Donuts are the new cupcake
Forget the cupcake, kiss the macaron goodbye. The latest in sophisticated sweets is the donut, and the pilgrimage is being made by young and old.
The Donut Boutique popped up on the corner of Barbadoes St and Edgeware Rd in November. Previously a city without a specialty donut shop, its backers were never quite sure whether it would take off.
Was Christchurch a city without donut fever because no-one wanted them, or because there was no boutique provider glamming them up and making them special?
Turns out, it was the latter.
In three months the shop has gone from strength to strength, and it's easy to see why.
Custard-stuffed, chocolate- coated, sticky caramel-dipped, raspberry-striped, cream-filled donuts are lined up on glass sheets, allowing the customer to devour the deep-fried treats with their eyes.
Here is no place for the greasy, gritty donuts of yesteryear. The Donut Boutique specialises in melt-in-your-mouth glamour donuts.
The shop is run by three ladies with a dream. Originally from Singapore, Zainah Alsagoff, Asmah Low and Jinah Green had all grown up with donuts - common in Asia.
In the United States, donuts are a part of life and in Asia the flavours are a rainbow.
"I love donuts, but I just couldn't find them here, " Zainah said. "There's a real gap in the market for a specialty shop."
Head chef Jinah Green has a background in food and nutrition and always wanted to do something in the New Zealand food industry.
"My interest has always been in cooking and baking, " she said.
"It was always just an idea, then Zainah came along and exploded this idea - to own a shop. We didn't know what to expect, but we thought if it didn't work out, at least we had tried."
Jinah had made donuts for family and friends in the past, but making them on a commercial scale was a challenge.
"I hadn't made donuts in years, so we did a lot of research and a lot of testing to find our signature recipe. We got so excited. Our family was forced to eat all our testers."
The donuts also had to be adapted for the Kiwi market. Traditional flavours like apple crumble and hokey pokey were a must.
"We have learned along the way what people love, " Zainah said. "Custard is so popular, but the chocolate donut is our best seller - chocolate-mousse filled, chocolate- topped, with chocolate curls.
"Sometimes our flavour of the fortnight can outsell it though - strawberries and cream was a favourite."
The shop is now offering 26 boutique flavours with new ones being added all the time.
"Some days we just can't produce fast enough."
The donuts are all made on-site, fresh every morning.
"We try to make every donut with passion and care. They really are homemade, and we want to keep that.
"We're not a factory."