Paige de Keragne

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Bread, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Anita and Tegan battled it out on Exile, with Anita sent from the game and Tegan sent back to roast the people that turned on her. Meanwhile over at the Champions, everyone was loving life, Steve was giving me life and well … we don’t see much from them because they keep winning. As such the Contenders returned to tribal council where somehow, against all odds Benji managed to avoid the epic fallout from his lies, in no small part thanks to Zach just digging his grave and getting himself booted. I mean, you can tell the exact moment Benji and Robbie could tell that Zach had ruined his game.

We opened up at the Champions with my love Steve Willis, tragically doing clothed yoga while Jackie and Brian roasted him for being quiet, sexy and focused on meditating and exercising. I mean, I love Steve because he is the best … but I’m also loving Brian for the sassy commentary. Well, until it dips over to being malicious, then I choose Steve. Forever and always. Brian continued to watch Steve and Lydia doing yoga in his jocks – which yes, is kinda hot – while Jackie praised how well she was set up on her tribe. She has Brian, Monika and Sam – I think – in her pocket, with Shane so scared she’d jump to anyone, and planned to take out Mat or Steve – BACK OFF – ASAP. Mat noticed the fact that Jackie was rallying troops to get him out, so tried to get Monika on side to launch a counterattack and to take control. So I guess congratulations Contenders, you’ve won immunity.

Speaking of which, the ladies of the Contenders were rejoicing in the peace following Zach’s boot. Shonee in particular was glad to no longer have to smell him or hear about his love of protein shakes, chickens and generally being boring. The girls were interrupted from roasting Zach by a random treemail announcing treasure hidden somewhere at their camp. The tribe giddily ran around the island and discovered that they were given the pity prize of their loved items from home. Paige got photos, Benji got a random doll from his nana, Tegan got her son’s bunny – the same as Brian’s daughter and my niece’s – Shonee got a photo of her zaddy husband, Robbie got a picture of his family, Fenella got a picture of her boyf and Heath got some bracelets and a picture of his daughter, and hot damn if you’re not crying you have no soul. Thankfully it brought them all together and it finally seemed like they may be at a turning point.

With all the talk about dominating the Champions at the next challenge, Jonathan returned for said challenge to see if they could put their money where their mouth is. The reward challenge required the tribe to run and climb up a wall, jump off and grab a rope before swimming out to an A-frame and tether themselves on top, with the first tribe to complete getting to smash nachos and fresh margs like Julie Cooper-Nichol. Mat and Steve thankfully were rocking the speedos so I’m not exactly sure what was happening, though I think the Contenders were in front despite Tegan and Robbie belly-flopping. Since Monika completely axed herself. Shane went for gold to try and close the gap, however the Contenders maintained their epic lead while Monika freaked about having to attempt the dive again … while Steve served cake to the camera. Once again, Mon missed the rope while Mat and Steve willed her to finish as the Contenders ascended their A-frame as Monika smashed herself, this time successfully on the third go. Despite a late push for a comeback thanks to Heath and Robbie struggling with the ropes, the Contenders finally secured their first reward while poor Monika cried in pain.

The Contenders were sent out to enjoy their reward with an ominous note and a warning that since it is a family style nachos, they’d have to be prepared to share. Shonee however was too busy being thrilled by the incoming margs and the fact that they won the first challenge after booting Zach, despite him telling them he was the only thing keeping them together.

Back at camp the Champions praised Monika for persevering through the challenge despite continually axing herself. And while I want to mock it, the fact that she took the moment to remind herself that while she isn’t an athlete she deserves to be a champion and has a renewed fire to take out the win.

At the reward, the Contenders discovered that their share meal and drink came with the mother of all shit twists with everyone eating one at a time and forced to eat as much as they want slash see fit until everyone had a turn. Or the food was gone. With everyone jockeying to try and organise the order to suit them, Tegan outplayed Benji and assured him that the girls would eat less and as such should go first … knowing full well an idol would be hidden at the food. While she searched the entire place, she came up empty handed. Fenella and Shonee followed without looking for an idol, while Paige had a cursory glance before Benji arrived and moved the food from the bottom of the platter to discover a clue etched in the wood. He quickly deduced it was hidden on a sandbank, and just like that my heart broke as he smashed the nachos like a pig and desperately tried to hide the clue. Heath arrived and questioned the mutilated nachos, though didn’t appear to notice the clue … however Robbie did. Oh wait, no. He missed it, despite it being completely exposed. Back at camp Benji gazed out at the island, though was stuck in wait until the tide went down. And even then, he was terrified about being caught and having an even bigger target on his back.

My boy Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where two people would hold a net over a log, while the other tribe would try and shoot coconuts into their baskets with the latest person standing securing immunity for their tribe. So yeah, so Zach … the contenders could probs have used you. And I was totally wrong about Contenders snagging immunity. Both tribes focused on loading up the men, with Heath and Steve slowly getting more and more weight while Fenella and Lydia were chillaxing. Ultimately Heath dropped while Steve struggled, leaving Fenella as the only hope against Lydia. Steve continued to take nut after nut until we both dropped our loads and it became a battle of the women as Fenella struggled and Lydia looked like the challenge beast that she is. Obviously before poor Fenella couldn’t hold out much longer – dem nuts, yo – giving immunity to the Champions again on account of Lydia being invincible.

Back at camp Paige was confident in her ability to play the swing vote, instantly making me nervous about her survival. Everyone was feeling dejected about the upcoming vote, with Benji knowing he can’t snatch the idol ahead of tribal council so instead looked to throw the vote to Paige. Shonee was all in as she can’t read Paige … until Benji tried to win back some trust by admitting that he is a millionaire, which made her instantly want to target him. She then went straight back to Fenella and told her they should vote him out, leading to Fenella saying what we’re all thinking – that his accent is total bullshit. Benji and his accent approached Heath to lock him in on the Paige vote, despite neither of them trusting each other. Meanwhile Robbie and Tegan were also talking about getting rid of Paige and leaving the couples in tact for this round. Benji joined them and assured Tegan he wouldn’t screw her over again, though despite the fact she doesn’t trust him she knows she needs to keep him close for this round. And well Paige just hoped the Survivor God’s would shine on her.

At tribal council Jonathan shaded the Contenders on their losing ways, before Tegan and Fenella admitted that they had each found a close ally, as did Robbie before poor Paige tried to get in on the action despite not being meaningfully allied with anyone. Tegan admitted that she needs to put things aside and work with people, even if she doesn’t trust them. Benji tried to pretend he hasn’t been caught up in his messy web of lies, Heath planned to move past prior blindsides, Shonee reminded us that Survivor isn’t the place to hold grudges and, well, Benji just felt confident her won’t be going home. 95% sure, to be exact.

With that the tribe went off to vote and tragically, opted to run over the girl in the middle in Paige rather than knock Benji’s smug face out of the. And boy was she pissed. While she seethed like I did with Zach last night, I quickly won her over with the smell of a freshly baked Paige de Keragne.

 

 

Pain de Campagne is essentially just a fancy way of saying French sourdough, but when it tastes this good you should let me indulge in my smugness. Adapted from a couple of recipes I found because I wanted an easier option, this easier version is still delicious. And light. And gloriously sour and ready for a slathering of butter.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paige de Keragne
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1kg 00 flour
250g rye flour
2 tsp yeast, crumbled
800ml tap-cold water
15g sea salt

Method
To make the starter, combine 100g of each of the flours in a bowl with ½ tsp of yeast and ½ cup water. Mix until well combined, cover and leave to ferment for at least 12 hours. I started making it back on day 11 when it seemed likely Zach’s anti-woman stance would take her out.

When the starter is adequately fermented, combine the remaining ingredients with the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead with a dough hook on medium speed for about 10 minutes. Or by hand, if you need to work out some Zach anger. Did I mention Zach and I are feuding?

Once the dough is nice and elastic, shape into a ball, cover with a warm damp cloth and leave to prove for an hour or two.

When the dough has doubled in size, knock back, divide into two or three balls, shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover the shaped dough and leave to prove for a further hour or so.transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for

Preheat oven to 250°C.

Once adequately proven, slice the top with shallow lines feeling your Meryl-in-It’s-Complicated-making-croissants self and place a baking dish of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. Transfer loaves to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour, freshly sliced, as the butter melts all over the bread.

 

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Bill Skolsbård

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Between Michael on Survivor and my ongoing obsession with Kameron Michaels on Drag Race, you’d be forgiven for thinking I had reached peak thirstiness. But I haven’t, dear reader, I haven’t. Well, technically hadn’t, until my dearest Billy Skars dropped by to catch up.

While I will always hold Alexander up on a pedestal as my number one Skars, there is something about Bill that fills my heart with joy. And well, make blood rush to other places.

But anyway, I first met Bill through Al – after he stopped seeing me as a creepy stalker – a few years ago and I instantly knew he had that certain something Stellan, Al and Gustaf all had, so I vowed to make him a star. I got him a job with Kiz, Az and Cazza on Anna Karenina and followed it up with my husband and my family movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant with our cousins Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd.

I then spoke to Finn and got him the job on It … and the rest, as I oft say when I can’t think of anything to add, is history.

After Bill and I caught up and then caught up, we were positively famished so it was super convenient I had a big fresh batch of my Bill Skolsbård hidden away by the bed.

 

 

Fresh, warm, spicy and pillowy dough, jam packed with sweet, creamy custard, these babies are the perfect thing for an afternoon snack … after an afternoon delight. And they’ll definitely make your stomach see skyrockets in flight. Boom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Bill Skolsbård
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ⅔ cups milk, plus ½ a cup for the custard
60g unsalted butter
7g yeast
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the custard
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 yolks, plus one whole egg, whisked, for brushin’
½ cup cream
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Method
Combine the not-for-custard milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it has just melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the yeast and caster sugar and leave to foam for ten minutes or so. While things are getting frothy, combine the flour and spice in the bowl of a stand mixer before slowly combining the liquid. After it reaches peak froth, obvi. Knead using a dough hook on medium for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock the dough back down to size like an emotionally abusive parent and divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into logs, cut them into 4, shape each into rounds and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Cover and leave to prove for a further halfies.

While the buns are rising – as opposed to making me rise – preheat the oven to 180°C and start work on the custard. Combine the remaining milk in a saucepan with the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat straight away. Meanwhile whisk the yolks, cornflour and vanilla in a clean, dry bowl before slowly whisking in the warmed dairy until smooth and combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat and cook, stirring, until starting to thicken. Transfer to a bowl via a sieve, cover directly on the surface with cling and chill until ready for bakin’.

Do as I do and press into each bun to make a deep indentation. Fill said hole with the fresh, creamy custard. Brush the exposed buns with the egg to glaze and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and risen. You may need to rotate / swap the trays throughout baking if you’re without a fan force. But is anyone these days? Please let me know in the comments.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes or so before combining the icing sugar with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Brush each bun with the glaze and sprinkle with the coconut. Leave to set for ten minutes or so before annihilating. Sorry, I mean devouring.

 

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Jenna Baoman

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Des finally decided to bring some excitement post the Chris v. Domenick feud and approached the Malolos about taking out one of the bigger threats. Sadly for her, Laurel and Donathan had been doing a good job of keeping their alliance with said big threats a secret so took the plan straight back to them. That in turn led the champion of Naviti Strong – I assume a sequel to Country Strong – Kellyn to join them in turning on her and sending Des out of the game and straight to the jury.

Lavita returned to camp where Dom was thankful to still be in the game thanks to Laurel’s loyalty. Given the fact she saved not only him, but Kellyn and Wendell too, Laurel finally felt that the had a hold on the game. Sadly Kellyn pointed out that OG Naviti still had the numbers and as such, #NavitiStrong.

The next day Sebastian returned to our screens to briefly talk about upping the food intake before Wendell and Domenick stole the show to talk about sticking together no matter what. Well, that is Wendell was feeling while Dom was willing to get rid of him and his secret allies Laurel and Donathan. To further solidify his power in the game, Dom went for a walk to see if yet another idol had been hidden. Which he obviously found. However tragically for him, it was David’s fake idol that screwed Jay – #Justice4Jay – in the generation battle and unlike Ozzy’s stick, it didn’t glow up. Instead, the advantage was a beautifully designed fake idol that could be used to dupe someone into embarrassing themselves. Again. Which Dom was obviously confident he’d be able to do.

With the excitement of the shady non-idol out of the way, my boy Probst returned for this week’s rewa … wa, wa, what? The immunity challenge? Already? In any event, they’d be required to hold a bar up and keep a ball balanced between the contraption and a beam. Sounds simple … but that is NOT all. This week there will be two immunity winners and two people will be going home AT SEPERATE TRIBAL COUNCILS. The remaining players selected either orange or purple to form temporary tribes which would go to individual tribals and vote out a person each. Poor Michael seemed screwed on the orange team with Kellyn, Wendell, Laurel and Domenick while I dunno, Angela is screwed with lovers Sebastian and Jenna, and Chelsea and Donathan?

Kellyn quickly dropped the ball, literally, followed by Mich-angel leaving Wendell, Dom and Laurel to fight it out for the orange temp tribe. Donathan was the first purple out, followed by Laurel leaving Wendell and Dom to battle it out for orange immunity. Sebastian and Jenna soon dropped leaving Angela and Chelsea to snatch purple immunity. Despite Chelsea almost dropped it, Angela’s ball slipped out of nowhere and handed Chelsea immunity. Sadly for her group, she couldn’t hold on any longer meaning they’d be the first ones attended tribal. Wendell and Dom then brought their smacktalk game while struggling to hold on before Wendell just gave up and handed Domenick the second individual immunity.

Back at camp the two groups broke off and commenced scrambling with Domenick quickly deciding to lock in a vote for Michael. Meanwhile Michael, knowing full well he was royally screwed, approached Donathan to ask him whether he could borrow it for an hour to convince everyone it was his and deflect the target on to someone else. Donathan gave a firm no however, knowing it could come back to bite him breaking both mine and Michael’s heart. Michael then approached Kellyn and tried to feed her the simple lie that he has an idol. While she bought everything he was selling, she was concerned and hoped to put the target on to Laurel as a back-up. On the flipside, Domenick was not concerned when Kellyn brought the information back to him and vowed to get Michael out.

Clearly still concerned Kellyn went to Chelsea and Wendell to talk it through and hopefully convince Wendell to join her in sacrificing Laurel instead. Wendell took said information to Laurel who agreed Michael was acting like he had something up his sleeve, or had simply given up. Knowing full well that Kellyn was willing to flip on her, Laurel decided she would rather vote for Kellyn instead to ensure her safety. Sadly for her, Kellyn was planning to use her second vote and load them up on Laurel to ensure her safety.

The other group were decidedly less intense with Sebastian, Chelsea and Angela keen to stick with Naviti and take out Sebastian’s girlfriend Jenna while telling her they’re targeting Donathan. Jenna was feeling nervous, so approached Sebastian and Chelsea to confirm they’re voting for Donathan … and then went and told Donathan that they told her they’re voting her out. Confusing no? Wanting to try and turn the tables, Donathan then considered playing his idol on Jenna while she was working to turn the vote on him while lying that she was targeting Sebastian. To complicate things, Laurel approached Donathan with her concerns that Dom and Wendell wouldn’t turn on Kellyn and it would end up in her going out … unless she had his idol.

We arrived at the first tribal with me completely confused about what is going to happen. Donathan echoed my sentiments before Sebastian confirmed that someone from Malolo would definitely be leaving this group tonight. Jenna was quick to pretend she was going home and just wanted to vote already and get it over with. That upset Sebastian and made Donathan feel a little bit concerned about his place, and I assume, reconsider playing his idol for her. Jenna continued to talk about herself being the target, leading Probst to put a hold on the questions and get to the vote. Picking up on everyone’s shiftiness, Donathan decided to make the smart move and played his ScotJasonTai idol on himself negating the one vote against him and sending Jenna from the game BY HER BOYFRIEND.

Given the Sebastian’s ultimate betrayal and the fact Probst sent her straight to the jury, instead of doing the walk of shame, Jenna was feeling pretty upset by the time she made it into my arms in Ponderosa. Thankfully the fact that I banned [redacted] from entering Ponderosa until we had finished our feast seemed to cheer her up pretty quickly. Though I have a sneaking suspicion my Jenna Baoman may have helped.

 

 

Now I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I see some sweet looking things in the cover image of this here ‘story’? A) the use of inverted commas is shady, which I love, but also hurtful and b) this is my attempt at a dessert bao. And while it may not look impressive, the flavour sure as hell is! Chocolate and (peanut butter and) vanilla (ice cream), swirl … swirled together on a caramelly bun? Poifection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenna Baoman
Serves: 16.

Ingredients
7g yeast
160ml lukewarm water
250g flour
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup double cream
100g milk chocolate
100g crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Vanilla Ice Cream
salted peanuts, roughly chopped to garnish

Method
Combine yeast, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup flour and 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar in a jug and allow to rest until foamy and glorious, or about ten minutes. Once foamy, combine the yeast mixture in the bowl of a large stand mixer with the remaining water, flour and sugar and salt and oil. Knead using a dough hook for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to prove in a warm area for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Flatten out, sprinkle with baking powder and knead by hand for five minutes or so,or until well combined. Roll the dough into a long dough and cut into 16 pieces, placing them on a lined baking tray to rest for ten minutes or so, or until puffed. Once they’re glorious, steam for about 8 minutes or until they’re cooked through.

While the buns are provin’ and steamin’, combine the cream, chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over low heat until melted, combined and thick.

To serve, split the buns – my favourite pastime, FYI Michael – place a teaspoon of peanut fudge sauce on the bottom, followed by a scoop of ice cream, more fudge and freshly chopped nuts. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Hulk Hogies

Baking, Bread

Given my passion for men in tight clothes or lycra, men holding each other in a homoerotic fashion and my undying love or sports, it should come as no shock that I am highly involved in the wrestling industry. And as such, am a dear friend of Hulk Hogan.

I’ve been trying to get Hulk out to visit since this anthropological patch of cyberspace began, but our busy schedules have always been working against us. Thankfully that all changed this week.

“Ben, my little hulkamaniac. I’ve got this weekend clear, you free to catch-up and hulk smash some food.”

While I feared he was succumbing to the ravages of old age, I was pleased to discover he was only referencing the release of Infinity War and making a hulk joke rather than confusing his catch-phrases with that of the big green guy.

Anywho, I’ve known Hulk forever and was closely involved with making him the star he is today. You see, I spent months lusting after him at the gym and eventual grew to notice he had other talents. Like his talent for clothed wrestling. I called the Brisco Brothers – who I worked with to bring the sex appeal to wrestling – and got him a spot at Hiro Matsuda’s gym. Bada bing, bada boom – he became and star, and us, the best of friends.

For years and years we’ve been catching up, plotting how to reinvigorate his career – damn, that is this week’s theme, no? – and share a deliciously carby cheat meal together. As such, I knew I couldn’t go past devouring some Hulk Hogies together on our date.

 

 

You know I have a passion for smashing warm buns against my face, but this would have to be one of my favourites. Well, when it comes to food at the very least. Soft and pillowy, this babies are the perfect bun for all occasions. And you know I mean all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hulk Hogies
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
7g active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm (30-40C) water
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
4 cups flour
1 1 /2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method
Mix the yeast in a jug with half the water and sugar and leave to foam in a warm place for five to ten minutes.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar and salt in the bowl a stand mixer and slowly stir through the foamy mixture, remaining water and vegetable oil until everything is wet. Pop the dough hook into the mixer and knead for five minutes or so, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour or so, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape them in an oval and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving room for them to grow. Using scissors, cut a gash in the top of each roll before covering and allowing to prove for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Once puffed, transfer the buns to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly before slicing and devouring.

 

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Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Tom Crumpetty

Breakfast, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking this year’s Grammy Gold – Goldenade for those playing at home – off on an emotionally draining note with Whits, followed by a soul affirming date with my boy Burt, I was starting to feel disoriented. Almost like I was in an emotional free fall, which led to me calling my dear friend Tom Petty and begging him to come over to celebrate the Grammys.

Then I remembered that he tragically passed away but a few months ago and I truly felt like I was freeeeeeeeeeee. Free fallin’. I reversed the delorean out of the garage and this time set a course for earlier last year, to see him one last time and honour his legacy in the way that he deserves.

Since I obviously couldn’t take to him about this year’s nominees, lest I spoil his death, I ran the odds for the Rock/Alternative categories alone. I was obviously feeling misty while heading back because I opted to mark Best Rock Performance down for Leonard Cohen over the Foo Fighters. Metal Performance I closed my eyes and pointed at Code Orange, Best Rock Song I think will go to Metallica while Best Rock Album will go to Queens of the Stone Age … and Alternative Album should obviously go to Arcade Fire.

With that out of the way I charted my course back to last year to hang with Tom, and by George was it not the most delightful thing I’ve experienced in years. Tom and I have known each other for years, meeting when he was putting together the first line-up of the Heartbreakers. While he egregiously snubbed my audition for the bassist, the decade of stalking and torment eventually led to friendship and we’ve been the best of since the mid-80s.

I may or may not have bequeathed him a little song I wrote called free fallin’.

Anyway, Tommy was thrilled to see me and we laughed, fondly reminisce about our friendship and I was finally able to get the closure I desperately wanted after his death. In turn, he got to smash a batch of my Tom Crumpetty, so he was hella chuffed.

 

 

Light, fluffy and springy, there is nothing better than a freshly cooked crumpet. Even the ones that don’t exactly look the part. I mean, I tried my best but I just couldn’t be bothered greasing the crumpet rings and therefore, we got some jagged little edges like it were last year’s celebration. In any event, however, they taste delicious.

So enjoy!

 

 

Tom Crumpetty
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
¼ cup butter, plus extra for cooking
2 tsp raw caster sugar
7g dried yeast
3 cups plain flour
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp bicarb soda

Method
Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until butter melts. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 40°C.

Meanwhile combine the sugar and yeast in a small jug and slowly whisk through a cup of  the cooling milk and butter mixture. Cover and allow to get foamy for 5 minutes or so.

Combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and slowly whisk through the yeast mixture, followed by the remaining warm milk until smooth and combined. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Once risen, whisk the bicarb with 50ml warm water and beat into the batter. Cover, return to its warm place and prove for a further half hour.

Heat a frying pan over low heat and melt a little bit of butter. Add crumpet rings and fill ⅔ way up with batter. Cook until the mixture is hella bubbly and a skin forms on top, about five minutes, before removing the rings, flipping and cooking for a further minute. Remove and keep warm, and repeat the process until all the batter is done.

Then, obvi, devour slathered in more butter and honey.

 

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Ryan Ulrich Bread

Bread, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the final four outlasted Katrina, Simone, Patrick, Alan, Rourk, Ali, Jessica, Desi, Cole, JP, Joe, Lauren, Ashley and Mike before discovering Probst has one final twist up his sleeve. Along with winning a record-equalling fourth immunity, Chrissy was given the advantage of selecting one person to take with her to the final three, leaving the other two to battle it out in a fire making challenge. While it was Chrissy’s advantage, there is no doubt it was more advantageous to Ben who defeated Devon and sent him out of the game as the final boot.

The final three got up to watch the sunset together and to celebrate their achievements. We then got to experience the montage where all of the finalists speak about why they deserve to win, with Ryan proud to live up to the hustler name and be the last one standing. Chrissy was proud to overcome throwing up at the first challenge to being the last woman standing and living her dream. We then got some heroic music as Ben spoke about being good with battles as an ex-marine, begging the question – is this a misdirect from the deserving Chrissy win or flagging that Ben, in fact, will win.

We then cut straight to final tribal where the jurors filed in one by one before Probst opened up the new final tribal council format – introduced last season – where the jurors all debate how the finalists outwitted, outplayed and outlasted the rest.

Desi kicked off the outwitting portion by congratulating Chrissy on kicking ass in challenges and Ben for conveniently finding 1000 idols and then asked whether Ryan did something, or whether he was dragged because he was beatable. Ashley joined in the fun asking why Ryan never bothered forming a relationship with her. He then said the plan was to work her through Devon and pull strings from behind. Joe, Lauren and JP then joined the fray to get some confirmation about it.

Joe then went IN on Ben, asking why he failed so hard at the social game and focused on causing chaos. Ben defended himself, saying he has struggled in social interactions since returning from service. Sensing the fact Ben may be swinging some sympathy votes, Chrissy jumped in to highlight her superior social game and that she made personal connections with everyone, whilst also being loyal. Things then got hella dark as she listed Joe’s personal fear of marriage because his parents’ didn’t work out. I mean, could memory, but damn, this tribal is getting dark yo.

Cole then asked why Ben painted a target on his back after he kept stealing food, which kind of seems obvious … but then again, he is pretty so whatevs. Cole was willing to forgive Ben if he just admitted he was using it to get him out, leading to Ryan arguing that he was friends with Cole so therefore more deserving of his vote. Ashley jumped in to defend Chrissy and point out that the boys spoke about sharing themselves with jurors, while Chrissy asked about them. It then devolved into a he said she said between Ryan and Chrissy leading to Desi and Lauren jumping in to tell them to play nice and be proud that they made it there, rather than bashing each other.

Dreamy Cole then kicked off the outplay portion of the roundtable by congratulating Chrissy’s challenge prowess, Ben’s ability to find and play idols – feels repetitive, no? – and complained about Ryan not doing anything. He tried to defend himself for not contributing around camp, pissing everyone off as not camping is not a good enough excuse for not trying. Joe jumped in to save him and told him to focus on his advantages instead. Ashley again brought up the female dominance in immunity challenges, allowing Chrissy to talk about how great she played. Joe then anointed her the Queen, upsetting me that he clearly ignored my dear SDT. The good one, not the shit one.

Ben then spoke about finding idols and being saved by Chrissy’s advantage, begging the question – what can he say to convince them he played a decent game. Desi did raise a good point however in saying that if the others had used their time wisely, they could have avoided him finding idols and therefore, he deserves credit for their epic fail.

The outlast portion gave Ryan the chance to say that all he had to survive was his social game. He then tried to go the Stapley route and said he went to most of the tribal councils and survived thanks to his social game. Mike then interjected to ask if he learnt anything while playing the game. He then went off on a tangent about being reminded of the importance of family and being introspective, which was a compelling enough statement to get Devon to cast a vote for him to win and land him in third place.

While he was disappointed not to take out the victory – or second place – he was just so excited to have not only played the game but also make it all the way to the very end. Plus – how can you be said when eating bread? Particularly one as delicious as my Ryan Ulrich Bread.

 

 

I am sure every toddler would disagree with me, but there is nothing better than a freshly baked rye bread. A little bit earthy, a little bit sweet and completely soothing, all you need is a slather of butter.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ryan Ulrich Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup lukewarm water (Off topic but why is it lukewarm. Was Luke not a very warm person, but he wasn’t cold?)
2 tbsp treacle
7g dried yeast
2 cups rye flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method
Combine the water, treacle and yeast in a small jug, and leave in a warm place for ten minutes or until frothing. But not in an aroused way.

Combine the flours and salt in another large bowl, leaving a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture and oil into well while stirring until it comes together. Transfer to a stand mixer and knead with a dough hook on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm, dry place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch back the dough until it has returned to its normal size. Shape into a large ball and place on a lined baking tray and cut a 1cm deep cross into the top of the bread. Return to the warm, dry place and leave to prove for a further hour, or until doubled again.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Chuck it in the oven for ten minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C and baking for a further 20-25 minutes or until crusty on the outside and it sounds hollow on the inside.

Serve warm with butter and a dickload of treacle. Cause that is damn perfection.

For devouring, obvi.

 

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Tyson Apostollen

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Sweets

While Yul most definitely has the most festive name in Survivor history, my dear friend slash Survivor three-peat Tyson is the most festive person to play the game.

I mean, sure, he had an epic three season arc going from cocky douche, to bumbling babe to dominant champion, but he also had a three season ascension in zaddiness which was decidedly festive.

Yes, I only learnt the word zaddie last Thursday.

From his nude Tocantins tribal twink look, to his animalistic Samoan swimmers to his lovely bunch of Caramoan coconuts, Tyson made me feel things that lay dormant inside for year.

Oh what a lovely ma’ fuckin’ bunch of coconuts.

I first met Tys back in the mid-00s while researching Utah as part of my work writing the little known musical The Book Of Mormon, the hit TV show Big Love AND getting into the cycling world as part of an elaborate scheme to bring down Lance Armstrong. My third least favourite Lance.

While I’m not normally keen on the site of male cyclists in lycra – mainly because they only sit around cafes leaving their ball-sweat on the chairs … which in retrospect, should be my jam – I had a soft spot for Tyson and we fell into a passionate love affair.

Like most of my passionate love affairs, ours fizzled out quite quickly – maybe it would have been different if he listed me as his loved one in Tocantins – we remained close friends. Mainly because he was such a babe and it is super hard for me to find friends that have as much sass as I do, so I have to hold on to them when I find them.

But anyway, we celebrated a Christmas together in Utah during our brief romance and he fell in love with my sweet dough. I mean, all freaking Christmas, his face was buried in it, ravenous. But I guess, who can pass up a Tyson Apostollen.

 

 

Inspired by culinary queen Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar stollen, this baby is delicious enough to convert even the most staunchest of anti-marzipan-ers. Fruity and dense with pockets of gooey sweetness, did I just describe myself. Who knows!? Eat up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyson Apostollen
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7g active dry yeast
5 ½ cup flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ cup warm water
145g butter, cubed, plus extra 115g melted for coating
1 cup raisins
¾ cup craisins
½ cup currants
¼ cup candied lemon
3 tbsp bourbon
250g marzipan, broken into chunks
oil, for brushing
icing sugar, to coat

Method
Whisk the egg yolk, sugar, glucose, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl until fluffy and thick, or about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the warm water and stir by hand with the dough hook for a minute or so. And by that, holding the dough hook like a wooden spoon. You get it? Anyway, add the yolk mixer, pop the hook in the mixer and knead on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and lump free. Add the cubed butter, piece by piece, allowing the dough to come together after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add in the mixed fruit, kneading for an additional minute or until combined. Brush a clean large bowl with a flavourless oil, transfer the dough to said bowl, cover with some cling and leave to prove for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Punch back the dough and dot with the marzipan before lightly knead throughout. You could also split the dough in two, roll them out, smear with marzipan and roll up, but I find dotting it throughout haphazardly makes it more cray, like Tys. If you do dot, then split it into two and transfer to a lined baking sheet, shaping like a turkish-bread-esque loaf.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once cool, brush with the melted butter and press into the icing sugar to seal. Dis is both good – dis real good – and fresh.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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