Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year (of the Horse) and Sweet New Zealand #30 Recap

Happy Chinese New Year!

I am starting the Year of the (wooden) Horse with the recap of the 30th edition of Sweet New Zealand, so I hope that all these sweet treats will bring me good luck! January has been busy with lots of work but also travel, and holiday, and the this blog has been busy too: last week it reached for the first time 100,000 page views in a month, I don't know if this will keep on, but as I am writing I am now at around 117,000 page views and for this I have to thank a few referrals, like Pinterest (Alli, I remember you saying something about this a while ago), a raw and vegan website (I knew that juicing was good!), but mostly Google (.com, ,nz, .uk, .au…).

Anyway, after a bit of self-promotion I am ready to start with the recap, posting all the entries in chronological order (received date).

The first entry is A New Years Trifle of Gingerbread & Nectarine by Alli Pirrie-Mawer at Pease Pudding. This was Alli's New Years Eve dessert, composed of Gingerbread Sponge, Creme Anglaise, Poached Nectarines, whipped cream and crystalized ginger for decoration. And what about the presentation! Alli, I think that the photo is so good that it will earn me a few pins :-)

The second entry is from Carmella at Easy Food Hacks who confesses her craze for salted caramel goodies and proposes this (almost) Fool-proof salted caramel sauce. The 'almost' word is in her title, not my interpretation. The recipe has step by step photos and instructions and seems pretty fool-proof to me!

Then I had a entry: Ricotta Cheesecake with Rum and Raisins, I prefer ricotta cakes to regular cheesecakes as they are lighter, and possibly because I am Italian and ricotta, rather than cream cheese, is in my DNA. Good excuse eh!

Then I got in my inbox a Chocolate Mousse from Marnelli at Sweets and Brains, and kind of wished that Sweet New Zealand wasn't just a virtual thing… I mean, don't you just want to dip your spoon into the computer screen when seeing this one! Decadent as!!

And what about these melt-in-the mouth gorgeous Orange blossom & pistachio shortbread crescents from Lesley at eat, etc. Lesley says that they could easily be her favourite biscuits with their "oh-so-delicate flavour and texture and crunchy bites of nuttiness", and I believe every word of it: they sound truly delicious.

Last month's host for Sweet New Zealand, Alice from Alice in Bakingland, is back in style with another stunning dessert: Grown Up Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake. I guess that this is grown-ups only because it contains alcohol, but Alice also believe that ice-cream cakes should be  adults' desserts, and if they are as pretty as this I can only agree. 

Next up is Sue from Couscous & Consciousness with these delightfully pretty Tea Cup Steamed Ginger Coconut Cakes using a Donna Hay's recipe and her Mum's demitasse cups. The cakes are steamed, not baked, and Sue appreciated not having to turn the oven on during this hot summer. I agree, plus steam pudding are so delicious!.

I managed to put another entry in, from my Only Recipes' Blog, something to think about before the first feijoas come in: Feijoa zest agar agar jelly

Last but not least (and I hope I didn't forget anyone now!) is our queen of raw desserts, Frances from the Bake Club (you should sub this also as the 'unbake' club!) with this Raw vegan chocolate brownie. Frances says that this is a recipe by Gabriel Power from which she found in Harvest Wholefood newsletter, and that it is really rich. Need to say more? Yum!

Well, that's all folks, thank you for entering! As I didn't get any volunteer for February I will host Sweet New Zealand again next month, please let me know if you can do March (or April or any other month!).
Thank you and, once again, Happy Year of the Horse!

Making Chinese New Year Cards

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