Pear and Jeanger Turnover

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear and Jeanger Turnover
Serves: 4.

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

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

Allow to cool, if you can, before devouring.

 

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Khrystyana Kapapavlova

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

After Shanice walked away from the competition because, I assume, Philipp Plein is racist in addition to being a sexpest and a mysoginist, Jeana continued to be a total bitch while she giddily celebrated Shanice’s exit. On the flipside, the heroes of our story Khrystyana and Kyla both were gutted to see such a kind, hard working person cut just before the end. Jeana and Phi Phi O’Hara need to hang out and douse themselves in Delusion by Jinkx Monsoon and talk about how poorly they were edited for such kind people.

Mickey B arrived to lord over the final three’s shoot where Jeana couldn’t find an angle while bald though tragically slayed when Drew gave her a wig. Thankfully Khrystyana slayed the entire thing while Kyla was underwhelming, according to Jeana. Back at the house the final three received the final Tyra Mail announcing the impending fashion show, which made Kyla nervous based on her inexperience while, I assume, Jeana was skulking about looking to feed off people’s fear like a dementor.

The next day the final three and Jeana’s shit eating grin arrived at the airport hangar Plein was hoping to hock his fugly wares in, to find Drew and Law to guide them through the runway and introduce the eliminated queens. Sandra and Rhiyan were firmly team Kyla, Liberty, Erin, Shanice, Ivana and Rio were team Khrystyana – and I assume literally everyone else – while no one but Philipp Plein was team Jeana.

Stacey McKenzie arrived to give the girls a pep talk, reducing Khrystyana to tears. Thankfully Stacey is a saint, going in on motivating Khrystyana and trying to pull her out of her head, while the person that called her a horse looked on in shock, wondering where her confidence would have disappeared to. Tyra arrived to bring the models some co-models for the runway, a bunch of adorable children, one of whom will be traumatised by the cold-hearted Jeana.

Jeana owned the runway … to the point she thought it was ok to abandon her kid at the end. Kyla slayed and dragged a jacket on the ground like Plein deserves and Khrystyana was adorable but focused on the kid and kept losing the jacket. When it came to the solo runway, Kyla seemed stiff, Philipp Plein yelled at Khrystyana before her walk and she lost all personality while Jeana looked awesome. The final three walked together and once again Jeana looked fierce – not nek level though – and was favoured by Plein.

Drew and Ashley arrived backstage to tell the final three that their final panel would be happening immediately on the runway. Tyra then dropped another bombshell, announcing that the judges would critique their Paper shoots and someone else would be sent from the competition, leaving a final two. Kyla received universal praise, particularly for her growth from week one. Khrystyana looked adorable, though Law hated the shoot and felt she looked like Kyla’s drunk older sister. Thankfully Drew and Tyra went in to bat for her, saying that is what they want for a Paper shoot and that it told her story. Jeana’s photo was good not great, though Law loved it and thought it was more Paper … while Drew, who is actually employed by Paper, felt she was hard to work with and couldn’t take a shot. Tragically Tyra loved the photo and poor Khrystyana found herself joining the ranks of Shangela as the robbed goddess of ANTM 24.

I’m actually shocked they managed to edit around the moment Tyra announced Khrystyana was eliminated, as I immediately erupted in screams and channelled her infamous Tiffany rant. I started tearing down the runway and burning Philipp Plein’s fugly collection before Khrystyana was able to pull me back from the brink and calm me down. She held me tight as I cried for what felt like an hour before my sobs turned to quiet sorrow. With that, I pulled out my Khrystyana Kapapavlova and apologised because I intended it as her victory meal.

 

 

Perfectly cooked coffee meringue, slathered with cream and a dusting of cocoa, this dessert is every bit as perfect as Khrystyana. And every bit as victorious as she should have been.

Sorry, I need to go cry again for the rigga morris.

Enjoy!

 

 

Khrystyana Kapapavlova
Serves: 6, or just me while I cry about her Shangie-esque robbery.

Ingredients
250g raw caster sugar
½-1 cup freshly brewed coffee
4 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
300 ml thickened cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
cocoa powder, for dusting

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

Combine the sugar and coffee in a small saucepan – depending on how strong you’d like the coffee hit, use ½-1 cup of coffee and top it up with water to make sure you use 1 cup of liquid. Does that make sense? That makes sense. Anyway, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until it comes to 115°C on a candy thermometer.

Start whisking the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer until soft peaks form, by which time the coffee syrup should have reached 121°C. Increase mixer to high and slowly pour in the syrup until combined before reducing to medium and whisking until thick, glossy and the bowl just warm to the touch. About fifteen-twenty minutes.

Dollop the meringue on the centre of a lined baking sheet, forming edges with a palette knife to give some solid structural integrity … like our Queen, you dick Philipp Plein. Transfer to the oven, reduce heat to 150°C and bake for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave in the oven to cool.

Transfer to serving platter, top-side down, and peel off the baking paper.

Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff(ish) peaks form before delicately placing over the meringue. Dust with cocoa and devour, greedily, in honour of our rightful victor.

Oh and one last time, fuck you Philipp Plein you fuck.

 

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Vanilla Ice Cream

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Seriously, Vanilla Ice would have to be one of the most sweetest people that I am blessed to call my friend!

I’ve been trying to get him to appear on this anthropological endeavour for years and he has always been reticent – I assume wanting to avoid using my fame to shine a light on him – however this call, he felt there was something in my voice that said I needed him.

While that was likely just my weakened state from a bout of Commonwealth Games fever and the related fluid loss from flooding my basement watching the likes of Mitch Larkin, Evan O’Hanlon … who am I kidding, literally every male bouncing in lycra or fresh from the pool.

Anyway, waaaaay off topic – but I’d always advise googling the men’s 100m track sprint or literally any athlete – Vanille heard the lethargy in my voice and got on the next plane to see if I was ok / there was anything he could do to help.

But of course he did, because we’re the best of friends. We first met in January of ‘87 when he got caught up in scuffle of my causing outside of City Lights in Dallas. Said scuffle led to him being stabbed five times, which led to me feeling hella guilty – always follow the Lannister motto and pay your debts – which in turn led to me nursing him back to health.

While that time together went on to inspire Misery – you shady bitch Stephy King – our friendship has never faltered. Though considering I ghost wrote Ice Ice Baby as an apology, how could it?

Van and I haven’t had the chance to see much of each other after his appearance on Dancing with the Stars in 2016. I had pushed him to do the show based on how much Mischa Barton loved her stint on the season before – as did Jodie Sweetin, obvi … but Mish LOVED it – so I was so glad to hear he adored his time on the show.

We then spent the rest of our time laughing, talking about ways to get me co-headlining the I Love the ‘90s tour like I should be … and smashing a big bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream each.

 

 

While it should come as no shock that I whip this up for him on the reg, it doesn’t take away from our delicious this number is. Velvety smooth and packing a (not milli) vanilli punch, it is near perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Vanilla Ice Cream
Serves: 1-6.

Ingredients
600ml double cream
375g condensed milk
3 tbsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the double cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on low until soft peaks form.

Remove from the mixer, transfer to a container and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove it from the freezer and devour.

 

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Brandi K Seinaps

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls were tasked with becoming social media celebrities – I assume inspired by me, FYI – which Kyla struggled with, earning the wrath of Rio who thinks she is stupid. And isn’t afraid to show it, whether it makes her look like a dick or not. Thankfully Kyla had the last laugh, slaying the photoshoot with poor social media star Sandra sent home instead.

The models returned home from panel to celebrate Kyla’s best photo, except for Rio who was just thankful she finally managed a tolerable photo. Rio’s rant was cut short by the arrival of Tyra mail telling the girls to work on their moves. Shanice was hopeful it was a dance challenge, Brendi was terrified and Jeana and Rio hung in the wardrobe doing high kicks oblivious to the fact that they’ve got from being likeable to the absolute fucking worst. And praise Shanice, she is ready to bring them down.

The next day the girls met with Ashley Graham and Jermaine Brown to learn how to move. Not that Jeana needed it since she grew up on dance teams. While she did well, her arrogance got in the way of listening to any criticism from Jermaine. Brendi K went for head to mouth movement – earning a diss from Jeana – Erin and Khrystyana appeared to do well, before Shanice went full damn broadway like Alexis Michelle was producing the episode.

Ashley interrupted the rehearsal to announce that the girls will be thrust into a challenge, modelling Philip Klein while doing the routine they just learnt … before being lifted by Jermaine. Shanice had the firm to take out the win, Jeana assumed she won before she even finished, Brendi K floundered, Khrystyana was adorable, Rio was insufferable, Erin was fierce and Kyla, well, bombed.

Brendi K was upset by her performance and started to withdraw from the other girls, despite the fact she clearly did better than sweet Kyla. Sadly Jeana’s arrogance was correctly placed, taking out the victory and selecting Rio to go with her on her spa reward. Which we tragically had to see. Though the fact that neither knew what cryotherapy was would make a great case for them, and not Kyla, being the fucking morons. Punctuated by their ‘sexy’ dancing in the cryo chamber.

The remaining girls, like me, weren’t pleased to see the bad guys win though agreed it was nice to be free of them for an afternoon. Jeana and Rio didn’t get a warm reception when they returned to the house, with Jeana and Rio putting it down to their jealousy … rather than the fact their insufferable attitudes did it to themselves. They then sat outside by themselves, literally on the outside of the group while the girls were having fun and, in the case of Brendi K and Shanice, bitched about how awful they are.

Once again Brendi K shared about her self-esteem issues and confided in the girls that she wants to go home. Erin, obvi, went into full-on mum mode, encouraging her to work hard and fight for what she came for. I think her kindness overwhelmed Brendi K, leading to her breaking down and want to retreat even more. All the girls – minus Jeana and Rio, who I assume they just locked outside for all our sakes – rallied around Brendi K and encouraged her to stick with it and be proud of where she came from.

The next day the girls joined Rio and Jeana outside for a bus trip to the desert for a movement photoshoot, complete with a wind machine and a parachute. Make no mistake, this is not going to end well and I see a medevac in our future. Brendi K was still feeling insecure, with Shanice rallying to keep her on task and focused on the competition. Jeana, who was also there, rolled her eyes. The wind then picked up, a make-up tent flew over and smacked Jeana in the back of her head and scratched her cornea, somehow. If it did hit her, which like Shanice I don’t think it did, I would argue it may be karma for being a dick the last few episodes.

Brendi K was up first and seemed to have her groove back. Kyla seemed to struggle, Khrystyana was back to slaying, Erin looked gorgeous, Rio sadly did well, Shanice went for her it and owned the shoot while Jeana started complaining before she even got her first frame, taking off her shoes and then hunching over for the entire shoot.

After a warning from Tyra about the impending elimination, Kyla had an overwhelming sense of doom about her performance while Brendi K continued to struggle emotionally. At panel Shanice received much deserved universal praise and Kyla was right to be nervous getting mixed reviews at best. Erin looked beautiful, Rio was a Monet and looked like shit in close-up, Khrystyana was a star, Jeana looked like a bad mini-Ongina impersonator and got knocked down a couple of pegs while Brendi K once again broke down at panel, quitting the competition to look after herself before receiving her critiques.

Despite assuring the girls someone would still be going home post Brendi K’s quit, Shanice scored best photo, Jeana and Kyla landed in the bottom two … and TyTy opted to save both since neither technically performed badly.

When Brendi K arrived backstage after her quit, she was still processing her pain. Thankfully so motivational words from me – I can be nice when I want to be – and a big batch of Brandi K Seinaps had her back on the path to glory.

 

 

Do these run the risk of burning off your fingertips? Sure, but they are more than worth it (plus – no fingerprints, great when you’re running away from the cops with Halle). Spicy, sweet and inherently festive, these babies are the perfect thing to perk you up when you’re feeling down.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandi K Seinaps
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
100g butter
½ cup raw caster sugar
⅓ cup golden syrup
¾ cup flour
2 tbsp brandy
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup double cream
½ cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until, and stir until combined. Add the flour, brandy and spices, whisk to combine and remove from the heat to cool.

When you’re ready to bake, line two baking sheets and roll the batter into small teaspoon-sized balls. Place the balls on the tray, five at a time, leaving space for them to spread out. Transfer to the oven and bake for about ten minutes, or until they form soft, bubbly, thin pancakes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 secs before lifting with a palette knife and rolling around a cannoli tube to form a cylinder. Place on a cooling rack and leave to sit for a couple of minutes, or until they’re holding their shape and crispy. Repeat the process until they’re done.

Once the snaps have completely cooled, whisk the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. It won’t take long, so don’t over whip. Just whip it real good.

Pipe the cream into the cooled brandy snaps just before serving. Then devour.

 

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Mahersharaspberry Coulis

Condiment, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Sauce, Sweets

Can you feel the excitement in the air? It is Oscars weekend (well, in Australia) and in addition to the media just realising that Australia has more than two nominees this year – go Josh Lawson, bring it home for Brisbane – we’ve reached the biggest categories of this year’s Oscar Gold.

After running the writing with Diabs, reflecting on the music on the way to visit Mancini, to the directing with Kath and Best Piccie yesterday with Brad, we’ve made it to the acting categories –  and Best Animated feature, which should just be a formality – and I’m so excited to have reigning champ and my dear friend Mahershala Ali over to help.

While he tragically isn’t taking me as his date this year, we’re still the best of friends. Though, given we’ve known each other for a decade, that one small slight won’t end our friendship. I was obviously part of Brad’s entourage when we met on the set of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but was taken by the insane talent of Mahershala and vowed to make him a star and get him a damn Oscar.

Ten years later, and you’re all welcome. From House of Cards to Luke Cage and his Oscar winning turn in Moonlight, Mahershala’s quiet commanding, dignified performances are nothing short of revelatory and I love him. Maybe that is why I haven’t vowed to ruin his career for not inviting me on Sunday?

Anyway, after a quick catch-up and the assurance that True Detective will be good again in season 3, we got down to the important business at hand, who will win the male acting gongs. But first, Coco is winning Best Animated Feature and if it doesn’t, it will be a worse robbing than those committed by Ernesto De La Cruz. That being said though, the artistry of Loving Vincent is impressive. Just the movie was rather dull.

Anyway, succeeding Mahersh as Best Supporting Actor will be Sam Rockwell, though I feel it should be going to Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name and he feels Willem more than earnt it for The Florida Project. Best Actor has given us a similar dilemma, while we feel Gary Oldman has it on lock, Timothée Chalamet was a revelation in a more understated role. Plus – the final scene as Sufjan plays? Heartbreaking. For those playing along, that is now 30 awards I would have handed to Call Me by Your Name but feel it won’t win.

That bitter taste could only be washed away by something sweet, and there is nothing sweet than my Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

 

I know it seems hella improbable every time I have a celebrity friend drop by and they only request a condiment, but Mahersh just can’t get enough of this. Lightly sweet, perfectly taste and with the velvety smoothness of the vanilla? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mahersharaspberry Coulis
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen raspberries
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the sugar and berries with half a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sparingly, for about ten minutes or until sticky and thickened. Remove from the heat, stir through vanilla and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth before straining into a container. And then serve – preferably on a Peach Idris Melba – or in a shot glass, before devouring.

 

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Nannaimurphy Bar

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a glorious week attending the powerful Golden Globeswith future President Winf- on a table in the front row – and spending time with Eugene, Cath, Em and Dan honouring the triumphant return of Schitt’s Creek, we’ve tragically come to the end of the celebration. And I am so thankful it is with the perennially delightful and delightfully snarky Annie Murphy.

Despite appearing with my friends Mish and Corbs in the TBL pilot, I didn’t connect with Ans until she appeared in an episode of Blue Mountain State. I was part of Denise Richards’ entourage of the time but was quickly taken by her spunky attitude and became the best of friends.

When it came time for Eug and Dan to cast the show, I immediately got Annie on the phone and said – in my best Moira voice – “you simply just have to audition, my dear. It is the role you were born to play!”

I think it goes without saying that I was completely right. Though really, that goes without saying as I’m always right. Just ask my husband!

Like the four that came before her, it was such a treat to get some qual time with my girl – plotting potential ways I could join the cast, laughing about TBL and smashing a tray of my Nannaimurphy Bars.

 

 

A little bit custard, a bit choc and co(conut) – this Canadian classic is near perfection. Sweet, earthy and velvety smooth, I would smear it all over my body if Allez-Vous said it would work.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nannaimurphy Bar
Makes: 16 squares.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 ¾ cups Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup almonds, finely choppedThis Hour Has 22 Minutes
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup double cream
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
150g milk chocolate

Method
Bring a small saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Place half the butter, the cocoa and muscovado sugar in a large heatproof bowl and heat over the bubbling water until the butter has melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. Obviously if you have a double boiler, use that, bit I’ve never seen one. So, yeah.

Remove from the heat and fold through the graham crackers, coconut, almonds and walnuts until well combined. Press into a lined square baking dish until firmly packet and smooth. Transfer to the fridge to chill while you work on the filling.

Place the remaining butter – sans the 2 tbsp, obvi – in the bowl of a stand mixer with the cream, custard powder, vanilla and icing sugar, and beat on medium until smooth and fluffy. Dare I say it, hella fluffy even. Smooth it over the base and return to the fridge to set.

Get the old poor-man’s double boiler going again – after cleaning it, of course – and melt the chocolate and butter together until well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes before pouring over the slice.

Return to the fridge and chill for a couple of hours.

When it is good to go, slice with a warmed knife and promptly devour.

 

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Pastéis de Natalie Wood

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

It has been a busy start to the year catching up with some of my nearest and dearest Golden Globe winners slash friends, that I started to get all sentimental. While my dates with Rach, Az and Nay all carried a certain emotional gravitas, reconnecting with the man that saved my life in the form of Ids really started to make me feel misty. And made me think of one friend I always wish I had been able to save – the divine Natalie Wood.

As you know, Annelie and I were dear friends with the Wagner-Woods and their extended friend group. What you don’t know, is that I was meant to be on the boat with her, Bobby Wags and my ex-lover Christopher Walken that night until Chris and I had a fight when I tried to open up our relationship, and I refused to get on the boat.

“Please Ben! We’ll have such a wonderful time, my love,” Nat asked in her gentle way.

“If Chris doesn’t want me to see any more semen, I won’t be seeing anymore Sea Men,” I shrieked.

That was the last thing I ever said to Natalie Wood.

I whipped out the time machine and charted a course for the summer of ‘80 to spend time with my dearly departed friend, far enough away from her death to not try and interfere.

Since I obviously couldn’t let slip any future details, lest I set off a butterfly effect, I ran the remaining film odds while in the delorean. Obviously I am rooting for Allison Janney and Margot Robbie to take out a one-two punch for I, Tonya, though I firmly think they will split Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress in a Comedy with the Lady Bird crew of Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. Which way that splits I’m not sure, but I have a good feeling about my fellow Gold Coaster’s chances. For Drama Frances McDormand or Sally Hawkins will win, though I’d far prefer a tie while Best Comedy or Musical will go to Get Out, unless Greta Gerwig doesn’t win Best Screenplay, in which case it will be Lady Bird.

With no distractions remaining – outside of her impending death – we were free to have a positively delightful date, toasting her then recent Globes win. It was also such a treat to have a less explicit final interaction while devouring my Pastéis de Natalie Wood.

 

 

Creamy, rich and wholly delicious, these little babies are the perfect treat for catching-up with friends, gambling and gives you enough energy for the rigors of time travel.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastéis de Natalie Wood
Makes: 24.

Ingredients
500ml milk
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
485g raw caster sugar
6 egg yolks
3 sheets puff pastry, for no other reason than being lazy and time travel already taking up enough time as it is

Method
Combine the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat and allowing the quill to steep for a few minutes. Discard the quill and whisk in the vanilla extract.

Place the flour in a small bowl and whisk in about a quarter of the liquid to form a thin roux. Return to the pan with the remaining milk and bring to a simmer once again and whisk the roux back in for a couple of minutes, or until thickening. Turn off the burner, but leave the pan over the heat.

Meanwhile combine the sugar in a pan with 200ml of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the syrup into the milk mixture until you’ve got a thick white liquid. Giggity.

Place the yolks in a large bowl and then slowly add the thick white liquid while constantly stirring until it is well combined. Cover with cling touching the surface and set aside while you work on the pastry.

Heat the oven to 230°C.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into the holes of 2, 12-hole muffin pans, trimming the edges to form neat little cases. Pour the custard into each shell, stopping about 1cm from the top and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and scorched in places.

Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you can stop yourself from devouring them instantly, that is.

 

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Peach Idris Melba

Dessert, Snack

After catching up with a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a couple of days ago – in the form of Az, who I saw in between Rach and Nay, obvi – I decided to reach out to another person that ticked both the superhero and Golden Globe winner boxes … in the form of my dearest friend Idris Elba.

I first met Ids in the mid-90s when he guested on Ab Fab. While I was taken by his talent and beauty, my alcoholism made him a distant memory. Flash forward six years and my dear friend Anna Paquin ‘introduced’ us on the set of Buffalo Soldiers. I had no idea that we had already met, until I started having flashes of memories which culminated in me realising that he is the one that dropped me in to rehab and saved my life.

Upon realising the truth, I ran into his arms and thanked him for believing in me. It was all super heavy and lovely, so I broke up the moment by propositioning him and putting me on a repayment plan.

While this made him wonder whether I’d replaced one addiction with another, I explained that my genuine thanks terrified me and was simply acting out. He bought it, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

It was so delightful to spend the afternoon with him, discussing where we want 2018 to take us – Ids gets me getting deep – before we buckled in to run the odds of the remaining TV categories. Obviously we both agree that it goes without saying that my part-time love Skarsy is a lock for Supporting Actor and Big Little Lies will take out Best Miniseries and The Handmaid’s Tale will take Best Drama. That is where our opinions started to differ – he thinks Ewan will win Best Actor in a Miniseries, while I think Kyle MacLachlan will be a spoil. He thinks Kevin Bacon will win Best Actor in a Comedy while I feel this is definitely my boy Aziz’s year, while Ids thinks Sterling K. Brown will take out Drama while I think Freddie Highmore will be a surprise.

Such an exhausting catch-up, both emotionally and mentally – predicting how the HFPA will vote is hard you guys – calls for something to sweeten the deal. And there is nothing sweeter than my Peach Idris Melba.

 

 

Summer is the time for stone fruits AND peaches resemble butts, so I knew there was no better way to honour my friend. Plus – sweet peaches and creamy ice-cream slathered with tart raspberry coulis and dusted with toasted almond flakes. Name something that sounds bad?

I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Peach Idris Melba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 cups water
3 ½ cups raw caster sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 peaches, halved and seeded
½ cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Raspberry Coulis, to serve
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Combine the water, sugar,vanilla and lemon juice over low heat until the sugar dissolves, Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Reduce heat to low and submerge the peach halves and poach for a few minutes, or until tender yet retaining their shape.


When the peaches are ready to go, which I assume is being ‘melba’d,’ transfer to a bowl and chill for about ten minutes.

To serve, place a few heaps on ice cream in a bowl with the peaches before topping with Raspberry Coulis and sprinkling with almond flakes … before devouring.

 

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Yule Log Kwon

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Survivor, Sweets

This year Christmas decided it didn’t want to play ball with our scheduling, so instead of leaving you hanging for a couple of days I decided to do a couple of throwback slash additional 12 Days of Survivor Christmas recipes to fill the gap. And no that isn’t a reference to them being zaddies.

But then again, it’s not not a reference to them being zaddies.

Despite kind of disappearing from the Survivor world after his dominant – even without the God idol – performance in Cook Islands, I can never imagine a yuletide without my dear friend Yul Kwon.

You see, I first met my dear friend Yul while he was attending Yale Law School. As is oft the case, I was running a scam – different to the Vice Chancellor one Hiz caught me out on – Yul figured it out and I returned to priz to find my ciggies and barter my way to greatness slash escaping priz.

Given he was such a babe and was so damn nice, I couldn’t help but stay in contact with him and guilt him into helping me become a better person. While you can question his success, I did love how hard he tried and so recruited him for Survivor to say thanks.

While Ozzy gets a lot of credit for his Cook Islands performance and the triumph of the Aitu 4, Yul is the glue that held everything together and successfully kept them in the game and carried them to success. I was in Los Angeles for his pre-Christmas victory and we were both desperate for something celebratory AND festive, which led to the birth of my famed Yule Log Kwon.

 

 

Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s take on the holiday classic, there is no better way to celebratory the holidays than with a thick, fat, nutty yule log. Which sounds a lot like I’m talking about scat … but I’m not, because this is delicious.

Enjoy!

It’s not scat.

 

 

Yule Log Kwon
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
6 eggs, consciously uncoupled
150g muscovado sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract, plus 1 tbsp for the buttercream
½ cup hazelnuts, peeled, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped
250g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
225g butter, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Uncouple the eggs into two separate bowls – the whites into a large, clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer and the yolks in a medium bowl. In should also be clean, FYI. Whisk the whites at medium speed, until they’re forming thick peaks. Sprinkle in about a third of the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks are holding.

Now focus on the yolk bowl, whisking in the cocoa, vanilla and remaining sugar until it forms a moussy consistency. Lighten the yolk mixture with a couple of dollops of egg whites before folding the rest through in thirds, followed by the hazelnuts, making sure to retain as much air as possible.

Transfer to a lined swiss roll pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for about five minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

While things are chilling, melt the chocolate in the microwave and set aside before beating the icing sugar, butter and tablespoon of vanilla in a stand mixer on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Fold through the cooled chocolate until smooth.

To assemble, place the sheet of cake on lined, flat surface and trim the edges. Smear a thin layer of icing over the top of the cake – all the way to the edges – before rolling tightly along the longer side. Cut the ends on an angle to make it look more loggy and place the off-cuts on the side, setting with some additional icing. Generously ice the complete log, covering all the surfaces, before scratching in some wood marks using a skewer or fork. Make sure you don’t forget the rings at the end.

Dust with a light flurry of icing sugar before devouring.

 

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