Friday, 26 October 2012

Chocolate + Raspberry = Combined Romance.

The amalgamation of these two extraordinary foods somehow manages to combine both sensuality and purity into one exquisite love affair. With my busy schedule recently, I have had limited opportunity to create my own edible treats. So I thought I would share with you a few clever people that have fused these ingredients together to create their own culinary treasures.

Introducing...White Raspberry

In following from the tart event…the combination of White Chocolate and Raspberry landed in my letterbox in large bar form wrapped in gold foil by our beloved friends Brian and Andrew. In collaboration with a bunch of talented entrepreneurial school girls the Whittaker brothers skillfully crafted a block of White Raspberry goodness for the best possible cause. Comparable to the role of a bra, to show their support for the breasts of kiwi women they are gifting 20 cents from every bar sold to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

All for a good cause.

The blend of tangy freeze-dried raspberry pieces, tiny flecks of raspberry powder encased in a bed of smooth ivory create a truly wonderful sense of pleasure! After some vigorous taste-testing and collaboration my bosom buddy’s and I determined the chocolate a touch salty, and hugely addictive. To add to their accolade of ‘greatness’ Whittakers have also managed to capture a few moments of the culinary queen Nigella Lawson on their latest infomercial. (If you haven't seen it yet, you will no doubt spot it soon) An admirable achievement and exceptional marketing triumph. Although I must admit their newly popular Peanut Butter Chocolate could do with a switch from smooth to crunchy. Just saying.

Worth the drive north.

On a recent adventure north of the big city, the Matakana Village Farmers Market tempted us with these luxurious and extravagant Raspberry Swiss Style Mellowpuffs. Homemade marshmallow is something of a delight and if you have never attempted it I recommend that you do. This giant handcrafted treat was light, fluffy and mourish and the Espresso & Cinnamon version is first on my list to sample upon my return.  

Pure pink treats.

I suppose we have established that while Chocolate adds the sensuality and romance; Raspberry has the purity and freshness covered. Its radiant pink hue and tiny nobbly segments morph into one delightful and slightly seedy berry. They scream lip-smacking summer and quite frankly they scream it from the rooftops. A belated search to provide my brother with a sweet birthday treat, lead me to purchasing these rich chocolate raspberry baby morsels from the artisanal works of The Caker.

Baby Cakes.

The most recent birthday celebration called for a special cake, for a very special girl. After experiencing great things, I knew exactly the lady to call to create something worthy of the occasion. Despite usually requiring at least 3 days notice, this talented and passionate baker whipped us up a wholesome, specialty masterpiece in a matter of hours. The Caker aka. Jordan Rondel crafts her treats in the kitchen behind ‘eightthirty’ a quaint wee cafĂ© at the start of K’ Rd.

Devilishy great.

After seeking advice from the expert herself, the Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake w. Silky Ganache and the addition of raspberries was a truly delectable and sinfully fabulous option. The 70% dark chocolate lead to 200% pleasure. Sprinkled with fuschia pink raspberry powder and finished with toffee crisps, it was a taste sensation that you MUST experience. Jordan whips up other flavours such as Chai Latte Cake w. Condensed Milk Icing, Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake w. Coconut Vanilla Bean Icing and wait for it…Nutella Banana Cake w. More Nutella and Crunchy Banana Crumbs. Time to wipe the saliva from your chin and check out her website. Or better yet, head down to eightthirty treat yourself to a coffee and sample a slice of heaven.

Whatever your motive or rationale to indulge in these treats, with a marriage of flavours like this, you would be crazy to refrain from doing so.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Vanishing Morsels...

Almost one month on, the few scraps of ‘White Chocolate Shrewsburys’ remaining in the freezer remind me of the night that came and one could say - vanished.

c/o Cam Neate

Apparently my passion/interest for food is in no way sub rosa, which I am totally ok with. If there’s good food to be shared/experienced/celebrated then you’ll be sure to hear about it from me. But this time a little birdy managed to present me with an offer, like most culinary adventures, that I just couldn’t refuse.

A sophisticated and successful fashion PR company by the name of          P U B L I C  L I B R A R Y exists in the depths of a certain Black Box. Housing brands such as Ksubi, Nathan Smith and Vanishing Elephant. Three enchanting ladies are hard at work behind white slat doors providing the New Zealand fashion scene with highly acclaimed international pieces.

To top the crostini...
The opportunity to feed a room full of well-dressed fashionistas set off an emulsion of nerves, anxiety and delight in my cuisine-consumed brain.  The menu was to be inspired by the upcoming collection of Vanishing Elephant Womenswear. Full of red and white polka dot blouses, mustard yellows, maroons, forest greens and a pair of floral chinos that you would only dream about.

Being true to my over-indulging self I opted for five items instead of the planned three. My conscience informed me that filling 80 mouths would be an amicable task. So as a catering novice I decided to call upon a combination of holistic and authentic motherly reinforcement.

Complete with sock trees and a very impressive box of fluorescent light, the evening was the perfect combination of drinking, nibbling, chatting, examining and most of all acknowledging the handiwork of three very talented male designers. The food slotted into the puzzle quite nicely. But was not without drama. An i-phone taking a joy-ride on the car roof, the open or closed sandwich debate and how many loaded platters can two girls squeeze into one automobile?

c/o Cam Neate

Ok enough chit-chat onto the good stuff. Mini pigs in blanket: cheerios + pastry, dunked in mustard and tomato sauce. Un-surprisingly these babies were wolfed down by the hungry hoards. Crostini were rather a hit too, the air-cured beef providing the perfect maroon hue alongside a dash of forest green pesto and snowy white goats cheese.

Case closed

To keep the vego’s fed I went for petite curried egg sandwiches combined with garlic aioli and fresh parsley. Next were mini pumpkin fritters finished with goats feta and a dollop of basil pesto. Both were tastefully devoured! To finish I opted for a tart and a pretty cute tart at that. Mini triangle white chocolate pastry cases, filled with an explosion of raspberry and topped with striped and spotted white-chocolate accents. In the words of Colin Mathura Jeffree “they’re like white chocolate shrewsburys!” One would assume that his latter post via social media suggested these little guys made quite an impression on the man. "damnit.....I want MORE."


A huge thanks to a certain gem and her team at P U B L I C  L I B R A R Y, for the opportunity to create and share my passion to fill plates, tingle tastebuds and satisfy stomachs. Such fun! x 

Check more of the action here. Or simply watch this.