A Sterling K. Hot Brown waiting to be demolished by Sterling K. Brown himself

Sterling K. Hot Brown

Main, Snack, Street Food

You know how when Randall Pearson is being all dreamy, kind and loving, rather than dismissing Beth and her feelings? Well that is what my dear friend Sterling is like, only better.

I greeted him at the airport, and TBH, it was like a moment out of a rom com. He dropped his bags, ran towards me and lifted me up into the biggest, warmest hug known to man. While I weightlessly spun around the room, I wondered if this was the moment we would fall in love.

He then let me go, patted me on the back and I remembered that we were both happily married, and agreed many years ago, never to let our palpable chemistry get in the way of our beautiful friendship.

We got back to my house where I immediately pummeled him … with questions about This Is Us’ upcoming season, including but not limited to, am I the other parent of Kevin’s child once he comes out and I become his love interest, will Milo show skin like in the pilot and will the Pearsons become less self-absorbed?

He was more non-committal than I liked on the first two, I offended him on the last one, so we agreed to disagree and focus on our beautiful friendship. And smashing a pair of rich, tasty Sterling K. Hot Browns.

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

While I only recently learned of the majestic hot brown, as soon as it was in my mouth, I knew it had to be dedicated to my lovely Sterl. Warm and comforting, with a big meaty punch (of heart, in his case), there is nothing I want in my mouth more than this. At a meal time.

Enjoy!

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

Sterling K. Hot Brown
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices sourdough, toasted
8 thin slices turkey
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, Once foamy, add the flour and cook for a minute or so, or until a glorious roux has formed. Remove from the heat and slowly add the milk, whisking, before returning to the heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, still stirring, for five minutes, or until thickened. Add half of each cheese, the nutmeg, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

To assemble, place the bread on a lined baking sheet and arrange the turkey and tomato on top. Spread sauce on top of each and finish with the remaining cheeses. Transfer to a grill and cook on medium for a couple of minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Transfer the sandwiches to a plate, top with bacon and chives and then, finally, devour.

 

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Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with Abbi, Arturo, Hannibal and John, I am almost coming around to the idea that Broad City is coming to an end tomorrow, despite the fact it breaks my heart. Thankfully I am trying to focus on the positives, like Abbi doing Ilana at the co-op, Jaime becoming a citizen, Lincoln being Lincoln, Bevers literally being the worst and the discovery of Trey’s past as Kirk Steele. And damn did it make me fall even harder for my dear Paul W. Downs.

Like Abbi I started of hating Trey and episode by episode fell in love with him, which comes down to the comedic work and total charm of Paul.

While I didn’t meet him until Broad City, we fast became friends and I’m honoured that he came to me for advice on how to block the Kirk Steele scenes. While my infatuation made our friendship awkward for a brief period, I am thrilled that I was able to cool down and he never let it get in the way of our bond.

Paul being the absolute best, he arrived at my door with the inflatable pool toy and a visor and told me how grateful he was to be celebrating the show, and how much he wanted me … to have the props.

I mean, can you believe? He is a sweet angel. Just like my Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake.

 

 

TBH I have always looked at this cake as kitsch krap, but somehow it defies my expectations and further proves that the ‘80s get a lot of unnecessary hate. A sweet and tart top, with melt in your mouth fluffy sponge, there is nothing better to while away an afternoon with a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup muscovado sugar
8 canned pineapple rings, juice, reserving ½ cup for the cake
12 maraschino cherries
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and spray the base of a 23cm cake pan with cooking spray.

Combine ¼ of a cup of butter with the muscovado in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until combined and slightly darkened. Remove from heat and pour directly into the cake tin.

Arrange the pineapple rings in the caramel and dot the maraschino cherries as artfully as you desire. Set aside.

Meanwhile whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and cream the remaining butter and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Agg one egg at a time, beat well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and pineapple juice in thirds, alternating between each until it is well combined.

Spoon the batter over the fruit and gently smooth the top, being careful not to move or break the fruit. Transfer the cake to the oven to cook for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before flipping onto a serving plate … and devouring like it is Kirk Steele.

 

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Florgeres Welch

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I know it is stupid and I sound so whiny – I am a diva, so like Britney, leave me alone – but damn did I need this time with Florence to perk myself back up – sorry, raise – and focus on what is important in life.

I mean, as soon as Florence got off the plane and held me in her arms it was like happiness hit me like a train on the track.

It should really come as no surprise to me, given we’ve known each other since attending Thomas’s London Day School as young kids. Fun fact: I was the one that suggested Kathy and Will send my godson George there.

While it has been a few years since we’ve had the time to catch-up, it felt like not a day had gone by since our last date. We laughed – even about the fact I was outside her door for Grammy Gold before realising she is just a nominee – we cried and she cheered me the fuck up over a big plate of my Florgeres Welch.

 

 

Crunchy on the outside, delicate and creamy on the inside, these sweet cigars are the perfect treat to bring people together and turn around your mood. Am I putting too much power into food? Sure. But what else am I meant to do?

Enjoy!

 

 

Florgeres Welch
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
125g cream cheese, softened
250g ricotta
250g cottage cheese
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinklin’
24 sheets filo pastry
unsalted butter, melted

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Blitz the cheeses, caster sugar and cinnamon in a blender or stand mixer until well combined.

Place a sheet of filo on the bench, brush with some butter and top with a second slice of filo. More butter, more filo, more butter and a fourth and final piece of filo.

Cut the filo tower into quarters and spoon 1 tbsp of filling along the short edge. Roll over to just cover the filling, fold in the edges and then continue rolling to form a small cigar, brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until the four are done. Then repeat the process with the remaining filo.

Transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until golden and crispy. Devour immediately, sprinkled with some cinnamon.

 

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Choc Berry Muffins

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Berry Muffins
Serves: 6.

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

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

Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.

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

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

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

 

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Jane Crackpieski

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

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

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

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

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

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

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

 

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

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

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake

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

After toughing it out on a Fijian Island for 39 days without a jacket, begging for idols and scaling the largest cliff face on the planet to snatch an idol to embarrass one of the final jurors, the heroic Angelina’s claim for the title were completely ignored by the jury, despite having a passion for negotiation and persuasion. With that it came down to Hollywood heavyweight Mike White and public defender Nick, with the former toppled by the latter fulfilling the destiny of the season’s theme.

Given the fact that Mike comes from the entertainment industry and is the most well-known celebrity to ever join the cast – and as such has a lot of easy targets to paint on him in a game where any excuse to vote someone out is valid – he never should have made the merge, let alone the final three and be a couple of votes away from winning.

But that is how well my dear friend Mike played.

Obviously I first met Mike while working together on Dawson’s Creek and we quickly bonded over our sardonic wit. As is often the case, I vowed to make him a star however plot twist, when he decided to partner with Jack Black – who I was feuding with at the time – we went our separate ways and I had to watch him succeed without me.

Well until footage of me having a meltdown at work leaked – by me – on the internet, and he reached out to see if I was ok and whether he could base a television show about me. I am passionate about being a muse, so gladly gave him my blessing and Amy Jellicoe slash Enlightened were born and our friendship renewed. You’re welcome.

Anyway Mike’s charm and killer gut instincts that allowed his to wait until just the right moment to make a move played a huge roll in him getting to the end and almost snatching the title of Sole Survivor. And while he was disappointed not to win, he was thrilled to see me in Ponderosa waiting to cheer him up with a big, heavy Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake.

 

 

Obviously this is ridiculously, sickeningly sweet, as mud cake is want to do, but damn is it good. Dense, moist and melt in the mouth, there is nothing better to distract from losing $900k after 39 days on an island.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
700g white chocolate, roughly chopped
350g unsalted butter, chopped
2 ½ cups raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
2 ⅔ cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C.

Combine 200g of the chocolate in a large saucepan with the butter, sugar and milk, and stir over low heat until smooth and combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool slightly. Whisk in the flour, vanilla and eggs, and stir until just combined.

Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 2 hours, though start checking from 1 ½ hours and stop once an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about half an hour, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Transfer to the fridge to cool for half an hour, stirring a couple of times.

To assemble, flip the cake upside down, slather with ganache and devour.

 

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Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Snack

And now, the end of The Gold Wing is here and I thought it best to once again go back in time and celebrate with someone that has faced their final curtain – Toto that into My Way, would you? – my dear friend Aaron Spelling.

As you know, I’ve long been a friend of the Spelling Dynasty and my catch-up with Loni – who played Candy in Tori’s hit show So Notorious – reminded me that Aaron has a couple of Emmys to his name, despite creating some of the most iconic TV shows of our time.

I used my time in the purring delorean to finalise my tips for the best series gongs, settling on an ASP clean sweep as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes Comedy, The Handmaid’s Tale goes back-to-back for Drama and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is honoured for Limited Series. I found things more difficult for Talk and Sketch Series, eventually decided Variety Talk would go to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and At Home with Amy Sedaris will/should surprise for Variety Sketch.

Oh and I obviously am backing RuPaul’s Drag Race but that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.

By the time I arrived at the epic Spelling Compound, I was so overjoyed to see Aaron one last time that I didn’t want to let him go. I desperately danced around filling him in on what I had been up to, lest I set off a butterfly effect, eventually shoving Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies into our mouths to avoid any issues.

 

 

Inspired by a delicious Nigella classic, these babies are decadent, rich and a little bit healthy – yay spelt! – so you can devour them without feeling to guilty. And while that is a total lie, just buy it … because they are worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies
Serves: 2 nostalgic friends, or 6-8 normal people.

Ingredients
150g peanut butter chips
125g dark chocolate
125g spelt flour
25g cocoa
½ tsp bicarb soda
pinch of kosher salt
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, still cold

Method
Chuck the peanut butter chips in the freezer and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool a little, and combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in another bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate until well combined before adding the cold egg. Scrape down the sides, reduce speed to low and carefully add in the dry ingredients, avoiding a mushroom cloud of flour at all costs. Remove from the stand and fold through the peanut butter chips until combined.

Dollop a tablespoon of dough on a lined baking sheet, leaving a large rim for spread, until full. Place the remaining dough in the fridge while you transfer the baking sheet to the oven for ten minutes and bake until just set. Leave to rest on the warm pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat the process until the batter is done, and then devour.

 

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Lena Wafers

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Sweets

It is the second last day of this year’s Emmy Gold celebration The Gold Wing, can you believe? And something something segue Gaz, Marg, Ava, Rami and Rhea something, I am thrilled to catch-up with my dear friend and semi-freshly minted Emmy winner Lena Waithe.

Given she won her Emmy with my (problematic) friend Aziz for the beautiful Thanksgiving episode of Master of None, it should come as no surprise that he is the reason we became friends.

I was visiting the set during season 1 and Lena and I got to talking about our coming out experiences, and Aziz suggested that they write it into the second season. So you’re welcome, because that episode was perfection and he and Lena truly deserved that Emmy and I can’t even begrudge them for not including me in the writing process.

Since her victory, Len’s career has absolutely exploded and while it means we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, I’m so proud of her. And it makes our fleeting dates even more special. As a fellow writer, I knew that she would be best placed to go through the writing categories with me. Obviously she agreed that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s auteur Amy Sherman-Palladino would snag it for Comedy. Continuing our agreeance, we both backed Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Killing Eve, Steve Martin and Martin Short for their Netflix special and William Bridges and Charlie Brooker will snag it for USS Callister.

With the formalities out of the way, we toasted her success and got to work demolishing a big batch of Lena Wafers.

 

 

Not your childhood’s technicolour crosshatched biscuits, these wafers may not look as perfect but damn they are delicious. Light, sweet and delightfully crisp, they are the only thing worthy of honouring my girl Lena.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lena Wafers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Still going, add the egg, vanilla and milk and continue beating until just combined.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl before folding through the wet ingredients. Cover and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.

When you’re ready to bake, place teaspoon sized bowls on lined baking sheets, leaving plenty of space for spread. Flatten each ball to form a thin disc and transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once set, devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Courtney Love Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god – what a delight it was to see Courts again! I was anxiously waiting at the VIP exit of Brisbane Airport – the one where Schapelle left from! – and ran straight into her arms as soon as I saw her, breaking down in tears from either feuding with a washed up Gladiator or how desperately I missed her.

JK, obvi it was the latter. My feud gives me life.

Now as you know from my time-travel enabled date with Kurt, I’ve known Courtney for years when we were both huge in the Portland gay club scene where I was turning tricks at the time. She realised that I was destined for greatness – well, a different kind of greatness because no judgement – took me under her wing and vowed to make me a star.

While I kept on stumbling, Courts was never disappointed in me and always made me feel loved and appreciated. She truly is the sweetest person, which is why I’m honoured to have introduced her to Kurt.

Anyway I haven’t seen Courts since she toured Australia four years ago, so it was such a treat to see her, reconnect and see whether she believes that Nico and I will ultimately end up together. Well, if things don’t pan out with The Commando, obvi. And if she and Neeks enjoyed their time with Ru and Mish, obvi.

Given the deep love I have for dear Courts, I knew there was only one thing I could make that would do her and our friendship justice. A delicious Courtney Love Cake.

 

 

A traditional Sri Lankan celebration cake, the Love Cake is moist, spicy and sweet and is emblematic of all that is good in the world. Like my dear ride-or-die friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Courtney Love Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
350g raw unsalted cashews
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, plus an additional 4 yolks
1 ½ cups semolina
⅓ cup honey
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 150°C and line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Blitz the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rosewater and spices and blitz again until well combined.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, to the point where they appear to be pulsating. You know the look. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition before folding through the fragrant cashew mixture, semolina and honey.

Using a clean bowl, beat the egg whites in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the semolina mixture, transfer to the cake tin and bake for an hour, or until firm and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Before carving, dusting in icing sugar and devouring. With your favourite friend.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Josh Hickfory Shortbreads

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, two tribes were abandoned in the wild of Thailand with one flourishing – well, except for Dylan – and the other floundering. Like Dylan. Thankfully for both him and Chani, Host Matt decided to mix things up and switch the tribes meaning High School besties Dave and Matt were reunited on new Chani, as were Arun and Josh who aligned at The Outpost. Sadly we didn’t see much of those coming into play as Khangkhaw lost immunity – despite Tess throwing herself into it, amirite (I know it was reward, JK Kimora) – and poor Liam was felled by a mis-played idol and my pizza curse.

Back at camp Eve shared their extremely creative plan with the idol, by playing the idol on herself as they decided she was most vulnerable. Next level game-play, no? Watch your back Cirie Fields because we’ve got a new idol whisperer. Anyway Brad was actually feeling grateful as had she played it correctly, he would have been out on his arse. But she didn’t and so now the tribal council not only got rid of a Chani but it also solidified the alliance between he, Tess, Tara and Lisa.

The next day we checked in with new Chani where Dylan was making the most of his emancipation from Khangkhaw by chatting to Renee, while Josh and Matt looked glorious stand-up raft-fishing. While Dylan was trying to make inroads with the Chani’s, the boys decided to lock the vote in on Dylan … without realising he is kind of the swing vote. While Josh’s confidence seemed to signal a blindside, he shared his cancer journey with us and how watching the first season got him through treatment and getting on the show was a goal. I’m not crying, you’re crying – he is perfect and I now want him to win.

Back at new Khangkhaw Eve was thrilled to have gotten rid of the idol while JT rightly wished that it hadn’t been misplayed and instead they had a fighting chance in their new tribe. Tess was thrilled with the new tribe dynamic, as it brought her and Brad closer to Tara and Lisa by having two new Dylan’s to ostracise. To continue the smug, Brad questioned Eve’s strategy in sticking by JT when it was clearly between the two of them for the next boot … however he pulled it back in surmising that Lisa is the most likely person for them to pull over and as such, he knows to keep her close. Meanwhile on Chani, Dylan was no longer spending as much time alone instead trying to bond with Arun and Dave about snatching the numbers and, I assume, be their hero bay-ba. That scheming didn’t go unnoticed with Adam who continued to swing between loveable zaddy with the good hair and nasty bully. Sadly for Dylan, Arun and Dave weren’t trusting Dylan though appreciate that it is time for them to take out one of the big boys with his help before taking him out.

Matty Chis arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would be required to swing out to a raft and untie planks which they use to build a bridge back to shore before completing a puzzle. Given it is for a shit tonne of pizza everyone is thrilled … begging the question,  DON’T THEY KNOW THEY ARE CURSED?! Brad and Eve got out to an early lead for Khangkhaw however the Chani boys quickly closed the gap and arrived back at the pontoon just in front. Sadly for Khangkhaw Dylan and Dave made quick work of the planks and extended their lead and had the puzzle done and secured victory moments after JT and Lisa started the puzzle.

As Chani exited to feast on pizza, Adam shared that Brad told them not to lose the next immunity challenge which between that foreshadowing and the curse, you know they’re going to do. Before we could explore that any further the tribe smashed the food, moaned and made guttural noises. If they won’t so gross about the entire thing, I probs would have been aroused TBH. Breaking from the burps and laboured breathing, Dylan shared how relieved he was that Liam left the game last week as it showed the Chani members that he’s been working on that he is their only hope for survival in the next few tribal councils.

Things were far less jovial back at Khangkhaw where they instead sat down to some peanut butter sandwiches, much to Brad’s heartache. And JT’s heartache at Brad’s heartache which makes I’m kind of here for. Before I could see where their love affair went, treemail arrived and the two tribes were tasked with sending someone to The Outpost. Tara was selected for Khangkhaw while queen Renee was sent from Chani, thanks to Arun’s killer riggery.

Tara and Renee met Matt to discover they’d be competing in a memory challenge for the opportunity to loot the opposite camp. Both women lasted six rounds before seven proved unlucky for Tara, handing Renee the chance to be this season’s queen of looting, similar to the iconic and GOAT Sandra Diaz-Twine. Renee, Tara and a flood of Tara’s tears immediately went to Khangkhaw and shared that Renee would be taking two of their items. Going straight into Queen SDT mode, she snatched their tarp off the shelter and took all of their coffee. While Khangkhaw were glad not to lose Tara it seemed Brad would have rathered her go if it meant he got to keep his coffee. Meanwhile over at Chani the boys were thrilled to see Renee return to camp with their stolen loot and immediately put the fire on for a coffee, while Adam and Josh wandered away to plot about getting rid of Dylan. Or at the very least, blocking him swaying over the Khangkhaw. Sadly it brought back mean Adam and that makes my boner sad. Josh then shared his intel from Brad at the challenge that Khangkhaw had flushed the idol and used that as their in with the OG Chanis.

He quickly approached Dave about splitting the vote between Dylan and Renee as his back-up, which sadly backfired on Josh as everyone loves Renee. As they bloody should. Obviously Dave took the information back to Renee and Arun, with the queen quickly pointing out that the boys were not thinking strategically and this is their chance to even the playing field … by throwing the challenge. And while I normally hate that, the fact that queen Renee suggested it and is planning a major power move, I will look the other way.

With that Matt arrived to lord over said immunity challenge where the tribes were required to spell immunity using blocks … on a disc suspended by ropes held by the rest of tribe. Which is the perfect challenge for even just one person to throw, though sadly Chani got out to an early lead. Thankfully they mastered dropping on the second last letter, leaving Brad the chance to … nope, Khangkhaw dropped too (for their second time). Again Chani took out the lead, again Renee, Dave and Arun managed to topple the blocks just before victory leaving Eve the chance to secure immunity for Khangkhaw.

Chani returned to camp with Dave feeling bad about throwing the challenge, though not enough to be thrilled about his opportunity to shake up the game. Both Josh and Matt appeared salty about the loss, though seemed none the wiser about throwing the challenge and instead locking in a plan to take out Dylan. They then approached Dylan and the three of them locked in Dylan’s choice – that he had no plan on honouring – in taking out Arun. Adam tried to smear Dylan to Dave, Arun and Renee however that appeared to be all for nought. Adding another layer of intrigue, Josh and Arun joined together to discuss tribal with Josh quickly spilling Dylan’s fake plan and hoping their Outpost alliance would hold. This was enough for Arun to suggest Matt gets the boot instead, however Dave desperately tried to deflect that since they were best friends in high school.

Dave and Arun then started to get nervous about making a moving, since that will automatically put a target on their backs for the remainder of the game. Thankfully Queen Renee was on the scene and made quick work allaying their fears and explaining that Dylan is screwed without them and has no other options. And since they threw the challenge to get rid of one of the top dogs, they need to take out one of the top dogs. Not to be outdone on the control side, Dylan went to Matt and played up his loyalty and gushed about being the swing vote which left me hella confused.

At tribal council Matt quickly got to work rubbing salt in Renee and the boys wounds about their loss and questioning whether anyone threw the challenge. While Dylan deflected the question, Matt wasn’t buying it and tried to push Renee to admit it. Which since she is the queen, she didn’t budge. They discussed the politics between the tribes with Josh talking about trusting the OG Chani while Dave laughed at the thought of them trusting each other. Contestant Matt they channeled Kellyn and tried to push Khangkhaw strong while on the flipside, OG Chani pretended to play defeated. Meanwhile poor Josh continued to be trusting and earnest and I dreading the thought of him being the victim when he is so damn sweet. Host Matt gave everyone the chance to give a last minute pitch which they all denied, leading to the tribe voting and – as expected – poor Josh finding himself the victim of a crushing blindside.

There is no way to dance around the fact that Josh was feeling hella salty by the time he arrived into my arms back at camp, angry that he was betrayed and handed a pass. While I felt sorry seeing such a sweet guy blindsided, it was delicious to watch – which I obvi didn’t tell him. Almost as delicious, say, as my Josh Hickfory Shortbreads.

 

 

Was I aware that hickory was a nut and anything more than a flavour? No. Do I feel stupid? Extremely so. Does that take away from how glorious these babies taste? Never.

Enjoy!

 

 

Josh Hickfory Shortbreads
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
2 cups flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
⅔ cup hickory nuts – you could use walnuts, but I have a nut guy. Well, two – roughly chopped

Method
Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and zest in a stand mixer on medium for about five minutes, or until so fluffy it is pulsating. Fold through the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts until just wet, before transferring to the mixer to combine for five minutes. Shape the dough into a long log, wrap in cling and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.

About half an hour before you want to bake, preheat oven to 160ºC. and line a couple of baking sheets.

Slice the dough into ½ centimetre discs and place on the baking sheets leaving a couple of centimetres between them. Transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just golden around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before devouring. Or not. No judgement.

 

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