Vegan and gluten-free Easter treats on the rise
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Forget those deep-fried doughnuts dressed up with sugar as Nutie's au natural options have your sweet tooth covered.
Now a juggernaut of gluten-free and vegan-centric desserts, Nutie started back in 2016 with Sina Klug's hunger for GF doughnuts, a longing that was met with tasteless alternatives.
Out of necessity comes invention, and she developed one herself, eventually outgrowing her first market stall and opening a brick-and-mortar bakery in Balmain.
Nutie's menu has grown exponentially from those early days - even opening a cafe in Surry Hills - but at the heart of it all is a large range of GF and vegan pastries, and come Easter, that's when Sina lays it all out.
"This year we have desserts in all sizes, so no matter if you have a big or small group there's something for everyone."
And it's not just portion-size that's notable as this year; the dessert selection is bigger than ever with such delights as the Hot Cross cheesecake, Bunny in the Field carrot cake, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, vegan macarons, and housemade vegan chocolate eggs with a hazelnut praline filling.
A big hit for the season, the coconut and passionfruit cake which is topped with marshmallows made to resemble an adorable little spring lamb, is a nod to her European heritage.
There'll be a selection of goodies available at the Balmain location, or you can check out Nutie's full Easer range online. But to avoid disappointment, pre-order online … and early.
- 13 Beattie St, Balmain; nutie.com.au
With their pale pastels and vibrant hues, delicate and dainty macarons are certainly pretty, but if you're after a treat that doesn't crumble and leave half on the plate, Fatcaron's macarons are the ones for you.
The first thing you'll notice is that they're bigger than a 50-cent piece, but not so large that you'll feel glutenous plus, when you pick them up, they don't fall apart in your hand; these have some heft to them.
The true test, though, is when you bite into one - they're actually quite moist and chewy.
"Fatcaron follows the French method which used less sugar by substituting naturally sweet premium almond powder," explains co-founder Kirk Canda noting that the crumbly version used the Italian method.
Besides being absolutely delicious (Fatcaron has more than 50 flavours on rotation), they are just cute as a bunny, which is appropriate considering that Kirk's partner, and the creator of Fatcaron's macarons, has made a little rabbit design which is featured in their Easter collection.
You can pick some up, as well as other seasonal designs such as hot cross buns, Easter eggs and smiling carrots, at one of their four locations or order online.
- For further details and availability, head to facebook.com/fatcaronofficial
OH! BOO CHOCOLATES
There's no question about it; the answer to any chocolate query is yes, and oh boy does Oh! Boo have you covered.
From petite pralines to football-sized eggs, Belgian-trained maitre chocolatier Fanny Chan not only uses premium and predominantly Australian ingredients in her artisanal chocolates but also hand-paints each one with a different motif, making everything in the shop a unique piece of art.
For Oh! Boo's Easter collection, Fanny has adorned each morsel with whimsical and rustic designs such as cherry red and yellow bite-sized eggs, larger eggs with dainty sky-blue wildflowers, or chocolate pops decorated with folk-art chickadees, each one guaranteed to make this Easter one of a kind.
- Shop 1/33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo; ohboo.com.au
If competitive cooking shows are to be believed, only an elaborate concoction (and a science degree) can take home the cake still, for those of us who genuinely enjoy eating dessert rather than ogling it, nothing beats good ol' homemade treats.
High up on the list of faves is the crowd-favourite, Rocky Road.
Now, you could spend a few hours hunting down ingredients and stirring till your arm goes numb or order some of Galini Amanatidis's Rocky Road for the win.
There are three versions to be had: dark chocolate, white chocolate, and ruby chocolate versions, all of which are available in 1kg or 500g slabs.
Not only does Galini insists on using the finest ingredients possible, but she is also committed to supporting Australian shops and suppliers that promote zero waste and ethical practices, such as the rose petals and rosebuds she buys from Village Wholefoods and The Source, as well as pepperberries, an indigenous ingredient from Creative Native.
While some of the chocolate itself is made in Switzerland and Belgium, the end result is true blue.
Prices vary by weight and type of chocolate. 1kg dark or white chocolate, $50; 500g dark or white chocolate, $25; 1kg ruby chocolate, $70; 500g ruby chocolate, $37.50.
Visit website for orders and availability.
KOI & THREE CHOCOLATIERS
While the pastry wizards at KOI are known for making magic in the kitchen, it's their collaboration with Sydney-based Three Chocolatiers that welcomes you to a delicious world of pure imagination, where you'll find chocolate eggs and golden tickets.
These aren't your usual eggs, though, as these are the Enchanted Eggs as in one out of every five eggs contains a Golden Ticket with prizes that range from tickets to Frozen: The Musical and room-stays at Novotel Sydney Darling Square to shopping sprees at KOI and Three Chocolatiers.
There are four scrumdiddlyumptious versions to be had ($55 each): The Autumn Falls Egg (matcha, rose, lychee and raspberry), The Chocolatier Egg (dark chocolate, strawberry and marshmallow, the Snowflake Egg (white chocolate, vanilla and citrus); and last but not least, The Golden Egg (dark chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut praline).
You'll need to move quickly, though, as stock is disappearing rather quickly.
Pre-order now for pick-up from KOI Chippendale or Ryde through April 1, or purchase from any Three Chocolatiers location while supplies last.
SUGAR POP BAKERY
When Nicole Pal made her first cake-pop, she figured it would make a novel party favour for her daughter's birthday; little did she know that it would lead to a crafty obsession and ultimately a successful business.
While the little round bites of cake on a stick launched her business, she's delving into other baked goods as well, including cupcakes and cookies though, it's hard to imagine finding the time with all the clever and charming designs that pop up on her social media feeds.
But as the old saying goes, if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life, so after Nicole started playing around with her Easter creations, she said: "I spent yesterday doing what I love … making a creative mess."
If you've yet to try a cake-pop, now is a great time as the little lamb, bunny, chickadee and spring flower ones are $12.50 each, and there is no minimum order.
For something more elaborate, there's also a mini bouquet (one cake pop and three cookies, $25), or Sugar Pop Cupcakes (six-pack - three vanilla and three chocolate cupcakes, each topped with mini-cake pops, $45).
Orders close March 31 for local orders and pick-ups from Pemulwuy; intrastate and interstate orders close March 26.
FRANCA BRASSERIE BOULANGERIE & MARKET
Franca Brasserie's much-loved "bake sale" is back once again, taking over the restaurant's forecourt with makeshift tables that will be loaded with baskets of fresh breads and plates of sweet and savoury treats.
Pastry chef Travin De Hoedt and his crew will lay out 25-30 different types of pastries ranging from chocolate tarts and passionfruit cakes to cheesy garlic scrolls and quiches.
With pedestals topped with plates of goodies and baskets of warm croissants, the stunning presentation looks more like a premium boutique bakery rather than a school hall filled with bedsheet-covered trellis table.
Interestingly, this market has rather humble beginnings as it started mid-lockdown in April, not only to offer locals an opportunity to busy some premium pastries but also as an attempt to address some of the plights that had been thrown at the hospitality industry.
This market was a way to use up ingredients rather than let them go to waste in a closed kitchen, as well as means to subsidise some of the staff's cut wages.
No matter how it started though, it always ends the same way - a sell-out well before noon, so get there early.
- 81 Macleay St, Potts Point; francabrasserie.com.au
PEPE SAYA AND CRUMPETS BY MERNA
They're a perfect match - toasted crumpets and creamy butter - but when that pairing consists of Crumpets by Merna and Pepe Saya butter, it's gastronomic heaven.
These premium products, coveted by renowned chefs around the country, actually their footing at the Carriageworks Farmers Market where Pierre "Pepe" Issa first began selling small batches of cultured butter and Merna Taouk, who had already built a solid reputation for delicious sweets, developed a cult following when she began making sourdough crumpets that are of course made with Pepe Saya butter.
As if it couldn't' get any better, the two have joined up with Zokoko chocolate to create the perfect Easter package: four Hot Cross Bunny Crumpets, 225 grams of Pepe Saya salted butter and 1x mini Tranquilidad Dark Choc Bar, 1x mini Chale Milk Bar ($28).
You can order this bundle of artisanal products online and have it delivered it straight to your dor.
Meltdowns don't normally receive a warm welcome, but this one, a collaboration between Meltdown Artisan and Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, is well worth celebrating.
Just in time for Easter, they've created an egg for the ages - hand-painted dark chocolate eggs, with a soft caramel centre spiked with Mr Black Coffee Liqueur. Made with the best possible ingredients sourced from suppliers with sustainable farming practices these special eggs are available for $20 each.
Chocolate eggs are the highlight of any Easter basket, and throughout April they'll also be a headliner on the flavour charts at Gelatissimo.
Starting with a base of chocolate mint gelato, they've added in little chocolate eggs and some cookie crumbs for texture. You'll find this flavour in all Gelatissimo stores from March 26 to April 22 (while stock lasts).
PROVIDOOR AND BAKER BLEU
If you're after the perfect hot cross bun, why not take the matter into your own hands. With the help of Providoor, a premium meal delivery service, you can master the making of sour cherry and dark chocolate Easter buns via virtual baking class led by baker Mike Russell from Baker Bleu.
The ingredients you'll need for the session, which is broadcast on Sunday March 28 come in a kit that includes 1kg of Tuerong Farm Winter white flour, Hunted + Gathered Dominican Republic chocolate, organic sour cherries, St David's Cultured Butter and tools (dough scraper and the perfect pan).
The kit is $95 plus delivery fee and can be delivered across VIC, NSW, ACT and SA.
MACARONS AND ME
If your vision of plant-based food looks like a plate of alfalfa sprouts and soybeans, then you're missing out on a rainbow of colours, and some pretty tasty macarons to boot.
Macaron and Me's vegan version doesn't contain eggs, cream or butter but still has the same delicate shell with a slightly chewy interior - and of course, a thick "creamy" filling in flavours such as passionfruit, chocolate and pistachio.
Originally published as Vegan and gluten-free Easter treats on the rise