new

Cronuts may be the talk of the town but if you’ve never tried a Little and Friday donut you’ve never lived. It’s safe to say these delicious treats single-handedly put Little and Friday on the map (in my mind anyway). The Little and Friday cafes are owned by Kim Evans and the story of how Kim started her food empire is as magical as her baking. Kim’s journey began years ago in Sydney as a cash-strapped student when she would bake in exchange for art supplies. Years later, back in New Zealand, Kim returned to baking and for five years owned the company Ice It that made sculptured cakes for weddings and special occasions.

After some time in Christchurch, Kim, a mother of two, returned to Auckland and began selling baking at weekend markets. The word spread and, with a successful following, Kim opened her first Little and Friday on Auckland’s north shore with just $3,000.  Baking all night Thursday, Kim opened to customers only on Fridays, but before long Little and Friday expanded to seven days a week, two stores and 25 staff. Following the runaway success of Kim’s first book, Treats From Little and Friday, the talented baker has just released a stunning new book, Little and Friday Celebrations.

The book is full of mouth-watering recipes for miniature tarts and cakes, savoury galettes, breads, biscuits and decorative special occasion cakes. There are also chapters devoted to making kids’ parties, Easter, Christmas, weddings and twenty-firsts to remember. We recently caught up with Kim to find out a little bit more about what makes her tick and we couldn’t help asking how she manages to stay so slim when she spends her days surrounded by so many tempting treats.

 

5 MINUTES WITH KIM EVANS

Image

Above: Little and Friday’s Kim Evans.

 

Why a celebrations book?
I thought it would be fun to create not only the food but also style the event to go with the recipes – it allowed us to be a little more creative.

Your favourite celebration food?
Christmas food hands down. Everything is so rich and decadent you only really indulge that much once a year.

Best celebration you’ve ever been to and why?
We recreated a wedding for the book and asked our barista tomas to renew his vows with his beautiful wife. On a beautiful summer afternoon a group of close friends joined together to deck out the local sea scout hall on the waterfront and I made a load of delish savoury bites to go with a select range of beers to sip under the trees. As the evening wore on we moved into the wee hall to graze on a dessert banquet and wedding cake while the boys from Little and Friday formed a band and played some cool tunes into the night. Small intimate and fun. That is the key to a really successful celebration.

You favourite recipe from the book and why?
It changes all the time at present as the warmer weather is coming along I’m enjoying the strawberry tart and the cheesecake.

Your all-time favourite Little & Friday recipe?
Lemon and coconut cake and the bay leaf custard tart.

How do you manage to stay so slim when you’re surrounded by so many yummy foods?
Twenty-five years ago I was told a secret and it seems to have kept me under 70kg while I continually graze on sweet food all day every day.  They now have a name for it and it’s called mindful eating.  You eat whatever you like whenever you like as long as you are filling your stomach to only 80 percent capacity and you are grateful for all the effort gone into creating that food .

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I very rarely go home and cook, I renovated my kitchen and have not put an oven in yet . . . it is on my very long to do list.

Click here to visit the Little & Friday website.

 

CHOCOLATE, BEETROOT AND SALTED CARAMEL CAKE

This flavour combination is sensational.

Pg 167 Chocolate Beetroot and Salted Caramel Cake

Above: Chocolate, Beetroot and Salted Caramel cake.

 

Ingredients

5 eggs
2½ cups caster sugar
300ml canola oil
250g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups flour
1 cup good-quality cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
100ml Anchor Organic milk
1 cup grated raw beetroot
3 cups Chocolate Ganache, to decorate (see below)
Salted Caramel
1½ cups caster sugar
300ml cream
½ tsp sea salt

 

Method

Makes one 23cm triple-layer cake

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line three 23cm round cake tins with baking paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on medium speed until mixture is pale and creamy and tripled in volume. With mixer on medium speed, slowly drizzle in oil and combine.
3. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add chocolate to egg mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl. Using a large metal spoon, fold a third of the dry ingredients into chocolate mixture. Add a third of the milk and combine. Continue in this way until all combined.
5. Fold grated beetroot through chocolate mixture.
6. Spoon mixture into prepared tins. Bake in centre of oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tins before turning out.
7. To assemble, use a serrated knife to cut the domed tops off the cakes. Spread ½ cup Salted Caramel over the top of two cakes and stack to form one triple-layer cake sandwiched together with caramel.
8. Spread a thick layer of Chocolate Ganache over top and sides of cake using a palette knife.

 

Salted Caramel

Makes 1½ cups

1. Place sugar in a small saucepan and just cover with water to achieve a wet-sand consistency.
2. Bring to the boil but do not stir. Using a wet pastry brush, remove any sugar crystals from sides of saucepan. Continue to boil until mixture turns amber. Remove from heat.
3. In a small saucepan, heat cream to boiling point. Gradually add to caramelised sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. This takes a while but eventually combines. Season with salt.

 

Chocolate Ganache

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup cream
200g good-quality dark chocolate, grated

In a saucepan, heat cream to just below boiling point, Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before using.

Reproduced with permission from Little and Friday Celebrations by Kim Evans.Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $45.00 .Copyright © Kim Evans, 2013Copyright © Photography Tamara West, 2013. Available nationwide