Monday, August 29, 2011

Recap time for Sweet New Zealand #1

Recap time for the first edition of the blogging event Sweet New Zealand! Thank you to all the bloggers who took part this month, I hope that it was easy and straightforward (it seems like everybody managed to send links and photos ok, so I am quite relieved!). For those who are new to this event, Sweet New Zealand is open to all Kiwi bloggers, blogging here or overseas, and non-Kiwis living and blogging in NZ. Entries could be 'recycled' from old posts and to set the example I proposed something that I published back in June: Yogurt Cheesecake

Yogurt cheesecake, Alessandra Zecchini ©

I posted this cake because I loved how it came out, and I think that from now on most of my cheesecakes will be, in fact, yogurt cakes! Keeping in with the yogurt theme the second recipe is a Yogurt Soufflé Glacé from the blog Only Recipes. I like this recipe because the base is an Italian meringue (something not really done in New Zealand) but mostly because it is extremely rare that I post recipes taken from other blogs or books, and when I do I always have fun, especially when the recipes (like this one) are from lovely food blogs, in this case from la cucina di mamma loredana.

Yogurt Soufflé Glacé, Only Recipes © 

And from the Vegan blog a Vegan dessert: Agar Agar Mango Cubes. Now, it is nice to have more than one blog when there are events like these, also because I was a little worried that I wouldn't get enough entries (I was wrong), so I thought that at least I could raise the numbers!), and I also though that it would be nice to post a Vegan dessert, since there aren't so many around... wrong again! Read on and you will see why!

Agar Agar Mango Cubes, Vegan Blog ©

If you are really serious about your chocolate desserts there is something really really decadent for you here: Baileys Chocolate Truffle Cake from Auckland based blogger Mairi of Toast. I think that Mairi will make many women happy with this one, the 4 words' title contain all the right terms to make our feminine brain buzz: Mmmmh Baileys... Chocolate... Truffle... Cake... ! Mairi also takes some very funky photos which are a pleasure to look at, and I like the fact that she records her recipes step by step.  

Allison from Pease Pudding is, we could say, my neighbour, blogging from the West of Auckland where she also has a cooking school: The Gourmet Gannet (the Waitakere Slow Food group had a mozzarella making workshop there the other day). For Sweet New Zealand Allison proposed this skillful recipes for Tortas de Aceite, and you know what? This is also a Vegan recipe: no eggs and no dairy products: very Mediterranean and full of flavour. A recipe I would love to try in fact, since Torta de Aceite are very expensive to buy, so thank you for sharing this Alli! Also while I am at it I would like to remind all Kiwi blogger that Allison has set up the New Zealand Food Blogger Association, so Kiwi bloggers, please gather round and join in! The first NZFBA conference is planned for November this year.

Tortas de Aceite, Pease Pudding © 

Next entry is from Zo of Two Spoons, a Christchurch based student who is set to prove that good recipes don't need to cost lots of money, and she is doing it brilliantly, I think. Look at her Caramel Orange Cake. The base is what Zo describes as a sour cream cake (pointing out that you can use yogurt, great, I love yogurt!) and the 'glazing' is a caramel orange topping (please note that this is an up-side-down cake) which I am sure could be 'recycled' for a number of other different cakes just to give them a 'lift'! Well done Zo.

Caramel orange cake, Two Spoons © 

And here there is the first Kiwi blogging from overseas: Emma form my darling lemon thyme is originally from Raglan but lives in Australia. A trained chef who mostly worked in the pastry section of restaurants, Emma entered this delectable gluten free chocolate tofu peanut butter pie, and excuse me if I was stunned to find another Vegan dessert entry, and with tofu (I loooooove tofu). Emma's recipes always look very professional and beautifully photographed, and I always enjoying reading her. 

gluten free chocolate tofu peanut butter pie, my darling lemon thyme © 

Kristina form Plum Kitchen is proposing these very seasonal pumpkin and ginger cupcakes. If you know me you also know that I am very partial to cupcakes (ok, I admit that I belong to cupcakeolics anonymous), but hey, I was really happy to see a cupcake entry for Sweet New Zealand, and even more pleased to see a nicely presented one without shockingly bright colours. A classy cupcake Kristina, you have my thumb up!

Pumpkin and ginger cupcakes, Plum Kitchen ©

Indonesian born and Waikato based Arfi from Home MadeS is of the first blogger I got to know in New Zealand, I think a couple of years ago now, or more??? Do you remember Arfi? And then I met her in person, with Mairi and Alli, last summer. Arfi's posts are always beautiful, with amazing photos and stunning gluten free recipes, so much that even some of my Italian food blogger friends who write gluten free blogs know her! For Sweet New Zealand Arfi has entered these scrumptious gluten free chocolate biscuits and can I please make you notice that the proper name for her recipe is Gluten-Free Chocolate Biscuits with Three Chocolates, Fruit, and Nuts. Wow, I want one now!

Gluten Free Chocolate Biscuits, Home MadeS ©

New on the New Zealand Food Blogging scene is Lesley of Eat, etc..., so give her a round of paki paki (Maori for clap your hands)! Lesley blogs from Auckland and for Sweet New Zealand proposes these super cute little carrot cakes. Carrot cake is such a New Zealand classic and I love the variation of having little ones, individually decorated just like cupcakes. 

little carrot cakes, eat, etc... ©

Blogging from Wellington we have Mika of Milliemirepoix. Mika also has another blog, Gusty Gourmet, which I just discovered by doing this SNZ event, and a very useful discovery it is, to keep me updated with what is going on in the Wellington food scene. Mika's sweet contribution today is this pear, feijoa and ginger crostata, a rustic looking cake with a sugary crust. I love it and I am sure that it will win many more fans. 

Pear, feijoa and ginger crostata, Milliemirepoix ©

Another great entry from the Wellington area (Porirua) is from Jemma of Time for a Little Something. This recipe is pretty special, I think, because it makes use of a very New Zealand ingredient: the tamarillo. I never had tamarillo before coming to NZ, and I think that Jemma's Rhubarb and Tamarillo Bread and Butter Pudding is a perfect way of using this unique fruit. Thank you Jemma!

Rhubarb and Tamarillo Bread and Butter Pudding, Time for a Little Something  © 

The final entry is Vanille from @Down Under, I wasn't sure how to list the entries, so I uploaded them in chronological order, i.e. first received first published, and I was very happy when Vanille made it to the event by sending me her Kumquat Madeleines on Sunday night. Vanille is also one of the first NZ bloggers I got to know, albeit only virtually. She is from France (but lives in New Zealand) so her blog is in English and French, and her photos are always so beautiful and inspiring. I am also very fond of her paper crafts, which are super stylish!

Kumquat Madeleines, @Down Under ©

Stop press! I had to :-), just received this lovely entry from honorary Kiwi Barbara from Winos and Foodies. Barbara lives in Australia, but she has lived in New Zealand for 30 years, so I could I refuse a slice of Beetroot Cake? Thank you for taking part Barbara ;-).

Beetroot Cake, Winos and Foodies ©

Well, this was fun, I got to know more NZ bloggers and enjoyed their recipes. Thank you so much all for taking part in Sweet New Zealand, next appointment in September, our host will be Allison of Pease Pudding.


  1. Barbara, don't worry, I have just put you in :-).

  2. This is great Alessandra! I found two new NZ food bloggers to keep an eye on :)

  3. It is wonderful to see how the NZ food blog scene has grown. Back when I started I was a lone voice until arfi and Bron came along. Now there are so many new blogs to discover.

  4. Great round-up Alessandra :-) Looking forward to next month.

  5. CiaoAlessandra, che bello ricevere la tua visita, da un posto così lontano poi, sono davvero emozionata.
    Riguardo ai fajitas, visto che sei vegetariana, potresti sostituire il pollo con un hamburger di riso integale e lenticche oppure con un hamburger di fagioli e verdure.
    Se mi mandi la tua mail ti invio le ricette, peccato che non capisco una cippa di inglese, mi sarebbe piaciuto leggere i tuoi post.
    A presto.
    A presto.

  6. Alessandra all look amazing and delicious!! gloria

  7. ma è bellissima questa idea!
    mi piacciono molto le tue idee e ti ringrazio per gli spunti, adesso vado anche a curiosarmi un pochino i blog che hanno partecipato alla tua dolce raccolta, sono tutti molto ma molto invitanti!!!
    bravissima :)

  8. @ Riccioli, grazie per le idee, magari mi faccio un giro per il tuo blog e cerco gli hamburger di riso :-).

    @ Bibi, hai visto che ci sono tre dolci vegan :-).

  9. Aaaaaw yum! Now I'm really hungry.

  10. What a fantastic round up (+1 :)) so many delicious desserts to try! Very curious to try your yoghurt cheesecake!

  11. Thank you for taking part Mairi :-).

  12. Thanks Alessandra, some new blogs to read, & new recipes to try:)

  13. Scusami forse mi sono spiegata male, le idee che ti ho suggerito non ci sono nel mio blog, non li ho ancora pubblicate.

  14. @ Riccioli, non c'e' problema, tanto adesso ti seguo, mi bastano le idee per ora :-)


  15. Thanks for hosting, Alessandra, great round-up! Looking forward to some new blogs and new recipes to try :)

  16. Thanks for founding and hosting the event Alessandra, great to see so many took part.

  17. What a gorgeous lineup Alessandra! You had a great turnout! :D

  18. Wow Alessandra, this is such a fun event..everything looks and sounds so incredibly tasty!!!

  19. @ Lorraine and Alli, yes, I am very happy with the turnout :-). I think it is going to get bigger!

  20. Hi Allesandra! Wow... such a wonderful collection of sweets! Look like they are from gourmet cake shop!

  21. Ciao Nami, yes, seeing all the cakes and sweet things together makes quite an impression :-).

  22. Such a good turnout for round 1 of this event - thanks for organising, Alessandra! And I've found a couple of new-to-me blogs too. Lovely :)

  23. I look forward to see you at the next one, hosted by Pease Pudding, for info click here:



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