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New Zealand

We came across Cookies, a recipe book by Woman’s Weekly, in the local bookstore and bought the book to try out their recipe for Latte Squares. They turned out lovely, with a texture that is almost-crispy and almost-chewy at the same time. This is a biscuit that begs to be made in the shape of a medium-sized bear, so that is what we did.

A bottle or two of tangy beetroot is a very handy thing to have in the pantry when you need to conjure up salad in a hurry. This spicy beetroot salad, also known as pickled beetroot or even beetroot relish, is a favourite in both South-Africa and New Zealand.

Ouma Babsie, Marietjie’s grandmother, lived in Onseepkans in the Boesmanland in the North-Western Cape. Because their farm was on the banks of the Orange River it produced top-quality fruit, which Ouma Babsie bottled for the winter months. Her bottled quince left a lasting impression on Marietjie: slices of rosy pink quince preserved in heavy syrup was not something that was easy to come by for city dwellers.

A decent New Zealand blue cheese, such as Kapiti Kikorangi, lends itself to be served with decent crusty bread and oat biscuits, which is why we bake our own oatmeal biscuits. They go very well with blue cheese and aged cheddar, with the added bonus that they are healthier than the supermarket’s typical low-budget water cracker (more fibre, less salt and no palm oil).

These lovely biscuits, also known as Highlander biscuits, are great for a coffee-time nibble, and can be baked with or without chocolate chips. This traditional New Zealand recipe is similar to the South African version, the main difference being that New Zealand's condensed milk biscuits are made without egg.

This recipe was originally published in Divine Cupcakes: A Book of Temptation, by Tamara Jane and reproduced on this site with her kind permission.

Tamara decorates her cupcakes with chocolate filigree and tiny baked gingerbread hearts. Marietjie decorated hers with chocolate filigree hearts, as shown on the photo. You can also use crystallised ginger.

Chocolate hot cross buns, which are less spicy than normal hot cross buns, are popular in New Zealand. Although spice-free buns may be ideal for children that do not like spices and fruit, their flavour can be improved by adding just enough spice to compliment the chocolate, and this recipe does just that.

This recipe uses a bread maker.