PASTA PER­FEC­TION

BEST DESSERT – OF NEW ZEALAND’S MEET THE CRE­ATOR WERE WITH LE­MON BLANCMANGE WHOSE CHOUX PUFFS VOTED YOUR FAVOURITE

Food - - Contents -

Savour the flavour with our tweaks on this Ital­ian favourite

As dessert queens go, they don’t come more hum­ble than Ma­ri­etjie Swart. The pas­sion­ate home­cook was over­whelmed when told her de­li­cious le­mon pud­ding had re­ceived hun­dreds of votes to be named the over­all win­ner in our search for New Zealand’s Best Dessert. In­deed, rather than talk­ing up her cre­ation, she prefers to heap praise on the other fi­nal­ists.

“The desserts were all so de­li­cious and looked so won­der­ful,” ex­claims the mum-of-one. “I don’t know why so many peo­ple voted for mine – maybe, like us, they love lemons and choux. Maybe they like the tex­tu­ral dif­fer­ence between the crispy puff and the smooth fill­ing. Per­haps the colours spoke to them as the le­mon yel­low lifts the spir­its on a cold and gloomy day!”

Ma­ri­etjie is very much in tune with the power of food on the senses – how it raises mem­o­ries, cre­ates ex­pe­ri­ences and spreads hap­pi­ness.

De­scended from a long line of tal­ented cooks, her child­hood rec­ol­lec­tions are rich with the taste of her grand­mother’s vine­gar pud­ding and the aroma of her mum’s gin­ger­nuts. When she moved to New Zealand from her na­tive South Africa 15 years ago, it was through cook­ing and shar­ing food that the 52-year-old quickly be­came in­te­grated into the com­mu­nity. And it’s while bak­ing desserts that Ma­ri­etjie gets to

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