave the vibe they were in on the plan.

With that the tribe voted and it turns out that Steffi and Marian were not in on the right plan – or driving the car, before flying the plane to the destination – as Steffi was narrowly booted from the game. And while Steffi was obviously gutted to be voted out with an idol in her pocket, she quickly perked up upon seeing me at Ponderosa. While I wasn’t a massive fan during her first season, Steffi’s second run was far more enjoyable as the edit allowed us to see more of her kind heart. And as such, I was thrilled to cheer her up with some comfort in the form of a Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink.

There is something so nostalgic and warming about a chicken parcel. Maybe due to the fact they were a big bloody deal back in the ‘90s. Crunchy pastry, moist chicken and a glorious hot, creamy filling? That sounds like a nice way to spend the evening to me.

Enjoy!

Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, sliced
250g frozen spinach
200g Danish feta, mashed
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup unsalted butter

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and saute the leek on medium for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach and cook until defrosted and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Once chill, add the cheeses, egg and lemon zest to the leek and spinach and stir until well combined.

To assemble, lay the flattened breasts out and spoon over a quarter of the cheesy filling. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

Place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have four parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.


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Chelazon Lereuben

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Sandwich, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls celebrated themselves and everyone’s favourite season, awards by hosting and winning a myriad of categories at the inaugural The Who Knows? Awards. Despite fighting all week – to the point of Fiercalicious suggesting Chelazon was trying to set the besties up – she and Kimmy slayed the game. At the other end of the pack, Jada and Moço – other besties that Chelazon paired together – couldn’t bring their back-home magic to the stage, landing in the bottom two together, with Jada sending dear, sweet Moço out of the competition.

Backstage the dolls were shocked by how emotional it was watching Jada send her frequent collaborator slash best friend, Miss Moço, home, while everyone was gagged to realise that the only people eliminated so far were Toronto queens. And each and every time, they were eliminated by their fellow Toronto sisters. Which made Vivian thrilled to be the sole rep from BC. Talk flipped to the top of the pack with everyone congratulating Kimmy on dominating the challenge. And well, she was just excited to prove that she is a comedy queen.

Everyone returned refreshed and renewed the next day, with Vivian ready to ramp it up with a win. Fiercalicious meanwhile was also manifesting a win this week, while Kaos was letting her nervous energy out via burps. Brooke dropped by to remind the dolls that dating is hard and as such, for this week’s Mini Challenge they would do a quick boy-drag for a date with her as practice. And well, Fiercalicious was wearing a jockstrap in the Werk Room. So yeah, I’m wet. Giselle arrived dressed as Grandpa Brooke and it was so damn fun, Kaos went cowboy zaddy rocking leather, so yeah, still wet. Irma Gerd was giving Tom Green in Charlie’s Angels vibes, in the hottest way possible. Bombae gave Grandy Chic, complete with a catheter bag. Kimmy was a rival sugar baby, while Boom Boom was a mess but looked hot, so yeah, I love it. Jada was hot, Fiercalicious rocked the jock before Chelazon was oddly sexual as a beaver catcher and then Vivian stole the show as part Aussie part rat and well, it was hilarious and had Brooke snorting.

Which obviously scored her the win. Because, duh. She’s only ‘uman.

Brooke then gagged the dolls by announcing that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be lip syncing Ru’s catalogue of duets on the mainstage. In pairs. With that, Brooke told everyone to form their own duos, with Chelazon and Kaos getting together, Bombae and Fiercalicious teaming up, Jada and Irma, Boom Boom and Kimmy while Giselle and Vivian quickly grabbed each other. Oh and as the winner of this week’s Mini Challenge, Viv – not to be confused with THE Viv – would have full control over who performs what songs. So well played there, Giselle.

The dolls gathered around to talk songs with Vivian letting everyone talk about which ones they wanted. Which obviously meant everyone wanted the same, forcing Vivian to upset everyone. With Bombae and Fiercalious totally enraged by getting the slow-tempo song, Let The Music Play. Though everyone else was mostly happy, so I guess that’s ok? Irma and Jada talked about how they would turn Peanut Butter, with Jada smartly suggesting they play off their differences. Kaos and Chelazon meanwhile were bonding over the shared First Nations history, and well, it was so beautiful to watch them talk and have Chelazon give Kaos a pep talk about always feeling proud enough to speak up about her experience and to never feel like she isn’t enough. As Vivian and Giselle were living their best lives in rehearsal, Fiercalicious looked on filled in rage and well. It was a mood.

Brooke dragged the queens to the mainstage for rehearsals with Brooke’s former lip sync partner Vanjie. Chelazon and Kaos were going very high energy for Adrenaline. Boom Boom and Kimmy were absolute fire, complete with duckwalks before Bombae dragged her sad partner Fiercalicious to rehearse and almost killed each other by falling from the stage. Irma and Jada looked to be killing it and having fun, while Vivian and Giselle had a very strong base, though Brooke and Vanjie felt they needed a little more thought behind it.

Elimination Day arrived with Boom Boom opening up about her loving partner’s massive dick – which Kimmy could confirm, given she spoke to him on the apps before the duo got together – while Giselle was ready to marry her boyfriend. Things went a little wild as Fiercalicious tried to apologise to Vivian, which annoyed Giselle who called her out for being unnecessarily nasty and as such, told her it will take more than an apology. Despite Vivian being happy to accept it and ready to just move on.

Brooke and Traci were joined on the judges panel by Hollywood Jade and the iconic Miss Vanjie. Kaos and Chelazon opened the show and while Kaos slayed from the start, poor Chelazon appeared to be struggling to stay on the beat and to keep up with her sister. Then as she warmed up, Kaos started to fade. Boom Boom and Kimmy absolutely demolished their song. Fiercalicious and Bombae were far more upbeat than the tempo of Let The Music Play, Jada and Irma were perfect from start to finish, while Vivian and Giselle rocked out with synchronised disco.

Jada was a golden delight as she opened the Sleeves runway. Irma meanwhile was a pastel, under the sea delight, Fiercalicious gave revealed glamour clown, Bombae gave a killer black hair-sleeve number, Chelazon rocked a gorgeous ribboned, two spirit number, Kaos wore a stunning turquoise gown into disco diva, Vivian slayed in a black and white striped gown made of small hands on the skirt, Giselle was stunning in a pink, glamour pantsuit. Also with tiny hands in the jacket. Kimmy rocked a regal black and gold Asian royalty outfit. While Boom Boom was so damn run in a red, mod jacket. 

Ultimately Jada, Irma Gerd, Kimmy and Boom Boom were deemed the top before Jada snatched her first win for the season. The four were sent to untuck while the others took their places to be read. Fiercalicious was read for being a mess and not wanting to be there, while Bombae got off as just a little better. Chelazon meanwhile apologised for not having enough energy, which the judges noted, though they liked her runway. Kaos then apologised for being awkward with Vanjie giving her a sweet pep talk, while the judges read her and Chelazon for not working together on stage. Vivian was read for being off the beat, though she and Giselle were both read for not working together and just kinda being there in each other’s presence.

Backstage the dolls congratulated Jada on her first win, while Chelzon broke down over the critiques and feeling so misunderstood. That being said, none of the bottoms could tell who would be lip syncing. Well, except for Vivian and Giselle were just high-fiving with their baby hands and living their best lives.

Returning to the mainstage, Vivian and Giselle were quickly sent to safety before Fiercalicious was sent through to the bottom two. She was gagged to learn her duet partner Bombae was safe, as was Kaos, leaving her to battle with Chelazon to Don’t Call Me Baby by Kreesha Turner. And while Chelazon was emotional and powerful in all the right ways, there is no denying that Miss Fiercalicious is a star. She worked the stage, hit every lyric and carried every emotional beat, and was, as her name suggests, absolutely fierce. So fierce, she saved herself and sent the lovely Chelazon home.

But given she is lovely, she took her elimination in her stride as I pulled her in for a hug backstage. Chelazon has been such a kind, calming presence throughout the competition, sharing so much of herself in addition to her talent, that I am grateful for all that we got to witness from her throughout the competition. So grateful, in fact, that I served her up a Chelazon Lereuben to toast, quite literally, to her success.

There is something so perfect about a reuben. The salty meat, the tang of the sauerkraut and the creamy kick of the dressing work together, almost by fighting for dominance, to create the perfect comforting sandwich. Plus, swiss cheese is always the best.

Enjoy!

Chelazon Lereuben
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices Ryan Ulrich Bread
¼ cup Russian dressing
4-8 slices Pastrami Malek
4 slices Swiss cheese
½ cup Devon Sauerkraut, drained
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Method
Spread Russian Dressing – which may or may not appear soon – on each slice of bread. Top with Pastrami Malek, swiss and Devon the sauerkraut. Close the sandwich and butter the top of the bread.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and pop the sandwich in the pan, butter side down and gently butter the last remaining, exposed side of bread. Cook the sandwich for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes.

Then serve, slice in half and devour.


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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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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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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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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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