Television issues/-/ Palm Monkey bread with Cream cheese custard

I think I have discovered the reason why I do not watch a lot of Television (Only show I have religiously sectioned out is for Revenge, it is a highlight of the week). I am not sure what the Northern hemisphere has on television but in Australia almost every new program is a reality show. We do have home grown, classics such as your hard hitting SBS/ABC programs and Australian dramas and comedies (Home and away, Kath and Kim). However Australia seems to lack the flare for developing new dramas, so what do we do when we need a new show? Reality TV, of course. Reality television is oxymoron in my books.

In particular I have issue with the cooking relativity television shows. I am going to completely blunt here; none of them are about cooking skills or expertise what so ever. I have never seen an episode were they have solely concentrated on the improvement of kitchen knife skills or baking/cooking technique. It is all about who hates who, who is crying over their burnt roast and the sad snob story the painted “heroes” have.

Basically reality television is cheap way of developing a short engaging drama series with the added bonuses to pay actors and writers.

I am ranting or whining about this because the New master chef series has stuck a cord with me. Before this commercial I actually respected the chefs and contestants of the show because I thought this was the one program that focused more on the cooking rather than drama between the contestants. Sadly, they have succumbed to pressure and I am deeply disappointed. The new series is “Master chef: Girls verses the Boys”; I don’t think I have to explain what is about with a title like that.

I never though the odd battle of sex’s debate would still work in today’s more “enlightened society”, I am sadly mistaken. The commercials not only play to the stereotypes of boys and girls (e.g. blue and pink teams) but they also are repressing a whole generation of women and men in the kitchen. Two statement that affected me the most were, “Men are the only one who should be chefs” and “Men should stick to the BBQ; the kitchen is a woman domain”.

OK, no this is plain wrong for so many reasons….As gender studies student, this makes me mad. What message are we sending our younger generations? Your gender does not matter and it should not restrict you from any career. So slap on the hand Master chef, you have reached a new low.

Enough with feminist rant, now on to something tastier. This is the first time I have heard of monkey bread, I am sure it because it is something more popular in Northern hemisphere than southern. Maybe will catch on soon but for now I can make copy cats. While normal bread recipe often make a larger serving I scaled this one down to serve two very hungry people. I made the bread part whole wheat because I prefer the flavour when it accompanies the sticky caramel surrounding each ball. Also I heard that you cannot serve monkey bread without a sticky sweet dip.

The custard is made from a base of cream cheese and palm sugar (I have recently go into try other sugar beside the normal brown and white). The subtle smokiness of palm sugar adds another dimension to the layers of caramel monkey bread is so famous for. Also this dough is quick, well quicker than my normal bread rolls. Tiny balls of caramelised bread with a creamy dip? Yep make these now.

Palm Monkey bread with Cream cheese custard

Two 15cm diameter Bundt pans

100g whole wheat bread flour

100g white bread flour

5g instant yeast

30g sugar

3g salt

20g butter, melted

80-90ml milk, warmed.

1tsp baking soda

Coating for bread

150g finely grated palm sugar

10g cinnamon ground

3g nutmeg ground

Mix the three ingredient together. Set aside

100g butter, melted.

Palm sugar cream Dip

100g cream cheese soften

160g pure cream

1 yolk


50g palm sugar

5ml vanilla extract

In a blender, process the cream, cheese and sugar. Whisk your yolk, egg and vanilla.

While having the motor running add the egg yolk and vanilla.

Transfer to a pot on low heat. While stirring constantly, keep stirring until it is thickened.

Pour to another other bowl and cover with cling film. Fridge until use.

For the bread

In large bowl combine all the ingredients. Knead for 5 minutes until a smooth ball forms.

In an oven place a bowl of recently boiled hot water. Place cover dough ball in an oiled bowl. Place in oven.

Allow to proof for maximum 40 minutes. Do not over proof as this can leave you with flat buns.

Punch down dough and divide it into 1.5cm balls. With each ball dip into melted butter and roll in sugar mix. Place in your greased Bundt pans. Cover and proof for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 185c.

Bake bread for 25 minutes. Alternatively, once they reach 185c on an internal thermometer they are ready.

Cool for 5 minutes then carefully turn it out. Serve with custard dip. Best on the day it is made.


  1. Looks Yummy!

  2. `i totally agree and don't even own a TV. And I like Revenge as well, hahaha. I also like this custard.

    1. Thank you Marta. I am addicted to revenage. The custard is great as a dipping sauce for fruit too.

  3. That statement makes me so angry!

    But this, this monkey bread - it's my heaven!

    1. I know right!? I found it an outrage. Give them go Chung, There will be no more fights on sharing bread any more! thanks for commenting

  4. I watch Revenge religiously - no shame! This monkey bread... dear lord, I need!

    1. Thanks Ashley, I only discovered monkey bread recently and now I have lot of eating to catch up on lost time!