Refined indulgence, not blind indulgence, is the mantra at Christchurch’s popular Great Pastry Shop.
Rhiannon and Elsie McCulloch pour real, quality ingredients, artisan techniques, and bold, clean flavours into their European-style patisserie treats, delighting increasing numbers of Cantabrians each week.
And their luscious creations – entremets, tarts, towering slices of rich gateaux and much more – will be available at the Arts Centre’s Midwinter Carnival on 24 and 25 August 2018.
The mother and daughter team, who have a stall at the Christchurch Farmers’ Market each Saturday, say they are always developing new ideas “to keep things interesting” for themselves and their regular customers.
“We are sometimes inspired by a look or finishing technique, and sometimes it might be a flavour combination or seasonal fruit that starts the ball rolling,” Elsie says.
“Tarts are a large part of what we make, and along the way we have attracted a lot of gluten-free customers, so many more of our tarts are gluten free now.
“We’re always trying different things and our customers let us know what they love. Our caramel pear tarte Tatins are always popular, as is our epic raspberry chocolate cake and banoffee marshmallows.”
The duo, who work from a small commercial kitchen attached to their home, love working with themes. For the Arts Centre’s Matariki Night Market last month, their theme was Kiwiana, which included Afghan, Pineapple Lump and ambrosia cakes; pavlova; and salted caramel and raspberry lamingtons. Their Midwinter Carnival theme will be a surprise.
It was while travelling through Europe that Elsie fell in love with amazing patisserie creations. Inspired, she trained as a pastry chef in Auckland and joined with Rhiannon, who had a background in design, to launch The Great Pastry Shop. Before long their market stall had become a crowd favourite.
Elsie says they love watching their customer base grow as new people discover their business. And they’re looking forward to opening a shop in mid-2019.
Find out more information about the Midwinter Carnival here.