Well, it’s hard to believe but our 2013 event The Sweet Swap is almost over. Six months ago Sara (Belly Rumbles) and I started working on an idea Sara had for an event where Australian food and lifestyle bloggers cook and send parcels of sweet treats in the post to three other bloggers all while raising money for ChildFund Australia. Based on the extremely successful international Cookie Swap event already in its second year, we wanted The Sweet Swap to challenge and delight its participants.
And challenge it did…
Everyone can bake a cookie, but what if we were forced to be a little more creative? Forced to step out of our comfort zone and push ourselves to try something that we’ve never tried before. Well, let me tell you, making sweets is definitely a challenge – which 55 Australian bloggers found out.
Sara and I spent four nail biting weeks watching social media as many of The Sweet Swap participants tried elements of their recipes multiple times and took to twitter to voice their frustrations. We were amazed at how much everyone was pushing themselves and hoping to god that you would all realise that it was worth it once packages started arriving on your doorsteps.
Well my friends… was it all worth it? We think it was!
It was a lot of work from our end, but we loved it. We both feel we’ve learnt a lot in the process of organising the inaugural event and are delighted to announce that the event will definitely be back in 2014!
Monday 15 July is the date when all 55 blogger who participated take to their blogs to talk about their experience and share their recipes. From these posts there will be three prizes drawn for Best Recipe, Best Photo and Best Post with the winners receiving great prizes from our event partner Russell Hobbs. Good luck!
I’d like to take a moment to talk about my gorgeous co-host of The Sweet Swap, Sara (Belly Rumbles). I have absolutely loved working with Sara on The Sweet Swap and together we have forged an amazing friendship that will stand the test of time. A big big thank you to Sara for being the amazing and wonderful friend that you are!
So, without further ado, here are my Sweet Swap matches for 2013
1. Unbelievably flavourful Peanut Butter Fudge from Christine at Cooking Crusade – Thanks Christine!
2. Caramelised Cornflake Pralines; Lemon Myrtle & Thyme Shortbread; and Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge from Monica at Gastromony – Yep, I got THREE treats from Monica!!
3. Mallow Rough from Johnny at Perfection Chocolates – You have to teach me how you make that amazing marshmallow!
I’m a total lover of Italian nougat and have often thought about making it, but I just never got around to it. Well, the sweet swap has rectified that oversight and after a session of flavour planning and recipe development and a few hours in the kitchen, I sent the following three lovelies my Pistachio, Walnut and Coconut Nougat (at least I hope they all received them in the post!):
1. Billy from A Table for Two
2. Tina from bitemeshowme
3. Daisy from Never Too Sweet
I’m delighted to share this recipe with you all below – I highly recommend trying to make your own nougat sometime. It’s just so unbelievably tasty when its freshly made!
Pistachio, Walnut and Coconut Nougat
6 sheets rice paper
Whites from 3 eggs
150g whole pistachio nuts
150g whole walnuts
50g slivered almonds
25g coconut flakes
400g caster sugar
200g liquid glucose
1 tsp orange zest
Preheat a fan forced oven to 150°C. Then place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Oil a baking tray and then line with baking paper ensuring the paper sticks well into the edges. Top the baking sheet with three rice paper sheets (or cut down the third sheet if it won’t fit in its entirety). Set aside.
Once the oven has reached heat place pistachios, walnuts, almonds and coconut flakes on another baking tray and place in the oven for 18 minutes or until lightly toasted.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, honey, liquid glucose, water and orange zest and insert a candy thermometer. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to the boil. When the syrup reaches 118°C turn the stand mixture on medium high speed and beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form.
When the syrup has reached 142°C gradually add it to the beating egg whites slowly in a steady stream. Once the syrup is incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy, turn off the mixer and with a wooden spoon stir in the lightly toasted nuts until well combined.
Carefully transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray spreading the mixture out till it evenly fills the tray. Top the mixture with the three remaining rice paper sheets and press down ensuring even contact. Place a wooden board on top and weigh it down.
Set aside for an hour to cool completely. After it has cooled, turn onto a clean work surface and using a very sharp serrated knife, cut nougat into desired shape/size.
Sara @ Belly Rumbles says
What an adventure! I am now trying to work out how I missed out on sampling that scrumptious looking nougat?
My recent post Deep Roasted Almond Chocolate Bark & The Sweet Swap
Great job Amanda (and Sara too!) The swap was a lot of fun and looking forward to future swaps. As you can tell, I had way too much fun and made more treats than I needed to (I'll read instructions better next time!). I loved all the goodies I got 🙂 Thanks again!
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The Littlest Anchovy says
Thank you so much for making this happen! You and Sara are such awesome ladies who deserve all the sweets! Your nougat looks so professional and I looove the coconut in there! Here's to next year!!
My recent post Salted Almond Brittle – The Sweet Swap
Phuoc'n Delicious says
Amaaaazing work Amanda! It sure was a fun event. I'm seriously going to miss receiving treats delivered to my home/work place. This nougat looks great, and I totally agree with you regarding how tasty freshly made nougat are.
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You both did an amazing job in bringing this brilliant idea to life. I had loads of fun with it and am so in for next year. Thank you for a great event!
My recent post Nutty Bonbons for The Sweet Swap
Such a fun event! You scored some seriously good stuff. And these nougats are wonderful! Super flavor and so pretty! Really fun post – thanks.
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liz @strayedtable says
Glad the Sweet Swap went well for you. Your recipe looks incredible and I am amazed what other bloggers have been making – truly inspiring. I wish I loved sugary goodness more.
My recent post Orange Turmeric Gluten Free Cake Recipe
Thank you so much for organising this event! It certainly turned out to be so much more than I expected! I hope you run it again next year!
i missed out on rego this year, can we do it again once more this year? pls!
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Congratulations on a successful Sweet Swap event. I very much enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next one.
As for your nougat, they look like a treat. Nice going 🙂
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Thank you to you and Sara for organising The Sweet Swap, your nougat looks delicious!
My recent post Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes… with a surprise inside!
your nougat was amazing, amanda. LIKE, AMAZINGGGGGGGGG!! It felt home made, and it was so comforting to eat. I can def say I was very lucky to be one of your matches haha. Thanks again for co-organising. You guys did a great job!
Rachel Southwood says
YUM! This looks amazing, I was secretly holding out for nougat as one of my sweets. I'll just have to make this instead!
Annie@Random Foodie says
i wish i got your sweets! they look soo delicious! thank you so much for organising The Sweet Swap!
i should so try making italian nougat too! looks delish 🙂
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Laura Dembowski says
Homemade nougat sounds incredible! Nougat is actually one of my favorite treats and everything is better when it's homemade.
Yum! Thanks for organising! And thank you for pushing us into sweets
My recent post The Sweet Swap: Twix Tartlets Recipe
Thank you for sharing your giving and receiving in this brilliant sweet swap! I love Torrone and yours looks excellent it is so hard to find a good recipe, yours is now filed to cook on Saturday. Buon appetito! Cheers Merryn
My recent post Wild Ducks and Kookaburras
Love the chewy nougat, thank you! It was difficult not to polish them all in one seating. Thank you again for the fun event!
Thank you to you and Sara for organising this event, I had such an amazing time! Can't wait for it to happen again next year! Wish I had received your sweets, your nougats look delicious! 🙂
My recent post Chocolate coated caramels, The Sweet Swap
Your sweets and photographs are amazing Amanda. What a great idea!
BIG congratulations for organising such a great event for such a wonderful cause, looks like everyone has had tremendous fun with it (and in a world full of emails who doesn't love a bit of tactile, legitimate mail?). Your nougat looks great, very nice photos too. 🙂
I missed out on this year but am definitely super keen to jump on board next year. It's such a great event!!
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Yum … your nougat looks irresistible. I've never made it, but have always been intrigues by it … thanks for sharing this recipe … I think it's going on my to-do list! Oh, and thanks for hosting this swap … too much fun!!
What a great job of organising you girls have done! Thank you so much for convincing me to join! I'm not sure mine looked nearly as professional as everyone else's but I can guarantee they tasted amazing! A massive thanks to Alana, Louie and Angie for their sweets too!
Yeah, a big congrats to you both for making all of this happen. Even if I'm the slack-arse that didn't partake. The amount of sugar I've seen circulating the blogs that participated is astounding!
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Cass @foodmyfriend says
That looks incredible! I think this should be a monthly event 😉
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They look so perfect. Nougat is one of those sweets that I love, but never actually buy. Maybe I'll have to try making some instead. 🙂
bob @ jugernauts.com says
I'm going to tell my friend em to make me some. might show up at her door with a bag of ingredients 😛
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