Special occasion dessert competition finalists
Bite readers don’t need asking twice when it comes to dessert. We were overwhelmed (and very, very tempted) by the number of luscious recipes submitted in our latest reader competition for your best special occasion dessert.
More recipes were submitted for trifle and tiramisu than any other sweet treat, followed by cheesecake and chocolate desserts.
Our winner, Bradley Spratt, created his tiramisu to showcase Nelson nectarines and riesling dessert wine. It is an outstanding combination.
Bradley wins a trip for two to Nelson including flights, rental car, accommodation at Grand Mercure Monaco and two nights at Mohua Motel in Takaka, day trips to the Abel Tasman National Park and Farewell Spit, lunch at Mahana Cellar Door Kitchen, $100 dining voucher at Petite Fleur at Seifried Estate and entry to the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle exhibition.
You can see his winning tiramisu here, along with the impressive entries from our two runners-up, a vegan and cane sugar-free raw mango and passionfruit summer celebration cake from Lauren Glucina and a gluten-free persian love cake, a recipe adapted by Emma Oakman.
For even more head to the full collection of entries for our special occasion desserts competition.
Winner: Nectarine, sweet riesling and white chocolate tiramisu
Bradley's winning tiramisu is a tempting marriage of poached nectarines, late-harvest riesling and sponge fingers (savoiardi biscuits) layered with an egg yolk, mascarpone and cream filling and a sumptuous egg white, mascarpone and grated white chocolate topping.
Runner-up: Raw mango and passionfruit summer celebration cake
Lauren Glucina runs her own website ascensionkitchen.com where she shares plant-based whole foods recipes. A trained raw foods chef and educator and student of natural medicine, the judges said her recipes are well thought out and very good. Lauren supplied the beautifully shot image above for her raw mango and passionfruit summer celebration cake.
Runner-up: Persian love cake
Emma Oakman adapted her persian love cake from a recipe by Gerard Yaxley of Qöm Restaurant, Australia (now closed). A real crowd pleaser, it's quite light for the end of a meal and it’s gluten free. The judges said it was full of interesting flavours. Nice enough for special occasions, simple enough for day-to-day.
A few cheesecakes to share
- Try this traditional Swabian cheesecake from Germany's south west (pictured above). ArminA writes: "This recipe we took from Germany from our granny to New Zealand. The cake has been always made on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and family birthdays."
- Redarm's chocolate mousse cheesecake has a raw food base, is simple to make yet is still impressive - the result of combining several other recipes to produce a gluten-free dessert that ticks all the boxes.
- jengle23A has been making this strawberry cream pie for 40 years and friends still rave about it.
- Attention all Ferrero Rocher fans, this one is for you! Raymund created this beauty (below) that he says has been one of the most popular recipes on his Ang Sarap blog. He says: "My speciality when it comes to dessert are no bake cheesecakes. Since I learned how to make them I try to create a new flavour when there are potlucks within families and friends."
Berries are always winners
- The crisp light filo shell for this attractive berry and custard filo pastry pie (above) can be made ahead of time and any type of berry used for the topping.
- Helen Young says her berry custard dessert is very flexible and can be served in different ways, either in one baking dish or, for special occasions, in individual ramekins with flaked, toasted almonds on top and a quenelle of honeycomb vanilla ice cream (homemade hokey pokey stirred into bought icecream). Either way, the berries are scattered on the bottom of the dish and the fluffy custard poured over before baking.
- Want chocolate with your berries? Try Hannah's berry delicious choco-tart (below) which she says is incredibly easy to make but which always looks like it has taken some time to prepare. In winter she replaces the fresh berries with a couli made from frozen ones. The topping is mascarpone, cream and vanilla.
- Owen Jennings uses a smoothie mix of berries (but says you can substitute with sliced peaches, mandarin segments etc) in this show-stopper Fruity baked alaska (below) A sponge or blueberry loaf is hollowed out, filled with icecream, covered with fruit and then topped with a generous coating of a meringue mix before being grilled. "It's surprisingly easy and fun to make. Make sure you flambe it at the table - it adds a unique taste and all ages love it," Owen says.
You love your icecream, too. Try these
- nbenington uses gingernut bscuits and fresh and crystallised ginger to add texture and zingy flavour to a creamy and not icy icecream that doesn’t require an icecream machine.
- Naine's lemon delicious icecream uses a bought vanilla one into which she stirs lemon honey. It's served with homemade chocolate macadamia biscuits and maple caramel sauce.
Alissa Reid says she "normally loathes trifles being the sort of person who hates custard and fruit and soggy spongy mess but she writes the limoncello one (above) that she submitted is wonderful - light but rich - with lots of lovely layers and textures.
And a (light) heart-shaped panna cotta for someone you love
Carolie de Koster who submitted this panna cotta writes: "The name indicates 'cooked cream' but for this lighter version, milk is used and whipped cream folded into it when it is partly set to deliver the dreamiest, creamiest dessert imaginable!" Carolie serves it with fresh blueberries and a swirl of chocolate drizzle.
View all special occasion dessert recipes submitted in this reader recipe collection