Last week we were honoured to provide the Catering for the Launch of Sally Eagles 2017 Dusk Collection. Sally Eagle is a Wellington based Wedding Dress Designer, who creates vintage inspired wedding dresses, from her Central Wellington Boutique.
Her dresses are breathtakingly beautiful, and we were slightly distracted from our own role of setting up the food on arrival! Everyone woman who wears one of Sally's dresses must surely feel like an absolute Princess on her Wedding day. See her stunning creations on her website www.sallyeagle.co.nz
Pictured here is Sugar Sister Jay, with Sally and her exquisite dresses in the background.
We set up a wedding canapé table, with dusky colours to complement the event. All of the photos were taken by the amazing Billie Brook Photography. Billie specialises in Wedding & Portrait Photography. See some more of her wonderful work at www.billiebrookphotography.co.nz
The weather is cooling and it's a perfect time to play with new cake recipes and ideas. The team have been busy making and testing a new range of cakes to bring everything into 2016. We have a rule in the Sugar Sisters kitchen - everything we make has to have you reaching for more. More salad, more sandwiches, more cake!
In conventional baking we rely on eggs a lot for lift and flavour. In our vegan baking we replace these with oil and sometimes applesauce to attempt to create a similar texture and crumb. Our vegan chocolate cake is a tried and tested favourite, and so our new range starts with this great base, but we are adding some new frosting flavours and a some modern styling.
Our first creation is inspired by a fabulous recipe in Donna Hay Magazine for peanut butter popcorn. We have taken the base flavours peanut butter & maple syrup, and translated them into frosting which complement our chocolate cake recipe perfectly. For version two we made a chocolate drizzle cake. The great thing about oil based cakes is that they do not suffer too much from refrigeration, which can dry out conventional cakes. Vegan frosting can be less stable than conventional frosting at room temperature and for ease of slicing you probably need to store them in the fridge. If anyone has any vegan cravings for a flavour of cake, or a beautiful recipe you would like to share, we would love to hear from you.
For those of you not from the English Black Country, Bostin means amazing! Try one of our Sugar Sisters favourite recipes and with a few adjustments you can make a whole variety of your favourite breads to tempt everyone's taste buds when they walk into your kitchen.
This recipe is so versatile. You can add more water and make yourself a ciabatta, use as is and make lovely soft rolls for lunch, use a little less water and give it a little longer in the oven for crispy baguettes. I think you get the picture. Lets roll up our sleeves and get cracking.
Jo's Basic Bread Recipe
700g High Grade Flour
16g Fresh yeast crumbled
30g Olive or Canola Oil
435 g Water
1. Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Lightly mix all ingredients with your hand until you have almost brought the mix together.
2. Start kneading you dough. Stretch the dough across the table in long movements to help develop the gluten. If your mixture starts to seem a little wet bring it together and put your bowl over the top of the mixture. Leave for 15 minutes and go for a cup of tea.
3. Keep kneading until your dough is stretchy and smooth and has stopped being sticky. This can take a while - by hand this takes me around 15 minutes. You can also do this with a dough hook and mixer on slow for around the same time.
4. Pop your dough ball into a bowl that has been sprayed with a little oil and cling film the top of the bowl to prevent air entry.
5. Leave to rise in a warm place and when it starts to give it a fold. Stretch your dough and fold it in half. Turn it 90 degrees and do the same again. This removes some of the air without affecting whole structure.
6. Repeat again. This can take a while - anything from 30 mins in summer to several hours in winter.
7. After your second fold pop your dough in a oil sprayed plastic bag and tie a loose knot. Leave in the fridge overnight,
8. The next day, shape your bread straight from the fridge. For rolls divide into 12 equal portions (we use scales) and roll into balls. Press the down onto a lined baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. If your dough is still quite wet give it a coating of flour to stop it sticking. After 10 mins press the down flat again to seal the edges. For loaves split the dough in two and either shape into loaves and put onto a baking tray or into two loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap as before.
9. Heat your oven now to its maximum temperature and put a roasting pan with water in the bottom.
10. When your bread has roughly doubled in size its ready to cook. Remove the plastic wrap carefully and sprinkle with water. Put into your very hot oven and turn your oven off. Your bread will cook from the residual heat in the oven for 5 mins to set the crust.
11. After 5 mins set your oven to 220 C and turn your oven on. Cook for a further 10 mins without opening the door. When your timer beeps check it! Bread rolls should be cooked by now. Loaves may looked cooked but will need more time - around 10-15 mins. If they are looking brown turn your oven down to 170 C. If they are still pale turn down to 200C and check every 5 mins for colour. Be careful they brown quickly! A big loaf like the one below will take 35 minutes.
For Ciabatta add 30 -40 mls of water. This will result in a very wet dough. Folding improves the structure of this type of bread. Add several more folds into your dough. Make sure you sprinkle plenty of flour onto your bread after shaping.
For baguettes remove the oil from the recipe and reduce the water by 20 mls to get a stiffer dough.
The blueberries are long gone and yes, we could reach for the bag in the freezer. Instead we have harvested what's left in our garden and purchased some of NZ's finest fruit from our wonderful veggie supplier 24 Carrot Dream Produce.
We love our fresh fruit flans from summer and couldn't quite let them go. Instead of those berries we all know and love we have the stars of the moment - gold kiwi fruit and those all year round favourites the humble orange.
We also couldn't resist feijoas. Not around for long, but work beautifully here with a hint of spice and some lovely Braeburn apples for a Crumble tart.
Last but not least is the rhubarb from the garden, roasted with raw sugar, the zest and juice of an orange, then combined with some frozen raspberries for a fabulous meringue tart.
We were so excited by our roast rhubarb & raspberry sensation we teamed it with a velvety vanilla crème patissiere for a fresh take on rhubarb and custard. Get in quick and order some, or we may just have to eat them all!
The girls have been busy in the kitchen and our poor garden is looking a little neglected.
There's not a whole lot growing apart from these wonderful flowers, which are certainly adding a little colour to our lives.
We have finally said goodbye to our bumper crop of tomatoes and the last of those fabulous autumn plums are a distant memory. With this in mind, notice the subtle seasonal changes to the menu. Say hello to rooibos tea poached pears.
It's time to wrap up warm and step outside to do some serious planting. What's happening in your garden?
What better way to show her you care this year than our exquisite combination of fresh roses and ruffle cake.
This 4 inch delight comes attractively packaged in a white gift box with a ribbon, delicate cluster of lavender and a message card with a personalised message from you.
$30 with free delivery in Wellington & Hutt Valley
This miniature marvel is big enough to share for morning tea, and small enough to savour if your mom wants to keep it to herself.
Is your mom vegan or gluten free? No problem, we have an option for her!
Chocolate, Vanilla Madeira, Vegan Chocolate, GF almond cake sandwiched with berry jam, curd or marmalade.
Italian meringue or vegan buttercream- natural colour or tinted pink, blue or green, (choc will be brown)
Buttercream flavours: Vanilla, Lemon, Orange, Chocolate, Orange & Chocolate
Rose colour will be chosen by us to complement your cake colour. Delivery will be on the Morning of Mothers day Sunday. Time cannot be specified.
Order now by sending us an e-mail on our contact page.
Order deadline is Midnight Friday 9th May.
Happy Mothers Day New Zealand.
The inspiration behind Sugar Sisters food originates from our own families experiences and frustrations with finding delicious food that we can and want to eat.
Between us we have friends and families (including ourselves!) who are or have been vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, soy free, egg free, nut free and dairy free.
We want to show that there are alternatives that can taste great for everyone. We invite you to peruse our menus and provide us with feedback regarding what we offer and what you would like to see. Help us make the kind of food that you would like to eat.
What's your flavour?
Who can resist this seasons lovely feijoa's, especially when baked into muffins!
This recipe is naturally egg free. You can make this recipe vegan, or substitute the dairy free spread and milk for regular milk and butter if you prefer.
Makes 9 regular size muffins. Print a PDF of this recipe below.
Meeting a new oven is like meeting a new partner. You don't know their personality. They can surprise, amaze and disappoint you. You are about to enter into the unknown and anything can happen.
Oven's of course are not human. But I do wonder if they have a little personality sitting inside just waiting to burst it's way into your baking. Yesterday we encountered our new kitchens' oven demons for the first time.
We made fifty bread rolls sitting waiting patiently to be cooked. Over the last few hours they have been kneaded into submission, proofed, prodded and rounded. They are now waiting for their final encounter - a hot blast in the oven.
We found some lovely big trays left by previous occupants; perfect size for the larger of our two ovens, or so we thought. Oven heated, water bath sorted, we fling open the doors and throw our trays in as fast as possible. "Shut the doors", I shriek. But we cannot shut the doors as the trays are too big for the oven. "Take them out", I cry.
Okay, so not disaster. We transfer to smaller trays, let the oven reheat again and go for gold. Take two. Trays in, so far so good. Ten minutes pass and I peer in expectantly. Peering back are bread rolls paler than my freckled face.
Instead of feeling a rush of hot air I am met with a gentle autumn breeze. The pilot has gone out. The oven is a 100C instead of 220C. We frantically relight the pilot and try again. We leave the rolls in as we are worried they will deflate like balloons. By some miracle after fifteen or twenty minutes they look okay.
Take three. Tray number two. Same thing happens. We dash the rolls over to our smaller oven which is electric and powerful. We end up with flat dark brown discs as we have had to transfer to even smaller trays in the oven spring stage of cooking.
Take three and we get our break. The pilots stay on and we get two trays that cook okay. Not my finest work or website worthy but they are okay.
The oven demons did not defeat me. Today.
Share your own kitchen nightmare and be in to win a cake this Easter Holidays. Wellington & Hutt Valley Residents only. Vegan and gluten free options available.
If you are hitting the kitchen this weekend here are a few tips from Sugar Sisters to help you wow your friends and family.
1. Be precise
Digital scales give you better precision than cups. If you do prefer to work with cups fill the cup rather than scoop with it, then level it off at the top to get a more even result each time.
2. Precision part 2
Whether you are making biscuits or bread rolls, get your scales out again and weigh each one. Not only will they be all the same size, but will also cook more evenly in the oven.
3. Don't be heavy on your metal
Non stick baking pans require gentle care to keep them non stick. Never use a knife to cut slices in a pan. Use baking paper and lift the whole thing out onto your chopping board. When it hits the sink keep your steelo or scourer away. Soak the pan and everything will lift off.
4. Think like a toddler
Silicone baby spoons are perfect for helping to lift muffins and tarts out of your pans without scratching them.
5. Follow the recipe!
The first time you attempt a new recipe follow the instructions to the letter. There is a better chance that if something goes wrong it was the recipe rather than you not you failing to follow it.
6. Then don't follow the recipe
Once you have made something a few times it's time to start playing and tweaking to make the recipe perfect for you. Pick one element at a time to change.
7. Supersize me
To get café style muffins you really do have to fill the cups to the point where they are almost the same size as you want them to look cooked.
8. Get to know your oven
Like people, ovens have their own personality and traits. The commercial ovens in our work kitchen need a very different approach to my lovely SMEG at home.
9. Keep the door shut
Yes, I know you have heard this one before but keep the door shut and close it as fast as possible when checking what's baking. Letting the temperature drop is a great way of sinking a cake if you open it at the crucial rising time.
10. Keep practicing
Pastry chefs and commercial bakers produce amazing baking by making the same thing over and over and over again.
Thanks for reading. Do you have a top tip you would like to share? Sugar Sisters would love to hear from you.