Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recap for Sweet New Zealand #14

Welcome to the recap of Sweet New Zealand #14, the monthly blogging event where you don’t win anything!

Hahaha sorry I couldn’t help myself, after seeing those “Money is bad” and “Money is good” posters and ads around I was just looking for an excuse to talk about them!

Anyway, enough about strange advertising, and without further ado here is the recap for September.

The entries are in chronological order, if I forgot anyone please let me know, and for future reference I would like to remind you that the only rule of Sweet NZ is that the logo and name of the host are to be added to the post (even if the post is old) otherwise the game is not fair.

For my experience Sweet New Zealand always starts slowly, and then on the last two days it becomes an “open fire!” of last minutes entries! Future hosts, please remember this and don’t panic if by mid-month you are a bit low, entries will come later, and we all lead a busy life (or at least, I do!).

Still, being the host myself I thought of giving the good example starting off with an entry for the blog Only Recipes. It is a spoon dessert made with Fresh As strawberry powder and egg whites (after a first experiment I found egg yolk to be a bit too yellow and alter the pink colour that I wanted for this pudding). Here it is, Fresh As strawberry pudding.

Second entry is from Allison from Pease PuddingBrown Sugar Shortbread with Salted Caramel. The entry comes with a post (and amazing photos) about Rarotonga, and I was really impressed that Allie actually baked these little gems there instead of just sunbathing on that hammock. Here are her words:

“…It was an interesting exercise baking a batch of cookies and caramel at the tropical beach hut with limited equipment…”

To add, in case some of you don’t know Allison yet, she is the initiator of the NZ Food Bloggers Association, and one of the organizers of last month’s wonderful food bloggers conference in Wellington.

Next on is Lucy, our Kitchen Maid, who re-proposes a new and improved take on a classic Macaroon Slice. My husband would love this one, he is not impressed by the fancy petit and mignon French macarons, for him a macaroon is something like what Lucy’s makes, and describes as “…chewy, coconutty and you can whip it up in one bowl…” sort of slice. I must add that the “in one bowl” bit is always a winner with me (I really dislike washing up, did I ever tell that?).

Then there is from Arfi of HomeMadeS, and for the joy of all of you who are coeliacs/celiacs, it is PennyLane Brownie Cookies, a gluten-free version.

This is my sort of cookie, and even if I am not a cookie and milk person (I prefer cookies and coffee, or even cookies and tea!) I love this picture with a glass of milk so much! Maybe I should add that Arfi is also a very talented photographer!

Another gluten free whizz, Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme, proposes
Strawberry Almond Cakes (gluten free and dairy free!).
Emma is our Kiwi blogger/chef living in Australia, so she gets strawberries before most of us in NZ (decent strawberries, I mean, I needed some for work at the beginning of the month, and I did find them in the shops, but it took me half an hour to sort out the photogenic ones!). Don’t apologize Emma, we will get ours soon and we will be able to make your recipe… is the mangos that I am mostly envious of!

(PS, Emma gave me two photos, and I couldn't choose....)

New to Sweet New Zealand is Julie from Domestic Executive,
with Lemon and ginger cheesecake cupcakes. I was so impressed with Julie taking part with a sweet treat that looks scrummy but actually follows her new eating regime (wheat free, low fat and only natural sugars). Welcome Julie, I look forward to see what else you will be able to whip up, since you have the skills!

Sweet Arfi sent a second entry, Gluten-Free WholeTangelo Almond Loaf. This looks so good and so my sort of cake (probably being Italian I am a big fan of almonds and citrus…), but what I like most about this is that the fruit comes from her tangelo tree. The few citrus plants that I have in my gardens are in pots and will never produce a harvest big enough to show off, but still, I am always proud and thankful even for a few lemons, and I leave off the enthusiasm of other gardeners and relish in their crops, even if only virtually!

Mel is back blogging from her Treehouse Kitchen, and I asked her to share this mango pudding. She didn’t make it, the recipe came from her friend Char, but Mel describes it as “Creamy, rich and so mangoey, for lack of a better adjective!” and we have a photo of it! Mel apologizes for the lighting, but hey, I think it is great that she even managed to take photos during a dinner party (have a look at the rest of them). Usually I am so busy chatting that I remember when the last forkful is left on the plate.

Now here is my entry from this very blog, Vegan Chocolate Brownies. A double recipe really, as it starts with a vegan ‘nutella’, that then can be transformed into brownies for the sole reason of not ending up, spoon by spoon, all in my belly. 

And another one from me from the Vegan Blog. Yes another Vegan treat, but super easy and uncomplicated, Mandarin chocolates made with Fresh As dried mandarins. The result is quite sophisticated really, one of those recipes where the only thing that counts is the quality of the ingredients: the fruit, and good dark chocolate.

Three chocolate entries one after the other (must be that time of the month?).  Here is Bridget from After Taste with Self-Saucing Chocolate Puddings. Bridget, first of all you are not alone liking cold desserts (not sure about the other leftovers though…). Second, happy first blog birthday, and finally, these puddings looks super chocolaty and yummy!

Frances from the Bake Club breaks the chocolate cycle with Honey semifreddo, a recipe from Nigella but with pistachio instead of roasted pine nuts. Once again, being Italian I am a fan of semifreddo, one of the best and easiest way to make an ice cream at home. I also need to add, for the gluten free gals, that this is gluten free too!

Jemma from Time for a Little Something proposes an Unusual Orange Cake (her words, not mine!) in a post rich with memories and beautiful images. The image of the cake is really stunning too, don't you think?
For the “unusual” adjective… adding the whole orange seems fine to me, but for the warm water and baking soda I cannot comment, as I don’t use baking soda in baking. Anyone with some intelligence about this?

Last but not least is Sue from Couscous and Consciousness, a late entry maybe, but quite well timed too so that I can introduce her properly as the host for the next Sweet New Zealand (October 2012).

This month Sue proposes an Upside-down pineapple and kawakawa cake, made with the kawakawa tea we received at the food bloggers conference. And as a bonus you can also read about day one of the conference in the same post!
Thank you Sue and have fun with hosting Sweet New Zealand #15!

 But hey, wait, just as I am writing this here arrives Lesley from Eat etc.

(what did I tell you about “open fire”?). But a welcome pretty and Spring like entry this is: Very berry Belgian biscuits! And I see a classy use for the Fresh As blackcurrant powder. Thank you for the entry Lesley, and for the lovely photo too!

And now all off to visit each others and acknowledge (and compliment) your creations! And remember to keep your eyes peeled for when Sue will announce the next Sweet New Zealand!



  1. What a batch of good-looking goodies!

  2. Awesome selection of treats this month! Thanks for hosting xx

  3. P.S I wont tell you how many flowers are on our mango trees this year ;-)

    1. Happy for you, one day I will manage to visit Australia in full mango season!

  4. Ohh posso solo dire adesso.. che ho immensamente fame!!! Che squisitezze! Una dopo l'altra lasciano a bocca aperta!! Una meraviglia Ale!! Bacioni grandi grandi!!

  5. Wow, there are some really pretty things there. I especially love the sound of Julie's cupcakes... If they're low fat and low sugar does that mean we can eat more of them?

  6. Great round up of all those fabulous sweet treats. A real range of fruity, chocolatey and gooey delights.

  7. A lot of good and inspiring sweets ! Despite your reminder, I'm sorry I missed it this time, but will do my best not to forget for the next round.
    PS: I agree about these odd ads...

  8. Ma che stupenda questa selezione! E che immagini, si mangia tutto con gli occhi! Un bacione e buona settimana

  9. Great round up Alessandra, I've caught up with all those i have missed through the month.

  10. Amazing round-up Alessandra - I love your sense of humour - you really do make me smile. So many great recipes this month - I want to try everything and I can't wait to check them all out. I'm so thrilled to be hosting again this month, and my post is now up and I'm ready for entries:

    I'm with you on the money ads. I've only seen the Money is Bad TV ad - haven't seen any posters - but I don't get it!!

    Sue xo

    1. Thank you Sue, updated the logo and everything. Happy hosting!

  11. I know, I have to stop looking at them...

  12. A whole lot more inspiration! Love the way you've put all the images together at the top of your post - who could resist reading? Sorry I didn't join you this month despite your kind encouragement. Do pop over to see me anyway, and I hope to have a go next month.


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