It might be over and done and dusted for another year, but this year’s Eurovision was bloomin’ brilliant, from trampolining rappers and random anthems about china (“OPIUMMMMM”) to songs about moustaches and more pyrotechnics than a Prodigy gig. And, ladies and gents, we have a ‘wiener’ in Conchita Wurst.
I’ve had last year’s irritatingly catchy winning song stuck in my head for yonks and privately think no one has been able to beat Dana International in the stylish win stakes so far…until last night. I was thrilled, utterly THRILLED that Conchita Wurst won and not just because I’ve been obsessively watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, have had a drag party and think she looked far better in that lace fishtail dress than I ever could. I’m glad she won because a controversial comment on the modern construct of beauty in the face of some of those eastern block countries that aren’t traditionally known for being pro-gay, pro-drag, and pro anything gender questionable is very brave. And, let’s face it she was good! It was all Bond Theme, fire and power and surprisingly everyone loved it, even some of those aforementioned countries (although I did feel a little bit sorry for the 17-year-old Russian twins who seemed to have no idea why they were being boo-ed after every point).
So, to relive the moment of triumph, here’s Conchita the firebird in all her power ballad glory
Now to the eats. This Eurovision tiffin is a no-bake, dense, chocolate cake crammed with cakey biscuits and toasted hazelnuts that uses ingredients from some of the Eurovision countries.
It combines Swiss chocolate, with their ‘row like a lion’ entry, although with their weird whistling and questionable lyrics – “Like an evil satellite, twisting the truth then leaving us alone / I am the hunter you are the prey, tonight I’m gonna eat you up” – I almost wish Belgium had gone through instead.
With hazelnuts from Spain and Turkey. Although Turkey didn’t make it through this year, Spain had a cracker with this Adele-esque number.
My home-made amaretto cake biscuits made with amaretto from Italy, although their entrant, Emma, let me down with a crap tricolour salad flag and a performance so aggressive it seemed like that uncomfortable-looking glittery dress had ridden right up and was giving her rage issues.
Lots of butter (I love Président butter, which is made from Normandy milk) from France, who, I have to admit, through the power of subtle, subliminal messaging, left me wanting nothing more than a moustache…
And good old golden syrup and apples from the United Kingdom (Tate & Lyle are actually one of the UK’s oldest brands, with founder Henry Tate introducing Britain to the sugar cube in 1875). This recipe certainly won’t help you fit into any Eurovision-ready outfits (let’s face it, it’s 90% solid fat), but, after the UK’s disappointing showing AGAIN in the scoreboards, who doesn’t feel like a bit of Eurovision come down comfort eating?
Eurovision Chocolate, Amaretto and Hazelnut Tiffin
Ingredients for the amaretto cake biscuits
2 egg whites
100g ground almonds
100g castor sugar
good glug of amaretto liqueur, about 40 ml
Ingredients for hot amaretto apples
2 hard eating, not cooking apples like royal gala or braeburn
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
50g unsalted butter
Ingredients for the Tiffin
200g milk chocolate and 100g milk chocolate for the topping
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
80g toasted hazelnuts, some whole, some roughly chopped
8-10 amaretto cake biscuits broken up
Method for amaretto biscuits
- Whisk the egg whites until they’re stiff and mix in the almonds, sugar and amaretto before spooning the soft paste into cupcake tins and bake at 170 for 20 minutes or until deep golden. Leave to cool before breaking into small chunks.
- This recipe will give the traditionally hard biscuits a soft, chewy centre that gives the perfect contrast to the crunchy hazelnuts in the gooey tiffin.
Method for hot amaretto apples
- Core the apples and chop into small chunks, leaving the skin on.
- Cook in a frying pan with the sugar, butter and amaretto until golden and caramelised and the alcohol has mostly burnt off. You can flash fry to reheat these when it’s time to serve the tiffin.
Method for tiffin
- Grease a tin with butter and line with baking paper.
- Melt the 200g of chocolate with the butter and golden syrup in a glass bowl over boiling water until liquid and set aside to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the biscuit pieces and hazelnuts and pouring into the prepared tin.
- Cover and leave this to set for half an hour in the fridge before melting the last 100g of chocolate and pouring it over the top. Pop back in the fridge to set for another hour or two before cutting into wedges and serving with the hot, buttery, amaretto apples.