Month Four on the road came to an end and what a month it was… at least as far as cake is concerned, and that’s the purpose of this post.
I left Vietnam with a serious coffee addiction and concern about how I will ever have egg coffee again.
New Zealand has added a cakes and chocolate to the list of tasty goodness that I’m going to have to start importing when I return home.
I have to confess that I am not including every cake that I have eaten. This is a snapshot of the most noteworthy. Carrot cake is a favourite but not all cartot cakes are created equal, and I’m struggling to remember where I ate them all.
So, to the cakes and a thank you to cward200 (apologies for the previous misnaming and edited to correct) who suggested a number of Auckland establishments that I might like to try. I didn’t manage to visit them, sadly.
Blueberry Frangipane, Auckland
Starting in Auckland, on the Karangahape Road to be precise, this was light slice of blueberry frangipane – just the right amount of sweetness in the berries and a moist frangipane that managed not to be soggy. With the yoghurt, rather than cream, on the side it was lightly filling.
Columbus Cafe, Auckland… Verdict 8/10
Ahhhhhhhh, icecream… refreshing in the heat, tasty and available in a variety of flavours. I was challenged to work my way through specifically New Zealand flavours, including fruit I’d never heard of – boysenberry for starters, it’s a cross between blackberry and raspberry. Hokey Pokey being honeycomb was always going to be a winner but the discovery of chocolate lammington in Wellington blows all icecream out of the water.
Special mention on the cranberry icecream as this was frozen cranberries blended into vanilla icecream as I watched. Suitably tart but not sour flavour. If you’re in Coromansel Town, call in at Trailer Treats.
Fruit Scone, Whakapapa
It was pouring with rain and I’d been hiking for several hours. Though the rain and mist gave it the appearance of the Overlook Hotel in ‘The Shining’, the drawing room was cosy and the Chateau Tongariro was not playing modern Christmas music. (I was avoiding Wham!)
What better to warm up with than a mug of hot chocolate and a scone – traditional sultana scone, warm, fluffy and ready to be spread with strawberry jam and cream (though whipped, not clotted).
Chateau Tongariro, Whakapapa Verdict: 7/10
Carrot Cake, National Park
Another weather challenged day and I headed to the Railway Station, not to catch a train but because I had been reliably informed that the cafe was good.
It really was.
The challenge was trying to decide which of the baked-on-the-premises cakea to choose.
Carrot cake is a reliable favourite and this was most, with additional walnuts and sultanas. The cream cheese frosting was sweet without being overpowering.
The Railway Cafe, National Park Verdict: 9/10
Orange and Poppyseed Cake vs Chocolate Brownie, Rotorua
Tenzing was a guest taste-tester on these. We each ended up trying both because we couldn’t decide.
The Orange and Poppyseed Cake won – unusual flavour and made a change from chocolate. Thw brownie was a bit on the hard side.
Zipline Rotorua Verdict: Orange and Poppyseed Cake 8/10; Chocolate Brownie 6/10
Strawberry Coconut Lattes, Rotorua vs Coconut Coffee, Mount Maunganui
Tenzing and Mr How Fucking Much provided guest input on the strawberry coconut lattes with some misdirection from me.
I’d anticipated, after reminiscing fondly on egg coffee, some type of Vietnamese experience. Because I had led my colleagues astray, we were expected iced coffee… they were hot.
Once we got over the surprise, we spent some time trying to work out how to replicate them on return to Manchester.
The coconut coffee was tasted only by me. It just wasn’t as good as iced coconut coffee in Vietnam and the additional cream was wholly unnecessary.
Strawberry Coconut Latte Verdict: 8 vs Coconut Coffee Verdict 6 (Cant remember the name of the cafe in Mount Maunganui)
Now this, this was fabulous.
Available in all good self-service bakeries across New Zealand, this was an absolute delight and has been passed to the shipping list for my return to the UK.
Fluffy coconut sponge coated in a raspberry flavoured covering and sprinkled with dedicated coconut, with or without whipped cream, this could become my favourite cake which rather makes supply to the UK a pressing issue.
Also available in chocolate flavour (which is amazing as an icecream) the raspberry cake is my favourite.
Almost any bakery in New Zealand Verdict: 10/10
Chocolate Brownie, Coromandel Town
This was outstanding.
I ate a lot of cake in Coromandel Town but this was my favourite. A light brownie, rich in flavour and a surprise in the middle in the form of a black cherry… it was more like black forest brownie.
Weta, Coromandel Town Verdict: 10/10
Chocolate Brownie, Wellington
Yes, another brownie. Where is the variety, i hear you ask.
I like chocolate.
Plus with most of the city shut down for New Year, there was a limited range of eateries open and the ones that were open were not providing the full range of cake.
Brownie topped with caramel before being finished with a fine layer of chocolate, plus strawberries to provide a balanced intake of fruit with cake.
Sprig and Fern, Berhampore,Wellington Verdict: 9/10
Whittaker’s Chocolate, all good stockists
And a very special mention for Whittaker’s Chocolate, though they don’t do a factory tour!
Creamier than Cadbury’s but with more variety of flavours (hokey pokey, naturally but also all manner of nut, variations on cocoa content, etc) than Galaxy, it’s going to be a challenge to leave these behind when I exit New Zealand.
Special mention for the Lemon and Paeroa White Chocolate variety which is outstanding – lemonade in white chocolate.