- I'm very competitive, Carla, you little [bleep].
[Carla laughs] [upbeat music]
- Hey guys, it's Carla, and I'm here
in the Bon Appetit test kitchen today
with James Beard nominee Trixie Mattel!
- Yes, it means something here!
Most places, people are like, "What now?
"Your beard what?"
Yeah. - Exactly.
So today, we've got 30 minutes
to make strawberry shortcake from scratch.
- Oh my, I've always wanted to,
I've actually always wanted to learn to make this,
this is very exciting. - Today is the day.
So we're gonna see if Trixie can follow along with me
through verbal instructions only.
So, like a living, breathing recipe for you.
- Hey, any boyfriend I've had knows I love verbal,
so let's do it. [Carla laughs]
- All right, so on the count of three,
we're gonna turn around and just start cooking.
Do you wanna count us off?
- Yeah, one, two, three!
- Yes, I got on my apron.
I love it, by the way. [Carla laughs]
- It's really classy, right?
- Yeah, after this, I can take a shift at the Yankee Candle.
- That's right. [laughs]
Okay, so the first thing we're gonna do,
you've got an egg and a little measuring cup of buttermilk.
Have you ever separated an egg before?
- Okay, so, we'll go over it.
We're just-- - I said yeah!
- [laughs] Okay, so just crack the egg,
let the white go back into the bowl
that the egg was in.
- Oh, just the white. [laughs]
- So, crack your egg open,
try to get your yolks separated,
and dump the yolk into the measuring cup
with the buttermilk.
- Oh, we want the yolk.
- We want the yolk. - Oh.
- Did the yolk break?
- The yolk, honey. [Carla laughs]
She's got yolks, where does it go?
- The yolk just goes into the buttermilk.
- Throw it in there?
- Throw it in there.
And then, with the fork, just mix that yolk
into the buttermilk.
- One time in Family Consumer Economics,
we had to make a cake from a box.
- Oh, okay.
- [Trixie] Not to intimidate you, but.
- So that was in school, you had Home Ec.?
- Yes, I graduated from high school,
I know it might surprise you.
- But they didn't, I wish there was Home Ec.
There's no Home Ec. anymore.
- Well, and now they call it Family Consumer Economics
'cause I think Home Ec. had sort of
a suggestive vibe that it's just about not having a job.
- Got it.
Okay, so once your yolk is in, I wanna turn the oven on.
- [Trixie] Okay.
- So now turn your attention to the bowl of flour
that's set on the scale.
And then there's four little bowls set right in front.
- Of course.
- And then all four of those are going in.
We got baking soda, we got baking powder,
we got salt, and a little bit of sugar.
And so that all goes in.
And then out of your, there's a metal container
with tools, I just want you to whisk that together.
- [sighs] Whisk-y business. [Carla chuckles]
- I've actually never heard that one before.
- Really? - Really.
- Oh my gosh.
- Okay, so now, find the on/off button for the scale.
- Oh god I didn't know there would
be a weighing today.
- There's some weighing. - This is my winter weight.
- I had to weigh-in for a flight
on a prop plane recently.
- I was on a flight once to Pravistan
and there was all these gay guys
and you have to weigh your bag and yourself
and all these gay guys were like,
- Jetison-ing? - "I'm 130, I'm 120".
And I got up there like, "Um, I'm 400 pounds."
'Cause this plane is not going down
because you're lying - It's all in the carry-on.
- About your weight.
- [laughs] Turn the scale on and then
I want you to hit the gram/ounce button.
- Yeah. - Until we get to ounces.
- Okay, zero-ed out.
- Zero-ed out, okay, cool.
Now grab this block of frozen butter
that should be on the little metal tray in front of you.
And we're just gonna grate in
when using the box grater.
With the large holes, grate the butter
directly into the flour mixture.
And just keep an eye on the scale,
but we wanna get up to three ounces.
- So what do you do in the kitchen
if you have full-coverage foundation
all over your hands and arms
and you're supposed to wash your hands every few steps?
- That's a really great question.
- Do you wear makeup when you cook?
- I do, but I just try not to touch my face?
It all comes off.
Any makeup that I had at the beginning of the day
is definitely gonna be gone.
All right, I'm at three ounces.
- [Trixie] I'm almost there.
- [Carla] Okay.
- [yelps] Yeah, that's it.
- So when you're cooking at home,
what do you do with the makeup?
- Honestly, I'm in drag so much,
I've learned to do pretty much every single thing in drag.
The only thing you can't do in drag
at this point is exercise.
- [laughs] I would like to see that, though.
- Yeah, it's kinda like Romy and Michelle.
I'm on the treadmill in clogs, you know what I mean?
And then you get on the scale and you go,
"Did you remember to deduct 16 pounds for your shoes?"
- Exactly, all right. - Okay.
- So now you can kinda lift the bowl up,
get the scale out of here, you can just push that forward,
and then, with your fingertips,
I just want you to go into the bowl
and toss everything together just
to coat the butter in flour.
And we're just not doing anything
but giving it a little toss.
And that should just take a few tosses in there
to coat the butter. - Yeah, I got it already.
- Okay, great.
So now, go back to that little buttermilk
and egg yolk mixture that you made.
- Yep. - And I want you
to drizzle the buttermilk in
while you toss everything around with the fork.
- Got it. - And that's just 'cause
you don't want the buttermilk to go down into one spot.
And we just wanna hydrate the flour.
- [Carla] So just drizzle drizzle.
- The James Beard people will write about me.
[Carla laughs] There's a lot
of untapped potential here. - They didn't know.
You should win for this one, though.
- I gotta be honest, I didn't get
to go to the awards, but they asked me to present.
But I couldn't go because I was touring.
- Yeah. - And I wanted
to go so bad 'cause I was like,
"I will never get nominated for this again."
- Never say never. - So I have to,
I couldn't go.
Then I lost to a straight person.
Typical. [Carla scoffs]
- So now we're gonna go back in with your hands
and this should look pretty shaggy and dry.
I just want you to kinda lift everything up
and give it a gentle kneading until--
- I need you.
- It just starts to come together,
but just be, a light touch is key
for a tender biscuit.
So just sort of squeezing everything together
and trying to bring some loose bits
into the mix.
- I like this.
- It feels, I mean, it just already
feels super tender and a little bit bouncy.
- Yes, it feels like,
are you familiar with cold foam,
latex prosthetic appliances?
- I am not.
- Well. - What are they used for?
- Looks like I've got something to teach you today.
- All right, so once that kind of is together,
dump the flour mixture onto the work surface,
just right onto the counter. - It looks like
- Yeah, it's still pretty clumpy.
And you can put the bowl way out of the way
and just put the biscuit batter onto the work surface.
- Oh, dump it out!
- Yeah, dump it out onto the counter.
All right, so now you're just gonna use your hands,
kinda gather it from the sides,
push it into maybe a pretty, compact little rectangle.
And then press it down so it's about one-inch thick?
- Are you telling me that you
just threw this thing on the table
and now you're just shaping it into a rectangle?
- [Trixie] Okay.
- [Carla] I want you to get a rectangle that's one,
about one-inch thick just by sort of patting and pressing.
- It just feels so primitive.
- There's a little try over by the toaster oven
and it's got a bench scraper,
which looks like a metal thing with a black handle.
Using that, cut your dough into quarters.
- Okay. - So just go cut it
in half across.
- I think I use one of these to put makeup on. [laughs]
- [laughs] Exactly.
And then we're gonna stack those up
right on top of each other.
So it doesn't matter who's on the bottom,
just put the four--
- This [bleep] you're doin' is wild.
- So this makes flaky layers when you do this
and then it also helps the dough get recombined.
All right, do a biscuit tower?
- Okay, great, so now just use one hand
and smash it down and start pressing it out again
into that one-inch thick--
- You want me to smash it again?
- Just smash it, just press it straight down.
And they're all gonna become one again.
If you feel like it's sticking to your hands at all,
there's a little bowl of flour.
I need a little flour on my hands now.
I'm just pressing and patting
until it's an inch thick again.
- I should press it back down to an inch?
- Yeah, press it back down to an inch.
And then we're gonna cut out four rounds.
So now just dip the little round cutter,
dip that in the flour just to flour the sharp edge.
- Is it that thing again?
- No, the round, you should have a round
biscuit cutter on your tray. - Oh, this thing.
- Mhmm, put the first one pretty close to the edge
and you wanna punch out four.
Position the first one sort of just close
to one corner instead of going right in the middle.
- Girl. - What's happening?
- I'm turning this out.
- I can't wait to see your biscuits!
- I know you're thinking drag queens,
we're only good at a few things.
- No, that's not-- - You know, like drinking
and taking Ubers, but [Carla laughs]
we're more layered than that.
- In my experience, the drag queens
are extremely resourceful.
- Eggs, well, hello.
- [Carla] All right, one, two, three, four,
and they all go side-by-side.
Is everybody cut out?
- Yeah, oh yeah.
- Okay. - Oh yeah.
- So next thing, we're gonna brush the tops of these.
There's a pastry brush and a little dish of cream.
Just brush the tops of your biscuits with cream.
- How much is too much?
- Just like a, you know, like a primer coat.
So now, little dish of the coarse ground sugar
and sprinkle that over the top.
- [laughs] I have a sold-out show
at Webster Hall tonight and it just occurred to me
that I'm spending the morning in drag
making biscuits. [both laugh]
Get a [bleep] life.
I don't know, it's just so, drag is so stupid.
You never know where you're gonna end up.
Okay, what's happening?
- Just sprinkling sugar on the tops of all of these.
I wanna hear from you - Isn't this sugar
in the raw? - Tomorrow, what was more fun?
Making biscuits or your sold-out show
at Webster Hall?
I have a feeling I know. [Trixie laughs]
- Who's the real mess though, be honest.
Who really, and this isn't against them,
but who really misunderstood the assignment?
- Shangela was the worst cook in America
and she made deep-fried churro donuts
and it was incredible.
- You should see her sew.
'Cause girl, it gets worse. [Carla laughs]
- All right, biscuits in the oven.
Do it, close it.
You have a timer, it's set to 20 minutes.
Hit start on that guy.
- You had Shangela and you had Cracker?
- I had Shangela and I had Cracker.
- I am the third drag queen.
- You are. - Okay.
- And you know-- - You know, Cracker's Jewish.
- We made latkes together.
- Aw, I love that. - So we got deep into Jewness.
- How delicious. - But I'm not Jewish,
I's just Jew-ish. [laughs]
- Carla, don't hurt yourself with the heavy lifting
with the comedy, please.
- Okay, we're just gonna cut the tops off
of these strawberries.
- Strawberries are my favorite fruit.
Get into this, my trainer told me
that his cheat food, sometimes
he craves grilled chicken breast.
- Oh, stop it.
- I was like, "Really?
"Sometimes I crave a hot can of wine."
[Carla laughs] So just so you know
where I'm at.
- So now, all your strawberries,
just scope them up, put them into the sauce pan.
And then we're gonna take the whole lemon.
So now, zest about half of your lemon
right over your strawberries.
- I've seen bartenders do this.
- See, talk to me in terms I know.
[Carla laughs] Relate it to the gay bar.
- Okay, now cut your lemon in half
and just set it aside, we're gonna
use the juice a little later.
And then you've got half of a vanilla bean.
We have to cut this in half, length-wise, you know?
And it's very thin, so you're just
gonna kind of slide the knife to bi-sect it
top to bottom.
- Oh my god, I did not know
this is what vanilla was.
- Yeah, you can just scrape that against the edge
of the pan.
- This is wild.
A little dish of sugar.
So there's sugar and there's salt.
The sugar is sugar, you can taste it to make sure.
'Cause we want all of the sugar, but we just
want a pinch of salt.
Okay, before we turn that on,
take a, let's take a peek.
It's been ten minutes on biscuits.
So I just want you to open up your oven
and, with a kitchen towel, pull the tray out
and just spin it around
so the guys who are in the back come up to the front.
And then grab a rubber spatula,
stir everything around, and then we're gonna get,
make sure your vanilla seeds went in with everybody else.
- [Trixie] They did, they look crazy.
- They did, oh, I lost a strawberry, okay.
The strawberries and the biscuits are gonna kinda
be done around the same time.
Okay, we gotta make whipped cream.
- Pour half of the cream into this bowl.
- How do I know what half is?
- Oh, we pour the whole thing?
Oh, we're pouring the whole thing.
Whole container of cream.
- The whole thing.
- Whole thing.
- Yeah, can I just get in the mirror really quick?
- Wait, what is happening?
- I was just checking the mirror.
[Carla laughs] - Little nose hair, too.
- I don't have a mirror.
- Well, I have unique challenges
that a woman-- [laughs]
- You got me, oh.
I'm wearin' the hair down today, okay, great.
All right, so pinch of salt, Trixie,
from that same salt bowl.
And then, we're gonna use powdered sugar to taste.
So start with a couple spoonfuls,
you should have spoons in you equipment caddy over there.
- You know, I was really against this apron,
but now that I'm doing this, I'm glad I wore one.
- Before we start whipping, I wanna turn,
let's turn this off.
Scrape the berries right into the empty bowl
on top of the ice.
- Oh, so you can cool it down quickly.
- [Carla] You gotta cool it down quickly
'cause, if we put this together with the hot berries,
it's just gonna turn into strawberry soup.
- [Trixie] And it's gonna congeal.
- Let's check our biscuits.
Okay, take a look at your bisc-ies, Trixie.
Mine look great, what are your,
tell me what yours--
[Trixie gasps] [glass clinking]
- Oh no. - The killer's
inside the house.
Yeah, they look good.
- Did you burn yourself?
- No, no, no.
- Are you sure? - Yeah.
- Oh my god I feel like Casey Becker in Scream.
- Tell me why. - You remember that?
She's in the kitchen and she's,
she's, let me reenact it for you,
this is my phone.
Yeah, I was about to watch a scary movie.
- Yeah, anyway, it's a great movie.
- They're good?
Okay, take the biscuits out.
- She's like, "You're done."
- So now our biscuits are waiting for us,
our strawberries are waiting for us,
and we just have to whip cream.
So you're gonna try to incorporate
as much air as possible.
So, instead of a whisking stirring,
it's like a whisking whipping.
You have longer arms!
- This is so exhausting.
I did something really similar to this
this morning before I got in drag.
- Is that right? [laughs]
Tell me when you're ready,
we're gonna finish our strawberries.
- No, I'm ready.
- Okay great.
All right, so just push that aside,
switch that out with the strawberry bowl
and then I want you to squeeze in one
of your lemon halves, squeeze that juice in.
- Into the-- - Into the strawberries.
Go ahead and grab the plate
and pick the prettiest biscuit.
- Oh, we're plating!
- And then you're gonna just slice that open,
you know, through the middle.
- Slice it down the middle?
- First thing is gonna be strawberries and,
not the whole bowl, but a nice amount
onto the bottom with as much strawberry juices as you want.
- I wanna get this runny stuff on it, right?
- Yeah, and then big dollop of whipped cream
on top of the berries.
And then we're gonna just--
- I can't believe I did this. - Set your top.
- I feel like I'm gonna start crying.
- I'm ready, are you ready?
- Ready, yes! - I'm ready.
Okay, three, two, one.
- Okay, mine's a little dark.
- You put your bottom half on the top.
- Oh I did?
- I mean-- - I mean, it looks
- It's inverted, it's amazing.
- We have been, okay, mine looks like
I read about it online and never saw a picture.
Cause look at the juice is better.
- Well, that's why I was saying,
"Put your, a little more juices."
- Yeah. - We're going
for James Beard, you know?
We can also turn her over, if you want to.
- You think?
- [Carla] Yeah, sure.
- Listen, I'm sure, listen.
- It's beautiful. - It's gonna taste fine.
- [Carla] It's perfect.
- I'm gonna say the same thing my mom said
every year on my birthday when she made me a cake.
I'm sure it'll taste fine.
- It's exactly right.
Amazing short cake. - I can't believe it.
- It's incredibly beautiful.
- Thank you.
- And I'm really excited. - Do you wanna try it?
- Yeah, let's switch. - Okay.
- And we didn't make soup.
Perfectly whipped whipped cream, by the way.
- I can't believe it.
- Mmm, hold on, oh that wasn't a real bite.
That was a baker. [laughs]
[Carla hums appreciatively]
- I can't believe we made this!
- Next time the tour bus comes through NYC,
- Yeah. - You wanna come back?
- Yes, we should do an episode on the bus. [laughs]
- I'm there.
- We could make it on the bus
and the bus could be moving. - Yes.
- And you could be like, "Trixie, how's your whipped cream?"
And I'll be like, "It's really good!"