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Recipes: Sweet Therapy

Human beings love sugar and kiwis are no exception - each year we consume tonnes of it. In this programme we take a sugar filled jaunt around New Zealand. Featuring The Chelsea Sugar Refinery, edible artwork by Pauline Nunns of Wellington, chocolate therapy in Greytown and Beesonline honey centre in West Auckland.

Sweet Success

Chelsea Sugar is one of New Zealand's iconic brands - it's been a household name for decades. And, along with a range of sugar products Chelsea Sugar is still produced at the New Zealand Sugar Company's original site in Birkenhead Auckland which was established in 1884. Today the refinery processes 200,000 tonnes of raw sugar each year which is turned into 120 products and packaging combinations ranging from 3 gram sachets for retail to 24 tonne bulk road tankers of crystal or liquid sugar. 

The New Zealand Sugar Company Ltd

  • Chelsea Sugar Refinery
  • 60 Colonial Road
  • Birkenhead
  • Tel:  09 481 0747

Taking the Cake

Pauline Nunns is a trained chef but discovered early her in career a passion and exceptional talent for cake decorating.  However the term cake decorating doesn't really begin to cover Pauline's creations, her cakes literally are edible works of art like the Mona Lisa which featured in the programme.  As with the Mona Lisa much of Pauline's work is show pieces for competitions and exhibits, but if you're after something amazing for a special event Pauline also produces cakes to order for all manner of occasions. 

Sugarcraft Artist

Sweet Therapy

Roger Simpson and Murray Langham are chocolate makers with a difference, they're both ex therapists who have extensively researched the properties of chocolate and traditional chocolate flavourings and what our preferences say about our personalities. At Schoc Chocolate, their fabulous Greytown store you can sample some the finest chocolate around, and you might receive a behavioural analysis based on your selections. Murray has written two hugely successful books expounding his theories; both tell how to 'unwrap the flavour of our relationships' with family and friends through chocolate therapy. For information about Murray's books and where to buy Schoc chocolate, visit the website

Schoc Chocolates and Chocolate Therapy Ltd

Best in Show

Traditional A & P shows are experiencing a regeneration and the Helensville show is one of New Zealand's best.  This year over 5000 turned up to experience all the fun of the fair and to view the 1369 competition entries ranging from flowers and crafts and of course baking. 

Helensville A & P Show

 The Buzz on Honey

Producing GE free honey and honey products is a sticky business but somebody's got to do it and Maureen Maxwell founder of BeesOnline is just the person. Maureen's love of honey began five years ago when she bought a single hive to with assist pollination of her ailing fruit trees. Once she tried the honey produced there was no going back. At Beesonline Pauline offers the complete honey experience from petal to palette. The award wining building houses a leading edge honey production centre, integrated café and a retail outlet. At the production centre visitors can view colonies of bees, observe a working hive and see how honey is extracted. The café specialises in local fresh and contemporary kiwi food and Maureen and her team develop a range of honey based products for use in cooking. 


Rose honey and honeygar chicken with couscous 

Serves 6

  • 6 single organic chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp BeesOnline rose honey
  • 4 tbsp BeesOnline honeygar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp geranium water
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds for decoration

In an oven proof dish, warm together the honey, honeygar and water then add geranium water, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaf. Allow to cool then marinate chicken breasts in this mixture for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C.  emove chicken from the marinade and place the marinade in the oven to warm up. Pat chicken dry and quickly fry or grill on a high heat to brown both sides. Place chicken back in the marinade and cook, covered, in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the dish and allow to rest in juices for 10 minutes. Slice thickly on the cross, pour juices over and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with couscous.

Serves 6

  • 300gms couscous
  • 1/2 of a preserved lime
  • 1 tbsp of preserved lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 60gms raisins
  • 1 tbsp geranium water
  • 60gms walnuts
  • 60gms blanched almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Place couscous in a large bowl. Add preserved lime juice, pepper and oil and rub them in with your hands. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the couscous and put aside to 'cook'. Soak the raisins in the geranium water for 30 minutes. Chop nuts coarsely.  Discard preserved lime flesh and thinly slice the skin.  Fluff up couscous with a large fork and toss in the raisins and geranium water, nuts, preserved lime, mint and cinnamon.

Pile couscous in a pointed hill on a serving dish. Best served warm or room temperature there is nothing worse than fridge cold couscous.