Home' Greymouth Star : December 23rd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, December 23, 2015
ave you tried coconut water?
It is the latest drink that
you should be drinking. It
is the hot new drink. Well
you cannot really call it a
new drink because it has been around since
Adam. He would have opened a coconut
when he was thirsty.
Coconut water is being packaged and
hyped as ‘lowers blood pressure levels’,
‘ burns off fat ’, ‘wonderful hydration’, ‘high in
potassium’, ‘hangover cure’.
One extraordinary quality that this
drink has, besides being in its own sterile
packaging, is that its electrolytes are
similar to our blood and it can be used as a
temporary blood transfusion.
Coconut water is one in the huge range of
non-alcohol drinks that you will depend on
this summer for maintaining your essential
Water is still consumed the most and yes, it
is free and hygienic. We New Zealanders do
not need to buy much bottled water — only
14 litres per person/year compared with
the Aussies at 44 litres and the Brits at 60
There are many brands available here, yet
70% comes from one source, The Blue Spring
in the Kaimai Ranges.
You drink half a litre a day of soft drinks,
juices etc spending $1.2 billion a year. These
are evolving a long way from the days of
Raro and Just Juice to boutique concoctions
like Six Barrel Soda Co in Wellington with
all natural Grapefruit and Hops, Rhubarb
and Juniper, Pinot Noir, Sarsaparilla, Celery
You can get a mixed case delivered — check
Drinks make good last-minute Christmas
or New Year presents. Premium spirits
are always appreciated. A single malt for
a whisky drinker, a Cognac for a brandy
person, an mature Anjero rum for a rum
Champagne for the bubbly friend. Lanson
and Lanvin are the best French deals.
Akarua, Nautilus or Pelorus are good local
For the massive range of wines, quality is
closely dependent on price. The best present
for a serious wine drinker, or someone who
is saying they want to get serious, is Michael
Cooper’s Buyers Guide to New Zealand
Wines 2016 — $40 and they can use it all
For the beer drinker the book is Brewed:
A Guide to the Craft Beer of New Zealand
by Jules van Cruysen, which reviews all the
breweries and their beers. You could buy
a gift pack of beers from www.beergeek.
co.nz , www.beercellar.co.nz or www.
The Sparkler — Rub a sugar cube into the
skin of an orange to get some zest and drop
it into a tall cold flute glass, add two drops
of Angostura Bitters, a nip of brandy and
fill with cold Brancott Estate Brut Cuvee or
“ Wine can clear the vapours of despair and
make us light as air.” — John Gay, 1722
ven family and friends
who have dieted all
year can be tempted
with decadent desserts
during the festive
season. And the best
desserts to concentrate
on are those that can be prepared in
Tr i fl e is one such delight.
In the time of Queen Elizabeth I, a trifle
was a simple combination of cream and
rosewater, flavoured with ginger and sugar,
a light frothy dessert, closer to a syllabub
(cream whipped with fruit juice and
liqueur) than today ’s trifle. By the middle
of the 18th century, trifles included ratafia
(almond-flavored biscuits) or macaroons
soaked in sweet wine, covered with
custard and topped with whipped cream.
Later trifles were decorated with glace
angelica and cherries. Now fresh fruit is a
more important component.
Cheesecakes are a Christmas godsend
because most can be frozen for up to three
months. However, those containing fresh
fruit may thaw unevenly. Cheesecakes
can also be cut into ser ving-sized pieces
Meringues are another of my ‘must
haves’ during summer. Sandwich together
with whipped cream and crushed berries
and pile high on the platter. Serve
drizzled with Christmas mincemeat sauce.
Or combine with berries and cream to
make an Eton Mess.
Whatever your festive dessert of
choice, fruit is a must on the menu.
Take advantage of summer’s luscious
flavours and ser ve layers of strawberries,
blueberries and raspberries in a tall
glass bowl. Or green kiwifruit and red
strawberries for a festive look.
Black forest trifle
icing sugar to taste, optional
175g plain chocolate sponge
1⁄3 cup kirsch
1 cup chocolate custard or chocolate
700g jar morello cherries, drained
small mint sprigs to garnish
Beat the cream, until thick. Sweeten
with icing sugar, if preferred. Cut the
sponge into thin wedges or 3cm cubes
depending on the type of serving dish you
Arrange 1⁄2 of the sponge in the base of
the ser ving dish. Drizzle with half the
kirsch. Spoon half of the custard on top.
Then add a generous layer of cherries.
Top with 1⁄2 the cream. Repeat the layers
reser ving a few cherries for the top.
Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Ser ve garnished with the mint. Serves 6.
This Christmas pudding-like sauce is
great poured over ice cream, cheesecake or
11⁄2 cups fruit mincemeat
1⁄4-1⁄3 cup pineapple juice
3-4 tablespoons brandy or orange
Combine the mincemeat and pineapple
juice and bring to the boil. Add more
juice if too thick to pour. Add the brandy
or liqueur and serve immediately. Ser ves
French meringue case
If prepared ahead, store in an airtight
container in a cool place. For a step-by-
step diagram go to: www.janbilton.co.nz/
2 cups sugar
1⁄4 cup water
6 egg whites
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
8-9 cups fresh berries
Combine sugar and water in a heavy
saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring
gently to dissolve the sugar. Boil the
syrup until it reaches the soft-ball stage
(115degC), about 25 minutes. Remove
from the heat quickly if the syrup starts to
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat
the egg whites until foamy. Add the salt
and beat until stiff peaks form.
When the syrup has reached the soft-
ball stage, turn the electric mixer to top
speed. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the
egg whites in a thin, steady stream. When
all the syrup has been incorporated,
reduce to medium speed. Beat for 10
minutes until the mixture is cold.
Reser ve 3⁄4 of a cup of the meringue
Preheat the oven to 80degC. To make
meringue case, draw 12 equal circles about
17cm in diameter on two oven trays lined
with baking paper.
Place the meringue into a large piping
bag. Using a plain nozzle, pipe a solid
base for the meringue case by making a
circle and then filling it in with concentric
circles. Pipe single circles on the other
marked places. If the trays are not large
enough to hold all circles, pipe some
double layers of meringue.
Bake for about 2 hours until the circles
have dried out and are crisp. Keep the
reser ved mixture in a cool place — this
will cement the circles together to make
Place the baked circles on top of
the solid base, using a little uncooked
meringue to help them stick in place.
Cover the inside with meringue. Bake
again at a similar temperature for another
2 hours. Cool, before filling with berries.
To ser ve the cake, prise off each circle,
one per person. Cut double ones in half.
Gluten-free pecan pie
250g gluten-free gingernuts
75g butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup golden syrup
75g butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
11⁄2 cups (130g) pecans, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
750g cream cheese
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 large eggs
1⁄2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180degC.
Lightly grease a 23cm springform cake
pan. Line the base with baking paper.
Wrap foil around the outside and base of
To make the crust, crush the biscuits
finely and combine with the butter. Press
onto the base and sides of the cake pan
bringing the crumbs about 3cm up the
sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool.
To make the pecan base, combine all
the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to
the boil and simmer, stirring often, until
thick. Cool. Pour onto the base.
Reduce the oven to 160degC.
Using an electric beater, whip the cream
cheese until smooth. Add the brown sugar
and cornflour. Beat until smooth. Add the
eggs one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Beat in the cream and vanilla
essence. Pour over the pecan mixture.
Bake for 1 hour or until the sides are
set but the centre is still a little wobbly.
Remove from the oven, cover loosely with
foil, and cool on a wooden board.
Chill for 12 hours before ser ving. Ser ves
Black forest trifle
desserts Get juiced up for Christmas
Simply Squeezed Feijoa Frenzy Smoothie — Dense
lemon colour, thickly textured drink with the lovely
sharp feijoa taste we loves as the label states “one day
the world will recognise the glory of feijoa, until then,
they’re all ours”. 800ml. $4.20-$5.
Red white choice
Akarua Rua 2014 — A fine example
of Central Otago pinot at a great price.
Sweet fruit flavours of berries, strawberries,
cherries balanced with light tannins and
minerality that last long on your palate.
White wine choice
Vidal Reser ve Chardonnay 2014 — Pale gold
glints of Hawke’s Bay sunshine in the colour,
peachy liquorice aromas lead you into the full
frontal taste of ripe peaches and apricots with a
slight spicy creaminess and light acidity. Drink
now till 2018. Dry. $14-$19
Epic Pale Ale — Not very pale in colour,
rather dark gold. The aromas are well
balanced between citrus and herbs. The
flavour is rich sweet malt and quite hoppy,
as you would expect from a beer boasting 23
hop flowers in each bottle. 5 .4%. 500ml. $6.
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