Creative Showcase - Charlie Buckett

It might be called Charlie Buckett, but you will be behaving more like the chocolate-river-slurping Augustas Gloop when you visit Australia's first Meringue Boutique! This amazing sweet shop specialises in naturally gluten free hand made Meringue Kisses that are infused with an array of flavours like orange blossom, pistachio & rose and manuka honey...

If amazing flavours are not testing enough for your will power, you will be delighted to learn that they have an online store! So although Charlie Buckett is based in Melbourne they offer worldwide marshmallow shipping... mmmmmmm.....

The sweet tooth behind this sugary empire is Ashley Glasic. As a kid he wanted to travel the world as an airline cabin crew member, and that is exactly what he did for seven years. Now he is bringing back the nostalgic love for the traditional baked goods we all remember so fondly from childhood. I think we can safely say he is our hero!

We catch up with the Ashley to find out more about his delightfully sweet treats...
What is the idea behind Charlie Buckett and how did it start?
The idea behind Charlie Buckett originally, was to create a baked goods business that had a focus on traditional baking. This is what I love to do the most, being in the kitchen baking traditional sweets that we all grew up eating, biscuits, brownies, lamingtons and all those sorts of delicious sweets that you knew would always taste amazing.

The idea was to also not have a business that was gender specific, this is noticeable in our packing, we aim to be a sweets based business that can send gifts to both men and woman with classic black and white tones. It started at home in my kitchen, baking a couple of things, playing around with recipes then I'd buy a box or two that I could package items into then it just grew and grew from that.

What do you love most about creating beautiful Meringue's and sweet treats?
I love Meringues - I remember being taken to bakeries as a child and I would always choose the biggest, brightest Meringue I could see and eat it right away! As an adult and when I am away, I still do the very same thing! I love baking the classics and putting a modern spin on some items, some things are best left.

What inspires you?
Holidays! May sound strange, but when I get to take a break and relax on a beach with my partner it gives me to chance to reflect, assess in life whats going well, what needs improvement and to set my new goals for when I get home. Holidays inspire me, a time where I am truly relaxed, no interruptions, just my thoughts and an iPad (important for inspiration to see images etc) and enjoy the moment. This moment is coming up with Europe in a couple of months time.

What is your favourite creation to date?
Probably my Meringue Marshmallow cakes that I came up with, I didn’t realise how many people would love them. If its the wedding / birthday pink Meringue cake or the birthday white and pink one, I never knew that playing around in the kitchen with different textures and colours to create something that I would simply love would prove to be so popular - I guess half the reason is that nothing has been done like it before according to my own knowledge. I noticed the cake on the front page of a magazine a little while ago, the magazine follow us and although there was no mention, I was happy to see that my creation had been remade by a magazine to claim it as there own :-)

What is your fondest memory of being a kid?
I think being a kid is great memory in general. I have so many memories from being with all my family who are European and eating all the sweets my nana had made, to going on my first overseas holiday, to being raised by a single parent and all the fun we had together along the way from road trips, being taken into work for the day as there was no one to look after me at the time, to having sleep overs at my sisters house as she is much older so it was always so much fun staying at her place, going to bed so late and waking up late! For me, my childhood was enjoyable and it is hard to me to have just have one fond memory.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child I remember always wanting to join the airlines and fly international as cabin crew, and that is exactly what I did. I remember flying as child and thinking ‘wow this is so glamourous’ but when I grew up and started flying I realised one thing, its not that glamorous when you are on an aircraft for over 14 hours and you cant get off, but love the job is something that I did. I remember getting my roster when I first started and thinking 'what countries am I going to this month!'

If Charlie Buckett were to create the ultimate milkshake what flavour would it be? And what would it look like?
Hmm. . . that is a very good question. I am thinking it would have to have to something full of sugar and include sherbert! I am thinking a classic chocolate milk shake with chocolate syrup all around the glass, then having some whizz fizz sherbet cones on top, sprinkles and perhaps a mini donut around the straw. I love whizz fizz too!

We highly recommend heading over to the website see more of the delicious treats, or even better yet head into the store! Don't forget your bucket...

Visit Charlie Buckett...
84 Ormond Rd,
Elwood VIC 3184,

01 May 2015
creative showcase

To Eat - Mondays

Tucked away at the bottom of a little vine covered lane way in Auckland's Kingsland, is the delightfully tasty Mondays wholefood cafe. Like a little secret garden hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the street above, this little oasis offers an array of beautiful dishes that are as healthy as they are tasty...

A great spot for kids, the cafe boasts tasty food, baskets of toys, a fridge brimming with deliciously healthy ice blocks and plenty of space to run around while you eat.

One of the cafe's founders, Eleanor, is the very clever cook behind the popular blog Petite Kitchen and has built on her love of healthy living.

The cafe is 'a chance to make a small, and positive change towards a happier, healthier and more balanced life'.

'Here at Mondays we are all about balance. Nobody is perfect, we believe it’s all about the little things, just taking it one step at a time. Breathe, take it slow, and take your time today to positively improve your life'.

You can test some of the tasty recipes out yourself by following the Mondays Blog.

Visit Mondays...
503B New North Road,
Kingsland Shops,
Auckland City,
New Zealand.
Open 7 days.
Weekdays: 8 - 3ish
Weekends: 8 - 4ish
+64 9 8497693

24 Feb 2015
to eat

To Eat - The Videri Chocolate Factory

The Videri Chocolate Factory in Raliegh, North Carolina (USA), is so exceptional even the original chocolate lord himself, Mr Willy Wonka, would be inspired strolling through these sweet halls...

The factory began as the shared dream of three chocolate lovers: Sam, Starr, and Chris. From the moment Sam first sunk his hands into a bag of cocoa beans, he knew he and his friends would spend the rest of their lives making chocolate for a living. And that right there friends, is called living the dream!

The trio’s mission is to produce high quality, artisan bean-to-bar chocolate for the world to enjoy. The cocoa bean’s journey begins in a handful of lush cacao plantations located throughout Central and South America.

The team have a heart-felt commitment to achieving fair-trade and organic status whenever possible, making their chocolate good for the tastebuds as well as the conscious.

The factory itself is an immersion for the senses. The moment you walk inside you are blown away by the industrial architecture. The raw brick walls and exposed beams create a warm and inviting space, which goes perfectly with chocolate.

Don’t fret if a trip to the States isn’t on your agenda any time soon, the Videri Chocolate Factory has an extensive online store bursting at the seems with their delectable chocolate treats. And for the sweet tooth amongst us, you can even subscribe for regular deliveries right to your doorstep.

Head over to the Videri Chocolate website to find more information about their gorgeous shopfront, stockists and how to order online. You can thank us later.

327 W. Davie Street, Sweet 100
Raleigh, NC 27601
Monday — Thursday: 8 a.m. 'til 8 p.m.*
Fridays — Saturdays: 8 a.m. 'til 10 p.m.*
Sundays 12 p.m. 'til 5 p.m.
*Retail counter opens at 11 a.m.

30 Nov 2014
to eat

To Eat - Rocambolesc Gelateria

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world... there's nothing to it.” These whimsical lyrics from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory’s ‘Pure Imagination’ absolutely sum up the inspiration behind this amazing ice cream parlour in Girona, Spain...

Forget everything you ever thought possible for an ice cream parlour. Totally disregard those lack lustre dreams right now because Jordi Roca, the youngest of the three brothers behind El Celler de Can Roca (the second best restaurant in the world), has totally rewritten the ice cream parlour rulebook.

The name is Rocambolesc Gelateria, and don’t you ever forget it. Especially if you have an upcoming trip to Spain planned. Gauges, dials, knobs and pipes inside this dreamy dessert bar is as much of a treat for the eyes as it is for the tastebuds.

But when it comes to taste, it really doesn’t get much better than this. There are six different ice cream flavours on offer, which can be accessorised with up to 34 fun toppings like butter cookie (mmm), cotton candy (mmmm) and popping-candy (mmmmmmmmmmm).

Besides the exquisite ice cream, new dessert innovations are created throughout the year like hot ice cream-filled buns and ice-cream muffins. We really don’t need to say any more. We’d be surprised if you are still reading this article and not booking a flight to Spain right now.

Rocambolesc Geateria
carrer de Santa Clara 50
17001 Girona
Ph: +34 972 416 667

Images courtesy of Meritxell Arjalaguer..

27 Nov 2014
to eat

Creative Showcase - Nectar and Stone

Fresh, fun and full of flavour the gorgeous creations from Nectar and Stone will leave a lasting impression on your sweet tooth. Dessert designer and founder of Nectar and Stone, Caroline, loves to create sweet treats that embody sophistication and femininity. For her it is all about originality and a point of difference...

We caught up with Caroline to hear more about her beautiful creations and what inspires her...
What is the idea behind Nectar and Stone and how did it start?
A lover of all things sweet, nectar and stone started out with a plan to make desserts into fashionable and femme edible collections that are delicious to eat.

What is your background?
My work background is a collection of the fashion and medical industry. I spent a number of years in the fashion industry and traveled throughout Australia meeting retailers and agents and showcasing the collections. I learnt so much in the industry that enabled the designers to create their collections accordingly.

What do you love most about creating beautiful desserts?
In the nectar and stone studio - there are no limitations and no rules.
What inspires you?
I am most inspired by fashion and flowers.

What lead you to start making desserts?
I have always been a foodie at heart. It wasn't until I was on maternity leave with my first son that I found myself baking cakes for family and friends. It became very evident early on that I had a particular style which looking back on it now is really a foundation and representation of who I am.

Out of all of your recipes which is your personal favourite?
My personal favorite is macarons - dainty, femme and light.
What was the best thing about being a kid?
That I was surrounded by 3 elder sisters and spoilt rotten - still am!!

If you were to create the ultimate cupcake what flavour would it be? And what would it look like?
To be honest, the ultimate cupcake is always using the freshest ingredients and baking fresh - I love vanilla - in its simplest form and using beautiful vanilla beans - you can't go wrong.

03 Oct 2014
creative showcase

Momofuku Milk Bar

The Momofuku Milk Bar is one of those amazing places that makes you totally re-think ordinary food. One of those magical places where you need to try everything at least once, or twice, or maybe three times to be safe...

The bakery-inspired dessert branch of David Chang’s famous Momofuku restaurant group is a fun, creative and yummy environment, brimming with quirky and talented staff that have been poached from some of Manhattan’s best bakeries.

Since opening the first Milk Bar storefront in November of 2008, founder and pastry chef, Christina Tosi, has been putting a playful spin on familiar home-style desserts and savoury snacks.

From marshmallows and cornflakes to cookies and whole milk, Tosi has found a way of incorporating all of her favourite childhood snacks into whimsical new creations for big people.

We love it when our culinary boundaries are pushed, and in this instance the team are constantly combining unexpected ingredients to create awesome new flavours that totally blow our socks off.

The Milk Bar has six locations in NYC and one in Toronto, open every day. Grab the details here.

25 Jul 2014
to eat

Creative Showcase - The Caker

Jordan Rondel aka The Caker bakes cakes that are different than the rest. Using as many organic ingredients as possible, all of Jordan's creations are handmade to order, making each and every one deliciously unique and the type of cake that "you can’t buy from your average cake shop"...

You certainly won't find any over-the-top sickly sweet themed cakes spilling from The Cakers oven, instead you will find more unusual specialty treats with that addition of that something special that only a passionate baker can add.

"In my opinion, it’s more important for a cake to taste incredible rather than look inedible and the perfect adornment is often a scattering of crushed pistachios, some fresh flowers or glossy berries."

With a passion for baking since she was little, Jordan remembers peering over the counter from the moment she was tall enough to reach the kitchen bench. "It was my French grandparents who first triggered my love for it I think; I would help bake tarts and other delicious desserts at their knee when I was little."

Jordan's passion for cakes continued and whilst studying in Auckland in 2010 Jordan started baking one cake a week for her family. After one particularly delicious cake her father suggested she make a career out of cakes, and so The Caker was born. "I never really thought I could make a career out of baking though, it just seemed like a hobby and passion that would fit nicely alongside a day job."

Word of The Caker quickly spread and Jordan soon saw her delicious cakes marching out the door. "One of my first customers was Karen Walker who ordered some cakes to sell at the Department Store cafe. This was a great starting point for me." Four years on Jordan works from her K-rd based kitchen, running on a 'by appointment' basis filling cake orders and offering bookings for special afternoon teas and events.

And with incredible flavours such as Banana Maple Cake with Caramel Drizzle, Autumnal Pear Hazelnut and Vanilla, and Flourless Dark Chocolate with Ganache on offer it really is no surprise that 'The Caker' has become so popular. Our mouths are drooling just deciding which flavour to sample next.

We caught up with Jordan The Caker to find out about what inspires her...
What do you love most about creating beautiful cakes?
I mostly love the joy that cakes bring to their receivers. I absolutely love it when I hear that the birthday girl cried with happiness when she saw her cake, or that the bride and groom devoured their cake on the dance floor. Since all my cakes are bespoke, it's a little bit like creating a piece of art with each one. It's fun.

What inspires you?
So many things. The fruits and flowers that are in season, other chefs and home cooks, books, blogs and magazines.
What lead you to start making cakes?
It really was a hobby that just so happened to turn into a job. It's just something I've always loved doing for as long as I can remember.

What is your fondest memory of being a kid?
Making fresh strawberry jam with my grandpa!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect or a town planner

If you were to create the ultimate milkshake what flavour would it be?
Probably a banana, almond butter, coconut, vanilla concoction!

22 Jul 2014
creative showcase

To Eat - Vanilli's

Take a step inside the glorious bakery that is The Lily Vanilli Bakery. With towers of tarts, glistening icing and row upon row of delectable mini-cakes you wouldn't be blamed for standing open mouthed while you ogled the offering...

Before even opening the doors of Vanilli's, Lily Jones (aka Lily Vanilli) already had a cult following. Well known for her sculptural and contemporary sweet treats Lily had created a name for herself as a baker with no limits.

Known as 'One of the most sought-after artisan bakers of her generation' Lily has worked with an array of star-studded clients including Dom Perignon, The V&A Museum, Elton John, Absolut, and Lulu Guinness.

So it was with unanimous excitement that she opened the doors to The Lily Vanilli Bakery, just off Columbia Road flower market in London. Decked out in exposed brick, raw wood and 'Vanilli's' up in lights, the lovely space has a home away from home feel.

The snug space with it's lovely vintage touches and a cosy outdoor area create the perfect place to make new friends over a decadent ganache tart.

Known for having "The best Bakewell tarts in town" as claimed by British Vogue, Vanilli's doesn't fail to deliver. And there is no shortage of choice for those less sugar inclined, covering both a sweet and savoury offering Vanilli's has something for all tastebuds.

Aside from opening the doors of Vanilli's every Sunday for a hoard of hungry fans, the bakery also offers a fully bespoke catering service for all types of events. And for those that want to re-create a touch of Vanilli magic at home, Lily Vanilli's cookbook 'Sweet Tooth' will provide more than enough inspiration.

So on your next free Sunday find your sugar calling and head to Vanilli's, you will not be disappointed. The only tough decision will be which of sweet treats to try first, that and trying to convince yourself not to get back in the queue for a fifth serving...

The Lily Vanilli Bakery
6 The Courtyard, Ezra St.
London E2 7RH
Open every Sunday 8:30am - 4pm
Ph: +44 20 3186 4356

Images courtesy of Lily Vanilli and Style Slicker.

18 Jul 2014
to eat

To Eat - Eyescream and Friends

Eyescream and Friends is no ordinary ice cream parlour. Situated on Paseo Joan de Borbo in Barcelona, the parlour brings ice cream to life, creating fun characters out of each flavour and finishing them off with a set of edible eyes...

Eyescream and Friends offer a unique shaved Taiwanese style ice cream made using traditional Italian gelato and served with sauces and toppings.

Estudio m Barcelona are the clever minds behind the branding and interior design of this fun store. They came up with the concept of 'Eyescream', a play on 'ice cream' and developed a set of monsters that bring to life the different flavours and toppings.

The store itself was kept simple using a combination of particle board, plywood and cardboard and allowing the colours of the branding to really stand out. The result is a playful and inviting store that offers a truly unique and engaging product. The clever design won the identity catagory at last years Restaurant and Bar Design Awards and is a great example of the fresh, innovative design coming out of Spain.

eyescream and friends
Paseo Joan de Borbo 30
Barcelona, Spain
Ph: +34 932 215 310

Images courtesy of m Barcelona.

20 Mar 2014
to eat
ice cream

To Eat - El Bosc de les Fades

Hidden down a quiet little alley just off Las Ramblas in Barcelona is El Bosc de les Fades, an enchanted forest cafe that offers a truly unique dining experience. If you're lucky enough to find the carved wooden sign that leads to a set of heavy wooden doors, you will be transported to a mystical world inhabited by strange trees, fairy lights unexpected creatures...

Looming above your head is a canopy of leaves adorned with glittering fairy lights and a waterfall crashes nearby. The cafe was inspired by a fairy forest, with every room including the bar and the bathrooms decorated to fit the fairytale theme. There is even a spooky 'haunted house' room for those looking for something a little different.

Once you've found a seat under the lush canopy, you can settle down to enjoy either breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a delicious array of food and drink on the menu. Every 45 minutes, the lights are dimmed and there is a simulated thunderstorm that rumbles on for 10 minutes.

So next time you're in Barcelona be sure to hunt down this El Bosc de les Fades and enjoy a meal in an enchanted forest.

Museo de Cera
Passatge de la Banca, 5
08002 Barcelona
Ph: +34 933 17 26 49

07 Dec 2013
to eat