Judges fall for magic of gingerbread house
Judges fall for magic of gingerbread houseANGELA CUMING
For something so sweet, a lot of blood sweat and tears went into creating it.
But the effort in creating an expanding range of tempting and tasty treats has paid off for Viands Bakery at Kihikihi with the bakery recently named New Zealand's best for the second year running.
The family-owned business took top honours at the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand conference held in Auckland, claiming the title of Bakery of the Year this month.
Viands also collected wins in the cake, pastry and creative categories.
"We were very, very happy with our awards," said Kathy Kearns, who owns the business with husband Shane.
"The local community response has been wonderful, with so many messages of support. And of course the bakery has been a bit busier than usual."
One of the show-stopper wins was in the creative category, helped by a gingerbread house and a Summer Olympics-themed cake.
The gingerbread house was a particular source of pride, and at times frustration, Mrs Kearns said.
"I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours, how many fights, swear words, blood, sweat and tears went into that gingerbread house.
"I worked 12 hours a day for eight solid days alone to help get it done."
To create the other items needed for judging, the Kearns and their crack baking team worked solidly over 24-hours before leaving for Auckland for the judging.
The BIANZ awards are the country's top baking honour and are open to all bakeries and patisseries across New Zealand.
The Bakery of the Year competition requires a mammoth amount of planning and preparation.
Within each of the four categories – cake, pastry, bread and creative – Viands was required to produce a range of items.
Points from each category are tallied and the bakery with the highest overall score wins the top prize.
It's a tough competition to win.
In the cake category alone they had to bake cupcakes with a Summer Olympics theme, a sachertorte (a Viennese chocolate cake), a macaroon tower and a Christmas cake.
The gingerbread house, which fell in the creative category, had to be a shop or cafe theme.
Among the stipulations included the directive that all decorations must be edible.
Attention will now turn to the coveted New Zealand Supreme Pie Maker title.
Viands took that out last year and the team is keen to repeat the win in 2012.
"I am busy working on all sorts of different recipes and flavour combinations at the moment and that's all I can say," Mrs Kearns said.
"But I will say our focus will this year be on the savoury pie category, she said.
"We just can't say too much more than that, just in case our competitors read this.
"But it will be wonderful, we can say that much."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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