Gratia - Sweets

Black Peak Gelato, Wanaka

How to best celebrate the end of summer

Black Peak Gelato is a tiny artisan ice cream shop in the centre of Wanaka (still one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, despite all those damn tourists – like me – trying to overcrowd and wreck it). Black Peak Gelato serves beautiful handmade gelatos and sorbets, and sits directly opposite Lake Wanaka. Forget eating an ice cream at the beach. Eat one of these gelatos while walking along the lake, surrounded by mountains.

Giapo, Ice Cream as You've Never Seen It Before

The Giapo mission: to make New Zealand famous for ice cream 

One handbag, a notepad and my right shoe were happily sacrificed at Giapo last week. They all smell like sticky, rich chocolate gelato now; that's what happens when you get so caught up in the beauty of an object that you forget that it melts, and is actually produced to be eaten. A metaphor for life, perhaps? Certainly a recipe for the most gorgeous and extravagant ice creams in the country. 

Petal Cupcakes Newmarket

Because cupcakes are the antithesis of cruelty

Petal Cupcakes is an elegant and tiny store that specialises solely in cupcakes. And what to say about cupcakes? The best ones are buttery, light, sweet and topped with rich frosting, without being overbearing. It’s a difficult balance, but as a specialist in the field, finding this balance is what Petal Cupcakes does best – along with extremely pretty icing.

The Chocolate Boutique, Parnell

Chocolates, desserts, and the most top-secret hot chocolate in Auckland

When Barbara opened a pop-up version of The Chocolate Boutique thirty years ago, it was a tiny space selling only hot drinks and chocolates. It is now a spacious cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, a menu with every sweet treat you might hope to eat, and the perfect place to start the afternoon or end the evening. It has become the local establishment in Parnell for desserts, waffles, a dozen kinds of hot chocolate, and, of course, handmade boutique chocolates.

The Midnight Baker

The new toast-based cafe that's changing the way we think about bread

After going gluten-free, The Midnight Baker owner Yeshe sought a way to continue her love of toast. She realised that the supermarket brands are hugely processed (as well as not hugely tasty), so she started to bake her own bread. After six months of experimenting with recipes, baking way past midnight, she created a bread that she loves, named the Freedom Loaf. It's free of wheat, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, yeast, nuts - and her buckwheat loaf is completely celiac-safe. This is a filling and delicious new take on bread, and the foundation for her month-old cafe, The Midnight Baker. 

Waffle Supreme: The best Auckland waffles

The best Auckland waffles can be found at Waffle Supreme, a tiny, sweet-smelling waffle joint that lives in a shipping container, and sits on Elliot Street in the centre of town. It’s a cool, sugary example of how street food can liven up Auckland, and make it a fun place to explore and nibble.

Wanaka Farmers Market

Deliciousness Every Thursday, 3PM to 6PM

After eating rye sourdough from The People’s Bread and beautiful gingerbread biscuits from Pembroke Patisserie for the past month, I thought it was about time to write a blog about their source – Wanaka Farmers Market. Every Thursday afternoon, year-round, a group of talented bakers, artists, grocers, brewers and one masseur gather to put on Wanaka Farmers Market. Here they sell their handmade, home grown, and generally wonderfully local products on Ardmore Street, directly across from the lake - in rain, shine, snow, or anything in between. 

Whoopi: for Cakes on Nuffield Street

Whoopi cake and ice cream shop on Nuffield Street, Auckland, creates cakes with the sort of artistry which makes you question whether it is really okay to eat them. Luckily I was able to push past this feeling, because yes, it is not only okay to eat them but also a delicious experience for any sweet tooth.