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The sweet taste of success

Wairarapa’s Clareville Bakery has been gonged as the country’s best producer of doughnuts and custard squares.

The bakery rose to the top in both the ‘Decked Out Doughnut’ and ‘Custard Square off’ categories in a Baking New Zealand competition run at this week’s Auckland Fine Food New Zealand exhibition.

An old church renovated into a cafe, Clareville Bakery opened in August 2013 and has since won a number of awards for its outstanding pies, sourdough, grain bread, Christmas mince tarts, and many more delicacies.

With 24 years of experience in the baking game, owner Mike Kloeg, certainly knows that the proof is in the pudding.

“What was really pleasing about this competition was that pretty much everyone in the team had their hand in creating both products,” Kloeg told the Times-Age.

“In the past, it has been left to the senior people but, in this competition in particular, the apprentices had input into the design and the different components.”

This is the first year the competition has been run and featured 10 entries in each category, with baked goodies transported to Auckland from as far away as Dunedin.

The inspiration for Clareville Bakery’s Pumpkin Spice and All Things Nice Gourmet Doughnut design comes from an “American classic” that incorporates a fusion of a “bourbon glaze, pecan brittle crunch, salted caramel, and pumpkin spice crème doughnut”, Kloeg said.

President of Baking New Zealand Bernie Sugrue said that he would have never thought of putting pumpkin with a doughnut, but when he tried, it was “extremely yummy.”

“One of the bakery’s successes as well is that they physically flew the product up themselves and hand-delivered it, which shows the dedication and commitment,” Sugrue said.

Meanwhile, the winning custard square is Clareville Bakery’s “most popular seller”, which the team has been making since the bakery opened 10 years ago.

“It’s good quality handmade custard – we use local free-range eggs in that, loads of butter and cream, sandwiched between our in-house made butter puff pastry,” Kloeg said.

“It’s about the quality ingredients and a passion for what we do well.”

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