THIS MONTH’S SWEET TALK talked to all of us! I have previously used gelatine powder in desserts with poor results. This time I bought the gelatine recommended by Sarah Tuck (Equagold Fine Leaf Gelatine Gold Grade). Wow, what an amazing product! We have had the espresso panna cottas (179:72) two weekends in a row and they were so good that we are considering adding them to our Christmas Day brunch menu. My three-year-old requested I make the salted caramel cheesecake bites (179:78) this weekend. They turned out really well, but she was only interested in eating the pretzels on the top! This afternoon we delivered bite-sized pieces to friends and family and everyone was super impressed. Next weekend my three-year-old has requested vanilla bean arancini with dark chocolate centres. I wonder if she will just lick the chocolate out... Catherine Wall, via email
Editor’s note: Great to know you are getting so much from Sarah Tuck’s wonderful recipes, Catherine. Keep us posted on the arancini. (Kelli Brett)
LIKE MANY OTHERS, I’m on the antisugar bandwagon. I have, however, struggled to match the visual appeal of cakes and sweets. Bravo, your November issue is full of mouth-watering savoury photos! Pizzettes, lettuce cups, asparagus tarts, paella, baked kahawai and, my personal favourite given my Samoan origins, Pacific pickled fish salad (179:62). Raw fish never looked so good! (Don’t tell Aunty.) Let the Christmas festivities begin in technicolour! Colin Tavui, Glen Eden
YOUR LATEST ISSUE arrived a week after my second child arrived. As I read through it in the wee hours while feeding, I was suddenly panic-stricken, remembering my invitation to host a pre-Christmas lunch in a few weeks. Cue flicking the pages a little further to discover Sarah Tuck’s stylish, low-stress Christmas tips, among others (179:42). Negroni cocktails and a platter of prosciutto and mozzarella, why didn’t I think of that! Happily on the way now, thank you Sarah and Cuisine! Sanity restored. Sleep, not so much... Kathryn Cunningham, Auckland
BRAVO ON THE “Waste Not” Christmas menu and ideas (179:96) The word leftover deserves to be rebranded, like your hash-over! (179:36). Bring on regulations to prevent supermarkets binning food. I learned in Japan to buy fresh frequently in small quantities, to prevent waste and maximise quality. I’m a Champagne girl on a beer budget, so it serves me well. As for eating the animal from nose to tail, unless it is a chocolate fish, I haven’t evolved so highly as yet! PS I wish I could pick the panna cotta baubles off the page and devour them. J Ross, West Auckland
READING THROUGH the latest issue, I was interested to see a recipe for tahini ice cream (179:88). Never seen that before! I don’t have an ice cream maker but the instructions were so straightforward that I decided to give it a go. And what a success! My husband, a savoury man, even had seconds. I just had to make it again when I had guests over for dinner, this time with the accompanying baklava. It went down a treat – I know what I’ll be doing for Christmas dessert! H.E. Hunt, via email
ALEXANDRA HU shared this moment of Mermaid checking out the panna cotta Christmas baubles on our cover.