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Sweet treats

By Heather 25 Feb 2016

Since ingesting a giant (but delicious) pork knuckle at München recently, my food radar has been going off at every sweet place I pass.


Here’s three that left an impression, and highlights from conversations with the owners: 

Sweet (Bakery and Cakery)

  • Owner Grace Kreft.
  • Location - In the Marsden Shops, Karori. Monday to Saturday daytimes.
  • Goal – To make Wellingtonian’s lives a little sweeter.
  • Focus – Sweet baking for fun, with oreos, kit kats, snickers, mars bars and more. Made fresh daily with ever-changing flavours, many decided on the spur of the moment during the morning bake!
  • Uses - Local Whittakers chocolate, Wooden Spoon ice cream (milkshakes), and NZ specialty ingredients like FreshAs freeze dried raspberries.
  • Most unusual ingredient – Nothing unusual but loves raspberries, so look out for them.
  • Favourite product – Caramel macadamia slice. I can see why. This literally melted in the mouth, both base and topping alike.
  • Most decadent – Layer cake. A spectactular sight as you’ll see below. Also donut Fridays - apparently one customer comes all the way from the Hutt every week (must be good!).
  • Additional services – Specialty cakes and baked goods for corporate, kids parties, weddings, valentines. You name it. 
  • Community – Providing a little bit of whismy to the lives of Karorians and now the rest of us, since the secret’s out.
  • Training and influences – On the job at Crumbs and Doilies in London, a job landed from hobby experience and pure natural talent (that last bit being my interpretation as Grace is far too humble to claim that herself).
  • Would enjoy dinner with – Richard Branson.
  • Watch this space for – Possibly more Sweets around Wellington, and recipes and support for people wanting to enjoy baking fun at home.

Little Dough Co

  • Owner – Harry Gyde.
  • Location – Via Customs Brewbar on Ghuznee Street Fridays to Sundays, and Vic Books at the uni campus Thursdays to Saturdays (watch out for a second Vic Books soon at Pipitea). Be in early as they sell out quickly.
  • Goal – To help us get through the end of the working week with delicious, light and super-fresh treats.
  • Focus – Making by hand, including many of the specialty ingredients. Two different, and generally new, flavours per week (often one glazed and one filled), and being part of Wellington’s wonderful artisan food industry.
  • Uses – Local Fix and Fogg peanut butter, Zany Zeus dairy, and NZ speciality ingredients like Hakanoa ginger syrup.
  • Most unusual ingredient – Home-made fruit mince for a classic vanilla custard xmas donut (I can see me camping at Vic Books next year!), and fennel sugar for the orange crème.
  • Favourite product – The double coconut dunked into filter coffee so a little swirls to the bottom, giving the best of both worlds.
  • Most decadent – Dulce de leche with hazelnut cardamom crunch.
  • Additional services – CBD six-pack delivery on Fridays (the current 12-pack is reducing to six so you don't have to be a glutton). Limited numbers, so check out each week’s flavours at the top of their website and order early.
  • Community – Working with local entrepreneurs like Nocar Cargo, and helping fuel the brains of the next generation.
  • Training and influences – Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery in San Diego, and most recently the Prefab finishing school in Wellington.
  • Would enjoy dinner with – Michael Palin. Preferably with David Attenborough and Stephen Fry along for a total British comedyfest.
  • Watch this space for – More interesting donut flavours to come, possibly increased supply around town, and some exotic specialty creations just for the hell of it now and then.

Sweet Release

  • Owner – Kris Bartley.
  • Location - The Willis Village, Monday to Saturday daytimes.
  • Goal To teach us all that vegan food is tasty and mainstream, not just a mountain of vegetables (discovered in response to Kris’s own health issues).
  • Focus - Both savoury and sweet vegan items - pies, nachos (La Boca Loca corn chips), toasties (soy mozarella), cakes, brownies and donut muffins. Likes to ‘veganise’ mainstream recipes.
  • Uses - Local Whittakers chocolate, Pic’s peanut butter and house-made salted caramel sauces. Note for all you  chocophiles out there – dark chocolate is a commonly used ingredient in vegan cooking. Convenient huh?
  • Most unusual ingredient - Chickpea brine (aquafaba) as an egg substitute. Kris is happy to talk to anyone who’s keen to help use the chickpeas mounting up!
  • Favourite product – Brownies and inception (internal suprise) cookies.
  • Most decadent - A brownie threesome. Now we’re talking.
  • Additional services – Catering and specialty cakes, both vegan and non (check out the tooth cake creation below for a local dentist’s birthday).
  • Community - Free baking classes for people with chronic illnesses in association with Journey of Hope. Call at the shop for further details. Also vegan cookbooks available for loan to careful customers.
  • Training and influences – The university of YouTube and the Wellington vegan community.
  • Would enjoy dinner with - Buddy Valastro (Gordon Ramsay backup).
  • Watch this space for – The development of non-palm-oiled vegan butter, and extending the number of outlets supplied around Wellington (currently Gasoline on the Terrace and Cuckoo on the waterfront). Possibly nation-wide delivery at some point.

Boy, aren’t we blessed with local talent? Wonderful, wonderful people doing wonderful things. And mostly self-trained.

Love to hear of others around we should get chatting to…

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